King's Lynn transport plan is 'manifesto for cars', claims councillor
As the debate about what to do to tackle climate change continues, one West Norfolk councillor has dismissed Lynn’s new transport plan as a “manifesto for cars.”
Borough council leaders have defended the document, arguing they need to be realistic about what can be achieved in a large, rural area which remains largely reliant on car travel.
But critics say the strategy as it has been drawn up is “out of step” with current thinking on how both people and goods should be moved from place to place.
And the Green Party’s Michael de Whalley argued the document is nowhere near strong enough for the scale of the problem.
He tabled a motion to Thursday's full council meeting, arguing that the authority is obliged to take action on the issue under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The motion follows a Dutch Supreme Court ruling on the subject last month.
Mr de Whalley said: “The transport strategy is quite simply a manifesto for cars, more cars, parking fees, congestion and pollution.
“It has deliberately chosen not to use any green transport hierarchy and has left tackling climate change issues to others.
“This proposed strategy is from the last century and is not fit for purpose.”
But development portfolio holder Richard Blunt argued the plan has to balance environmental challenges against ensuring that Lynn remains an attractive place to work in and visit, whether as a shopping or a tourist destination.
He said a critical consideration in the development of the plan had been finding ways of ensuring that traffic could flow more freely through the town and therefore reduce pollution caused by standing still in congestion.
He said yesterday: “We have got to be realistic. We are a large, rural area and we want people to come into King’s Lynn.
“The majority of rural areas don’t have bus infrastructure. They don’t have an option.
“If we can’t get people into work, then King’s Lynn starts losing its attraction as an employment zone.”
More by this authorAllister Webb