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November 23, 2019 12:02 PM

Stockton Liberal Democrats are committed to radical solutions for cutting our carbon emissions of which transport is a major source. They have studied the Tees Valley Combined Authority's Draft Strategic Transport Plan. Whilst welcoming aims for better and more sustainable transport for both people and freight, they are disappointed in the delay in producing this plan and the lack of relevant detail as to how many of the objectives would be achieved.

Cllr Julia Cherrett, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Stockton Council said "whilst pleased to see this plan emerge at last, and some of the broader strategic issues beginning to be addressed, it is disappointing that so much has been ignored, ranging from transport to hospitals, to the needs for disabled people, to more practical encouragement for cycling, and walking to school."

Our points submitted to the TVCA are below:

  1. The consultation is flawed by having a document that is not easy to read, illustrations do not indicate where they are and their purpose. Important cross referencing to, for instance, the airport business plan, is not there.
  2. There is insufficient detail and commitment to increased access with car parking at Eaglescliffe Station, which would give much needed access from the other side of the tracks (Durham Lane, the industrial estate there, and new and existing housing near there), and relieve the car parking at the existing access at the station. The Trans Pennine train stopping at Eaglescliffe would reduce the need for car parking at other stations, and increase the likelihood of people travelling by train rather than by car.
  3. There is no emphasis on much needed increased car parking at both Yarm and Thornaby Stations.
  4. We strongly support the provision of the much needed disabled access at Billingham Station.
  5. There is not enough in the plan to increase the reliability and availability of buses for where people need to travel to and from. Nothing about public transport to industrial sites, and very importantly nothing about having good public transport routes to all the hospitals in our area.
  6. There is virtually no mention of the needs of people with disabilities on public transport to make it easier for them to use.
  7. If people are to be encouraged to walk, use mobility scooters, and cycle more, there must be not just more ramps, but a plan to stop car parking on pavements and cycle routes.
  8. There is no detail on targets for cycling infrastructure construction, nor expected quality or maintenance. Interventions to improve cycling rates are limited to low cost and have been shown to have no impact on how people move.
  9. There are references to local authority Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) which do not exist.
  10. Time lines for cycling and walking interventions in the document have now ended owing to delay in the production of the document.
  11. Need to encourage people to change from using cars to walking and cycling, such as having additional cycle parking. This must not only be placed at rail stations, but at other destinations like shopping parades etc in the community to match journey types.
  12. There is no commitment for the Darlington-Stockton Railway 200 year celebrations plans to include connecting the missing links to have a foot- & cycle-path paralleling the length of the 1825 route of the line.