George Ferguson transport advisor quits panel over BRT route
BRISTOL mayor George Ferguson has lost a newly-appointed transport advisor following confirmation of a change of route for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.
Long-time BRT campaigner Pip Sheard, from Transport for Greater Bristol Alliance, decided to step down in from the Mayor’s transport advisory group in opposition to a preferred new route along Cumberland Road.
Mr Ferguson said he was sorry to hear of her resignation ahead of a scheduled meeting with the group today.
The Post reported this morning that Mr Ferguson had been given the go-ahead from Government to redirect the bus route, avoiding the Harbourside.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
At a meeting in London yesterday the Mayor was given the green light by transport minister Norman Baker who said he could make changes without losing funding.
A review has been set up to look at an alternative route.
But in an email to fellow transport campaigners, Ms Sheard said an “emerging preferred route” left no room to discuss other options.
She told The Post that a meeting had been scheduled for today to discuss the scheme and not “rubber stamp” decisions made previously.
She said: “If the Cumberland Road option is the preferred option, then that is the likely outcome. We know what happens with preferred options.
“It’s a totally useless option and a longer route than the existing plans.”
She said the change was a “face saving exercise” from the Local Enterprise Partnership and that a better route followed Hotwells Road.
She added: “I want an assurance that other schemes the public want are being considered.”
In a statement this morning, Mr Ferguson said: “I'm very sorry that without even waiting for an update at this afternoon's gathering of the transport advisers Pip Sheard has tendered her resignation, but she is asking for what would amount to an illegal change of transferring funds to other modes of transport, however desirable that might be.”
He added that yesterday’s meeting in London where Mr Baker agreed in principle to a variation of the BRT route went well.
He said: “This helps burst the bubble of those who have been claiming that my appetite for changes to the route around the harbour would mean the Department of Transport withdrawing all the money. There are huge potential improvements to be gained in terms of route, vehicle and nature of the scheme with better connection to Temple Meads.”
Ms Sheard joined the transport panel on January 23 with Sustrans founder John Grimshaw, Roger Key, from Key Transport Consultants Ltd and former First Group chairman Trevor Smallwood.