Broad Street Wrington Web Archive
Parish Council Open Meeting on GBSTS report
Tuesday, 26th February, 2008
The report of the Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Study, published last year, contains recommendations which Wrington Parish Council believes could be prejudicial to the interests of the parish. This public meeting was called to brief residents on the report, and invite volunteers to help mount a professional analysis of its recommendations, prior to pursuing whatever further action is deemed necessary. On this evening, the Memorial Hall was struggling to seat all those who turned up.
The start of the meeting was delayed by a quarter of an hour as the stream of people, some from Congresbury, whose interests could be similarly threatened, signed in at the door.
The meeting was chaired by the parish council chairwoman, Echo Irving, flanked by the two speakers, Geoff Matthews, chairman of the council's Highways Working Group, and Deborah Yamanaka, a district, as well as parish, councillor.

Geoff listed the interested parties involved in the two years of detailed work carried out by transport consultants Atkins on behalf of the Government Office for the South West, Greater Bristol local authorities, national and regional partners. The study looked at strategic transport improvement needs in the Greater Bristol sub-region up until 2031.

The consultant's recommendations will provide important advice and guidance for the local authorities and other transport delivery organisations such as the Highways Agency and Network Rail to consider when preparing future plans. This includes the Greater Bristol Local Transport Plan which covers the five years from 2006 to 2011, and aims to deliver significant transport improvements in the short to medium term.

They will also be drawn on by the West of England Partnership to produce a new development strategy for the area. The Partnership is working on its vision for 2026, as well as diferent ways of catering for future population and economic growth, through a consultation document called 'Directions for Change'.

The report puts forward a range of short, medium and long-term proposals to tackle many of the existing and future transport problems in the Greater Bristol area.

The study identified a series of measures designed to cater for the expected growth in the number of people and jobs across the area. In developing the recommendations a wide range of alternative proposals were examined to produce a cost-effective package of measures. The recommendations are to be considered by the four local authorities, the Highways Agency and Network Rail, before decisions are taken on a possible implementation plan.

In particular, in relation to alternative proposals for a link from the M5 to south Bristol, Geoff indicated inadequacies in the justifications and costings offered, specifically the need to include Bristol International Airport in a route from Weston super Mare. By far the largest proportion of BIA's passenger traffic is from the north.

Deborah traced the history, as she was aware of it, of North Somerset District Council's engagement in, and attitude towards, the proposals which would most affect Wrington and Congresbury.

Finally, Geoff listed some of the various professional skills needed by the team of councillors and other residents, which the council would be recruiting to pursue the matter further. In addition to those putting their names forward at the meeting, other volunteers are asked to contact the parish council clerk, Gabrielle Wilson at