Transport for Greater Bristol (TfGB), an alliance of transport, environmental and community groups, has written to Transport Minister Grant Shapps with comprehensive proposals to speed up the transition to zero carbon emissions in the West of England.
A regional plan
These proposals offer a vision which can be made realistic for Bristol’s transport system. Transport for Greater Bristol Alliance and Zero West are proposing a way to achieve efficient and affordable public transport; safe streets for walking and cycling; clean air; and neighbourhoods where children can play.
The TfGB proposals focus largely on the area of Bristol City Council; but some of its plans encompass parts of the wider area, including South Gloucestershire; Bath and North East Somerset; and North Somerset. The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is the regional transport authority. TfGB would like to see all of the WECA area’s transport planned in a similar fashion.
Bristol is a very congested city, yet many depend on private cars. Congestion also impedes the city’s largely bus-based public transport. Mass transit is poorly developed, and there is little integration of public transport services and modes. Air quality is poor. We want to change that to allow everyone to make the journeys they need in more healthy ways, by walking, cycling, other forms of active and micro-mobility and public transport. A recent study indicated strong support for such measures.
Bristol already has campaigns for reduced-car neighbourhoods; commuter cycle highways; improved air quality, but there is often opposition to local measures. This is partly because we lack an integrated vision that joins up traffic management, active travel, public transport and reduces air pollution.
TfGB have responded by developing integrated transport plans for Bristol. . They make use of existing suburban railways, linked with improved bus routes and the reinstatement of trams. This dovetails with a traffic management plan that clears road space for walking and cycling and gives priority to buses and taxis, and a complementary parking plan. These plans sit well with proposals for improved walking and cycling routes, and for liveable neighbourhoods, providing a long term city-wide framework for a transport system that is carbon neutral.