A Bristol mayor could drag us into the 21st century
WHAT an interesting week it has turned out to be on the transport home front. OnTuesday at the Baptist Church Union Street discussions took place on the mayoral hustings where prospective candidates faced questions about transport.
All were clearly in favour of creating an independent transport authority to unlock the powers needed to sort out the city's awful transport system.
Dr Jon Rogers, who used to be the city's Lib Dem transport executive transport member, said he wanted to work with neighbouring councils on transport issues.
But he said Bristol would have to go it alone if necessary because it had been held back to often.
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So now we know that an ITA had been resisted by neighbouring councils because they feared the quality of their bus services would go down and fares go up. So what makes Dr Rogers think it will work this time?
Some mayoral candidates said they would ensure that Bristol took the lead on transport in the hope that the surrounding authorities would be inspired to follow.
So those surrounding authorities have laid siege like in civil war times and are denying Bristol a decent transport system. This inter council feuding is damaging our prospects of a decent transport authority. And this is where a Bristol Mayor could help drag us into the 21st century.
Bristol's International Balloon Fiesta have pledged to work with police and council leaders to stop a repeat of the traffic problems at this year's event. A special meeting-attended by police, Long Ashton parish councilors, festive organisers and representatives from Bristol and North Somerset councils-was held but there was no mention of sending passenger trains to Ashton Gate old station that still has its two old platforms. Yes they leave a lot to be desired but the single line used by freight trains runs close to one of the platforms. Make good all the work needed to this platform and stop passenger trains here.
Near the platform is a road bridge that was used for the British Railways Chief Work Section dept that is closed now. Build steps and an access point up to this road. It would be only a short walk to the fiesta.
We could use the old station until Ashton Gate station is built in 2016.
Dave Wood is a member of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union, Bristol and writes here in a personal capacity