A functioning transport system is the lifeblood of a town. We rely on our public infrastructure to get to school, to work, to visit our loved ones and to participate in the cultural life of our community.
Privatisation has driven up fares and reduced services, preventing members of our community from engaging in valuable activities that build our social ties and bring business to Colchester.
The threats of climate catastrophe and a decade of Tory-led austerity have meant that we need to take real action to protect our environment and build a transport system that works for all of us. Tinkering at the edges won’t solve anything – we need big thinking and radical solutions. Recent government headline announcements about infrastructure investment are not enough.
Action is needed. Congestion means more stress, more pollution, and a poorer quality of life for residents in our town. There are too many cars on our roads, and with the climate crisis we need to get people out of them, yet cycling infrastructure is poor and buses and trains are expensive and unreliable. To make matters worse, Tory-run Essex Highways rarely uses its power to object to planning applications which fail to include plans to improve our road network to cope with additional housing.
What needs to change?
- Major investment in our transport infrastructure via Labour proposed Regional Investment Banks to improve what we have – dedicated cycle and bus lanes, less traffic in the town centre, etc.
- Proper assessment of the impact of new development on our transport infrastructure instead of automatic green lighting from Essex Highways with no consideration of the impact on congestion and quality of life in our town.
- Reverse Thatcher’s ban on councils running bus services so we can provide cheap, reliable buses ourselves.
- Bring the railways back into public ownership to end the rail rip off which has seen prices rise 40% since 2010.
- Invest and plan for a green future with fewer cars, better and cheaper public transport and a healthier cleaner town.
What will this mean for Colchester?
- Fewer cars on our roads and more use of public transport would reduce congestion and help to address the dire air quality in our town.
- Improve our rail service and reduce the cost for the many people in Colchester who commute to work via train and face shelling out thousands of pounds a year to do so.
- Get people off the problem roads such as the A12.
- No more Tory-run ECC Highways saying our roads can always take new development with no extra investment – enough is enough!
- No more short-term fixes like St Botolph’s roundabout where a good, future oriented design, including dedicated cycle lanes and open space for pop up stalls and shops has been dropped by Essex Highways in favour of a cheap option.