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Green Party campaigner challenges Stevenage Labour over cycle parking facilities

Jim Borcherds, Green Party candidate in Martins Wood in the recent local elections, has written to The Comet about the withdrawal of cycle parking facilities in the Old Town. The letter, published on the 19th May, reads:

It was interesting to read that of the two pledges that the Chair of Stevenage Labour Party, Jim Callaghan, chose to promote in his letter last week, one of them was “a vow to protect free parking in the High Street”.

This does not fit well with Stevenage Borough Council’s aim of becoming net zero for carbon by 2030. Transport is one of the biggest issues we must deal with if we are to address climate change.

We need to encourage the use of buses, cycling and walking in and around Stevenage so that many more people do not need to use a car for journeys that they are currently making. That is surely where the emphasis should lie, not on protecting car parking.

It does however reflect the true nature of the current administration which has overseen the removal of the Green Bike racks from the Old Town High Street, the last two were removed on Sunday 15 April and relocated to Hampson Park and the shop on Fisher’s Green Road.

This makes a mockery of the statement published in the Council’s Climate Change Annual Update of October 2021 in which it states: SBC ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2020-2021 New eye-catching cycle ranks and storage facilities in the Old and New Town centres - the very cycle parking it has now removed.

Quoting the result of a recent survey conducted by the Council; “Almost half of the respondents stated that the new green bike racks should remain as they are” - so much for listening to the public.

The bike racks have been removed before any replacements have been put in place.

Where are cycles supposed to be parked in the meantime?

Jim Borcherds

Green Campaigner in Stevenage