Campaign for Better Transport has responded to the Liverpool Mayor's plan to scrap 22 of the city's 26 bus lanes
Martin Abrams, Public Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport, said:
"This is a hugely regressive step for Liverpool. Rather than trying to create a sustainable transport network which makes the city a greener, healthier, more attractive and more prosperous place to live, the council and Mayor Anderson have taken the anachronistic line that the car is king and left people even more dependent on driving.
"A six month trial does not give a clear enough picture of the impact that removing bus lanes might have on the wider economy and also people's health. Every £1 spent on bus lanes or bus priority measures creates over £3 in economic benefits , whilst conversely the increased in car use will generate dangerously high levels of air pollution. Liverpool leaders only need to look as far as Manchester, where £56 million is being invested in bus priority, to see a city benefiting from strong sustainable transport planning."
Sian Berry, Roads and Sustainable Transport Campaigner, warned that extra tarmac for cars will only exacerbate congestion:
"Time and again it's been shown that creating new road space for cars simply generates more traffic and congestion over time - a process known as 'induced traffic'. As a busy urban area, Liverpool cannot be immune to this phenomenon and, indeed, evidence that new traffic has already filled up some of the former bus lanes can be seen in these initial reports.
"Bus passengers on almost every route have had their journeys disrupted, while on several roads drivers have lost out as well thanks to new traffic filling up the extra space for cars. Whatever small time savings drivers on other routes have seen will soon evaporate as well, leaving no one better off in the long term."
For more information, contact Chloë Darlington on 020 7566 6483 / 07984 773 468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).
2. Mayor Joe Anderson's recommendation to Liverpool City Council: http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/documents/s140383/Bus%20Lane%20Review%20Outcomes%20RTC10.pdf.
3. Buses contribute significantly to the economy: http://www.route-one.net/industry/partnerships/new-greener-journeys-report-highlights-importance-buses-economy/