A gaggle of main Liberal Democrat politicians in Cambridgeshire have reiterated their opposition to a congestion cost on the eve of debate in regards to the topic by the Higher Cambridge Partnership’s board.
In addition they advised future options to the transport challenges within the area might embrace mild rail or trams.
Lucy Nethsingha, the Lib Dem chief of the county council
Issuing what they referred to as an ‘pressing’ assertion on Wednesday night, the group – together with county council chief Cllr Lucy Nethsingha and 4 Parliamentary candidates – stated it was “clear” that congestion charging in Cambridge was not the way in which to fund an improved transport community.
They usually pledged: “We make our dedication that the proposals as set out within the Making Connections session for funding the enhancements to public transport is not going to be taken ahead this 12 months or in subsequent years.”
Within the assertion, printed in full under, they add: “Doing nothing isn’t an possibility. We have to work with companions to search out these new methods ahead.”
They stated they backed the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mixed Authority in pursuing “bus reform” and, on the day the Cambridge Impartial’s entrance web page revealed how bus chaos was affecting college students attempting to get to high school, acknowledged native bus companies want enhancing “as swiftly as potential”.
The assertion – additionally signed by the county council’s Liberal Democrat deputy chief Cllr Lorna Dupre – famous: “Trying additional forward we emphasise the necessity for a long run and bold transport imaginative and prescient. This would come with higher buses, trams, mild rail and trains; transport hubs the place folks can safely switch between buses, trams and so on and from bikes or automobiles; and mixed tickets for our journeys.“
Pippa Heylings, the Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary candidate for South Cambridgeshire
The GCP’s govt board meets on Thursday afternoon to think about revised proposals for a peak-time cost in Cambridge, beneath which automotive drivers would pay £5, van drivers would pay £10 and lorry and coach drivers would pay £50 to drive in Cambridge between 7am-10am and 3pm-6pm on weekdays to chop congestion at peak occasions and fund a greater bus community. The board contains the town council’s Labour chief Cllr Mike Davey, the Labour deputy chief of the county council, Cllr Elisa Meschini, Cllr Brian Milnes, from the Liberal Democrat management of South Cambridgeshire District Council, together with enterprise board consultant Dr Andy Williams and the College of Cambridge’s Prof Andy Neely.
Because the Cambridge Impartial was first to disclose, political help for the proposals started to break down when Liberal Democrats in South Cambridgeshire voted towards backing them. Cambridge’s Labour group adopted swimsuit in declaring their opposition, and Conservatives within the county have been against congestion charging from the outset.
Within the aftermath, the GCP’s joint meeting suggested the manager board to take a look at options.
The board, assembly from 4pm on Thursday (September 28), will focus on whether or not to place the congestion cost proposals ahead to the county council, as highways authority for consideration or, as now anticipated, to alter tack.
Ian Sollom will stand for the Liberal Democrats on the subsequent Basic Election within the new seat of St Neots and Mid Cambridgeshire
The Lib Dems’ Parliamentary candidates – Pippa Heylings in South Cambridgeshire, Ian Sollom in St Neots and Mid Cambridgeshire, Cheyney Payne in Cambridge and Charlotte Cane in East Cambridgeshire – know their probabilities of getting elected can be severely hampered in the event that they didn’t distance themselves from the congestion cost proposals.
The group add of their assertion: “We should cut back the extent of automotive dependency in our county, not just for environmental causes, but additionally to sort out the unequal entry for these dwelling in rural areas who wouldn’t have entry to a automotive.”
One notable title lacking from the signatories on the assertion is Cllr Bridget Smith, the Liberal Democrat chief of South Cambridgeshire District Council, who’s a substitute consultant on the GCP board. Cllr Smith has already expressed concern in regards to the proposals.
Cheney Payne will stand for the Lib Dems in Cambridge on the subsequent Basic Election
The Liberal Democrat assertion in full
Cambridgeshire is a incredible place to reside and work, however not at all times so incredible to get round. The Higher Cambridge Partnership’s proposals are a honest try to enhance that state of affairs and have been rightly explored absolutely in session, however they’ve change into counter-productive. It’s clear that they’d negatively affect too many individuals while bringing too little profit to others.
It’s time to search out new methods ahead, constructing on these components of the GCP’s work which have clear public help: higher public transport and higher biking and strolling; cleaner air and a safer, much less congested Cambridge; a metropolis accessible to all.
For these enhancements to happen, our roads do must be much less congested and we do want to search out sustainable sources of funding. Nonetheless, we’re clear that the congestion charging component of the Making Connections session isn’t the way in which to realize this and should cease.
With coverage from the Conservative authorities altering each week, residents and companies in Cambridge want some certainty from their native political representatives. We make our dedication that the proposals as set out within the Making Connections session for funding the enhancements to public transport is not going to be taken ahead this 12 months or in subsequent years.
Doing nothing isn’t an possibility. We have to work with companions to search out these new methods ahead. We give our robust help to the work being achieved on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mixed Authority on bus reform, and can work with companions to push for enhancements to our native bus companies to maneuver forward as swiftly as potential. We owe our younger and older folks the dedication to making sure that they’ve entry to the identical instructional and work alternatives and well being companies, whether or not they reside in our villages, cities or cities. We should cut back the extent of automotive dependency in our county, not just for environmental causes, but additionally to sort out the unequal entry for these dwelling in rural areas who wouldn’t have entry to a automotive.
Within the fast time period, there are additionally some ways to enhance lively journey by offering safer strolling and biking routes, sustainable options to last-mile deliveries and behavior change programmes to help particular person and enterprise transitions to better use of lively journey and public transport.
Trying additional forward we emphasise the necessity for a long run and bold transport imaginative and prescient. This would come with higher buses, trams, mild rail and trains; transport hubs the place folks can safely switch between buses, trams and so on and from bikes or automobiles; and mixed tickets for our journeys. We’ll work collectively to place stress on the federal government to fund the Ely Space Capability Enhancements which might remodel prepare companies to the east and north, spreading alternatives to these in East Cambridgeshire and Fenland. We’ll proceed to encourage East West Rail to work with communities to make sure a robust enterprise case for wonderful, electrified rail hyperlinks in the direction of Cambourne, St Neots and Bedford. We’ll work with the Mixed Authority to search out options to hyperlink Wisbech into rail companies, whether or not these be through heavy rail, mild rail or trams.
Our space is one in all huge alternatives, we’re decided that these alternatives can be found to extra residents, younger or outdated, wherever they reside in our superb county.
Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, chief, Cambridgeshire County Council
Cllr Lorna Dupre, deputy chief of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cambridgeshire County Council
Pippa Heylings, Parliamentary candidate for South Cambridgeshire
Ian Sollom, Parliamentary candidate for St Neots and Mid Cambridgeshire
Cheney Payne, Parliamentary candidate for Cambridge
Charlotte Cane, parliamentary candidate for East Cambridgeshire