Pressure groups are well-versed in making their collective opinions known but B&NES is hoping to attract the views of individuals too in a call to all residents, businesses and organisations who are being invited to submit evidence to the council’s citizens’ panel on active travel.
Earlier this year the council and the University of Bath commissioned independent research agency BritainThinks to recruit and run a citizens’ panel which will also consider travel between the valley floor, the University of Bath and the large employment and education sites in the Claverton Down area.
BritainThinks is now putting out a call for evidence to ensure that a wider audience – including residents, local groups and businesses – are able to share their views to inform the panel’s deliberation and discussion.
The call for evidence is now live and runs until Wednesday 4 May. Responses can be submitted using the online form
There are five questions to answer and people can answer any or all of the questions. Responses will be sent automatically to BritainThinks once you submit them, with all responses remaining anonymous.
BritainThinks will review all responses submitted to the Call for Evidence. BritainThinks will then analyse all responses by theme and present the key arguments being made to the citizens’ panel for them to discuss and deliberate. It will not be possible to present each and every response submitted to the panel in full for their consideration, given constraints around the time the panel have to review, and the volume of responses expected.
Councillor Sarah Warren, deputy leader and cabinet member for Climate Emergency and Sustainable Travel, said: “We know that we need to improve walking and cycling facilities, but reallocating road space is very challenging because people have very different views – even though at any given time we may all be drivers, pedestrians, cyclists or bus users.
“While lobby groups are very good at making their voices heard and contributing to our decision-making, we also need to hear from people who don’t always have their say and who can take a balanced view of evidence put before them.
“All residents, businesses and organisations are encouraged to submit their evidence to the panel, which will then discuss and deliberate upon it in order to advise the Cabinet on how we should improve the shared use of road space in Bath and North East Somerset.”
BritainThinks has considerable expertise in establishing deliberative panels such as this and the council has not been involved in selecting the 27-panel members.
Councillors will not sit on the panel but will receive recommendations following its deliberations.