South Yorkshire mayor election 2022: Green Party to pause road projects, airport expansion and investigate ‘full control’ of Supertram and bus network if elected

The Green Party’s candidate for South Yorkshire mayor has said she would pause new road projects, airport expansions and would aim to bring buses back into public control within one year.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 4:13 pm

Bex Whyman, who is vying for votes come May 5, said the South Yorkshire mayor needs to be something different and not a ‘super council leader’ or an ‘MP with a bigger constituency’.

She added the role needed to be ‘independent of the Labour council leaders and the Conservative Government’.

As well as pausing new road projects and plans to expand Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Ms Whyman said she would also investigate bringing Supertram and the bus network into ‘full public ownership.

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Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle and South Yorkshire mayoral candidate Bex Whyman.

In her manifesto, she said all such projects would go through a ‘rigorous carbon impact assessment’ and funding from cancelled road building projects would be redirected towards active travel and public transport infrastructure investment.

The senior analyst also said she would improve cycling and walking infrastructure and oppose any attempt from central government to issue shale gas fracking licences in South Yorkshire.

On housing, Ms Whyman added that her mayoralty will aim for the ‘very highest energy efficiency standards and incorporate solar panels in all developments. This will be achieved by using the gainshare funding provided, to cover the expected five per cent uplift in cost for building to a higher standard.

On skills, funding should be directing people into retraining people to be sufficient in green jobs such as heat pump installations.

Bex Whyman (second from the right) is standing as the Green Party candidate for South Yorkshire mayor.

Ms Whyman said: “I would introduce an immediate moratorium on funding for all new road building, road widening and airport expansion projects.

“All such projects would go through a rigorous carbon impact assessment. Funding from cancelled road building projects would be redirected towards active travel and public transport infrastructure investment.

“Pedestrians should be at the top of my transport priorities because that leads to better quality and safer environments.

“We need safe cycling provision to make it an option for more people, particularly now e-bikes make it a more accessible so we need to aim to bring buses into public control by making a statutory decision within a year.

“I will investigate bringing our buses and trams fully into public ownership, allowing our public transport to be run completely for public benefit.”

To view the full manifesto, email [email protected]