Have your say on public transport: Uttlesford council endorses new users group

A NEW group which aims to provide a voice for residents who use public transport has been endorsed by Uttlesford District Council.

Uttlesford Transport Users Group (UTUG) is holding its inaugural meeting on Thursday April 18, at 7pm, in Saffron Walden Town Hall.

The meeting is open to members of the public and will also be attended by Saffron Walden MP Sir Alan Haselhurst and a number of district councillors.

Retired judge and long standing Uttlesford resident Anthony Armon-Jones has been appointed to lead UTUG, which will begin work in May.

It aims to provide an overview of transport links in the district and make representations to the appropriate authorities.

Mr Armon-Jones said: “The soaring cost of transport is making all of us look very carefully at how we get around and what possible alternative modes of transport we have at our disposal.

“Uttlesford is one of the largest local authority areas in the Home Counties, covering some 350 square miles, and it is not one which has a natural centre.

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“It benefits from having all forms of the safest means of travel - air, train and motorway - yet the three largest towns are bedevilled by poor transport links and clogged streets.

“Almost 4,000 new homes will be built in the district in the next decade and residents need a voice so they can influence the provision of transport infrastructure to support that increasing population.

“I aim to start with Saffron Walden, the area I know personally, but as I move forward I’ll be asking for assistance from other transport users across the whole of Uttlesford.

“Let me be clear though - this is not intended to be a charter for complainers. Genuine complaints will be followed up, but this group is as much about raising awareness of transport issues.

“These days transport providers use social media platforms, particularly Twitter, to make information available very quickly to those who need to know.

“We aim to use those same platforms to harness the opinions of transport users and give feedback on transport issues.”

Mr Armon-Jones said UTUG would not hold regular meetings but instead look to build an online community of residents who could have their say in “real time”.

Anyone wishing to raise transport-related issues with UTUG can e-mail utug@outlook.com