Lack of transport plan for Rugby could impact on town's air quality councillor says

Rugby Town Hall
Rugby Town Hall

Frustrated Rugby councillors are to urge Warwickshire County Council chiefs to come up with a transport plan for the town - nine months after first raising the matter.

At Monday’s Whittle Overview and Scrutiny Committee, a report into Rugby’s air quality admitted that a Local Transport Plan would help the environmental health team plan for the future.

And committee chairman Cllr Neil Sandison (Lib Dem Eastlands) said it had not been for the lack of trying.

“As a committee we have been pushing Warwickshire County Council for nine months,” he explained. “It’s not so much that we haven’t got a date out of them, we haven’t even got a month or a season when they are going to start looking at this. Clearly the air quality report, the Local Transport Plan and the Local Plan should all be dovetailing together.

“We had their four top officers here and we had another promise saying that they would produce a plan similar to the one done in Warwick.”

Principal environmental health officer Henry Biddington reported to councillors that there had been improvements to air quality around the borough and put this down to improved awareness and improvements made to vehicles.

But he warned that there was likely to be a knock-on effect when extra houses were built and that it was important to find the right balance.

Cllr Maggie Rourke (Labour Benn) said: “I’m very concerned that we don’t have a proper transport plan and that there’s no joined up thinking in relation to all the developments that are happening at the moment.

“Our air quality isn’t going to get better. We have slippage all over the place when it comes to school buildings with kids having to travel all over Rugby. It would be really good if you could put some pressure on.

“Why don’t we invite the portfolio holder and the senior manager to tell us what their plans are? There will be things going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about. At least they can give an update.”

Councillors agreed that Rugby Borough Council’s head of environment and public realm, Dan Green, should write to Shire Hall inviting the portfolio holder and head of transport and economy to a future meeting.