The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and North Somerset Council are preparing Joint Local Transport Plan 4 (JLTP4). JLTP4 will set out a vision for travel and transport within the West of England to 2036, taking into account policies in the Joint Spatial Plan (yet to be approved) for how 105,500 new homes and 82,500 new jobs will be delivered. JLTP4 is to come into effect in 2019.
BWA commented on a draft of JLTP4 in March 2019. We welcomed the frequent references to walking and proposals to encourage it, but set out some major concerns , as follows:
- too much road-building, which will create more traffic heading for Bristol. There are major highway schemes already in progress and more planned. The plan recognizes that public transport investment is more effective than road widening in dealing with traffic congestion, but this is not sufficiently reflected in its investment priorities.
- lack of commitment to traffic management measures. There are few committed proposals to manage current or future traffic effectively. Only three new Park and Ride sites are programmed around Bristol, with two of those not certain. Charging and parking restrictions are mentioned only as possibilities.
- lack of secure funding for walking. Like almost everything other than road schemes, the plan’s walking proposals are described as ‘aspirational’. Bids to DfT will be made if the opportunity arises. The government is now “encouraging local councils to invest around 15 per cent of their local transport infrastructure funding over time on safe and efficient cycling and walking infrastructure”. We urge WECA and its constituent councils to make that commitment.
- lack of prioritisation and a clear plan. The JLTP is a strategy, not a plan. Without a prioritised timeline of committed projects, it is unclear what is intended to be achieved even in the next two years, before the first planned review, let alone over longer periods.
- lack of targets by mode. We need clear targets to increase the numbers walking and to reduce the numbers driving in Bristol.
- insufficient weight given to improving pedestrian routes. Pedestrians in Bristol prefer not to share space with cyclists or to walk along busy main roads. Too many pleasant footways have already been damaged by Metrobus and other transport schemes ; by the spread of shared space with cyclists; and by ‘alleygating’. This plan needs to make it clear it will improve and create attractive routes away from main roads.
Use this link for the full BWA response.