The ‘15 minute city’ strikes at the heart of what the Freedom Alliance aims to protect. Freedom.
The Freedom Alliance team were proud to stand with the residents of Oxford along with many others from across the UK, on Saturday in protest of the ’15 minute city’ and associated road travel restrictions being implemented there.
As a concept, the utopian ideal of every amenity within walking distance from your home, serves on the surface, to cut out the need for cars. Our frequent needs could be met with a short walk or bike ride. In return, our urban environment could be transformed into a more sustainable, human-centric neighbourhood improving everything from social cohesion to health. In 2016, the scientist Carlos Moreno had ‘hyper-proximity’ as the remedy to the traditional car-focussed model of urban planning.
Cities and leaders, technocrats and globalists around the world have built upon the 15 minute city principle to promote their agenda. The C40, a club of around 100 mayors from major global cities, have come together to deliver urgent action against the ‘climate crisis’. If you want to believe that. To be in the club, cities have to deliver on climate changing initiatives, such as halving emissions by 2030.That’s right, cities get to be members of the C40 through performance-based requirements. Not their performance, yours! It’s no surprise the Chair of the club is non-other than the Mayor of Greater London, King of the Congestion charge zone, Lord of the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, Sadiq Khan.
Many other cities across the UK are furiously revving up writing up their Local Plans to deliver similar frameworks for reducing traffic and achieving Net Zero on emissions to out do their neighbours on draconian methodologies. Central government waving the green flag for the race for funding to begin. Cities such as Oxford and Canterbury, hot off the starting grid, are ahead of the race, with Bath and Birmingham in hot pursuit. Liverpool and Manchester coming up around the back, Bristol, Sheffield are taking it up a gear. Truth is, every town and city will follow suit, signalling the end of the road for freedom of movement as we know it.
All local councils are implementing a range of traffic reduction measures, be they ’15 minute cities’, LTNs, modal filters, 20mph zones, closure of car parks, loss of road lanes to general traffic, etc. Restrictions on travel also bring in the necessity of tracking, increased surveillance and control through fear of fines and charges. They have been brought in through a wholly anti-democratic manner with few public consultations. Councils market an idyllic picture, the down sides are not mentioned. Where residents have said ‘no’, they have been ignored.
The Freedom Alliance recognises these restrictions on travel can affect your life, livelihoods, mental health, finances, education and relationships. The quality of life and freedom of movement is diminished. We believe it is you the people who should decide what is important for families and individuals. We are responsible adults capable of deciding how and where and when we want to travel, based on our own circumstances. We will not be coerced, bullied or blackmailed into taking the bus, biking or walking, to suit their goals. This government overreach is a step too far.
We encourage everyone to contact their local councils, find out about the plan for your area and get involved.
Many Borough Councils are holding local elections in May 2023. If you are unhappy about what your local councillors are, or are not doing, please consider standing as a candidate for us in your local election. For many Councils, this will be the last chance for 4 years to elect a new Council. By then, how far will you be able to travel?
By Catherine Evans