Wednesday, 13 June 2007

WHAT PRICE CYCLING? GREEN TRANSPORT WEEK 16-24th JUNE

In the run up to Green Transport Week[1], which Kent County Council are backing, Kent Green Party has discovered the actual cost of cycle training for children provided through KCC, costs that are to be passed on to parents.

The Greens have called on KCC to rethink their charges and to provide this essential service for free. The KentRider Safer Cycling Scheme costs £142k to run, compared to £1,103,019k for education or 0.01% of the education budget[2]. Cycling deaths rose in the UK by 10% from 2004 to 2005[3].

Stuart Jeffery, coordinator for Maidstone Greens: "Charging to educate children is fundementally wrong. Charging to educate them in how to cycle safely on our roads is madness."

"The cost of this training is miniscule when compared to the education budget and shows the complete lack of committment that Kent County Council has to cycling. KCC's backing of Green Transport Week is simply greenwash. We are entering a time when the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly obvious and the need to reduce our CO2 emissions has never been higher."

"Recent reports show that climate change is happening three times faster that the worst predictions[4]. Cycling is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of transport possible and must be encouraged for people of all ages. In recent years we have seen rising casulty rates for cyclists - why then does KCC not want to promote safe cycling? Clearly the answer is that they do not care for safe, green transport."

"It appears that as far as our Conservative run County Council is concerned, the car is king. So much for Mr Cameron's green Conservatism."

NOTES:
[1] http://www.eta.co.uk/news/newsview.asp?n=193 Green Transport Week 16-24th June
[2] The total cost of the KentRider Safer Cycling Scheme is £142,011 (figures from Keith Ferrin at KCC). The annual budget for education is £1.1 billion (figures from KCC budget 0708). The Safer cycling scheme therefore represents 0.01% of the education budget.
[3] Road casulty statistics are available at:
http://www.dft.gov.uk/162259/162469/221412/221549/227864/227892/roadcasualtiesingreatbritain5108
[4]http://environment.independent.co.uk/climate_change/article2609305.ece

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