Conservatives demand answers over delay to Bath Transport Strategy

Conservative councillors are demanding answers as to why the much-anticipated first draft of Bath’s long awaited Transport Strategy has still not been published.

It had originally been planned that the initial draft of the Council’s Transport Strategy would take three months to produce and was expected to be ready for public comment by late January.  However, there has still been no indication from the Liberal Democrat-run Council of when the plans contained within the Transport Strategy will be revealed.

As a result of the delay, Conservative Group Leader Cllr Tim Warren has written to the authority’s Chief Executive asking that the Council publish a timetable setting out when the first draft of the Transport Strategy will be published, how long the consultation period will be, and at what point the final version is expected to be agreed by councillors.

The Transport Strategy is being produced by the Council in conjunction with transport consultations Mott Macdonald following two years of pressure from Conservative councillors.  Conservatives have said they remain hopeful that a long-term strategy which provides solutions to Bath’s congestion and pollution problems can be agreed with cross-party support.

Conservative Shadow Transport Spokesman, Cllr Anthony Clarke, said:

“Bath’s transport system is stalling and what’s desperately needed is long-term strategy which provides real solutions to our city’s congestion and pollution problems. The fragility of our transport network has been highlighted by the closures of both Midford Road and Kelston Road and the problems these have caused.

“This strategy is something local Conservatives have pressed the Council on for several years now, so we were pleased when B&NES finally agreed to appoint consultations to help them produce a transport strategy last year.

“It’s therefore disappointing that the Lib Dems now seem to be dragging their feet over publishing the first draft of the strategy, which is now nearly three months overdue.

“We are hopeful that it will be possible for the Council to come together in a cross-party agreement on a long-term strategy which sets out what infrastructure and investment is required.  But the Council does need to get on with publishing its plans so that all councillors and the general public can comment on them.”