XR Bristol urges the Council to be bolder in its post-lockdown transport plans
May 22, 2020
This week, XR Bristol sent an open letter to Mayor Marvin Rees, urging Bristol City Council to make more radical, city-wide changes to the way people travel in Bristol post-lockdown.
The letter commends the Council for its recently announced proposals for city centre pedestrianisation, bus priority routes, extra provisions for walking and cycling, pavement widening, and the major changes to Bristol Bridge and Baldwin St. Yet it points out that these plans miss a real opportunity to make much needed, radical changes to the way people travel in Bristol.
The threat from COVID-19 will linger for many months, but the climate emergency looms as an even longer-term, and existential crisis. To tackle these twin challenges, we urge the Council to be bolder and to push for something even more progressive.
Bristol City Council needs to make improvements that are city-wide: that minimise COVID-19 transmission and future-proof Bristol, by prioritising environmentally friendly types of transport and ensuring that access to and across the city is easy for all members of society.
Many cities across the UK have been far more agile than Bristol in rolling out temporary transport measures in the face of the outbreak. Several London boroughs are implementing plans for long distance cycle routes and cities such as Brighton, Birmingham, Glasgow, Sheffield, Edinburgh and Belfast already have temporary cycling and walking infrastructure in place. Liverpool has ambitious post-COVID city redesign plans that include a huge cycling network and wider pavements.
We believe the Council can, and should, do something ground-breaking. It’s clear that – as lockdown restrictions start to ease – we need to give everyone affordable and safe transport choices, and right across the city. That means promoting and solidifying good habits for the future.
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