Transition Bath’s West of England Mayoral Hustings: packed house, write-up, candidates answers to questions

Home News & Events Latest News Transition Bath’s West of England Mayoral Hustings: packed house, write-up, candidates answers to questions

Last night’s mayoral hustings at BRLSI was packed, we had to open a second room to hold all the audience who had come to see the mayoral candidates for the West of England Combined Authority explain their future policy – with a focus on what they would do to make Bath and the region more sustainable. 5 of the 6 candidates were available to attend: Tim Bowles (Conseratives), Darren Hall (Green Party), Lesley Mansell (Labour), John Savage (Independent) and Stephen Williams (Lib Dems). Unfortunately, Aaron Foot (UKIP) had other commitments and was not able to make it.

The format of the event was as follows (see overhead slides):

  • Introduction by the Chair, Peter Andrews (also chair of Transition Bath)
  • 3 minute opening speeches from each of the candidates
  • during the opening speech we showed each candidates answers to a series of short questions we had posed them prior to the event
  • 3 long questions which we had previously crowd-sourced from the public on the subjects of Transport, Housing & Land Use, and Skills & the Economy
  • we finished with 3 open questions from the audience

A complete video record of the event is available (part 1, part 2) but is split into excerpts with each candidate’s answers below.

We would like to thank thank all the candidates and the audience who made our West of England metro mayor hustings such a success last night. We’re also grateful to BRLSI staff for their help.

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Below is a write up of the event, including the candidates answers to the short, long and audience questions, and a video of the whole event.

Answers to short questions
Prior to the event we circulated an online form containing a series of short questions to the candidates, and later to the audience. The aim was to find out more about the candidates, and their definitive positions on a number of issues, and to save a bit of time during the hustings. The candidates individual responses are here: Tim Bowles, Aaron Foot, Darren Hall, Leslie Mansell (note electricity priorities are reversed), John Savage, Stephen Williams, but are collated and sumarised against each of the questions below (click the + sign).

General Questions

Which of these would you promote the development of: Low Carbon Energy Sources or Fracking
Tim Bowles Low carbon energy sources
Aaron Foot Low carbon energy sources
Darren Hall Low carbon energy sources
Lesley Mansell Low carbon energy sources
John Savage Low carbon energy sources
Stephen Williams Low carbon energy sources
Audience 95.5% Low carbon energy sources
Man made climate change or science not yet proven?
Tim Bowles Man-made climate change
Aaron Foot Climate Change – science not yet proven?
Darren Hall Man-made climate change
Lesley Mansell Man-made climate change
John Savage Man-made climate change
Stephen Williams Man-made climate change
Audience 90.5% Man-made climate change
Rank your preferred sources of electricity?
Tim Bowles Nuclear, Solar, Offshore Wind, Gas, Biomass, Onshore Wind, Coal
Aaron Foot Nuclear, Biomass, Gas, Coal, Solar, Onshore Wind, Offshore Wind
Darren Hall Offshore Wind, Solar, Onshore Wind, Biomass, Gas, Nuclear, Coal
Lesley Mansell Onshore Wind, Offshore Wind, Solar,Biomass, Nuclear, Gas, Coal
John Savage Biomass, Onshore Wind, Offshore Wind,Solar, Gas, Coal, Nuclear
Stephen Williams Solar, Offshore Wind, Onshore Wind,Nuclear, Biomass, Gas, Coal
Audience Renewables generally top, with coal bottom
Economic measure: GDP growth or health and happiness index?
Tim Bowles GDP growth
Aaron Foot Health and happiness
Darren Hall Health and happiness
Lesley Mansell
John Savage GDP growth
Stephen Williams GDP growth
Audience 86.4% Health and happiness
Do you believe in open evidence based policy making?
Tim Bowles Yes
Aaron Foot Yes
Darren Hall Yes
Lesley Mansell Yes
John Savage Yes
Stephen Williams Yes
Audience Yes
Roughly how many miles to you cover using different modes of transport? (airplane, car, taxi, train, bus, cycle. walk)
Tim Bowles
Aaron Foot
Darren Hall I commute by train, bus and bicycle, but I have a camper van that I use infrequently, mainly to go surfing!
Lesley Mansell 46 miles by car on my daily commute
John Savage 100 per week
Stephen Williams I’ve only taken ONE transcontinental personal flight in my life (to LA) and not many European ones. I travelled by train to London for the 10 years that I was an MP. I walk a lot and have used the bus and trains extensively in this campaign but clearly have had to drive between many villages.
Do you own a car, if so are you prepared to say what type of car it is and its CO2 emissions? (e.g. 15 year old Diesel Ford Focus, 120g/km)
Tim Bowles Saab 95
Aaron Foot Fiat van built in 2002.
Darren Hall VW T4 campervan. It is 13 years old so not great on emissions, but I do less than 5000 miles a year in it.
Lesley Mansell yes I have a VW Golf but am not sure of its emissions
John Savage Lexus HYBRID
Stephen Williams Yes, a Peugeot 206 diesel bought in 2001, when guidance was better than petrol.
Audience Quite a few commented on having bought diesels they now thought it was the wrong advice

