MAY I make a plea for local transport planning to be considered holisticly and for the needs of those who are without access to cars also to be considered?
I agree with those who question the need for a multi-storey car park in Huntingdon. I am sure that many residents of Cambridgeshire villages would prefer to see their bus services saved and would rather back the Campaign for Better Transport's 'Save Our Buses' campaign (The Hunts Post, February 9) – particularly as Cambridgeshire County Council is proposing to withdraw funding from all subsidised bus services in the wake of Government spending cuts.
May I also plead with our local transport planners to look forwards instead of backwards when seeking solutions to transport problems?
In the second decade of the 21st century shouldn't we be following Government policy and adopting environmentally-sustainable transport measures? For example, where are the plans for reliable and frequent (preferably electric) community shuttle buses to provide pollution-free access into Huntingdon – and to Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the mainline railway station?
I'm sure that workers, shoppers, hospital visitors and rail commuters would all be pleased to save parking (and petrol) costs.
Transport Minister Norman Baker's Local Sustainable Transport Fund supports the DfT's 'smarter choices' policy, which includes public transport, community transport schemes, workplace travel plans (including car-sharing), plus walking and cycling initiatives, including school travel plans and improved parking facilities for cyclists at railway stations.
Measures such as the proposed car park undermine this policy and are likely to lead to increased carbon emissions – contrary to climate change policy (and law).
Mr Baker invited local transport authorities to apply for funding to support sustainable travel measures, such as those above, which encourage modal shift (eg from car to bus or train), help manage demands on the network and improve access and mobility for local communities.
They also help to meet mandatory transport sector carbon budgets.
Let's think again about the car park and move quickly to secure the funding needed for better transport for our local communities.