Cross sector members of a new body dedicated to tackling the city’s transport challenges have met for the first time today (Monday 21 January).
The Bristol Transport Board has been created to oversee implementing and delivering Bristol’s Transport Strategy and be one of six such bodies working towards delivering the One City Plan.
Chaired by the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, board members are drawn from organisations across the sector including major transport providers, transport user groups, community representatives and academia.
The formation of the board was one of the recommendations of the successful Bristol Congestion Task Group which reported back the Mayor of Bristol earlier in 2018. The Board will build upon the good work of the group to achieve its aims.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and chair of the Bristol Transport Board, said: “The Congestion Task Group highlighted the complexity of the challenge we face in tackling traffic congestion in the city. It’s an issue that affects us all in some way and one of the big city challenges that form part of our recently published One City Plan. It’s clear, as it is with our housing challenge, that the only way to ensure we’re within a shot of achieving our aims is by working collaboratively with communities, city partners and individuals. Establishing this new board is a big step on that journey to 2050 where we have a city that is connected by efficient, sustainable and inclusive transport networks, supporting vibrant local neighbourhoods and a thriving city centre.
“I’m grateful to the inaugural board members for the time they have agreed to give to this approach, their knowledge and expertise will be invaluable on the road to achieving our shared ambitions for the city.”
Similar strategic groups already exist in the city to deliver lasting change to a number of sectors facing significant challenges. The Bristol Homes Board was established in 2016 and has played an important role in securing funding for local homelessness support and prevention projects, advising on housing development plans and contributed towards shaping the “Homes and Communities” strand of the city’s first One City Plan.
Board membership includes organisations whose role is to campaign for transport users and provide constructive challenge to the local authority and transport providers. Working with these groups the board will have the user’s needs at the core of their work and ensure their voice is represented in the decision making process.
Melanie Watson of Transport Focus and co-chair of the Bristol Transport Board, said: “Transport Focus will work to ensure the transport user voice is at the heart of every action taken by this new board.
“Worsening congestion and slower journey times are clearly felt by people making journeys in Bristol at the moment and we look forward to working, with the Mayor, to identify how improvements can be made.”
Topics for discussion during the inaugural meeting of the board included identifying opportunities where transport operators can better communicate together ensuring local work in Bristol is tied into wider regional plans being developed by the West of England Combined Authority.
The board discussed the progress being made with the Bristol Transport Stratey and the Joint Local Transport plan – the two core strategies aimed at delivering solutions to the city and region’s transport challenges.
The board will meet quarterly.
Members of the board include:
Marvin Rees - Mayor of Bristol (Co – Chair)
Melanie Watson – Transport Focus (Co Chair)
Rupert Cox – Stagecoach/Bus Operators
Mark Hopwood – Great Western Railway/ Rail Operators
David Tunley – Network Rail
Rod Dennis – RAC
Patrick Maish – Taxi Operators
David Redgewell – Bus Users UK/Equalities
Paul Hassan – Localities/Communities
Graham Parkhurst – UWE/Universities
Jon Usher – Sustrans/ Cycling & Walking
Malcolm Green – Unite the Union/ Trade Unions
Kevin Slocombe – Head of Mayors Office/ Bristol City Council
Colin Molton – Dir of Growth & Regeneration, Bristol City Council
Representatives - Business West
Representative - Highways England
David Carter – WECA
Richard Gillingham – South Gloucestershire Council
Representative – BANES
Representative – North Somerset Council