Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Park & Ride Controversy

The debate over the Loddon Bridge Park & Ride scheme provides further illumination into the state of local public transport.

The joint decision by Wokingham's Conservative and Reading's Labour adminstrations to increase bus fares and parking charges, while also reducing the availability and accessibility of the service was overturned when it was 'called in' for additional scrutiny.

Reading Post stirs the controversy by reporting the accusation that LibDems are 'playing politics' on the issue.

Labour's deputy leader, Cllr Tony Page defended the fare increases and service cuts saying that the LibDems are just wasting time and money arguing against them. A three-week delay in implementing the changes will cost the council-owned Reading Transport Company an estimated £10,000.

But local LibDems have launched a coordinated fightback online, arguing that bus users are a vulnerable social group who are being disregarded by the authorities.

Winnersh's Cllr Prue Bray describes how Conservatives on Wokingham Borough Council avoided consultation because they are purely concerned about bottom-line economic considerations. She questions their commitment to sensible financial policy

Reading LibDem transport spokesman Cllr Ricky Duveen highlights the problem of congestion and notes how private car use is being encouraged in the area - which contradicts the councils' green credentials.

And Cllr Warren Swaine explains how Conservatives and Labour are working in combination to the detriment of all by shifting blame for failures in order to avoid being accountable for their actions.

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