22 August 2018
Green Councillor Robert Lindsay (Cosford) has successfully persuaded Suffolk County Council to support his motion for safer cycling networks in Suffolk.
As a result of the Green-led motion, the council will now establish a five-year strategy to support a wider network of safe and accessible routes. The absence of a strategy has contributed to Suffolk's failure to access central government funding since 2011 (by comparison, Norfolk County Council have accessed 4 grants over the same period).
But a companion motion to provide the necessary funding was not passed, despite support from all Greens and Lib Dems, as the Conservatives whipped their Councillors to vote it down. The Conservatives opposed the motion calling for 5% of the relevant budget to be allocated to support increased cycling. Given that last year saw 10% spent on cycling, it wasn't a hugely ambitious ask, but would have been a clear commitment to improving cycling across Suffolk.
The failure to pass the second motion and commit any money comes from the same administration that has overseen cuts to cycling provision in the Ipswich bridges project. It's hard to take their nice words about accessible cycling seriously when they pass up any opportunity to put them into action.
While this is disappointing, at least thanks to Green councillors Suffolk now has a clear plan to improve provision. More Green councillors in Ipswich and Suffolk can help hold the administrations to account and use their independence to truly represent the interests of residents.
Sign up for updates