Bath Transport Strategy – ‘Council needs to deliver’

Conservative councillors have called upon Bath and North East Somerset Council to ‘deliver on transport,’ after councillors voted to adopt a new Transport Strategy for Bath.

Opposition Conservatives, who gave a qualified backing to the strategy, have warned that the Council now needs demonstrate to residents that it is serious about getting on with the job of sorting out the city’s traffic and transport problems and that the authority is not simply paying lip-service to the issue.

During the debate, the strategy faced a number of criticisms over the lack of detail on how the aspirations within document would be delivered.

In particular, Conservatives have criticised the Lib Dem-run Council’s continued lack of progress is getting work started on the long-discussed East of Bath Park and Ride, and have called for this to be made a top priority.

Speaking after the meeting, Conservative Group Leader, Councillor Tim Warren, said:

“This transport strategy still contains a lot of gaps, but is better than having no strategy at all.  It’s one thing to produce a strategy, but it’s another thing actually delivering upon it.

“What’s needed is a real change of approach to improving Bath’s transport system.  Unfortunately, what we’ve had under the Liberal Democrats is constant dither and delay over important transport issues and a complete failure to get to grips with Bath’s traffic and air pollution problems.”

Councillor Anthony Clarke, Conservative opposition spokesman for transport, added:

“What we need in Bath is a transport system that actually works for residents.  We need investment in transport infrastructure, more frequent local rail services and more reliable bus services to coax people out of their cars. 

“At the same time, the Council desperately needs to get on with the job of delivering the long-discussed East of Bath Park & Ride to cut traffic on the London Road and A36 – something the Lib Dems have completely failed to do.

“So we welcome the fact the Council now has something it can call a transport strategy, even if it does contain some glaring holes.  But now’s the time to deliver for residents. 

“In particular, this strategy now needs to link-in with a wider strategy for the whole B&NES area and indeed the wider sub-region, which sets out the short, medium and long term strategic goals needed to improve our area’s transport network.”