The Green Party will make transport decisions based on sustainability of the transport mode. We will work to make travel by sustainable modes more attractive and travel by more polluting modes less attractive. Walking, cycling and provision for the disabled first will be our priority, public transport next and lastly, provision for private motor vehicles, including lorries. Our policies for improving public transport and re-localising facilities will improve their accessibility
The Green vision is to reduce the length of journeys that need to be made by making a priority of re-localising community facilities and employment. This reduces the reliance on cars and allows many more journeys to be made by walking or cycling. We will also prioritise public transport provision over access by car and reduce the impact all vehicles have on residents through speed restrictions and giving pedestrians and cyclists priority over vehicles wherever possible.
Access for all
- We will give priority to ensuring that disabled people have access to all facilities within the Bath & North East Somerset area.
- We support free public transport for the elderly.
- We will give priority to developing safe routes to every school so that children can be encouraged to walk and cycle to them.
- The centre of Bath is highly polluted by vehicle emissions that often reach unacceptable levels. To address this means removing vehicles that cause emissions from much of the central area and encouraging non-polluting vehicles to use this area. This will mean banning emission-creating vehicles from other streets when air pollution goes above statutory levels. All delivery vehicles will be expected to adhere to these guidelines.
- As part of our integrated transport policy for Bath, to help reduce traffic levels and generate funding for more sustainable transport, we would support the principle of congestion charging, provided that its effects are rigorously tested and it is introduced in a sensitive way that involves all those likely to be affected.
- We will promote more pedestrian-only streets and routes that can only be used for pedestrians and cyclists.
- We will give pedestrians priority at all points where necessary to ensure safe and convenient routes for them. To this end we will aim to introduce crossings on busy roads where necessary and reduce speed limits in all residential areas. All footpaths and footways will be made and kept to a high standard.
- Cycling will be encouraged through three measures principally: developing a network of safe off-road paths, developing a network of safe routes along roads using road closures and other measures to promote cycling over other vehicle use, and reducing speeds on all urban roads so that they can be safely shared with vehicles.
- We would emphasise the need for all cycle routes to be of a high quality. To deliver this, we would aim to ensure that all senior highway officers are committed to delivering this. Where any shared use with pedestrians is proposed, we would ensure this is done sensitively and not at the expense of pedestrian safety.
- To encourage the next generation to cycle, we would aim to provide cycle training for all children, and would promote cycling confidence and training to adults as well.
- We would work with the bus operators to make provision for carrying of bikes, particularly on those buses serving the hilliest areas of Bath.
- We will also give priority to developing better cycle parking and any measures that promote cycle use.
Government policy ensures that all public transport provision is made by private operators and regulatory powers are greatly limited. We will press for powers to allow the council to have more direct influence over public transport through the setting up of a public transport executive body, to cover all of Avon and the Greater Bristol area.
- We will prioritise the provision of electronic information and timetables in large print at all bus stops, and aim to introduce shelters for all stops. These will be situated for maximum comfort of the passenger and maximum efficiency of the bus service.
- We will seek to help buses avoid congestion through much greater use of bus priority measures, including bus lanes and bus gates that allow buses ahead of other vehicles.
- We will aim to reverse the trend of reduced subsidies.
- We will make part of any contract with the service providers that all buses emit low or no emissions.
- We support the provision of integrated bus information and an integrated ticketing system.
Park and ride services
We oppose the introduction of further park and ride sites as they have the effect of making local village bus services less viable as well as using green field areas on the edge of Bath.
- We wish to see improved frequency and capacity of trains stopping at local stations throughout Bath & North East Somerset and better links between them at Bath Spa.
- We support the idea of a local station at Saltford and would also support investigating other locations such as Bathampton and Limpley Stoke.
- We would prioritise ensuring that trains and bus services are well integrated and that rail services provide sufficiently for all users including passengers with disabilities and cyclists.
Tourist coaches and buses
- Bath is reliant on many coaches bringing tourists into the city, but does not have appropriate facilities for them to park. We would oppose any attempt to use green field land for coach parking or to use existing green space within the city. We would investigate ways of providing for coach parking on brown field land and using readily available sites such as the Park and Ride sites.
- Open-top tourist buses, whilst benefiting tourists, also impact heavily on residents in the streets they use. We will work with their providers to restrict their frequency to reasonable levels.
Promotion of sustainable travel initiatives
We will promote a variety of initiatives to encourage more sustainable ways of travelling. This will include working with employers to encourage take-up of these initiatives. Amongst these would be:
- Car-sharing schemes, based both within local communities and within businesses. We would support the development and expansion of the car club scheme within Bath and the introduction of car club schemes to towns within North East Somerset, in particular, Keynsham, Midsomer Norton and Radstock
- Grant schemes, such as those for enabling employees to purchase bicycles and equipment.
- We oppose all new major road development within Bath and North East Somerset. This will include any attempt to reintroduce a proposal for an A36-A46 link at Bathampton.
- We support a 20mph speed limit across the city of Bath, Keynsham, Midsomer Norton, Peasedown St John and Radstock and support the development of home zones with lower speeds..
- Provision of car parks needs to be made in ways that do not encourage excessive vehicle use or affect the visual quality of the surrounding area.
- We would levy charges for car parking on all workplaces and retail stores apart from the smallest and use this to finance improvements in more sustainable travel modes.
- To ensure residents are able to park, we would introduce area-wide residential parking zones and charges, limited to one permit per household.
As the greatest increasing source of greenhouse gases, we oppose any increased provision for aviation. To this end we are opposed to any expansion of Bristol International Airport.