The four local authorities of the West of England have published a draft Spatial Plan and a draft Transport Vision for the next 20 years. The BWA has commented on the draft Transport Vision.
We support much of the Vision, particularly the goal of ‘transport-focussed development’, with new housing in existing urban centres and settlements and transport corridors, and the proposed investment in transport infrastructure intended to reduce the proportion of commuter journeys undertaken by car from 60% to 46%. In particular, we support:
- recognition of the primary role of walking, cycling and public transport within the urban areas;
- measures to promote changes in mode of travel; and
- the re-allocation of road space on radial routes, potentially facilitated by improvements to orbital highway capacity in certain locations.
However, we are concerned that the focus on large, high-profile capital projects should not detract from imaginative and cost effective packages of measures to improve and optimise the use of existing infrastructure, which will often provide better value for money. In particular, we are concerned that investment in road schemes will encourage car use. Given the high projected expenditure on transport infrastructure, we ask whether a different choice of JSP development locations could reduce the expenditure on roads that is needed.