Southampton Lib Dems Chair, Richard Blackman, has welcomed Southampton City Council's publication of its Green Transport Recovery Plan. Work has started and temporary cycle lanes have already been installed on The Avenue and Bassett Avenue. Other measures to encourage cycling and walking as well as creating space for people will be introduced across the city in the weeks and months ahead.
"The sad circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic have at least given us the chance to think about what sort of society we would really like to see. I welcome this initiative as it will encourage us to use more sustainable forms of transport and create space for people in our city. As a longtime advocate of better environmental policies, I think this will help to create a greener, healthier and safer environment for all of us".
However, given the rapid introduction of this plan, Southampton Liberal Democrats are also calling for monitoring of the changes and ongoing consultation with residents so that problems and any unintended consequences can be ironed out early on.
"It is vital that public consent is gained for these measures if they are to become permanent", Richard emphasised.
The Labour Council's earlier procrastination on congestion charging for the city and on park and ride schemes also mean that when car usage increases as we move out of the pandemic there are still large issues to be solved, especially if use of public transport is limited by ongoing social distancing measures.