Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Blackpool recommends clean air zone for charging non-electric car drivers

Non-electric car drivers should pay fees to visit parts of Blackpool city center in the future, a new report recommends.

The proposal is one of a series of measures presented after the resort’s first climate meeting earlier this year.

She also calls for more bike and pedestrian lanes so that the resort can become a pedestrian and bike-friendly city by 2023.

Around 40 residents took part in a series of talks in January and February.

A list of recommendations has now been presented to Blackpool Council that declared a climate emergency in July 2019 and committed to working towards carbon neutrality in all of its services and businesses and across the city over a similar period by 2030.

A report submitted to the council states: “The assembly wanted to be bold in transport, with clear goals and a vision for a city that gives priority to electric public transport, cycling and walking.”

Some of the proposals include that the Council “should introduce an ultra-low emissions zone in the city center by 2027 where non-electric vehicles are charged for access”.

The gathering also calls for further measures, including cheaper parking fees for electric vehicles, switching to a fully electric bus fleet and encouraging companies to increase the availability of charging points.

The report said the city council “should commit by 2022 to using public transport as the first choice for getting around the city by making it more accessible, more frequent and cheaper”.

It adds, “Blackpool should have an ultra-low emissions zone in the city center by 2027 where non-electric cars are charged to drive into the busiest areas.

“An increase in the use of electric vehicles across the system should be encouraged.

“Companies need to increase the number of charging points they make available to their employees and customers to make it as easy as possible for people to use an electric vehicle themselves.

“In the city center there should be reduced parking fees for electric vehicles and a fully electric bus fleet. Taxi companies should be supported and rewarded in switching to an electric fleet in the long term. “

We aim to make public transport “the first choice for getting around the city by 2022 by making it more accessible, more frequent and cheaper.

“To do this, the costs have to be adjusted across the system in order to make public transport desirable.

“Innovative approaches such as distance-based tariffs, free tariffs or time-based transfers are all worth researching.

“By 2023, Blackpool needs to become a pedestrian and bike-friendly city, with decent and accessible sidewalks that feel safe, and cycle paths that are clearly marked and have good infrastructure that cannot be taken over by cars or parking lots.”

The gathering also looked at the environmental impact of the millions of visitors who travel to Blackpool each year and said the council should push for more frequent / faster electric train connections and a park and ride service on the edge of the city center.

The report adds that attendees “had ideas to improve the way people visit Blackpool in a more carbon neutral way, realizing that large numbers of cars are traveling from elsewhere.

“This included park-and-ride outside the city and the campaign for more frequent and faster electric train connections to the larger cities.

“They also wanted to make the electronic systems surrounding public transport more reliable and transparent, including making appropriate investments in the digital infrastructure surrounding bus timetables and lines across the city.

“Other ideas were the greater use of car sharing offers and public transport vouchers or season ticket loans through employers.”

The recommendations are now being examined by the Council officials with the aim of developing a workable action plan.

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