14 February 2017
Worcester Green Party has today launched a vision for tackling the root causes of traffic congestion in Worcester.
High levels of traffic congestion are leading to a frustrating waste of time waiting in traffic. But it also negatively affects our local economy, while the poor air quality associated with congestion also causes a significant number of premature deaths.
Congestion costs local businesses dearly in terms of lost opportunities. According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (October 2014) the cost of traffic congestion in the UK is over £12 billion a year. By population size, Worcester’s share of the UK cost equates to approximately £18 million a year.
Poor air quality causes 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK (Royal College of Physicians - Feb 2016). We can expect Worcester’s share of national premature deaths to be approximately 60 every year. Cars and lorries stuck in traffic cause a significant amount of air pollution.
The Green Party believes that tinkering with traffic light sequencing will not be enough to significantly reduce the amount of congestion. The Green Party has created a transport vision which centres on creating viable alternatives to the car to reduce demand on the road system and so free up space so that those who really need to use their cars can do so without being stuck in traffic jams.
Key measures include active promotion by the local councils to increase the take-up of bus services, support for contactless bus ticket payment systems, the possibility of a free young person’s bus pass and the introduction of more cycle lanes. The full transport vision sets out a plan for increasing the number of local train services, a strategy for car parking, park and ride, taxis as well as reducing the amount of HGV’s coming through the city by relocating the Croft Road lorry park. A copy of the report can be downloaded from here.
The report also calls for a radical rerouting of much of the traffic travelling south to north to reduce the amount of congested traffic passing along St Nicholas Street and Foregate Street.
Jane Moorhouse, Green Transport Campaigner, said; "We’ve become so used to traffic-choked streets that it takes imagination to see that things could be different. We believe that increased investment in walking, cycling and public transport will take some cars off the road and so allow more space for those that need to use a car."
Green Party Meetings
Come along to our monthly meeting to discuss our plans for Worcester and Worcestershire. Our next meeting starts at 7.30pm on Wednesday 17th October in The Paul Pry pub (back room) on The Butts, WR1 3PA. It would be great to see some new people.
For more information, contact Louis via email or telephone 01905 359 509.