28 June 2020
For immediate release
Cambridge Green Party supports Council plans to improve cycling and walking infrstructure in Cambridge as Cambridge CO2 per capita emissions fell slower than the UK average between 2005 and 2018 .
Jeremy Caddick, 2019 Green Party Parliamentary Candidate said, "Cambridge wants to be a world leader in reducing carbon emissions but has not backed this ambition with sufficient action. According to figures published by the government on Thursday over half of Local Authorities in the UK have achieved greater reductions per capita in CO2 emissions than Cambridge. The global pandemic and climate emergency neccesitate bold action. The Council is right to seize the opportunity as the national government provides much needed funding to implement changes to the city's cycling and walking provisions. It must follow through with meaningful consultations within 6 months . More importantly, measures that make private car travel inconvenient must be complemented by affordable and convenient public alternatives. We therefore call on the Council to go further and put pressure on Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer to franchise the bus network, reduce ticket costs and consult local communities on improving bus routes."
While research shows that improving cycling and walking provisions is good for our health, the environment and can benefit local business  the closure of Mill Road Bridge, in particular, has generated debate and some opposition. Hannah Copley, Cambridge Green Party convenor, said "While we support the closure of Mill Road bridge, valid concerns have been raised. We urge the Council to allow access for blue-badge holders and registered taxis. We also call on the Council to consult immediately with local traders that are worried about the potential impact on their business. In order to restore confidence and show their commitment to local traders, the Council should consider a temporary waiver of business rates until it has completed its promised consultation in six months. "
Green Party member Elisabeth Whitebread, who lives just off Mill Road, said "I love Mill Road and is independent shops, but as the mother of a toddler I do worry about the impact of air pollution. I really think we should give this project a chance, particularly as its primary purpose is public health and allowing space for social distancing. Trying to navigate down the narrow pavements on Mill Road with a pram, people queuing outside businesses and traffic whizzing by, is not possible."