At the Executive Meeting on Thursday night I was ask a question , by a Liberal councillor, about what I will do to ‘limit the number and length of journeys taken with the borough’. Below is the question and my answer in full.

I am very pleased to see on the report from the Climate Emergency Task and Finish Group that you see behaviour change science as a golden thread throughout the CEAP and that the Council will be encouraging public transport and active travel wherever possible. This will be vital in tackling the climate emergency.
What steps will you be taking to limit the number and length of journeys which are taken within the Borough?

Firstly, I don’t have the power to limit journeys and I would oppose any move to impose journey limits, quotas or restrictions on any residents.
Actually, I am also pleased we don’t have the power to limit civil liberties because that sounds like some form of totalitarian dictatorship, rather than the democracy that, for the sake of my children, I will defend to my last breath. I am surprised that you used that word, but for the record, your Conservative Council wants to help people be more sustainable, not force them to be. Unlike the Lib Dems, we won’t force people out of their cars.

What we will do is support residents in reducing their need to travel. We will also support residents to reduce their reliance on travelling by private car, by providing viable alternatives to those that want and are able to use them.
By engaging with experts in behaviour change and incentivising sustainable living, our aim is to remove the barriers that currently prevents from living the desirable behaviours in their everyday lives.

That means working with schools, via schemes like Beat the Street, to get kids walking and cycling to school. It means working with businesses to reduce the expectation for their staff to commute into their workplaces. It means using planning strategy to design communities where people of all ages have the opportunity to access a wide range of services without having to drive.

We can remove the need for residents to use cars without having to limit, restrict or quota their use. So will we limit car use? No. Will prevent people from visiting relatives, to work or take their kids to school because of an arbitrary quota or limit? No. Frankly, I am disappointed that you would.

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