Meeting documents

Planning, Transportation, & Sustainability Overview & Scrutiny Panel
Monday, 26th July, 2004


Call-in of a decision made by the Executive on 30th June 2004:

Bristol/Bath to South Coast Study


We the undersigned would like the Council Executive to reconsider part (1) of the decision they made on Wednesday 30th June 2004 which was to delegate to officers to

"undertake further feasibility and assessment work on the range of potential measures as listed in paragraph 4.1 of the report."

We feel the Executive did not specify clearly enough just how the money (£400K) is to be spent to serve this Council's policies and objectives, nor did it put measures in place to influence the direction of this work over the coming months. Yet this work will have a major impact on the future transport developments of this Council.

Supporting comments

The budget set aside for this work was £400,000 - a substantial sum of money. Section 4.1 of the report listed, in seven paragraphs, the measures proposed by the feasibility and assessment work. The outcome of this work will have a major impact on the future direction of transport policy in this Council. Yet the list of subjects proposed to be researched further was incomplete, and had not been consulted on; also, there was no indication as to the order in which these subjects were to be researched, or how much effort was to be devoted to each.

One of the measures proposed is the A46/A36 link road which is an order of magnitude larger than the remaining measures, and we fear that a substantial part of the budget will be spent on this particular measure alone - at a time when a proper case for it has not yet been made, even in traffic terms. Also, it was already the subject of research work and a lengthy public enquiry ten years ago when it was soundly rejected.

In the light of the above, we consider it entirely inappropriate that there is to be a full appraisal, including an environmental assessment, of the link road. We are further disturbed to hear from officers that such work is to include, amongst other things, the conceptual design of bridges and earthworks as well as the study of a long list of potential impacts - ecology, landscape, archaeology.

A more cost-effective approach would be to concentrate on those aspects of the work which may show early on that the A36/A46 link road is actually unnecessary or ineffective in solving the problems which the Bristol/Bath to South Coast Study set out to consider for Bath: "to alleviate the through traffic on the London road, especially lorries."

Aspects for early consideration should therefore include

96 modelling the effect of the Lambridge Park & Ride,

- testing the feasibility of banning or surcharging through lorries on the London Road and

- further assessing the effect the firmly planned Westbury bypass which even the study predicts will halve the lorries travelling on the London Road, other things remaining the same.


We accept that work needs to be done to produce an effective, well-thought-through proposal to go into the Local Transport Plan, with the aim of maximising the financial contribution from the Government towards this Council's transport objects. We agree that this work needs to include some consideration of the measures proposed by GOSW's Bristol/Bath to South Coast Study - given that this study's findings have been accepted by the Regional Assembly.

However, there needs to be a detailed plan of how the £400K budget is to be spent to ensure best value from this exercise in line with this Council's policies, and in particular there need to be safeguards that one proposed measure does not soak up all the effort to the detriment of the many other, possibly more hopeful steps this Council could pursue to solve its traffic problems.

This call-in is supported by the following councillors:

1. Carol Paradise

2. Caroline Roberts

3. Dave Dixon

4. Gail Coleshill

5. Gitte Dawson

6. Jane Lewis

7. Martin Veal

8. Nigel Rogerts

9. Phyllis Gay

10. Roger Symonds

11. Ruth Griffiths

12. Sarah Bevan

13. Shaun McGall.