Monday, 1 February 2010

KCC's vision for more roads

Quick letter to the Kent on Sunday sent yesterday:

Dear Editor,

Kent County Council's 'ambitious vision' for Kent, revealed in the Kent on Sunday (31st Jan), shows once again the Conservative's passion for concreting our countryside with roads. Their new plans will push more cars onto the roads, more planes into the air and ensure that Kent increases its carbon footprint to way beyond its already ridiculously high level.

It also seems that the Tories simply don't understand that when you build more roads to 'ease' gridlock, the roads simply fill up with cars again. It should be obvious to anyone that the only long term solution to gridlock on the roads is to get people traveling by other means and to leave their cars at home. A third Thames crossing will do nothing but devastate the land it crosses while encouraging more traffic.

Equally, their support for expansion of Manston airport demonstrates their complete lack of care about the environment. Air traffic is the fastest growing source of CO2 emissions and climate change is set to devastate our Kent coastline unless serious action is taken. The Conservatives are never going to do this while increasing air and road traffic.

Stuart Jeffery
Green Party parliamentary candidate for Maidstone and the Weald


Atticus said...

So, you're not in favour of reducing the distance travelled, and therefore the time, money and energy wasted, regardless of the mode of travel, for people and goods between Kent and East Anglia? I don't claim to have the answers but, surely, to leave things as they are will ensure increased harmful emissions in the Thames estuary corridor with no improvements of any kind.

As for travelling by rail instead of car, who in their right mind would take the train from Kent to south-east Essex using the present rail network? Example: Maidstone to Southend, and back: 4 hours 38 minutes on trains - requires travelling on EIGHT different trains! - plus time spent getting to and from the stations at either end, and waiting there - say at least 4 x 20 minutes = 1 hour 20 mins, making 6 hours in total. Return journey by car, door to door: 2 hours 10 minutes.

A new Thames crossing, anywhere east of Gravesend, for both road AND rail, could serve to reduce journey times and and harmful omissions all round. Also, the farther east it is sited the better the economic prospects for south-east Essex and north-east Kent.

If we cannot reduce our population growth in this country, let's at least have improved transport infrastructure, and maintain it properly, and focus our attention on the quest for cleaner fuels and greener energy.

Stuart Jeffery said...

Hi Robert, thanks for your comments. I think I said that I would want to see alternatives to car use which isn't necessarily rail, coach journeys are a more flexible option for instance (although I fully accept that a Maidstone to Southend route may not exist at present!).

The real problem with KCC's plans is that thay want more of the same rather drastically increasing the provision of alternatives.

It is also essential to reduce the need for travel. We need to reduce the amount of goods being shipped in and out of the country for example. Buying local goods where possible helps our economy, reduced carbon (usually) and provides jobs. Reducing the amount of commuting and workers buzzing around to various meetings is also necessary.

Kind regards