Mon 19 Feb, 2018

Martha Wardrop

Glasgow City Council

Green councillors are pressing Glasgow’s SNP minority administration to ensure that their first annual budget for the city invests in a sustainable future. In a city where more than half of households don’t have access to a car for their own use, it’s vital that decisions on infrastructure spending allow communities to be connected in ways that benefit everyone.

Your Green councillors are seeking to ensure that 10% of the city’s transport budget is spent on what’s called active travel, including more investment in safe cycling and walking routes connecting the places where people live, work, learn and shop. There has been an increase in cycle trips into and out of the city over last few years, supported by the recently expanded cycle hire scheme, and improvements to safer cycling infrastructure such as the South West City Way. Now, it’s time for further cycling investment to allow residents, specifically children and young people, to more easily access their school and other local services on a bike.

This is especially important with the recent closure of so many of Glasgow’s Job Centres. Some of the poorest people in the city have little choice now but to spend a significant part of their limited income on unaffordable bus fares getting to and from mandatory appointments that are miles away from their homes. Developing cycling will give people more transport choices and mean that hard-pressed families will have more money to spend on food, clothing and other essentials. We also believe more can be done to encourage active school travel and provide greater infrastructure for cycling around schools. Making it possible for children to safely walk or cycle to school will reduce congestion, pollution and road danger around our schools, and help Glasgow’s children live healthier, more active lives.

Greens are pushing for more 20mph safer streets as part of any spending proposals to repair and maintain existing roads and pavements. The roll out of 20mph speed limits on residential roads in Glasgow should be accelerated, as reduced traffic speeds enable people to cycle or walk more of their everyday local journeys.  This would help to support the development of safer routes to schools, as well as create better quality of local environments with less noise and air pollution.

Giving people more sustainable transport choices also requires improvement to public transport. Glasgow currently suffers from some of the worst air quality in Britain, impacting the health of everyone in the city. The ideas outlined here will help to reduce emissions from transport, give residents more opportunities to lead active lifestyles, and make it easier for everyone to get around our great city.

The key budget vote in the City Chambers in on Thursday 22nd February. Green Councillors are calling on the SNP to take on board our ideas and deliver a budget which both breaks from the past and invests in a sustainable future.

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