Thursday, June 14, 2007

Shed some Green Light on parking charges!

Time for Cardiff Drivers to see Green Light.

The city centre of Cardiff should be readily accessed by all sections of the community. It should not be dominated by the car, but offer safe, attractive, pedestrian-friendly environments.

Increased parking charges should be re-cycled to provide better public transport, walking and cycling facilities at all location levels.
The local bus service fails to meet peoples needs for travel to the city centre. Almost all households in Wales - 90% say that the bus service does not meet the need either for travel at night or travel on Sunday

City centre retailers underestimate the number of their customers arriving by bus, walk and cycle and their spend profile and overestimate the number and effect of car borne customers.

A commission for integrated transport study revealed that public transport users do not spend significantly less than car users in city centre, particularly once income bias is eliminated. Therefore, any reduction of existing car shoppers should not result in significantly less retail spend. People travelling by bus, cycling and walking are more likely to support their city centre, visiting it more frequently than car users.

It is a myth that reducing traffic will harm the economy.

Research carried out by the German Institute for Urban Research6 indicates that a sustainable transport approach benefits trade in German towns. It says: "Retail trade in central city districts increases with policies that encourage environmentally friendly transport
Modes” Another German study showed there was no relationship between the amount of car parking provision and the amount of money people spent in shops.

Half of lone parents lack a car and two thirds of single pensioners. The great majority of these groups are women. Women are the primary users of bus services. The cost of bus fares has gone up considerably. Recently bus fares went up in Cardiff from £2.60 to £3.00. therefore it would cost £6.00 for two adults to go to the city centre for any length of time. Is it right that it has been cheaper to go by car? Since 1974 bus fares have increased by 87 per cent in real terms. Between 1997 and 2005 motoring costs fell by 9 per cent!
Buses are late or cancelled because of traffic congestion. Transport policicy in Cardiff discriminates, passively or actively, in favour of cars and against buses and cycling. In Cardiff where parking is plentiful and has been free or cheap, there is no bus priority and no enforcement, so buses are very unattractive option compared with cars.

A 'Green' parking charge should vary depending on the amount of pollution they create. Cars should be banded depending on how many grams of CO2 they emit per km. By implementing schemes that reduce carbon dioxide emissions we could make a positive impact on climate change nationally and globally .

Time for everyone in Cardiff and our council to catch up with other local authorities and see Green light!!!