6th September, 2004
Cnclr Claire Warren Ref ETL_40906
Chair, Environment, Transport and Leisure Scrutiny Commission
Bristol City Council
Dear Councillor Warren
This could be your (i.e. the elected Councillorsí) last opportunity to make a decision that would greatly enhance Bristolís quality of life and go a long way to achieving the policy whose priority your corporate plan identifies as second only to education. That is, the goal of sustainable integrated public transport.
What Bristol needs is an integrated public transport interchange. We have the site, right near Temple Meads railway station, which is about to be developed as a complex of offices shops etc in association with an arena. In the original glossy brochure an integrated transport hub was mentioned, but now it seems to be envisaged as only to serve that complex. Most towns in Europe have long had integrated transport facilities, essentially the bus and coach station adjacent to the railway station, with access for other modes, such as large bicycle storage facilities. Increasingly British towns are creating similar facilities. Where they are not close to the town centre (e.g. Bournemouth) frequent, subsidised shuttles operate.
If this opportiunity is not seized Bristol will continue to suffer its chaotic dispersed transport system for maybe a hundred years or more. Eventually the integrated facility will have to be built above or below Temple Meads.
I believe it is the elected councillorsí duty to make policy decisions and the council officersí duty to get them implemented. The officers should point out any difficulties but not serve to block progress. What I suggest is not impossible. It happens elsewhere. The only impediment is lack of political will. Now is the time to declare the appropriate policy and to ensure it is implemented.
As your only co-optee representing environmental issues I urge you to take careful note of this opinion which I am sure reflects the views of most of your constituents.
Co-opted member, representing Friends of the Earth.
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