Question to Waltham Abbey Town Council – encouraging alternatives to cars

I put this question to Waltham Abbey Town Council at last night’s (Wednesday 24th February) full Council meeting.

Question to Waltham Abbey Town Council re. reducing car use and encouraging alternative means of transport

Recent discussions between Waltham Abbey’s small businesses have highlighted problems with parking. Residents are also finding increasing difficulty parking close to their homes, with particular problems around school runs. Traffic congestion is also becoming more of a problem.

Additionally, there are well known long term environmental impacts of motor vehicle use and short term impacts on health and well-being.

These issues could be alleviated to some extent if fewer journeys were taken in cars.

With recognition of the limited funds and authority available to Waltham Abbey Town Council, what practical steps has the Town Council taken to:

  1. Promote and encourage use of alternative means of transport, such as public transport, cycling and walking
  2. Make cycling and walking safer
  3. Encourage Epping Forest District Council to do the same?

Can the Town Council also commit to making cleaner, safer streets and the reduction of car use a priority in the Town Plan, which currently makes little reference to them?

I was pleased to learn that there are plans to improve cycling access around Waltham Abbey Town Centre and to develop a Cycling Action Plan. Alternative means of transport will be a priority in the Neighbourhood Plan.

There is a £140 million budget for road improvements across Epping Forest, which includes footpaths and cycling, but unfortunately the Epping Forest Local Highways Panel meetings aren’t open to the public and don’t accept public questions.

However, there’s no harm in contacting our District Councillors and the panel members directly.

Councillor Gary Waller (Lower Sheering) is the Safer, Greener and Transport portfolio holder on Epping Forest District Council