Canterbury District Green Party

Monday, 12 November 2012

Transport for Quality of Life.

Sustainable Transport Blueprint for Canterbury

On Thursday evening, 8th November, at a meeting of the Canterbury Society, Lynn Sloman of Transport for Quality of Life delivered an eagerly awaited presentation on her blueprint for future sustainable transport in Canterbury. The hall of the Dominican Priory was packed with over 100 people, including city and county officials and councillors.

Dr Sloman, who was brought up in the Canterbury area and attended Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School, has been carrying out a special survey of transport and traffic in Canterbury, commissioned by the Canterbury Society with funds secured by Canterbury 4 Clean Air. She will now be considering the responses from the Question and Answer session on Thursday evening and from council officials and others who have seen the draft, and writing the final copy of the blueprint. The intention will then be to persuade the city council to adopt it and incorporate it into its transport policy.

The basic aim of the blueprint is to reduce congestion and improve air quality in the city, and to make Canterbury a much more attractive and healthy place to live in and visit, on the model of similar cities here and on the continent.

Measures to achieve this would focus on improving infrastructure for sustainable means of travelling to provide economical and reliable alternatives for those travelling around and into the city by car. These would include:
·        more regular bus services
·        more designated bus lanes
·        a much wider network of segregated and continuous cycle paths across the city
·        more cycle parking
·        the promotion of car-sharing amongst the city’s largest employers
·        clusters of car commuters in feeder towns

Also key to the blueprint is the design and location of new development. High density development next to and including frequent and reliable access to public transport and cycle lanes, with local services and shops, will see low car use. Low density development with slip road access to major roads encourages people to get into their cars.

There are some encouraging success stories to build on. Bus use in the Canterbury area has increased by almost 300% since 2000, a spectacular result which no other UK town comes anywhere near to matching.  Moreover, the city boasts the Great Stour Way cycle path from Chartham to Canterbury, an excellent asset to the city’s transport network.

We look forward to the completed report and will be lobbying hard for the implementation of its recommendations.