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.