It’s clearly not enough of a badge of honour to be called a militant, extremist, nutter and various other lame insults, just because you want something as absurd as safe streets for everyone.
Here in Carventry, we can always go one better. Never mind the previous cabinet member illegally blocking my emails (yes it’s water under the bridge, but elections are due), this time the present cabinet member has one better and simply blocked me from objecting full stop.
The context here is that I’ve made several objections to the charge points programme. At no point have I ever said that either charge points or electric cars are a bad thing. I don’t think that, and I never have done, even though I think there is a massive list of problems which electric cars can’t and won’t solve.
All I have objected to is the way the charge point scheme is being handled, namely that:
- The city has more pressing and urgent priorities, particularly in respect of the need to reduce speed limits.
- A policy for 20 mph limits was approved in 2014. The council has around 500km of roads, of which I understand around 400km are suitable for 20 mph limits. Current progress is less than 5km per year, which will taken until the end of this century to implement.
- Every main street needs to be considered first in terms of where cycle lanes will need to be installed, and whether or not it is on key bus routes. In either case, there is no need at all for charge points on main roads, and we need to prioritise safe movement of people first, and then consider where to charge cars whilst they are being stored.
- In the case of side streets, the council needs to consider how it would implement low traffic neighbourhoods, as per the Local Plan which was approved in 2017. This policy existed long before the pandemic, although so far, little action has been taken.
- Low traffic neighbhourhoods are very good for supporting charge points, because they can also include planters and other street furniture, into which the charge points can be integrated.
- Charge points are car infrastructure, so they need to go on the road, not on the pavement.
- The claim that charge points would only be installed where there is “1.8m clearance” is demonstrably false, based on actual installations so far.
- There is a huge deficiency in the provision of blue badge parking across the city. The council also needs to consider the provision of more blue badge spaces, including spaces with charge points.
There is a very clear and present failure to consider Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 in the way this scheme has been implement so far – both in terms of the way pavements have been encroached, but also because of the failure to consider the future safety of all vulnerable road users, includng those with protected characteristics.
So why have I been excluded from any further representations on the matter?