As highlighted earlier in the year when we produced our cycling manifestos, the Conservative party was proposing the introduction of free 30 minutes parking for cars throughout the Borough. They have now followed through with this (all part of the end of the War on Motorists) and a consultation has been launched for residents of the Borough – a link to this can be found below:
Cyclists and more widely residents in the Borough should be concerned with this development for a number of reasons:
- Free 30 minutes parking will encourage motorists to use their cars for short journeys to the shops, totally against the policy of reducing car usage (currently, over half of car journeys are less than 5 miles, nearly a quarter less than 2 miles)
- The resulting increase in congestion, will hurt local businesses, not help them. The CBI stated that congestion cost the UK economy £20 billion
- The resulting increase in air pollution will impact all of us who cycle through the Borough. As reported, Air pollution ’causes the early deaths of 50,000 a year’
- The cost of the changing the system will be £410,000 every year. This will be a cost which will hit all Council Tax payers irrespective of whether they own a car or not.
Please take the time to review the consultation and provide your comments. Often cyclists are sidelined in consultations in the Borough – here is an opportunity to have your voice heard. Cycling funding is under serious threat in the country at present, with the disbandment of Cycling England and the upcoming spending review that will drive council policy for the next few years.