Pictured above: The Mill Street Bridge closure. (Credit score: Robin Heydon).
Within the lead as much as the 4 native elections in Cambridgeshire in Could, we will probably be asking all of the candidates in every election for his or her views and proposed insurance policies on a topical difficulty.
This week, we have now requested the events placing up candidates for the Cambridgeshire County Council for his or her views on encouraging inexperienced journey and the Mill Street Bridge.
So as to promote biking and strolling, the Mill Street Bridge has been closed to non-public autos since June, with solely buses, cyclists, and pedestrians allowed. The choice has made the world extra pedestrian-friendly and lowered air air pollution, however some companies say they’ve suffered financially. It’s going to stay closed till June 2021.
The events have been requested: How ought to the council encourage greener types of journey with out inconveniencing companies or those that depend on automobiles? Are extra schemes just like the Mill Street Bridge closure throughout Cambridgeshire the way in which to go?
Steve Depend, Conservative
Incumbent chief of the council
“On the county council, we already prioritise journey choices, energetic journey, forward of public transport, different choices corresponding to shared journeys, proper by to the only occupancy non-public car, the least most well-liked possibility.
“Lively journey has important well being advantages in addition to an enchancment on our environment, and everybody tends to agree with this prioritisation.
“So the query stays: why is the only occupancy automotive nonetheless the choice many select to select?
“We consider so as to ask folks to decide on these higher choices it’s a must to make choosing them a most well-liked or cheap selection. ‘With out inconveniencing’ you ask, goes to the center of the matter, as to why that’s so troublesome.
“To enhance energetic journey, improved footpaths, and new cycle methods, segregated if potential, will assist.
“However the place does the cash come from or how do you acquire house for a cycleway in an setting corresponding to Cambridge Metropolis the place each sq. inch is a premium?
“For footpaths the Conservatives on the county just lately elevated the price range by £20 million to enhance their upkeep.
“On the subject of cycleways, we work onerous to enhance and ship new schemes with among the £500 million we secured from authorities for the Higher Cambridge Partnership (GCP).”
The GCP is a partnership of councils, companies, and different establishments that work to enhance infrastructure, create jobs, and construct properties within the space. It acquired as much as £500 million over 15 years from the central authorities for its work.
He added: “Concurrently, making an attempt to get the precise stability between discovering house for energetic journey, while weighing up and recognising the influence of that call on others.
“For these from father afield, we work with the Mayor James Palmer of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mixed Authority to ship his formidable plans to remodel public transport with an environmentally-friendly, electrical metro community, linking a central Cambridge underground part with the broader county space.
“The beginning of the venture made potential by the £770 million we secured from authorities for the mixed authority.
“Nevertheless, one of the best reply maybe is to allow those that are in a position to decide on to work, in or close to their house, to take action.
“That’s the place our funding of £29 million into delivering superfast broadband to each nook of the county has delivered on making some journeys pointless within the first place – one thing that has been proven to be vitally essential in the course of the troublesome occasions of the pandemic we’re in.”
Noel Kavanagh, Labour
Highways and Transport Committee lead
“Cambridge is thought to be one of many quickest rising and profitable areas in Britain however a symptom of this success is congestion and air pollution as a result of calls for from enterprise, residents and staff.”
Emphasising the commitments from all native authorities within the space to cut back carbon emissions by encouraging a modal shift to public transport, biking and strolling, he added: “The ambition of the native authorities to create inexperienced transport measures is suitable with the wants of enterprise by making journey simpler, cheaper and more healthy for residents and guests
“Public transport is important to the success of inexperienced transport measures.
“Labour believes a modal shift can solely be achieved by the creation of a community of dependable and fairly priced bus providers that meet the wants of rural and concrete communities forming hyperlinks to and between villages, cities and cities throughout the County.
“The introduction of built-in ticketing to allow ease of journey for passengers utilizing trains and linked bus routes ought to be accelerated.
“Bus operators ought to be inspired to improve to all electrical bus fleets by an agreed date within the close to future.
“Radical because it appears, to forestall a automotive primarily based restoration when the present lockdown restrictions are deliberate to be lifted in June, there ought to be a push to supply Free Bus Journey to encourage folks to get on buses and alter from their dependency on non-public automotive use.
“Residing by the trauma of the pandemic, with the emergency transport measures in place and experiencing the discount in within the quantity of autos on the roads, with the accompanying dramatic discount in congestion and air pollution ranges, has satisfied many individuals within the cities, cities and villages throughout Cambridgeshire, that they need these more healthy situations to grow to be the norm.
“There have been inconveniences to some car customers, the place by visitors has been restricted in central, heavy-footfall roads like Mill Street and Silver Avenue, for instance, however the consequent discount in noise, air pollution and enhance in security of cyclists and pedestrians has been welcomed by many who are actually demanding extra pilot schemes to be launched.
“Consensus on every scheme may be achieved by correct and open session with all stakeholders concerned.
“The enlargement of the availability of segregated cycle routes and the continued funding of the Bikeability scheme for schoolchildren, and enhance the variety of the favored Faculty Avenue ‘no automotive zone’ initiatives, the zero carbon ambition by 2030 looks like an actual risk.”
Michael Atkins, Liberal Democrats
“There are such a lot of advantages to enabling individuals who can to maneuver transfer away from relying on their automobiles in direction of public transport, strolling and biking.
“For many years, transport coverage has been targeted on making issues simpler for the automotive.
“Increasingly house has been given over to roads designed for automobiles, with most funding primarily benefiting automobiles.
“This has been on the expense of different types of transport.
“When it’s much less nice and slower to stroll, when it’s extra harmful to cycle, fewer folks do.
“The latest Residents’ Meeting on transport in Higher Cambridge confirmed simply how strongly the general public helps large adjustments each by giving more room to public transport, biking and strolling and by designing public areas to be safer and more healthy.
“Locations which are extra engaging to folks – as a result of there are fewer noisy, harmful and polluting automobiles in them – have additionally been proven to assist companies situated there. Persons are happier to spend time looking and socialising (when it’s allowed!) and subsequently extra more likely to spend cash in these companies.
“Bettering air high quality is large acquire from decreasing the variety of diesel car.
“This isn’t only a downside for city areas. Many villages endure from air pollution. However we’d like agency proof to deal with it.
“That’s why Lib Dem-run South Cambridgeshire District Council has put in an air high quality monitor within the village of Harston, which is blighted by the busy A10.
“It is important to work with the communities affected by transport adjustments. Residents, companies, guests and workers know higher than anybody what works and what doesn’t.
“We should take into account knock-on results effectively past the fast space of the change.
“We would be capable of get advantages with out having to shut areas to automobiles fully and in any respect time. So we have to be considerate and delicate in what we do.”