FW: Please help -fight Bus Rapid Transit and the Ring Road

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Pip Sheard

Oct 3, 2008, 1:05:23 PM10/3/08
to br...@googlegroups.com

Hi all,
Last Friday the West of England partnership announced that their consultants had recommended that the first section of the Rapid Transit system for Bristol should be bus based - it will be an 18 metre bendy bus which will run two ways through the centre to Cabot Circus and Temple meads but also along the Cut leaving the cyclepath alone but cutting into Cumberland road, continuing over the Ashton bridge near the Create Centre and running to the Ashton vale Park and Ride site. A future route will run North Bristol to Hengrove. This is a high capacity system which will serve and therefore bring forward planning permission for the urban extension of 9,500 homes between Dundry and Long Ashton to which we are opposed.
Today the public consultation on the construction of the South Bristol Ring Road was announced. If built it will cut the communities of Hartcliffe, Highridge and Bishopsworth in half and introduce traffic pollution and congestion to thousands of homes that don't have it now. The current Ring Road is full and all that traffic is waiting to make its way through South Bristol. It will also enable WEP to say that they have 'planned transport' for the all the urban extensions to South Bristol in North Somerset and Banes. We have been told that the Road could be Bus Rapid Transit instead but we believe that the public might like a tram system instead.
Our group has proposed that the money allocated for the first phase of RT and the Road should be spent on an ultra light rail tram system instead and we brought a consortium of engineers prepared to build the first phase to Bristol to meet politicians and officers. The project was reviewed by private consultants and rejected last week on grounds of cost and deliverability, both of which we dispute. A further meeting will be held to discuss these issues on 13th Oct. The final decision on the choice of vehicle for Rapid Transit -bus or ultra light tram will be made on 20th October by the four executive members of the West of England at the Joint Transport Committee. They are
mark.b...@bristol.gov.uk, brian.a...@southglos.gov.uk, elfan....@n-somerset.gov.uk, charles...@bathnes.gov.uk.
The issue will also be discussed at the Joint Scrutiny Committee which is supposed to oversee the decisions of the Joint Transport Committee. They meet on Friday 10th October 2pm . They are:
barbar...@bristol.gov.uk, jon.r...@bristol.gov.uk, colin...@bristol.gov.uk,geoff...@southglos.gov.uk,ian....@southglos.gov.uk, tony....@n-somerset.gov.uk, david....@n-somerset.gov.uk, clive...@n-somerset.gov.uk, pat.h...@southglos.gov.uk, caroline...@bathnes.gov.uk, marti...@bathnes.gov.uk, john...@bathnes.gov.uk
Please email all of them and say that you are opposed to Bus Rapid Transit and the Ring Road and that you support ultra light trams as an alternative. It is particularly important to email Ap Rees as he has made repeated statements in support of the Ring Road, though two of the others have stated  privately to us that they oppose the Ring Road but are being forced into it by the Government. The only way to get them off the hook is to show strong public opposition.  In the next couple of days we will be putting an e petition on the Bristol City Council website, please look for it and sign it. There is also a Bristol City Council full meeting on Tues 14th October 6pm.
I am hoping that we will get an big article in the EP next week but if you support us, turn up at 12noon next Wed 8th Prince St Bridge for a photo-opportunity in support of the tram. We will need help spreading the word. Please forward this email to anyone who you think would support us. If you can help, please contact me on pip_s...@hotmail.co.uk.
Pip Sheard
Transport for Greater Bristol Alliance

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