must work with other relevant regional authorities to provide a plan for a just transition away from an inadequate transport system reliant on fossil fuels.
The transport system in Cambridgeshire is inadequate and failing. Buses and trains are unreliable, insufficient and expensive. This leaves many without any access to public transport, especially in rural and less privileged areas. Privatised public transport is wrongly treated as a commodity rather than a service. Companies run it to make a profit rather than to connect communities, individuals and organisations. This leads to an inadequate service and forces many to rely on highly polluting personal transport.
Simply to ban cars from the city centre is not a solution. Nor to reward possession of electric vehicles. Blanket bans unfairly affect people in rural areas, disabled people, shift workers and those who are unable to afford the current fares. Many people are not able to replace their cars. They may have economic or medical reasons, or they may lack a workable alternative. To penalise these people would be unjust.
The duty to bring about change rests with the authorities, who have an obligation to all their citizens. They must provide adequate infrastructure. They cannot abdicate their responsibility and force individuals to make disproportionate sacrifices.
There are several authorities with responsibility for transport in the region. These include:
- The County Council
- Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority
- The Greater Cambridge Partnership
These authorities must work together to ensure an urgent transition to a just transport system.
To meet this demand, the County Council must:
- Ensure that all in the region can use comprehensive, sustainable, accessible and affordable public transport.
- Ensure that those who work on transport are paid and treated fairly.
- Ensure that all plans consider those who are currently dependent on personal vehicles and those who cannot replace their vehicles.
- Ensure that no-one in the county is dependent on highly polluting personal vehicles to access essential services.