Bet­ter bus ser­vice to help re­duce car use

Bath Chronicle - - OPINION - Dr Sharon Gillings Bath Labour Party

The Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil is ex­plor­ing op­tions for meet­ing air pol­lu­tion targets by 2021, (Chron­i­cle, Septem­ber 6). While I sup­port a bold clean air zone pro­posal, the fail­ure to ad­dress the ap­palling pub­lic trans­port across the city shows a lack of am­bi­tion to pro­vide re­al­is­tic al­ter­na­tives to the car. The school term has started and our roads are once again clogged with traf­fic. The cost and lim­i­ta­tions pre­vent bus travel be­ing a prac­ti­cal op­tion. For ex­am­ple it costs £2.70 to get my child one-way to Ralph Allen School us­ing the Fare­saver school bus. If they stay late at school they’ll need an­other bus ser­vice to get home so they can’t ben­e­fit from a weekly pass. Hardly sur­pris­ing that many par­ents choose to drive. Since 2017, the Con­ser­va­tive West of Eng­land Mayor, Tim Bowles, has had the power to fran­chise buses to end the over­priced, con­fused and in­ad­e­quate ser­vices that we cur­rently en­dure. Yet this isn’t on his agenda. Mean­while we have school-run grid­lock. Bath’s air pol­lu­tion causes pre­ma­ture deaths. Fam­i­lies and com­muters face ex­pen­sive, com­pli­cated bus travel or re­luc­tantly take to the car. Across the coun­try Labour may­ors and Labour coun­cils are con­sult­ing to use the new pow­ers to pro­vide bus ser­vices to meet the needs of their com­mu­ni­ties. Why is the Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil not pri­ori­tis­ing bus ser­vices that could re­duce car use, con­nect com­mu­ni­ties and save lives?

Un­less there is a bet­ter bus ser­vice, re­duc­ing traf­fic will be hard ac­cord­ing to Bath Labour Party’s Dr Sharon Gillings

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