I WAS interested to read the views of Coun Chris Steward, the new City of York Council Tory group leader, on transport matters (The Press, January 27).
Chris claims that the present Labour-led administration is “anti-car”. He does acknowledge that we have major congestion issues, but seems to think the carrot alone will encourage greater use of public transport.
The Tories have always presented themselves as the car users’ friend. Supporting the perceived right of car owners to drive everywhere for every journey, be it short or long, will only precipitate a gridlocked city for our descendants.
That is why successive governments have encouraged local authorities to prioritise alternative travel choices for many urban journeys. It is unfortunate that the present government has diluted these measures. Eric Pickles is telling councils to remove car access restrictions in city centres. Also, the Local Sustainable Transport Fund is being tinkered with so that bids which favour new roads now qualify. I wonder if Coun Steward will agree with me that no politician can ever deliver an urban car owners’ paradise.
Acknowledging this simple truth may lead in turn to greater local cross-party support for continuing measures to reduce car dependency.
Paul Hepworth, Windmill Rise, York.
• So Paul Hepworth (Letters, January 25) thinks people will just make more journeys on a dualled A1237.
Once again he is wrong, as as any extra traffic on this road would be accounted for by those drivers who at present rat-race to avoid the horrendous jams on this road. Dualling this road would be a win-win situation for everyone.
It is about time we had a sensible transport policy in this city that includes the car as much as any other form of transport. People need their cars as public transport does not run not for 24 hours, seven days a week, and we can’t always rely even on frequent bus services.
There is also the problem of service changes, which as in the case of 2012 changes in York were a complete disaster and took more than a year to put right. On top of this there are also frequent fare increases, the most recent one being a stealth increase due to the abolition of the return fare.
So let’s stop listening to the anti-car brigade trying to destroy business in our city.
Ian Foster, Hawthorne Avenue, Haxby, York.