Con­fer­ence to ad­dress city’s unique trans­port prob­lems

Bath Chronicle - - NEWS - Olivia Scull Print writer 01225 322273 olivi­aalexan­dra.scull@reach­plc.com

Bal­anc­ing the needs of busi­ness, tourism and her­itage are the key chal­lenges on the agenda at a trans­port con­fer­ence. The Fu­ture of Trans­port in Bath: Shap­ing & De­liv­er­ing a City Trans­port Plan will bring to­gether trans­port ex­perts, lo­cal politi­cians and the pub­lic on Novem­ber 16. One of the speak­ers is Sir Peter Hendy, the chair­man of Net­work Rail. He was also a for­mer com­mis­sioner for Trans­port for Lon­don and the Bath Trans­port Com­mis­sion. He has lived in Bath for 27 years and is well aware of the trans­port prob­lems the city faces. He will be tak­ing part in the ‘Trans­port chal­lenges for lo­cal au­thor­i­ties’ talk and the ‘Can Bath re­solve its trans­port is­sues’ panel. Sir Peter said: “I don’t know if I’m im­par­tial, I’ve lived in Bath 27 years and I was the com­mis­sioner of trans­port for Lon­don for nearly 10 years, but I’m not a politi­cian. “It’s very hard in a world her­itage city to bal­ance the in­ter­ests of busi­nesses, tourists and the cit­i­zens and I think ev­ery­one ac­cepts that. “On the one hand it’s dif­fi­cult to get stuff done be­cause of the world her­itage sta­tus but on the other hand that means it’s even more im­por­tant to get stuff done. “I think the trans­port strat­egy has an em­pha­sis on more walk­ing and cy­cling and pub­lic trans­port and in­tel­li­gent re­straint of cars. “All easy things to say, but the hard bit is putting poli­cies in place.” One of the pro­posed so­lu­tions to Bath’s trans­port woes is the in­tro­duc­tion of trams, but Sir Peter said: “I’m prob­a­bly the only per­son in the city that has built a live rail sys­tem. “The most gen­er­ous thing I could say about trams is that if it is a so­lu­tion it’s not a so­lu­tion for to­mor­row. “My in­ter­est is get­ting some­thing done in the next five years.” Also at­tend­ing the con­fer­ence to share his views and ideas is Richard de Cani. Richard is the direc­tor and head of UKMEA plan­ning at Arup and for­mer man­ag­ing direc­tor of plan­ning for Trans­port for Lon­don. Richard said: “I thought I would be help­ful as Bath is so unique and it has some unique trans­port chal­lenges so I wanted to talk about the role trans­port has in sus­tain­abil­ity and look at other cities. “Peo­ple are look­ing at it in dif­fer­ent ways, ev­ery city is unique whether it has his­tor­i­cal or geo­graph­i­cal chal­lenges and peo­ple re­spond in dif­fer­ent ways.” Richard spent 18 years work­ing on Lon­don trans­port and 25 in the trans­port in­dus­try al­to­gether and says Bath and Lon­don are com­pa­ra­ble in trans­port prob­lems. He said: “The prin­ci­ples of the chal­lenges they are deal­ing with are very sim­i­lar. They need to con­nect peo­ple, pro­mote growth and pro­tect a unique en­vi­ron­ment. “I think it’s im­por­tant, rather than jump­ing to a par­tic­u­lar so­lu­tion, to un­der­stand what is con­tribut­ing to the prob­lems - who is do­ing what, bad jour­neys, what’s con­tribut­ing to con­ges­tion... We need to cap­ture data and ev­i­dence to un­der­stand what the prob­lem is first. “It’s a good time to get a group of peo­ple to talk about this, to look at what’s hap­pened over re­cent years, what prob­lems are hap­pen­ing and what we want to con­sider.” The con­fer­ence will take place on Novem­ber 16 from 8.30am to 1pm at The As­sem­bly Rooms, Bath. There are 200 spa­ces avail­able at this event, but you’ll need to book. Go to eventbrite.com and search ‘The Fu­ture of Trans­port in Bath’ to regis­ter.

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