Green Party vision to tackle congestion in Worcester
Worcester Green Party has a vision for tackling the root causes of traffic congestion in Worcester.
High levels of traffic congestion are leading to a frustrating waste of time waiting in traffic. But it also negatively affects our local economy, while the poor air quality associated with congestion also causes a significant number of premature deaths.
Congestion costs local businesses dearly in terms of lost opportunities. According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (October 2014) the cost of traffic congestion in the UK is over £12 billion a year. By population size, Worcester’s share of the UK cost equates to approximately £18 million a year.
Poor air quality causes 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK (Royal College of Physicians - Feb 2016). We can expect Worcester’s share of national premature deaths to be approximately 60 every year. Cars and lorries stuck in traffic cause a significant amount of air pollution.
The Green Party believes that tinkering with traffic light sequencing will not be enough to significantly reduce the amount of congestion. The Green Party has created a transport vision which centres on creating viable alternatives to the car to reduce demand on the road system and so free up space so that those who really need to use their cars can do so without being stuck in traffic jams.
Our objectives are:
- Observe the national target for 'net zero' emissions by 2050, but work towards an earlier target of 2035.
- Campaign for a rapid reduction in fossil fuel consumption.
- Create an environment in which the public, consensually, adopt sustainable life styles and reduce their dependence on cars.
- Promote walking, cycling and public transport.
- Reduce congestion and air pollution.
- Boost economic growth by improving the ambience and accessibility of the city centre.
To achieve our objectives we will:
- Adopt sustainable transport policies from other towns and cities
- Establish a joint working group led by a "Congestion Champion" to formulate air quality, public transport and car parking policies.
- Improve and extend Active Travel routes for cyclists and walkers.
- Promote bus travel via the Bus User's Forum.
- Reduce the cost of bus services and raise peak parking charges.
- Consider extending concessionary bus travel schemes.
- Address bus service punctuality and reliability.
- Review bus routes and the frequency and times of operation
- Improve management of on-street parking.
- Encourage electric vehicles and more public charging points.
- Restrain the growth in vehicle numbers in the City's historic centre.
- Increase infrastructure capacity to eliminate congestion.