Tories back Northern By-pass despite climate emergency

18 July 2019

Suffolk Conservatives ignore climate emergency to push forward with Northern Bypass


The Conservative administration at Suffolk County Council is pushing ahead with the Ipswich Northern Bypass, despite recently declaring a climate emergency and committing to net zero carbon by 2030.

A motion was put to the Council today by Green councillor Robert Lindsay and Liberal Democrat councillor Caroline Page, calling on the council to cease spending on the business case for an Ipswich Northern Bypass and instead use the funding available to commission a study into sustainable transport solutions for Ipswich. However, the motion was voted down by both the Conservative and Labour groups.

Councillor Robert Lindsay commented:

“It’s very disappointing that Suffolk County Council’s Conservative administration voted to support a target of getting to zero carbon by 2030 and then failed at the first opportunity to back this up with a simple action that would have saved us money and improved the quality of life our citizens. They ignored the climate emergency to push forward with the Ipswich Northern Bypass.

It’s also disappointing that the Labour Group are backing the Conservatives in supporting this toxic bypass.

Tackling zero carbon takes courage. The courage to look residents in the eye and say that walkers, cyclists, and users of public transport must take priority over car drivers.

That means more road space in congested parts of Ipswich needs to be given to pavements and segregated cycle and bus lanes. If we do that, we create a liveable breathable town for all. And, by the way, we might then just have a chance of reaching zero carbon by 2030.

The Leader of the Council, Matthew Hicks, had the courage to stop the Orwell Crossing project even after £8.3m was spent on consultants. It was a brave decision and the right decision. He should make the right decision again now, and start spending on traffic reduction not expansion.”

The full text of the motion reads:
“In light of the fact that this council has declared a climate emergency and is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2030, and that it wants to reinvigorate the Greenest County programme, all the council's decisions on major infrastructure projects should now give more weight to whether they will increase or reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Therefore this council will cease any further spending on the Ipswich Northern bypass and instead spend equivalent funds to commission a study to investigate a zero net carbon transport policy for Ipswich and its surrounding communities.”

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