LACMTA Bike Rack with mounted bikeThere are lots of metaphors for lack of progress in the world of travel, such as ‘stuck in the mud’ and ‘up shit creek without a paddle’. No doubt ‘attached to the bank of the Suez Canal’ will become another. This will resonate with MCA members concerned to reduce our travel carbon footprint in the Moorlands – lots of interest, lots of ideas but apparently no coherent plan and definite uncertainty about the roles of different levels of government. At SMDC level even the promising topic of electric vehicles has been moved from their Travel and Transport working group to that of Energy, although that’s no reason that we in MCA’s Transport group can’t continue to push for its promotion.

A 20s plenty image from their press pack20 is Plenty has been operating in North Staffordshire since 2012 and now they are coming to the Moorlands. This campaign has gained momentum because residents want the freedom to choose how they travel and 20mph on our streets brings that choice. People, particularly the elderly, fear the intimidation from high speeds on residential streets and in town and village centres. Here are some good reasons for adopting a 20mph speed limit for such streets in our Moorlands towns:

Cycle ride in Leek 2020Although The MCA Travel and Transport group has not had any formal meetings, some MCA members have been active behind the scenes. In particular attending the meetings of the SMDC Travel and Transport Subcommittee, which has been set up to feed ideas to the main SMDC Climate Emergency Committee (CEC). The SMDC Travel and Transport sub-Committee is chaired by Councillor Keith Flunder and has been attended by mainly Conservative councillors, along with Cllr Garry Bentley (Cheadle West, Independent) Cllr Ian Waite (Horton Parish, Green) and usually with 2 or 3 members of MCA. Interestingly, according to my notes, no Labour or Lib Dem Councillors have attended any of the meetings! This has meant that the committee is dominated by Conservative councillors which can make it difficult to get our views across.

Multipurpose street Den Haag

We all know that transport – or more precisely the lack of it – is a crucial issue for climate change in the Moorlands, where without a car, the options are few and far between. SMDC has a working group dedicated to Transport that reports to the climate change sub-committee. MCA members have attended every meeting; the experience so far shows what might be achieved under the council’s current climate agenda. But it also demonstrates how much more needs to be done, if there is to be any meaningful effect on carbon emissions in the district.

Klimahelden

Getting provision for cyclists in the Moorlands has always been an uphill struggle but MCA members are continuing to press for improvements, switching down the gears for more traction.

Participants at SMDC working groups continue to push for the issue to be on the agenda, as do those on Leek Town Council’s climate group.