East Park and Ride still on cards – but where?

The new Conservative administration on B&NES Council says it’s to move forward with plans to build a long-awaited new Park & Ride on the east of Bath.

At the first public meeting of the Council’s new Cabinet next Wednesday 8th park and rideJuly, the authority’s Conservative leadership will consider a report which outlines plans to launch a public consultation to find the best location for an East of Bath Park & Ride.

Details of the consultation process will be published once a final assessment of potential Park & Ride sites has been completed, with the consultation anticipated to be underway by the autumn. Conservatives have said they want the Park & Ride to have minimal visual impact and are keen to ensure that residents are given a full and proper say over where the new Park & Ride should be built, with the more than one option for a potential site put forward for consultation.

Delivering plans for the long-discussed new Park & Ride on the east of Bath was a key commitment by the Conservatives during May’s local elections, and forms part of a wider package of measures aimed at tackling Bath’s traffic problems.

Some of the other transport proposals put forward by the Council’s new administration include:

· Supporting plans for more frequent local rail services through the MetroWest rail project;
· Backing the re-opening Corsham train station and continuing to investigate options for a station in or around Saltford;
· Promoting the use of more sustainable transport options like cycling, walking, or using the bus;
· Seeking to improve traffic flows in the city and continuing to investigate the potential of further projects to reduce the amount of through-traffic on the east of the city.

Councillor Anthony Clarke (Cons, Lansdown), who is the B&NES Cabinet Member for Transport, said:

“Before the election we promised to bring forward plans to deliver Bath’s long-awaited fourth Park & Ride on the east of the city, and we remain committed to this.

“By reducing the number of cars that need to drive into the city from the east of Bath, this Park & Ride, alongside the other measures we are proposing, will help to address Bath’s unacceptable levels of traffic and air pollution.”

Commenting on the process for deciding the best location for the Park & Ride, Councillor Clarke added:

“We are committed to ensuring that residents in the area are properly consulted over these plans and are given a genuine say over where the new Park & Ride should go.

“This means we plan to put forward more than one potential site for consultation, so that we can choose the best location for the new Park & Ride which is as shielded from view as possible.”

Walcot Councillor Fiona Darey (Cons), whose ward includes the notoriously congested London Road, commented:

“I’m sure that residents in my community of Walcot will be very pleased to see that the Council’s new administration is moving quickly to bring forward long-promised plans for an East of Bath Park & Ride.

“This is something which has been needed for many years in order to help reduce traffic on the east of Bath, but which previous Councils have been unable to deliver.

“Residents living in and around the London Road shouldn’t have to put up with such high levels of traffic and pollution on a daily basis, so I’m glad the Council is taking the need to address this issue seriously.”