Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tackling transport

Copy of my comment on this story, trying to bring Bristol City Council Cabinet Member and Cllr Gary Hopkins (pictured) back reality through proper transport performance indicators for our city:

@ gary_hopkins - can I remind you that we need to see positive transport outcomes in Bristol eg traffic reduction, significantly lower congestion and delay, much lower air pollution, carbon emissions falling in line with what best science says is needed and in line with the Climate Change Act...We simply aren't seeing significant improvements in the major performance indicators. I also remind you that part of the current transport plans includes building new roads - hardly likely to produce the transport outcomes I've indicated. If you have solid evidence to the contrary then I'd like to hear it.

Cllr Hopkins reply simply made no comments at all about traffic reduction - and no comments at all about carbon emissions. On congestion he said, rather lamely, ‘...conjestion [his spelling] and delays are down but not by as much as they should be because the dividends of these are for the time being being swallowed by First instead of being passed on to customers.’ This appears not to be about overall congestion and delays but in any case admits there is no significant reduction.
On air pollution he admits there is still a problem but that the European green capital assessment rates Bristol as best (!!!). In his words, ‘Air pollution is still a problem but it was interesting that the technical assesment for European green capital rated us best of any entrant on that area. The BRT will run on non fossil fuel and will make a significant contribution.’
Green capital assessment rates Bristol’s air pollution as best! This only goes to show how low their standards are. No evidence in his comment to back the claim that BRT will make a 'significant contribution'. It’s mere assertion therefore.

Cllr Hopkin’s denied it was mere assertion and gave some additional waffle and opinion but did not actually give any data or reference to data to back his assertions. It’s note-able that he simply did not comment at all on traffic reduction and on carbon emissions from transport which I specified along with air pollution and congestion as performance indicators. What forecasting/modelling has been done that shows that current transport plans will produce significant reductions in these? Does Cllr Hopkins have this data??
What Cllr Hopkins seems unwilling to recognise and acknowledge is that key transport outcomes such as overall traffic flow, air pollution, congestion and delay and carbon emissions are very unlikely to significantly improve under current transport plans such as GBBN and BRT with its associated road building. In fact some of them may well get worse. An RAC Foundation report in 2011 said there will be four million more cars will be on the roads in the next 25 years. It goes on to forecast a 43% rise in traffic volume by 2035. Department for Transport figures show that by 2035 traffic will rise by nearly 50% and delays more than 50%on average (more here). To make real and lasting improvements realities have first to be acknowledged.

Some useful information on transport in Bristol here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Genuine, open, reasonable debate is most welcome. Comments that meet this test will always be published.