Local Transport Plan?

In Newsletter 47 we warned you that we were concerned over the procedures for producing a new Local Transport Plan (LTP) to cover a period of seven years.

Our fears are realised: Cambridgeshire County Council’s last Annual Progress Report for the previous plan weighed nearly a kilogram, and contained much useful information. Disappointingly, only four sides of A4 (excluding cover and questionnaire) are given over to comments on the NEW plan.

We are told that the Cycling and Walking Strategy produced for the previous plan will be split into separate ones for cycling and walking, but we’ve yet to see even a draft of these.

A series of workshops for ‘stakeholders’ are being held, and I’ve already attended one aimed at voluntary groups (which included representatives of community transport groups and disability groups). Unbelievably, despite the fact that two of the four main aims of the plan are supposed to be ‘Promoting Integrated and Sustainable Transport’ and ‘Creating a Transport System Accessible to All’, we were given no information on how to reach the venue (outside Huntingdon) by public transport, nor was it easily accessible by wheelchairs! I believe I was the only person out of more than twenty to arrive without using a car.

Three committee members of the Cycling Campaign also attended a workshop on cycling issues held at Shire Hall. They found the lack of detail, vision, and commitment worrying. At their meeting it was suggested that new strategic cycle routes (such as the ‘Chisholm Trail’) were needed to ensure that relative cycling levels were maintained. It is hard to see how it will be possible to incorporate the Campaign’s comments on any future published documents, such as the promised Cycling Strategy, into the final LTP given that it has to be with central government by 31 July.

By now everyone should have had received a copy of the LTP consultation document. If you haven’t already filled it in and returned it, please dig it out now, fill it in and return it before 7 June 2003. Remember that, of the five major (multi-million) schemes listed in the leaflet, three will principally benefit motorists.

Several ‘workshop’ participants asked for the list of schemes which will appear in the LTP to be published now. We will be writing to officers and Councillors to press for its availability.

Jim Chisholm