What would you do to reduce congestion and air pollution in Bath?

FOBRA recently posed this question to the three main political parties

The Labour Group said:

“The Group supports any move to reduce transport pollution and also carbon emissions . In the case of private car transport the problem can only be relieved by a more effective provision of public transport. Up to now this has been proposed to be met by the Bath Package funding offered by the previous government .However the reduction in the funding and alterations to the package proposed by the present Government make this, in our view, a much less attractive solution. We would wish to see instead of a total reliance on Park and Ride solutions better and cheaper bus services and investigation of the options for greater use of rail e.g at Keynsham and Oldfield Park. The Transport Commission chaired by Peter Hendy will presumably be working on some innovative solutions but unfortunately our Group have not been offered a place on the Commission”

The Lib Dems said:

“Sustainable transport is the key to reducing congestion and air pollution in the city. We need real alternatives to private car travel, not a tarmac bus road through back gardens in Newbridge that won‟t make any difference. We need to improve public transport, through real time information and on street ticketing for example, and we need to do more locally to encourage walking and cycling. In addition, we need to work to get HGVs out of Bath city centre.”

The Conservatives said:

“This is perhaps the most pressing issue facing Bath. Parts of the city have some of the worst pollution levels in the country, and congestion is set to become increasingly worse over the coming years if nothing is done to address it. Furthermore, Bath‟s congestion is cited time and again by businesses as the number one reason why more companies do not establish themselves and grow here, holding back our local economy and stifling jobs creation.
I believe that we are the only Party with a credible plan to tackle congestion in the city. We have remained committed to the Bath Transport Package and Greater Bristol Bus Network project, we have established a new independent Transport Commission for Bath to oversee transport improvements, and we are taking action to cut the city‟s HGVs by creating a consolidation depot for those making deliveries into Bath and proposing an 18 tonne weight limit for Cleveland Bridge.

The Bath Transport Package is the only viable option if we are to be serious about improving Bath‟s transport infrastructure. It has received the backing of many local businesses, the Bath Chamber of Commerce, both the city‟s Universities and organisations such as Travelwatch South West. Expanding our already successful and overcrowded Park and Rides will significantly cut the number of cars entering the city. The East of Bath Park and Ride will finally address the appalling congestion on the London Road, taking thousands of cars off it every day. And the Rapid Transit route will provide a fast and reliable public transport spine into the city to open up the second phase of Western Riverside and encourage more commuters out of their cars.

We will therefore remain committed to the Bath Transport Package and to securing Government funding for the scheme. We will also invest in local bus services, delivering Real-Time information displays at bus stops along key routes and continuing to subsidise threatened bus routes, as well as liaise closely with the new Transport Commission on any other innovative proposals they may have for improving Bath‟s transport.”