YOU report in the Guardian that the initial survey seeking feedback on the draft Neighbourhood Plan showed 97 per cent of respondents citing ‘improvements to safety and efficiency of the transport network as a priority’ and 96 per cent wanting ‘to see ...ensuring easy access of public transport across Knutsford’.
Elsewhere in the same edition we learn that there is s plan to close the JobCentre in Wilmslow requiring people to travel further to Macclesfield on infrequent (and probably unreliable) bus services.
Cheshire East Council meanwhile is looking to cut subsidies to bus services by £1.6 million.
Public transport can rarely if ever be ‘efficient’ in narrow accountancy terms especially in small towns and rural areas with smaller and more dispersed populations and a demographic profile producing higher percentages of car usage.
What is rarely factored in is the externalities - costs which are not registered on the balance sheets but which are imposed on the community.
Things such as congestion and related pathologies of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, not to mention the penalties of increasing isolation for those who for many reasons - age, disability, affordability come readily to mind - have no access to a car.
Public transport is as necessary as education and health to sustaining not only a viable and growing economy but an inclusive and cohesive society.
Paul Thomson Town Lane Mobberley