So we know our new West of England Combined Authority (WECA), and our new metro Mayor, Conservative Tim Bowles, will soon be celebrating being two years old. What are they for? Well they currently have a Consultation on a plan for transport (called the JLTP) throughout the region up to 2036.
Wow an opportunity to make our streets safe and healthy for people and kids. Reduce motor dependency, clean up air quality and create green space; well may be not. The author of the JLTP probably spent their childhood playing Grand Theft Auto in a dark place, not messing about on a bike. Certainly there’s much more emphasis on Airliners and Motorway junctions than people and mobility.
True, there’s something for everyone but it could have been so much more. Frankly it’s the sort of document which might have been written in the Sixties. That’s a missed opportunity when elsewhere Highway Authorities have entered the Twenty First Century with plans to restrict non essential car travel to enable access for essential vehicles. We’ve met with Officers, failing to get any commitments, but it is early days.
We must engage with the process. In the Bristol Transport Strategy consultation last year the main response was “cycling improvements” so thanks to everyone who supported us. Let’s see if we can do as well this time. The Consultation response is a Simulator which allows you to buy extra points (eg by supporting congestion charging) and then spend them. Please give maximum (5) points to the following two questions which are the nearest to calling for a comprehensive, safe cycle network;
- Create a comprehensive and safe network, so active travel is the preferred choice for shorter trips and for accessing public transport
- Reallocate highway space to public transport, walking and cycling, where appropriate
There are another three questions to which we would also give maximum points, to reduce motor dominance;
- Use mechanisms to reduce dependency on private car use in urban areas, e.g. charging, parking restrictions
- Restrict the most polluting vehicles from areas of poor air quality
- Improve road safety by designing for and imposing appropriate speed limits, improving driver behaviour and providing training for different road users
In the general comments at the end please call for a comprehensive, continuous cycle route network, separate from motors, including buses, and pedestrians. Thanks you for taking time to support our efforts by using this Simulator.