Help us overturn Tory Park and Ride fees

Yesterday, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Conservative Cabinet voted to introduce a £1 parking charge at the five Park & Ride sites in Cambridge. This would be on top of the existing bus fares for those who take the bus, and people parking cars and then walking or cycling from the Park & Ride sites would be paying for the first time.

This is extremely controversial, especially because there has been no consultation with users, employers, residents or anyone else. Nor has there been any assessment of the risks, such as parking displacement or modal shift. I spoke at Cabinet myself and focussed on the danger of extra parking in our already congested streets.

The Liberal Democrats have called this decision in, which means it will be voted on again by a committee comprising councillors from all the parties represented on the Council. (more…)

Liberal Democrats oppose Tory ‘sweat tax’ at Cambridge Park & Ride sites

P&RWe are disturbed to see that the County Council’s Conservative Cabinet is due to consider a lightning strike on Park & Ride users, with the introduction of a parking charge. This would be on top of bus fares and is targetted at people  – such as commuters — who walk or cycle from the Park & Ride rather than take the bus. A sweat tax, if you like.

The Liberal Democrat group has called for the plan to be withdrawn, as there has been no consultation with the users of the service, the people living near the Park & Ride sites, with councillors in the city, or with the district or city councils – despite the statement in their paper that these groups have been consulted.

While it is right that charges should be reviewed to ensure the Park & Ride sites are run efficiently, it is not right to change things with no consultation. In Queen Edith’s, I fear that if charges are brought in at Babraham Road, our local commuter parking problem will intensify.

The Tories’ case for the charges has been badly presented, with insufficient attention to the risk of parking displacement and of the effect on sustainable travel.pound coins

We have called upon the Tories to drop their plans until they have consulted users and people living near the Park & Ride sites, as well as councillors representing people in the Park and Ride site areas.

Cambridgeshire still blue … but a paler shade of blue

rosettesToday was a day of change at Cambridgeshire County Council. The old Conservative Leader Nick Clarke was formally voted out of office, finishing off the job done in the elections on 2nd May. A new Tory Leader, Martin Curtis, was elected – but only on the second round of voting, and only as Leader of a minority administration with 34 Tory councillors.

The other important thing that happened today was a change in the way the Council makes decisions. (more…)