We have until next week to submit to the County Council's consultation on transport - this sets the framework for the next 15 years - see below my letter to the local press and links to our submission. See also here Green party call for Council's to use new bus legislation to ensure cheaper bus fares.
Gloucestershire County Council are gathering information for their Transport Plan. When in place, this will set the transport agenda for the county for 15 years from 2011 to 2026. We need to get it right. Our public transport network is dire compared to many parts of Europe and services continue to face cuts.
It is great we look set to get the long-awaited doubling of the line between Swindon and Kemble, but both our train and bus services have for too long been seriously wanting. Indeed the whole bus subsidy system is a dog’s dinner where huge amounts of money are wasted. Privatisation was a mistake. While we can't change that in this consultation, we can at least urge the County to invest in more sustainable transport.
The County plan must prioritise walking, cycling and public transport. This is not only to cut CO2 emissions, but because it will make our towns and villages more pleasant and encourage people to shop locally. Fewer cars mean less noise and pollution and safer streets.
Furthermore global oil supplies are forecast to decline. Our councils need plans in place to maintain transport links and ensure that our communities are still viable when oil prices rise.
I would urge people to put the case to the County for emphasis on the most sustainable forms of transport. Comments on their transport plan can be made by filling in the online questionnaire before 12th February at: www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/talkingtransport. You can see the Green party's submission under reports at www.glosgreenparty.org.uk.
Cllr. Philip Booth,