Bradford Green Party has called on West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Bradford Council to halt new road building schemes following “Climate Emergency” Declarations made by both authorities.
At their annual meeting on Thursday, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) has formally announced a climate emergency, following pressure from Green Party councillors from across Yorkshire.
All of the Green Party councillors from across the council areas covered by WYCA signed a letter demanding more action by the authority which was sent earlier this month.
The authority has pledged to become the first zero carbon city region in the UK.
However, the Green Party has raised concerns with how this pledge can be delivered whilst WYCA and Bradford Council continue to press ahead with controversial road building plans including the Leeds-Bradford Airport Link Road and the newly proposed South East Bradford Access Road through the Tong Valley.
Councillor Kevin Warnes has said “It is great that the West Yorkshire Combined Authority has made such ambitious commitments to do more to more to avoid climate catastrophe but we want to see meaningful change here in Bradford and indeed across our region.
“One of the key roles of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority is improving transport links across the region but currently the authority is too focused on building new roads.
“WYCA and Bradford Council have recently approved £47 million to widen roads between Bradford and Shipley which will only bring more traffic, more emissions and more pollution to the town.
“We need to do much more to make it easier and cheaper for people to ditch their cars and either use public transport or better still turn to walking or cycling. WYCA has a really important role in this process.”
Matt Edwards, who is the prospective Green Party candidate for Bradford South added:
“Vast amounts of funding has just been made available for a road through the Tong Valley and Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority need to decide if this project fits with the commitments to tackling climate change.”
“The Green Party is really clear that a “Climate Emergency” means making tough decisions for at every level from reducing plastic global consumption to building new roads. We need to be undertaking a full climate impact assessment for each project before decisions are made to proceed with them or not.”
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that we have only 11 years to bring our greenhouse gas emissions down to levels that will keep the global temperature rise to a survivable 1.5%.