Back in July, I blogged about the latest 'public engagement' version of the Joint Local Transport Plan (JLTP3). At the last moment (as per usual) I got engaged, and sent this piece in to the West Of England transport planners.
1. Above all else, a real, state of the art multimodal public transport hub at Temple Meads should be at the heart of JLTP3.
Plot 6 is there ready and waiting - a unique development site right next to the West of England's biggest railway station, yet it's not even mentioned anywhere on the Travel+ website ! We're told that officers have been in discussion about the future of Plot 6. We know that time and again the public have raised this as a top public transport priority for Bristol. Yet it's totally absent from your plans.
2. A Passenger Transport Authority is a must if the W. of England is to make any real difference to the dire state of transport in the subregion. It may have been voted down 3:1 by the Executive members, but there's no reason why it shouldn't at least be kept as an option under continuous review - and published as part of JLTP3 - to show that the region has the ambition to make a real difference.
3. Smart Cards and accessible, comprehensive Real Time Information : as yet, there's little real progress (and of course it's not helped by the major bus operator whose monopoly would be weakened by a smart card) ; both these are universal benefits that make the experience of using buses both easier and faster. They deserve much more emphasis in JLTP3
4. Traffic Reduction should be an absolute ambition for the urban areas, scoring well in terms of cutting congestion, road safety, quality of life, carbon reduction, Peak Oil, air quality and (arguably) economic growth of the useful variety. It's a prerequisite of easing our urban traffic problems. Lets not be shy - make it a real ambition.
5. JLTP3 makes a passing reference to the importance of 'digital infrastructure' in cutting traffic; perhaps it should also refer to the importance of land use planning, sustainable communities, local food production and distribution, 'low-traffic' businesses etc. as legitimate parts of a sustainable transport plan.
6. A 20mph city would save lives, reduce carbon emissions. At the same time, it's easier to sign and to drive than the 'partial' zones now being set up. Why on earth is there no mention in JLTP3 ?
7. The Portishead Branch and the Henbury Loop, are grossly underused resources that should be getting a far greater commitment in JLTP3, not just warm words. At a time when the major capital projects (all road based) are all under financial threat, the focus should be on worthwhile projects that make the best use of what we already have on the ground.
The first six have in common that, unlike most of the flagship projects, they all have universal application, bringing the most widespread benefits for the travelling public.