As Council cuts cycling fund by 50%, Greens launch their 10 point plan for Public Transport
3 March 2010
The Green Party is calling for a radical rethink of transport plans for Windsor. They insist that The Green Party is not against cars, but is against dependency on cars; they have dismissed the current park and ride plans as ill-conceived tokenism towards a very real problem.
This comes after revelations at the Royal Borough Council’s Cycle Forum on Monday night (01/03/10) that the fund for Capital Works for the Cycle Network had been cut by 50% from £100,000 to £50,000, despite the cut in Council Tax being just 4%
One angry member of the forum lambasted the Council saying that they ‘lack the political will’ to invest in alternative forms of transport. Greens are demanding from the Council a full disclosure of what other funds have been cut and by how much.
The Greens offer a real alternative; their Green 10 Point plan for Transport includes:
- Giving priority to and improving conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and users of public transport.
- Reclaiming residential streets so that they become the heart of neighbourhoods, where children can play safely and people can chat. This would include the introduction of RED ZONES for residential, emergency, & delivery vehicles only.
- Taking the needs of older people into account when developing transport policies. This would include defending the Freedom Pass from being axed.
- New, safer Cycle Routes that are fully-integrated with public transport hubs and connect the different parts of the Borough.
- A comprehensive Bus network that works for users, providing a greater level of service whilst being both cheap and accessible.
- The introduction of 20mph speed limits in all urban areas.
- Encouraging visitors to Windsor to travel by train or coach. The Greens would investigate a 'travelcard' system (similar to schemes in use throughout London and Tyne and Wear) that would allow people to travel as much as they want to using public transport across the Borough for a set price.
- Supporting ‘Walking Buses’ and cycling schemes for schoolchildren.
- Investigating the possibility of bicycle hire facilities, similar to those being introduced in London .
- Introducing car clubs in residential areas. These would reduce the number of cars parking on congested streets, remove the expense and hassle of car ownership, but still give people easy access to a car whenever they need it.
Derek Wall, the Green Party Candidate for Windsor, has said “The Council has a major role to play in developing a sustainable and integrated public transport system, which would bring many benefits to our towns: easier travel, long-term health improvements, pollution reduction, and less time and money wasted through transport delays.”
Greens in councils up and down the country have had a positive impact on the lives of residents. Derek Wall concluded by saying “We simply cannot solve the problem by building more roads and bigger car parks, which are suggestions at the core of Tory and Lib Dem transport policies.”
Notes to Editors
1] Many of the policies in our 10 point plan have been successfully introduced in towns such as Oxford , Brighton and Norwich by Green Party Councillors.
2] As for point 5 - providing more. cheaper bus services -this would be done not by increasing council tax but by cutting waste. This would include cutting energy usage by up to 90% in the next ten years, which would free up thousands of pounds to invest back into greater public transport and would, in turn, cut C02 emissions. (The Council has already committed to cut its own emissions by 10% in 2010).
3] The Freedom Pass is currently under threat as central and local government funding is being squeezed. The axing of the scheme would leave many pensioners isolated in their homes, as the cost of transport would be unaffordable for those living on incomes that are already below the poverty line.
4] Derek Wall is the Green Party Candidate for Windsor . A former national spokesman for The Green Party, he lives in Windsor and has three children.
5] The Green Party is on course to win at least one seat at the forthcoming General Election, if Caroline Lucas wins in Brighton Pavilion this would make her the first Green MP in British history.
6] See more on the Transport for London Cycle Hire Scheme - http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/12444.aspx