MP calls on council to improve local transport

Posted on Saturday 22nd June 2013 at 2:20 pm by SH (Editor)

Number 18 bus service pictured in Little Stoke, Bristol.

Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti has called on South Gloucestershire Council to do more to improve transport locally.

Mr Lopresti has made the call after supporting a number of transport initiatives but he believes the council must go further, saying:

“One of local people’s main concerns about our local area is the existing and future transport infrastructure. Public transport is an essential resource for communities; I am a regular user myself, particularly to Bristol Parkway and central Bristol and to medical appointments more recently. Central Government does not legislate on local transport issues; after all, governing important local issues such as this is why we have local councils and councillors. Instead, the Government makes available a certain amount of money for councils to spend in these areas. The Government recently legislated to remove ring-fencing from a vast amount of local authority funding, giving councils the flexibility to spend Government grants where they are needed most.”

“I believe that South Gloucestershire Council needs to do more to take advantage of this.”

The MP’s comments come after he wrote to the Chair of the Public Transport Forum, Cllr Ian Scott, earlier this month, specifically to enquire about bus services to Southmead Hospital from Staple Hill, amongst other areas currently without provision. The MP also met with First Bus on the matter and is campaigning to ensure that local people have transport links to vital services.

He continued:

“Improving public transportation in our local area is vital, which is why I have previously lobbied the Government to secure funding for the Rapid Transit Scheme and to champion a new junction on the M49. I have also been in contact with the council to support plans for a bus rail interchange at Filton Abbey Wood and I have started a campaign to re-open Filton North Station. In Parliament, I have spoken with ministers and asked questions in support of the Four Track scheme on the Filton Bank network and in favour of the electrification of the Great Western Main Line.”

“Given the new flexibility afforded to councils by the Government in terms of how central funding is spent, I would expect councillors from all areas to work with their council colleagues to put in place a public transport plan to make public transport accessible for all who need it. I am of course happy to give my support to the council in ensuring this happens.”

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