Friday, March 23, 2007


Fares Fair?

Down to Winchester railway station yesterday (why do people all seem to say "train station" nowadays?) to distribute leaflets about the latest fares hike from South West Trains. This time they've decided to punish people using off-peak travel by a 20% increase in fares from May.

The increase is going to apply to anyone travelling into London and arriving between 10 am and noon. Absolutely unjustifiable at a time when we're trying to encourage more use of trains and less use of cars. The leaflets included a petition form and we've also set up a website so, if you want to support this campaign, go to it and sign up!

Friday, March 16, 2007


Silver Hill development goes before Planning

The "Silver Hill Renaissance" is the most significant development plan to go before Winchester's Planning Development Control Committee during my short time on the City Council. It involves the re-design and re-building of a substantial and, currently, unprepossessing area of the city centre, including both the Friarsgate Multi-storey car park and the Bus Station.

As there is much public interest in this planning application I thought it would be useful to mention that it will be heard by a special meeting of the City's Planning Development Control Committee at the United Church, Jewry Street, on Tuesday 27th March beginning at 9.00am.

Members of the public are welcome to speak at this meeting, subject to certain restrictions – interested people should contact the Public Speaking Co-ordinator prior to 4.00pm Thursday 22 March 2007 on (01962) 848 339 for details and to register to speak.

Friday, March 02, 2007


"Green" Tories show their true colours

At Wednesday's budget meeting, the Conservatives voted through parking proposals which threaten to increase congestion, increase CO2 emissions and decrease air quality in the city centre. They've combined a big hike in parking charges at the Park & Ride - dramatically reducing the saving that this represents vs. city centre parking - with the reintroduction of 'first half hour free' for on street city centre parking. This has the effect of:

- Encouraging more people to drive to the centre - rather than using the Park & Ride

- Encouraging an increased number of short trips into the centre - rather than fewer longer trips

- Encouraging people to drive around looking for parking meters - rather than parking quickly

All of which will have a negative effect on congestion, emissions and air quality.

Their argument for this change is that it will help a subset of small businesses such as "locksmiths, dry cleaners and sandwich shops". Quite aside from the complete lack of any thought about the impact of this change on the environment, it's a pretty feeble argument economically too. There are plenty of small businesses that benefit from longer trips (such as cafes for example) and, if anything, these are likely to suffer as a result of these changes.

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