Keith Taylor, MEP for the South East, is set to visit Chichester on Thursday, 20 April to discuss sustainable mobility in the wake of the decision to scrap A27 expansion plans. Later the Green Party’s Animals spokesperson will meet with Sussex Wildlife Trust.
The Green Party politician will meet with environmental campaigners, local politicians and hold talks with representatives from Stagecoach buses.
Mr Taylor was a vocal supporter of the campaign against the A27 bypass and is keen to outline his sustainable mobility alternative – with integrated public infrastructure a means to alleviate traffic congestion.
As a member of both the European Parliament’s Transport and Environment committees, Keith has seen first-hand how other cities have been able to create highly subsidised, efficient and reliable transport networks so that residents drive less and congestion and air pollution improve.
Green MEPs in Europe campaign tirelessly against outdated road-building projects that induce rather than reduce congestion. Keith believes more forward-looking solutions are necessary to enable our societies and economies across Europe to work better in the 21st century.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Taylor said:
“Scrapping the bypass was a massive victory for Green campaigners and the local community who have long been united in opposition to the Government’s short-sighted and unsustainable plans for a Chichester bypass.”
“Never-ending and destructive road widening is simply not the answer to our transport woes. And I am delighted to have the opportunity to meet with campaigners, local politicians and Stagecoach to set out a green vision for a sustainable mobility solution to the traffic problems the people of Chichester are facing.”
“The hundreds of millions of pounds originally committed to this project would be far better spent investing in public transport options, directed by local communities, to reduce traffic. I’m urging the Government to ensure those funds are made available for sustainable options.”
“Upgrading rail facilities, launching a comprehensive new bus system, investing in cycling infrastructure are just some of the ways to deliver sustainable small-scale solutions to Chichester’s congestion problems. These joined-up solutions could provide relief for local communities and ensure travellers who want to travel from Honiton to Folkestone are not caught up in local congestion points – which was the original purpose of the A27 proposals. A move towards sustainable mobility will also help address the urgent environmental need to reduce the traffic on our roads.”
Sarah Sharp, Chichester councillor and active cycling and pedestrian campaigner, will join Keith during the visit.
Speaking before the meeting, the Chichester South Ward representative said:
“The next few decades are crucial as we change away from using fossil fuels to alternative sources of energy, so encouraging more cars on to the roads now will only cause more problems. As we have seen recently, no-one actually wants new roads in their own neighbourhood! Here in Chichester, as in other towns across the country, we are also fighting the growing problem of air pollution.”
In the afternoon, Keith will travel to Henfield to meet Dr Tony Whitbread the CEO of the Sussex Wildlife Trust.
The Green Party’s Animals Spokesperson will discuss how best organisations can work together to ensure vital EU environmental protections are retained after the UK leaves the European Union.