For those (few) of us who recognise quite how much Suffolk needs to rely on other forms of transport than the car, the view from behind the Chief Executive’s steering wheel is a particularly narrow one.
If her view of Suffolk transport has been formed by her daily commute down the A14 from Cambridgeshire, she is probably unaware that here, on Planet Real Life – sustainable transport isn’t just a phrase – its a lifeline!
Here are some of the REAL impacts of CUTs created by her ideologically driven New Strategic Direction, which she may not see from her expensive car:
* £1,700,000 CUT by abolishing the eXplore Card – means that many, many more young people will be driven to school, and putting more, less confident cyclists on busier roads, because they are forced into cycling before they are ready; less take-up of FE education because of difficulties of access (especially to colleges and Suffolk ONE ) and less chance of going for job interviews and training. All this will be a particular tragedy for the rural young poor!
* £150,000 CUT by closing the Bury Road Park & Ride – adds to rush-hour congestion, and preventing parental drop-off of rural schoolchildren at P&R. (This decision, incidentally was made without a business case). An excess of people trying to use the London Road P&R may have tragic implications for young cyclists to SuffolkOnein particular
* £2,260,000 CUT from – a 53% cut in – subsidised bus services – more cars (for those that can – and can afford to – drive! Transportational disenfranchisement for everyone else)
> * £100,000 CUT from road safety education – a cut of 24% – just at the time when so many more cars are on the roads and there are likely to be so many new and unpractised road users;
* £523,000 CUT from Extended Schools (which will make it much more difficult to hold eg cycle-training classes );
* £706,000 CUT from Home-to-school transport provision (so there will be more cars rushing to get to school gates and then on to work; while many more – specifically rural – parents without cars, living within 3 miles of the nearest school and with children of statutory education age will be between the devil and the deep blue sea. Would you like to walk 11 miles a day on rural roads come rain, come snow, come flu -maybe pushing a buggy – to ensure you are not breaking the law and your 8 year old child gets safely to their nearest school? Would Andrea Hill like to? I wouldn’t!)
* £174,000 CUT by scrapping all 98 School Crossing Patrols across the County, including our very own Woodbbridge Lollipop man, Terry King! (Yes, this is a truly tiny sum because they are paid so little – but what a big impact on the safety and independence of young schoolchildren!);
* £350,000 – a 27% CUT – reduction in maintenance of footways. Again, its those not in a car who will suffer;
* and finally a £1,179,000 CUT made by abolishing the Safety Camera Partnership. So there will not only more cars, but they will be going faster too!
NB: I stole specific figures from a summary by Cllr Sandy Martin. Thanks!