Longer term investment
In order to comply with the legal order we’ve been given, it is likely that some form of charging on certain roads will be needed to reduce pollution in the short term. The purpose of charging is to encourage cleaner vehicles on our roads, and more use of public transport, walking and cycling.
However, it’s not enough to put in place short term measures, such as charging, on their own. We also need to encourage longer term changes in how we travel to ensure we continue to see improved air quality.
A key part of this will be about ensuring people have viable alternatives to using the car – particularly for shorter journeys.
Any surplus money we receive through charging, after the costs of running the charging scheme have been met, must be invested in transport improvements.
We could use it to fund some of these longer term measures that would be aimed at improving opportunities for people to use public transport, to walk and to cycle for more of their everyday journeys.
These longer-term measures could include:
Improved routes for clean buses;
Road maintenance (including potholes);
Working with schools and parents to help people get to school / college without using the car;
Work to make it easier and safer for people to walk, including changes to town/city centres to pedestrianise areas;
Investment in intelligent traffic signals to improve traffic flows and public transport on key routes;
New park and ride facilities to expand the reach of Metro, bus and local rail;
Working with employers to help them implement new working practices and ways for their staff / deliveries to travel;
Investment in cycling networks, particularly routes leading to Metro stations, transport interchanges and to local facilities like schools;
A charge on employers in Newcastle city centre who provide free parking spaces for their employees;
Making Metro services more frequent, reliable and convenient.