Green Party Opinion: We will transform the way you move. writes Stuart Middleton

People across Peterborough are already feeling the squeeze of the cost of living crisis. Council policy, across the board, needs to carefully consider how it might help residents cope with spiralling everyday costs.

Vote for the Green Party on May 5
Vote for the Green Party on May 5

The cost of petrol and diesel has been rising for many months, and continues to do so. Covid, Brexit and the war in Ukraine have all contributed. These increased costs only serve to highlight the importance of providing people with a credible alternative to the car.

At a national level the Green Party’s Green New Deal would revolutionise our transport system by ending our dependence on carbon, and investing instead in alternatives that work better for the climate and for people. This would mean more reliable and affordable trains, electric buses and trams, and better options for cycling and walking. From new trains and targeted fare reductions, to rapidly expanding bike hire schemes. We in the Green Party think it’s time to transform the way the UK moves.

Locally, Peterborough Green Party believes that the council should prioritise investment in public transport and the walking and cycling infrastructure. 22 years of Conservative leadership in the city, coupled with 12 years of Tory government, have lead to underinvestment, failure to use joined up thinking and look at the big picture, and infrastructure investment and planning happening in a piecemeal fashion that wastes money and resources, and means that local neighbourhoods aren't always properly resourced. Couple that with poor cycling and walking routes, and a public transport system that puts profit ahead of service, and people are forced into cars. All of this has a negative impact on residents’ wallets, health, air quality, environment, and on the safety of our streets.

In the Green Party we would prioritise pedestrians wherever possible, including always following best practice on accessibility. We would create Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and School Streets where appropriate, making it safer for children to travel to school whilst also creating health benefits for those same children. We would work with the Combined Authority on franchising the bus service, which should then be subsidised through a workplace parking levy. A franchised bus service should be cheaper, more in tune with the needs of local people, and use a fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles. We would explore the feasibility of a light rail scheme, like many other urban areas across the country. We would campaign for major investment to create fully interconnected, segregated and protected cycling infrastructure, ensuring that all new routes are designed to maximise the accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities and long term conditions. We would encourage a reduction in car use by supporting the development of car sharing schemes and bike and scooter hire. And we would promote online and home working where possible.

All of this should be done alongside local communities to ensure that transport solutions improve quality of life for local residents, work for everyone and protect our local environment.

The Green Party would work together with Labour, Liberal Democrats and Peterborough First to ensure we are working towards sustainable, affordable, active travel solutions for residents in Peterborough. Please consider voting for change on May 5.