Epping Forest Transport Action Group (EFTAG) campaigns to protect and improve transport in Epping Forest, mostly public transport but also safer streets for cyclists and pedestrians. We formed after a public meeting in January 2016 called for a district-wide campaigning body to coordinate and promote local campaigns. You can read our constitution here, and you can join us here.
EFTAG is not affiliated to any political party.
Why do we need EFTAG?
Public transport and safer streets are essential for people, businesses, education and communities. Many people can’t, or don’t, drive and many of those who do don’t always need to. There need to be affordable, comprehensive public transport alternatives, along with safe streets for cyclists and pedestrians.
In addition to the direct practical benefits of public transport, cycling and walking they are also better for health and the environment.
Epping Forest’s bus services are expensive, lack integration and leave many places without a service in the evenings and on Sundays.
Despite this, several of the services we have are under threat. We need to campaign for better services but also to protect the ones we have.
Although we have the Epping Forest Cycle Route and there are a few cycle paths in the area, there are many roads which are unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians. Our proximity to the M25 and M11 means that many of our roads have heavy traffic next to narrow, or non-existent, footpaths. Crossing can also be difficult in many places.
Local authorities are under immense financial pressure at the moment so have to prioritise their spending. Unfortunately that is affecting public transport and safer street provision.
However, a lot of money is still being made available for road building, money which could be redirected. There is also funding becoming available in response to the Climate Emergency, if our local authority claims it.
We can also encourage people to use the services which are already there. Every car on a school run is another car at the school gates: every child on a bus, bike or walking could be one less car on the road.
None of this is easy: there’s a catch 22 of people not using public transport because the service isn’t adequate, which leads to services being cut as they’re underused.
Through a combination of lobbying and wider campaigning we can change that.