Concerns Norwich transport vision is 'pie in the sky'
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021
Councils have responded to blueprint plans for the future of transport for Norwich and the surrounding area, with one describing some of the proposals as 'pie in the sky'.
The Transport for Norwich strategy, currently out for public consultation, looks at ways to get people around the city while cutting carbon and improving air quality.
It includes possibilities such as a congestion charge, a workplace parking levy and banning certain vehicles from the city centre.
Earlier this week, Broadland and South Norfolk councils agreed on their responses to the consultation.
Their responses follow Norwich City Council, who said the county council plans are lacking ambition and relying too heavily on new roads.
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Cabinet members agreed to a 10-page response to the consultation on Tuesday, with cabinet members wanting more acknowledgement of the district's rural nature.
Shaun Vincent, the leader of the council said reducing demand on travel was "pie in the sky", adding: "It seems like a bizarre one to put in there. We are in a region that has social mobility issues, so reducing the demand seems a bit strange."
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Their response said that reducing demand on travel needed to consider the wider context, such as better broadband provision and more employment opportunities in rural locations.
Concerns also included:
- Bus use is low in rural areas, reflecting the "quality and frequency of service"
- Making sure people have viable travel options so pollution can be minimised
- Parking restrictions need to take into account to ensure the economic vitality of the city
- Support for Park and Ride and measures to improve journey times and reliability
Council leader, John Fuller, said it was a "good job" it was not the final version of the plan, describing the strategy as full of trade-offs, and he also raised concerns about the plans for a reduction in a need for travel.
He said: "This document as a whole fails to acknowledge the move to electric vehicles.
"Having an objective to reduce demand for travel is wholly at odds. It's not our role to tell people to live smaller lives."
The council's 10-page response also included emphasising the changing nature of transport, such as Beryl bikes and encouraging promotion technology like ride-hailing apps.