Dick’s letter on air quality appeared in this week’s Lancaster Guardian:
Seventy-nine car parking spaces at St George’s Works on the quay have been given planning permission by Lancaster City Council as part of the package of new student accommodation, reports Nick Lakin in Bonfire Night demolition date at historic mill.
This decision raises concerns about the lack of imagination of our council, which continues to provide yesterday’s solutions for our current and future needs.
Air pollution levels around our city centre, especially on the gyratory, are well above both the safe and legal limits, as indeed they have been for many years.
So why are students being encouraged to use cars to drive to university, especially as the package includes new cycle and walking infrastructure? It is, after all, only a short walk to the nearby bus station from where regular buses run to the university.
Cycling could be made more attractive for students by replacing most of these car parking spaces with secure cycle parking cages.
Moreover, by building a cycle crossing at the end of the quay as part of the long-overdue junction improvements, all cyclists are provided with a safer route into the city centre and beyond.
When students come to live in our city, the message should be: help us detoxify our city centre, not poison it further, and don’t make the traffic congestion even worse.
And the message to the city council is to think ahead when granting planning permission. To imagine the sort of city we need in the future. Surely a city centre which is less polluted and less traffic-congested than it is currently.