SEEFoE member Jon Fuller reports on his experiences at the recent consultation event on the Essex Local Transport Plan.
I attended a consultation event at Essex County Council on 2nd February to discuss the new 15 year Transport Plan, which is due to be adopted in April this year. The County Council noted the scale of cuts but seemed proud of the £68.5 million expenditure at Sadlers Farm. It remained opposed to expansion at Stanstead but supported “sustainable” development at Southend Airport!
During the debate that ensued I was able to convey our messages on the science of climate change and peak oil, arguing for a radical rethink at county hall, with the emphasis moving to public transport, cycling and walking. Far from mine being a minority view, speaker after speaker reinforced the demand for change in the ECC approach. NHS staff spoke out on the threat that climate changes poses to public health: e.g. “a greater public health risk than smoking or obesity”.
Other comments included a suggestion that ECC should drop using the word “sustainable” if a development is anything but! The CTC demanded more action to promote cycling since that was the most cost effective way of reducing congestion. Sustrans wanted an end to road schemes which support aviation expansion. One councillor argued that continuous growth was impossible in a world with finite resources, demanding a different approach.