Lib Dem Park & Ride scheme the solution to Labour's traffic chaos

Southampton's Labour administration has been accused of having a "haphazard and unhearing" approach to local transport, with their management of the city's Green Transport Plan and 'pop-up' cycle lanes having caused controversy across the city.

The effect of introducing these pop-up cycle lanes, on roads including Bassett Avenue and Bitterne Road West, has been to rebalance the space available among different road-users, causing consternation amongst some. There are fears that when road traffic approaches normal pre-COVID levels, it will see a return to gridlock and misery for residents and road-users.

Bike_Lanes.jpg

Bassett campaigner Richard Blackman says:

Whilst we support the growth of the cycle lane network in Southampton, the way the Labour council has gone about implementing the changes has been haphazard and unhearing.

Local people don't feel like they've had a say, and that this scheme has been forced upon them.

Whilst many of the people I've spoken to broadly agree with me that it's a good thing to reduce motor traffic on roads like Bassett Avenue, they're frustrated that they were not consulted, and their views are apparently of no interest to this Labour administration. The Labour Council needs to work with others across administrative and political boundaries to make this a reality.

Southampton Lib Dem Transport Spokesperson Sam Chapman says:

For many residents, cycling and public transport are realistic options for getting into the city centre. But for hundreds of thousands of people visiting our city every year, whether they be workers, shoppers, football supporters or tourists, the city must provide a viable and attractive alternative to driving.

It's basic stuff - if you want to get more people out of cars and into greener, more sustainable transport, you have to give them the opportunities to do so. A Park & Ride facility is the obvious answer.

Labour just don't seem to be able to get the basics right.

Lib Dem-controlled Winchester City Council already has four Park & Ride sites, with a new one set to be developed with £5.65million of government funding. Portsmouth City Council - also managed by a Liberal Democrat administration - plans to upgrade their current Park & Ride facility owing to the popularity of the scheme.

Critics of a Park & Ride network to serve Southampton insist that a lack of obvious potential Park & Ride sites within city boundaries means that such a scheme could never get off the ground. However, there's no reason to insist that any potential site has to be located within city boundaries, and could just as well be outside. Indeed, there is local precedent for this option.

Sam Chapman says:

The Park & Ride facility at Adanac Park, on the western fringe of the city, is well-used by hospital staff.

The fact that it does not fall under the jurisdiction of Southampton City Council, but that of Test Valley Borough Council, demonstrates that neighbouring local authorities are amenable to projects like this that will serve a much wider community.

Richard Blackman says:

Our city is full of reasons to visit - arts and culture, history and sport, retail and restaurants - and naturally people want to come here to enjoy those amenities.

But if you don't want all of those visitors driving into the city centre, you must provide both somewhere for them to park that is outside of the city, and a convenient means for them to reach their destination.

To me, Park & Ride is the obvious solution.

 

If you would like to pledge your support for a Park & Ride network for Southampton, you can do so here: https://www.southampton-libdems.org.uk/park_and_ride.

 


NOTES:

New WCC P&R site: https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/18650670.multi-million-pound-boost-encourage-environmentally-friendly-transport/


In memory of Baroness Diana Maddock

It is with great sadness that Southampton Liberal Democrats has learned of the death of Baroness Diana Maddock last night.

Diana was a Liberal then Liberal Democrat councillor for Portswood from 1984 to 1993, when she won the Christchurch by-election to become an MP. In 1997, she was elevated to the House of Lords as Baroness Maddock of Christchurch and she served as Party President from 1998 to 2000.

'A tireless campaigner, Diana was an outstanding councillor, dedicated to improving our neighbourhoods and enhancing the lives of her constituents. She won her 1988 re-election under the banner "It's Diana Again' as we didn't know from day to day what the name of the newly-merged Liberal/SDP party would be! Much of the later success of the Lib Dems in Southampton was down to her inspiration. Her name still resonates with residents of Portswood where her political career was launched. Her later career is the stuff of Lib Dem history. She will be sorely missed.' (Adrian Vinson, City Alderman and former Portswood councillor)

'Having signed Diana up to the Liberal Party in the late 1970's, I saw Diana progress from an effective ward councillor, achieving an outstanding victory in the Christchurch by-election with over 62% of the vote, to becoming Party President. From canvassing Portswood in all weathers, including snow and ice, Diana went on to a seat in House of Lords. She loved politics, was loyal to the Party, enjoyed campaigning and worked hard to help her constituents.' (Margaret Singerman, City Alderman and former City Mayor and Portswood councillor)

Southampton Liberal Democrats Chair and Bassett campaigner, Richard Blackman, said, 'The tributes that I have been reading today are testament to the very high regard that Diana Maddock was held in by so many, the positive impact she had on people and places, and of course her outstanding dedication to public service.'

The members of Southampton Liberal Democrats extend their heartfelt condolences to Diana's family and friends. She will be greatly missed by the Party.


Campaign launched to shop local, protect local businesses and save jobs

key_freemantle-campaigner-andy-beal-promoting-the-shop-local-campaign-in-shirley.pngRetailers and residents have welcomed Bassett, Freemantle, Portswood and Shirley Liberal Democrats' campaign to Shop Local - Protect Small Business - Save Jobs.

As Southampton City Council estimates that more than 9,000 jobs are at risk in the local retail and hospitality sector following the COVID-19 lockdown, local Lib Dems are cementing their record as the party of small business by campaigning for residents to love local or lose it.

Freemantle activist Andy Beal said "local businesses up and down Shirley High Street have gone the extra mile for the community during the lockdown. I'm calling on local residents to repay those sacrifices by shopping local. Every pound spent at your community shops and takeaways will support the livelihoods of families in the City."

Lib Dem campaigners call on the Labour administration to back this campaign. Support our campaign by joining our mailing list and keeping up to date with our campaigns.