Solving Bristol’s Traffic Problem
What is needed is a bold, politically daring approach which would not be cheap but would cost much less than the £350M a year that congestion is said to cost us now.
Make the bus companies use through ticketing. For instance a ticket would be valid for an hour’s travel anywhere.
Make the bus companies use a ticketing system that would allow rapid loading. e.g. the simple, non-electronic ‘strippen-card’ use widely on the continent since the early ‘80s.
Provide a safe, covered, convenient passenger transport interchange hub, e.g. at Temple Meads.
Bring in many more bus lanes quickly, without all the engineering works which are not only expensive but result in inflexibility.
Introduce congestion charging in a widely defined central area. (Details below.)
Get ‘Parking Services’ to concentrate on main roads, bus lanes, and obstructive parking. Make their aim safety and practical improvements, not fund-raising.
(Raise funds from parking and from congestion charging.)
(Introduce these six improvements simultaneously so that the benefits are immediately apparent.)
Secure legal changes to permit franchising bus operators. ('Private' Bill in Parliament)
Provide free shuttle buses every five minutes in central area. Route (both ways): Temple Meads, Victoria Street, Broad Street, ‘The Centre’ (allowed across the fountains area, as should be emergency vehicles), College Green, Park St, round the Triangle, Park Row and past the BRI, Bond Street back to Temple Meads.
In time, within this "Central Ring Road" and 500 metres outside it permit only vehicles burning non-polluting fuels.
In the long term, plan an underground metro that includes this route.
Subsidise 20-minute rail commuter services, e.g. Portishead, Severn Beach, Bath, Weston.
Provide free Park and Rides, and more of them.
Set pedestrian crossing lights to be more pedestrian friendly.
Set traffic lights to be more traffic sensitive, and to give priority to buses.
Require tickets for the Arena to include free bus or rail within 20 miles of Bristol.
Encourage coaches by providing free parking.
Allow shared mini-bus taxis on flexible routes.
Traffic engineering changes. In order to allow main roads to carry two cycle lanes and two bus lanes, make them one-way for other traffic. For example A4018, A420, A37, A370 inbound only, A38N, A4 Bath, A38S outbound only. A4 Portway and M32 to remain two-way. With improvements to the ring road. Riverbank roads from Temple Meads to Brunel Way could be westbound on the south bank and eastbound on the north bank.
Bristol congestion charging and parking control area bounded by: Brunel Way, Hotwells Road, Durdham Down, Henleaze Road taking in Southmead Hospital, Filton Road, Muller Road, Gordon Road, south through Pile Marsh to New Brislington Bridge, Wick Road, Talbot Road, Redcatch Road, St John’s Lane. Winterstoke Road.
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