Dear Cllr Butler At the extraordinary meeting of Ilkley Town Council on August 1 2023, attended by 200+ residents, you claimed that Climate Action Ilkley wants to make motoring unpleasant. This is not true.

You quoted the Ilkley Sustainability Plan which includes the suggestion that we could disincentivise private car use by giving priority to public transport and active travel, and creating 20 mph zones. It also contains several references to people with limited mobility for whom a car is essential.

CAI was invited to lead the drafting of the Plan by the ITC Neighbourhood Plan working group, chaired at the time by Cllr Brian Mann. It was endorsed by six other groups including Wharfedale Naturalists and Churches Together in Ilkley. Are you extending your criticism to all those groups?

The government’s Net Zero Strategy makes a Key Commitment (p152) to ‘Increase the share of journeys taken by public transport, cycling and walking.’ It also says (p156) ‘As we build back better from the pandemic, it will be essential to avoid a car-led recovery. Alongside road vehicle decarbonisation, we must increase the share of trips taken by public transport, cycling and walking. We want to make these modes the natural first choice for all who can take them. As more journeys are cycled or walked, and taken by public transport, the carbon, air quality, noise and congestion benefits will be complemented by significant improvements in public health and wellbeing.’

Do you support the Net Zero Strategy and if so how do you propose to decrease the share of journeys taken in private cars?

Steve Peel Trustee

Climate Action Ilkley

NB. Cllr Butler has been approached for a response.