SPC strongly objects to A4 Bath to Bristol consultation proposals - Saltford Parish Council

Saltford Parish Council (SPC) has submitted a robust and comprehensive response to the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) ‘A4 Bath to Bristol’ consultation, which includes its strong objections to many of the proposals. SPC is resolute in its view that proposals for changes on the Keynsham Bypass and in Saltford provide no transport benefit for residents, and instead come at huge resident expense.

A full copy of Saltford Parish Council’s response to the West of England Combined Authority has been published for resident awareness. SPC voted to respond by email to bathtobristol@westofengland-ca.gov.uk rather than via the online survey to ensure the complete views of the Parish Council could be expressed, with relevant detail, to the West of England Combined Authority.

SPC resolved its response to the consultation at its September meeting. SPC appreciated receiving a presentation on the consultation by B&NES Council and WECA officers near the start of the meeting. This provided the Parish Council with the opportunity to ask questions about the proposals, and express its concerns and views directly to the B&NES Council and WECA officers. SPC was pleased to welcome many residents to the meeting, and valued the opportunity to listen to the residents who chose to speak during ‘Public Time’ on the matter. SPC resolved its response following the presentation and Public Time.

Draft minutes of the September 2023 meeting are on SPC’s noticeboard (and website, as linked from our ‘Meetings – Agendas and Minutes‘ page); items relating to the A4 Bath to Bristol consultation can be found under Item 4 (presentation), 5 (Public Time), and Item 9 (resolved response).

Saltford Parish Council appreciates the interest that residents may have in its full response to the consultation, which details the specific concerns raised by SPC, and which took into account many resident views expressed at its meeting. These are summarised in the response conclusion, as follows:

Saltford Parish Council strongly objects to the proposals for changes to the highway as outlined for Saltford and the Keynsham Bypass (bar the Esso garage crossing) and its view is that they provide no transport benefit to Saltford residents.

The proposals would result in a significant loss of amenity, worsening of air quality, significant safety issues (for those in vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians), increased congestion on the A4 in Saltford and residential roads, negatively impact ‘active travel’ incentive, and come at huge expense to residents of Saltford and its businesses. 

Saltford Parish Council specifically opposes the proposal for two bus lanes the length of the Keynsham Bypass due to the negative impact on Saltford for a theoretical minimal gain in speed for some buses along the bypass which would be more than offset by other impacts of the proposal.

Saltford Parish Council also reiterates its strong objection to further Double Yellow Lines on the High Street.

Saltford Parish Council recognises the value of measures to reduce the volume of vehicles on the A4 and to support the use of public transport. However, the proposals as put forward in the consultation would both fail to significantly contribute to these aims and would measurably disadvantage Saltford residents as well as commuters from Bristol, Bath, Keynsham, etc.

The Parish Council would welcome a greater overall and sustainable commitment to the provision of affordable public transport, especially for commuters and young people. This would entail the continued provision of a regular, reliable X39 bus service at affordable prices to encourage and maintain greater use. It also welcomes proposals to fully upgrade existing bus stops, but this should apply to all bus stops in the Saltford area and not restricted to the ones selected in the proposals.

Saltford Parish Council would also value information from WECA on its plans for investment in e-mobility, including both financial support for electric buses and associated infrastructure required. SPC views e-buses as faster and better for air quality, achieving aspects aimed for in the proposals. SPC views lack of inclusion on proposed e-mobility infrastructure, and clearly stated engagement with key partners e.g. National Grid, as a glaring omission.

For a true scalable and integrated transport system, Saltford Parish Council is resolute that a greater utilisation of the GWR and MetroWest railway service is the obvious choice and solution to achieving the aims the proposals seek, supported by the re-opening of stations like Saltford Station and offering train travel at affordable prices. Reopening Saltford Station must be an integral part of any consultation and package to address road congestion and pollution on the A4 Bath to Bristol Corridor.

Information about the proposals can be found on the HaveYourSayWest website, and the online survey can be found under Questionnaire.

Details on how to respond by email and in writing can be found on the HaveYourSayWest ‘Contact Us’ page, as follows.

WECA is holding a ‘drop in’ event about the A4 Bath to Bristol consultation in Main Hall at Saltford Hall between 2-7pm on 19 September, for details visit the HaveYourSayWest ‘Get Involved‘ page.

Residents are encouraged to respond by the 1 October 2023 deadline.

Image shows https://haveyoursaywest.co.uk/ webpage

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