Canterbury’s Green MEP calls for a ‘smarter travel plan’ for the city

11 November 2010 – The South East’s Green Euro MP today expressed his concern on hearing that air quality in Canterbury is worsening (1). Keith Taylor MEP, who sits on the Transport Committee in the European Parliament, expressed dismay on reading that some city councillors feel that little can  be done to improve the declining state of congestion and air quality in the city.(2)

Keith will be visiting Canterbury on Friday 12th November and will be available to speak to local constituents and press about air quality outside St Thomas’ Primary School, Military road at 11.30am.

“I am concerned by the state of traffic congestion and air pollution in this city. This is clearly an issue of significant public concern. Something must be done about it, and something can be done about it’ explained Canterbury’s Green Euro MP.

“In Darlington, Peterborough and Worcester, for example, a series of measures were taken between 2004 and 2009 to reduce car use as part of the ‘Sustainable Travel Towns’ project. Following the measures, traffic was reduced by 7%, and bus use, cycling and walking all increased. (3)

“I know that whilst I was a City Councillor in Brighton and Hove, the city became one of 5 Cycle Demonstration Towns, and received money from Cycle England to implement a range of measure to get people cycling. Cycling increased by an average of 27% in these towns. (4)

The MEP continued: “What’s more, there is money available for such projects. As a result of their success, the Department of Transport will be setting aside £560m over 4 years for packages of transport interventions that reduce carbon emissions and support economic growth, as well as delivering cleaner environments and improved air quality, enhanced safety and reduced congestion. (5)

“I am delighted, therefore, to learn that Kent County Council are to bid for some of these funds. I think that it is an excellent opportunity to develop a ‘Smarter Travel Plan’ for Canterbury and we look forward to being involved throughout the process to ensure that the people of this city can also enjoy the benefits of safer, cleaner and less congested streets.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

(1) 2010 Air Quality Progress Report for Canterbury City Council May 2010, Canterbury City Council http://www.kentair.org.uk/documents/Annual%20Progress%20Report%202010.pdf

(2) Reported in Kentish Gazette on 30th September.

(3) The Effects of Smarter Choice Programmes in the Sustainable Travel Towns: Summary Report, P.5 Sloman L, Cairns S, Newson C, Anable J, Pridmore A & Goodwin P (2010)

(4) ‘Life Off’ for Cycling, Cycling Demonstration Towns Report 2009 P.4 Cycle England

(5) ‘Campaign for Better Transport’ http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/campaigns/climate_change/spending-review-2010/spending-review-updates