Is CMK headed for smog free roads, or is is just an Electric Dream?

    Council transport gurus have dreamed up a plan to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles from Central Milton Keynes.

    Council transport gurus have dreamed up a plan to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles from Central Milton Keynes.

    A councillor representing the city centre is already fearing a massive backlash from residents even though the eco-friendly Zero Emission Zone is estimated to be more than 10 years away.

    The council has drawn up 103 transport schemes and is currently consulting on the ideas, which include creating Redway Super Routes, and extensions of the H10 and V2.

    Speaking at a meeting of the Strategic Placemaking Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, Cllr Paul Williams (Lab, CMK) said: “There was something that gave me palpitations, which was the Zero Emissions Zone. There’s not a lot of detail in there, which is probably why I had palpitations.

    “It is an incredibly important thing to think through, I can imagine what my email inbox would look like after rolling it out, and it frightens me quite a bit.

    “It is really important to involve businesses in that conversation but also residents that live in Central Milton Keynes because I’m sure they’ll have a view on that.”

    Council officers think the zone could start off in a small area covering a limited number of vehicles first, which could be increased over time.

    The council’s Transport Infrastructure Delivery Plan for the period to 2036 reads: “This option could be implemented in phases, excluding the most polluting vehicles from a smaller area initially, before increasing the area and vehicle types excluded from the central area as electric vehicle ownership increases and technology advances.”

    MK Council transport officer James Povey said that the Zero Emissions Zone is something that is down as a potential but “there isn’t enough evidence to strongly advocate it at the moment”.

    “It would require further investigation but it is not something that the council is strongly advocating at the moment. It probably ticked a lot of boxes in terms of what we want to achieve.”

    Cllr Peter Geary, who was chairing the meeting, said a zero-emissions zone might be welcome in the future when the technology exists, including electric lorries.

    “It’s an aspiration which would be welcome in the future, but we’ve just got to get there. It has benefits for the long term but we have to make sure it does not adversely affect people in the short term.

    “It would cause real problems in the short term.”

    The council is currently consulting on the Transport Infrastructure Delivery Plan until August 2, here: https://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/consultations/525

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