Bristol gets green transport tips from Amsterdam
BRISTOL has gained inspiration from Amsterdam on how to revolutionise transport provision in the city.
South West Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, chaired an event on October 12 called Get Bristol Moving - Lessons from Amsterdam at The Pavilion Harbourside which was designed to bring the two cities together to share ideas.
Molly is one of 74 Green/EFA MEPs in the European Parliament. She sits on the Economics and Monetary Affairs Committee, Special Committee on Tax investigating financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance, and the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, and is Green Party speaker on Finance and on Brexit.
Last year Bristol Green councillor, Carla Denyer, successfully pushed through the UK’s first climate emergency motion, and this event provided an opportunity to discuss what actions are needed to respond to this and make Bristol carbon neutral by 2030.
Amsterdam has agreed to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles from the city centre by 2030 and is well-known the world over for being bicycle and public transport friendly.
During the event, councillor Zeeger Ernsting from Amsterdam City Council joined Green Mayoral Candidate, Sandy Hore-Ruthven, and Bristol Councillor, Jerome Thomas to discuss transport policy. The key points made included the fact that in Bristol there is poor air quality, public transport is not efficient or pleasant and that there are not enough bike stands. The point was also made that buses need to be more affordable and they need to be faster than cars if people are to use them, and the option of introducing a congestion charge was discussed too.
In addition, it was argued that more funding is needed for pedestrians and cycling and that pavements and cycle pathways should be improved so that people are incentivised to cycle and walk.
Speaking about the event, Molly Scott Cato said: “This event is very timely as it takes place while Extinction Rebellion activists again draw attention to the failure of government at national and local level to respond meaningfully to the climate emergency. Bristol has passed a climate emergency motion but the council and mayor have as yet failed to put forward a clear action plan on how the city can become carbon neutral by 2030.
“Action on transport is critical in this respect, as it is one of the leading contributors to carbon emissions in the city. With its pledge to rid streets of cars, its excellent tram system and some of the best cycling infrastructure in the world, Amsterdam can teach us many lessons. Meanwhile, last week the Green Party pledged to scrap HS2 and invest the billions being wasted on this damaging scheme into regional rail instead, and to introduce free buses across England.”