Bath Transport Strategy – ‘Disappointing lack of detail but step in right direction’

The latest draft of Bath and North East Somerset Council’s ‘Getting around Bath’ transport strategy represents a ‘step in the right direction’, despite a disappointing lack of detail in many important areas, Conservative Councillors have said.

The comments come as Councillors prepare to debate the proposals within the strategy at a B&NES Council meeting next Thursday, 13th November.

Opposition Conservatives, who have been pressing the Council on the need for a transport strategy for the past three years, have said there are many elements of the authority’s proposals which they welcome, in particular in relation to sustainable transport.  However, they have said that the overall document still does not represent the step-change needed to finally address Bath’s notorious traffic and air pollution problems.

The most glaring hole in the strategy is the continued lack of progress in identifying a site for the long-promised East of Bath Park & Ride, instead proposing only to ‘Identify need for increased Park and Ride capacity and detailed assessment of sites through the ‘Placemaking Plan as part of a wider parking strategy.’

The Conservatives’ opposition transport spokesman on B&NES, Cllr Anthony Clarke, said:

“The very fact the Council at least now has something it can call a transport strategy is clearly a step in the right direction, and we’re pleased that following our lobbying and input from the public it has been strengthened from the original version published in the Summer, particularly in relation to supporting sustainable transport.

“However, the final document is still lacking specific proposals in many important areas.  Many parts of this strategy simply identify the need for yet more reviews, studies and investigations into things like Park & Rides, traffic management, car parking capacity, and HGVs.

“The most glaring hole is the continued lack of progress over the long-discussed East of Bath Park & Ride, with a decision over where it should go once again kicked further down the road.

“Unfortunately, this shouldn’t come as a surprise given the Lib Dems’ abysmal record on transport and their complete failure to get to grips with Bath’s traffic problems.  It’s telling that there are far more specifics when it comes to cycle-routes than on issues such as Park & Rides and traffic-flow.”