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Sustainable Travel?

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Our district council has been jumping through hoops to get themselves a "Sustainable Travel Plan". It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

The aim of the plan is to "encourage and extend eco-friendly travel by council staff and councillors", a laudable objective, but the press release only makes passing references to the elephant in the room on this one - which is that the council moved to Cambourne some years ago.

SCDC is unusual in that at the centre of the geographic area it manages is Cambridge, a city which is controlled by a different local authority, Cambridge City Council. Despite this until a few years ago the council's offices were in the city.

This made good sense as Cambridge is not just the geographic centre but the transport hub too with bus services to all the communities SCDC serves radiating out from Drummer Street a short walk from their old offices.

So getting there by bus made sense, and if you were fit enough or lived close to the city - as many of SCDC's inhabitants did, me included - then you could cycle there. Indeed I can remember cycling to meetings there as did our district councillor and our then parish council chairman.

Now they're at Cambourne. So for most people that means either getting a bus into Cambridge and then out again to Cambourne and the reverse on the way back, or cycling across the windswept Fen countryside out there.

Unsurprisingly most people drive. I certainly did when I had a licence.

But it doesn't end there. If you really want a laugh look at the last two paragraphs: they are actually proposing to increase the car parking there as part of the sustainable travel plan!

Now that really does take the biscuit.

Tags: local politics, Milton Written 15/09/08

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