At today’s council scrutiny panel meeting the decision by the Council’s Cabinet in January to move forward with the Park and Ride scheme to the east of Bath at Bathampton Meadows was discussed. The call-in was however dismissed as councillor’s voted along party lines with the majority incumbent Conservative councillors voting to dismiss the call-in.
A large number of speakers spoke against the Park and Ride including Gill Risbridger and Ped Asgarian of Transition Bath’s transport group, who made the following points:
- Defra no longer supports park and rides as a means of reducing air pollution
- The council itself admits the scheme will do little to reduce congestion on the London Road
- The Park and Ride may actually increase congestion, on main routes to the east of Bath as more people use their cars to get to the P&R, rather than using public transport
- The council’s own data shows P&R’s are under-used in Bath
- Air pollution is recognised as the worst environmental health issue in urban areas and we should use our funds for public transport and walking
- There are plenty of studies which show putting a P&R in any city will often increase net transport by encouraging those from peripheral towns to make journeys into the city which they wouldn’t have otherwise done (e.g. study by UWE)