Lib Dems set out ideas to improve air quality post Covid


Councillor Kris Brown has suggested four ways in which the city can improve its air quality post the Covid pandemic.

It has been calculated that the reduction in toxins in the air has already reduced the number of deaths by 11,000 throughout the UK.

In a letter to the Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Brown has suggested the following strands of activity:

  1. Helping people to walk more. Too many of our citizens are unable to walk through their local neighbourhoods for shopping and recreation purposes because of poor quality pavements; failure to introduce stepped Kerbs at crossing points and insufficient pedestrian controlled crossing as the council has sought to speed up traffic on main roads.

 

  1. Helping people to cycle more. There has been a huge increase in cycling during the lock down. Families have been out together partly because it is a good form of exercise and partly because they at last feel safe to do so. You announced a £4 million to improve cycling but this appears to be starting very slowly and is nowhere near sufficient to provide a comprehensive network of cycle routes throughout the city.

 

  1. Helping people to use the buses and trains more. There needs to be more bus lanes in the City and a comprehensive review of this network needs to take place. Bus lanes lead not only to improved bus times, if designed properly, but also provide a haven for cyclists as well. We also need to reconsider the proposals for movement of buses in the city centre.  We should take advantage of the increased numbers of platforms at Lime Street to press for more local trains.

 

  1. Helping people to get out of their cars. The above three measures will lead to a reduction in car use but we can do more. All finances of the council and the government are in flux. The government will seek to expand the economy, not through increased revenue spending, but by increased capital spending. They will be looking for ‘shovel ready’ schemes. Three schemes which will be environmentally unsound; the Strand, Lime Street and Riverside Drive, should be reviewed and use the savings instead on pedestrian, cycling and public transport programmes.

 

Cllr Kris Brown said: “As the lockdown has continued have noticed more and more comments about the quality of our air.

“Many people have told me and my Liberal Democrat colleagues that they want things to be different. They want the ‘new normal’ to be more environmentally oriented.”

ENDS

Cllr Kris Brown can be contacted at Kris.brown@liverlibdems.org.uk or call 07506 319 180.

The full text of the letter to Mayor Anderson and Cllr Robertson-Collins is below.

 

Dear Joe and Laura,

Clean Air for Liverpool

I understand that Liverpool Council has commissioned two consultancies to look at the future of Liverpool as we come though the Coronavirus pandemic.

In my view there has never been a better time to build into our future development the green agenda than now.

As the lockdown has continued have noticed more and more comments about the quality of our air, the pleasures from the reduction in the amount of traffic on our roads and how many people enjoy their daily exercise – in most cases just walking.  Many people have told me and my Liberal Democrat colleagues that they want things to be different. They want the ‘new normal’ to be more environmentally oriented.

It has been calculated that the reduction in toxins in the air has already reduced the number of deaths by 11,000 throughout the UK. The amount of electricity generated by solar energy has soared as the solar panels have become less covered by contaminants.

Of course, we all want to get industry and commerce moving again.  However, we do not need to lose all of them. So, my colleagues and I are suggesting that you ask the council’s consultants to look at four key strands of transportation activity:

  1. Helping people to walk more. Too many of our citizens are unable to walk through their local neighbourhoods for shopping and recreation purposes because of poor quality pavements; failure to introduce stepped Kerbs at crossing points and insufficient pedestrian controlled crossing as the council has sought to speed up traffic on main roads.

 

  1. Helping people to cycle more. There has been a huge increase in cycling during the lock down. Families have been out together partly because it is a good form of exercise and partly because they at last feel safe to do so. You announced a £4 million to improve cycling but this appears to be starting very slowly and is nowhere near sufficient to provide a comprehensive network of cycle routes throughout the city.

 

  1. Helping people to use the buses and trains more. There needs to be more bus lanes in the City and a comprehensive review of this network needs to take place. Bus lanes lead not only to improved bus times, if designed properly, but also provide a haven for cyclists as well. We also need to reconsider the proposals for movement of buses in the city centre.  We should take advantage of the increased numbers of platforms at Lime Street to press for more local trains.

 

  1. Helping people to get out of their cars. The above three measures will lead to a reduction in car use but we can do more. All finances of the council and the government are in flux. The government will seek to expand the economy, not through increased revenue spending, but by increased capital spending. They will be looking for ‘shovel ready’ schemes. Three schemes which will be environmentally unsound; the Strand, Lime Street and Riverside Drive, should be reviewed and use the savings instead on pedestrian, cycling and public transport programmes.      

In addition to these ideas, we know that other transport changes will happen anyway. With British Airwawys, EasyJet and Ryanair all reducing staff and saying that there will fewer people using planes for a long time to come it is clear that the expansion of Liverpool Airport will be in doubt.

That will mean that there will be less tourism from abroad to Liverpool so we will need to consider new ways to stimulate our vital city centre visitor trade.

We should be optimistic about the future of our city. If we do the right things quickly and strongly we can make Liverpool a city for the future where people will want to live, work, and enjoy themselves.

My council group colleagues and I would be pleased to talk to you and your consultants about what this might mean.

Kind regards and keep safe,

Cllr Kris Brown


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