Greens focus on public accountability, a transport authority and reallocation of £200k rail subsidy in election transport policies
The Green Party in Bristol has revealed a wishlist of 15 items for Mayor George Ferguson to take on in the run-up to the local elections on Thursday 22nd May.
Amongst the aims are a clearer line of accountability to the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), an integrated transport authority to manage all transport services in the Bristol region, and an investment in increased service frequency at Bristol’s 24 train stations.
Pip Sheard, Green candidate for Windmill Hill and the party’s transport spokesperson said: “There is so much that we still need to tackle in Bristol. We have a barely accountable organisation – the Local Enterprise Partnership – calling the shots, BRT/Metrobus schemes that are throwing good money after bad, and an increasingly congested city that is crying out for sustainable transport infrastructure.”
“We want the Mayor to encourage residents to drive less and use public transport, cycle or walk. This will improve travelling conditions at peak times for all road users and improve the city's environment and air quality.”
Charlie Bolton, candidate for Southville said: “Bristol had increasing levels of cycling, but we could do so much more with more funding. High quality, segregated cycle lanes in the Dutch-style would vastly increase participation and cut congestion in our communities.”
Martin Fodor, candidate for Redland said: "Regionally and nationally, we’ve been calling for a publicly owned rail system, but local accountability for buses and local lines is equally important for Bristol’s residents. We want the Mayor to take much stronger action to ensure we get a more sustainable and welcoming public transport system."
Tim Malnick, candidate for Bishopston said: "We need to reimagine walking as a method of transport with clearly marked routes and strong links with local high streets – so people have attractive places to walk to and enjoy."
The Greens are standing in 23 wards in Bristol on Thursday 22nd May. In the last two election cycles in Bristol, they have doubled their numbers of councillors.
The 15-point Transport Manifesto can be read below.
Public accountability in our transport system
- We call on the Mayor to renegotiate the BRT monies with the Department for Transport and to draw up a 10-year plan for public transport infrastructure projects
- We call on the Mayor to set up formal lines of contact between ordinary people who use public transport, transport organisations based in Bristol, Bristol City Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) so that services are democratically accountable to Bristol residents.
- We call on the Mayor to compel the LEP to produce a report on what has been done to increase public transport ridership in the last 10 years and what is planned for the next ten.
- We call on the Mayor to work with other local authorities in the Bristol & Bath sub-region to create an integrated transport authority (ITA)
A city of sustainable transport
- We call on the Mayor to ensure that adequate land in the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone is set aside to provide a modern transport interchange (bus/rail/ferry) linking the Arena, the Enterprise Zones (LEZ) and the rest of the city.
- We call on the Mayor to revise vehicle access to the station approach at Temple Meads so that visitors get a better first impression of our city
- We call on the Mayor to tackle poor air quality by supporting steps to prioritise low-emission vehicles – including buses, lorries, cars and vans
- We call on the Mayor to look at the wider business case for a workplace parking levy, a low emission zone and a congestion charge
Linking our communities through rail and bus
- We call on the Mayor to use the £200,000 Bristol City Council rail subsidy previously given to the Severn Beach line to increase service frequency at Bristol’s 24 local stations.
- We call on the Mayor to live up to the Rail Regeneration Pledge by reopening Ashley Hill, Horfield, Henbury, Portishead and Pill rail stations, and Avonmouth Park & Ride as part of a new MetroRail network. We ask him to work closely with Bristol City Football Club to create a new Ashton Gate station.
- We call on the Mayor to work with First Great Western to encourage local rail travel through promotional linking and signage to local high streets and destinations from nearby stations.
- We call on the Mayor to carry out a root-and-branch review of what journeys people make, as an essential first step to providing bus routes that meet real needs. We must also continue to incentivise bus use through lower fares and smart-ticketing.
A city fit for cycling and walking
- We call on the Mayor to appoint a Cycling Commissioner to champion the aims of the Bristol Cycling Manifesto: the creation of more sensible, continuous, conflict-free, quality routes for cyclists and pedestrians throughout the city, particularly to and from major destinations. We endorse the national Space For Cycling campaign.
- We call on the Mayor to establish a budgeted rolling programme of local pavement improvements and highway pothole removal
- We call on the Mayor and the police to ensure greater enforcement of 20mph zones in the city and to prioritise physical calming measures in all present and future traffic schemes.