Letter to Bob Deering: Give Local Businesses a Proper Say in Hertford's Active Travel Strategy
Dear Cllr Deering,
I hope my letter finds you well.
As you know, Hertfordshire County Council was awarded £1.24 million of funding from the Government’s Active Travel Fund in June to allow Herts Highways to introduce the range of active travel restrictions currently implemented in our town centre - including the partial closure of roads and the reduction of street parking. Following a successful bid, an additional £6.4 million of funding has been allocated to HCC to upgrade some of the temporary measures to permanent installations.
While the statement on the HCC website states that the proposed schemes will be subject to a consultation prior to their implementation, I wanted to ask you what consideration had been given to the involvement in local residents and businesses in the formulation of these proposals?
The voices of local residents should be at the centre of this scheme while it is being drawn up. Particular attention should be paid to our local businesses, who have had to contend with the ramifications of active travel restrictions on their business as well as the economic impact of the pandemic.
Schemes that encourage walking and cycling should be encouraged in Hertford, and I
welcome measures that have the support of the community and promote green travel. However, I wanted to raise a concern in regards to the installation of bicycle storage in and around the town.
While I agree that appropriate bicycle storage is essential to promoting green travel, I wondered if you would be able to confirm whether or not local residents have been
adequately consulted on the location of these new installations?
As a particular example, I would raise the installation of a new double bicycle rack on the corner of Queen’s Road. Was any consideration given to placing the new storage
somewhere nearer to the centre of town and does the council currently have any plans to refurbish the existing bicycle storage elsewhere in Hertford?
My concern here is that such token gestures, without the consultation of local people, do not represent an in-depth plan for the promotion of green travel in our town. We need a joined up approach to tackling the climate crisis and promoting renewable travel, rather than token gestures that appear to pay lip service to protecting the environment.
Further to this, would you be able to confirm what action you will take to ensure local
residents are given a meaningful seat at the table in future action to promote sustainable travel and tackle the climate crisis?
I look forward to receiving your reply.