14 September 2020
This month Southampton’s cyclists and our local Green Party were disheartened that the trial cycle lanes along the Basset Avenue between Winchester Road and the Chilworth Roundabout were to be erased. Further to this development there has been an aggressive onslaught against cabinet member for green city and place, Councillor Steve Leggett. Unreasonable accusations have been fired off from the local Tory Party leader Cllr Dan Fitzhenry who is intending to seek derision during a period of experimentation for Southampton’s transport strategy.
Although there has been a renewed uptake in cycling across the city the numbers using the Basset Avenue stretch of road were not visibly being acknowledged by motorists queuing to go along the Avenue during rush hour. Commuters and residents campaigned successfully to end the temporary cycle lanes and have it return to a two lane carriage way.
Local campaigner John Spottiswoode who was published in the local Daily Echo deadwood newspaper was disgruntled that his letter had been edited and also not digitally published on the Echo website.
So that the record can be set straight a copy of the original letter to the newspaper is printed below.
I am very disappointed to see the local Tories attacking the Green Transport Recovery Plan (again) and Councillor Steve Leggett personally. This is despite the fact that measures being taken are actually in line with the Tory government policy. So the local Tories are objecting to a national Tory policy, one of the extremely few positive environmental policies that this government has.
I am not a supporter of Councillor Leggett's political Party as their policies are inadequate, but I do believe in giving credit where credit is due. Councillor Leggett is doing a good job. He has recognised the fact that we must not have high air pollution levels that that has been killing over a hundred Southampton people every year (PCT estimate) and we must act to help reverse our worsening climate crisis.
I hate to think what would happen if this lot of local Tories were to take control of the Council. We would be back in the dark ages politically, destroying the health of local residents and not caring about the damage their policies do to the environment.
We must build back better than before and that is what Councillor Leggett is doing his best to do. He is testing trial schemes which if they work, we keep, but if they do not then we stop them. At least he is trying to do the right thing against the obstructionism of the local Tories.
Southampton and District Green Party
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