Transport Questions

Prioritise these projects? (5=highest, 0=lowest/will never happen while I am mayor) these all relate to Bath only, not other parts of the region
Tim Bowles A36/A46 Link Road, Low Carbon Zone, Box/Corsham Rail Stations, Traffic Free Bath Centre, GWR Electrification,Tram, Bus fares cheaper than parking, Meadows P&R Site B, Meadows P&R Site F, Cable Car, Diesel tax, Meadows Freight Depot
Aaron Foot Box/Corsham Rail Station, Bus fares lower than parking, Low = Meadows Site B, F, Diesel tax
Darren Hall Low Carbon Zone, Box/Corsham Rail Stations,Bus fares lower than parking,GWR Electricifcation, Tram, Diesel tax, Fraffic Free Bath Centre,Cable Car, Low=A36/A46 Link Road, Meandows P&R B & F, Meadows Freight Depot
Lesley Mansell Low Carbon Zone, Box/Corsham Rail Stations, Bus fares lower than parking,GWR Electrificaton, Tram, Diesel tax, Traffic free zone, low=A35/A46 Link Road, Meadows P&R B & F, Cable Car, Meadows Freight Depot
John Savage Tram, Diesel tax, Low Carbon Zone, Bus fares lower than parking, GWR Electrificaton, A36/A46 Link Road, Cable Car, Trafic free zone, Meadows P&R B&F, Meadows Freight Depot
Stephen Williams Diesel Tax, Low Carbon Zone, Box/Corsham Stations, GWR Electrification, Tram, Bus fares lower than parking, Traffic Free Zone, A36/A46 Link Road, Cable Car, Meadows P&R B&F, Meadows Freight Depot
Do you think the Bath-Bristol Cyclepath should be replaced by a light-rail network as proposed by the Joint West of England Transport Plan?
Tim Bowles No
Aaron Foot As im standing on a policy of E-Democracy I’d let the voter choose how there tax is spent.
Darren Hall No. As well as, but definitely not instead of.
Lesley Mansell I think we should look at light-rail and cycling together
John Savage Combined
Stephen Williams No. The cycle path is popular and is a good alternative to the A4 for everyone. I would be prepared to consider a feasibility study to see if a tram could co-exist.
Do you think autonomous self-drive cars will make most forms of other transport obsolete in 10 -15 years time? If so how should the region prepare for this eventuality, particularly when making strategic capital investments in transport? Discuss briefly:
Tim Bowles No
Aaron Foot I’d like to go look ahead more and maybe promote drone transport.
Darren Hall I think there will be significant changes, but we still have to concentrate on the main forces of public transport, cycling & walking in order to provide mass transit for people who are less able to afford vehicles, especially expensive autonomous vehicles.
Lesley Mansell It will probably take a bit longer than that. We should prepare by investing in active transport as it is green, healthy and sustainable.
John Savage No
Stephen Williams No, they will undoubtedly become a reality for which we should prepare. They could improve drive efficiency and speed compliance.
Will you use your planning, transport and investment powers to drive growth, a cleaner environment or both?
Tim Bowles Both
Aaron Foot Yes
Darren Hall A clean, green strategy is good for growth, indeed it is the only way we can provide prosperity at the same time as protecting the planet.
Lesley Mansell both
John Savage both
Stephen Williams They are not mutually exclusive. More people working in the low carbon economy is also growth!

Housing and Land Use Questions

Roughly what percentage of the 20,000 new homes that need to be built in B&NES by 2036 as proposed by the Joint West of England plan do you think realistically will need to be built on the Greenbelt?
Tim Bowles As little as possible
Aaron Foot I will fight to protect the green belt. Let’s look at building up not out.
Darren Hall 0%
Lesley Mansell Only a very small percentage. I would release a small proportion of the most accessible and poorest quality green belt land and designate new green belt for every amount developed upon to retain the overall acreage.
John Savage 25
Stephen Williams None if my policies on urban density and improving transport links to established settlements are followed.
Which energy standard would you prefer new homes in the region to be built to?
Tim Bowles Minimum Building Regulations + 10% CO2 (emerging B&NES Placemaking standard)
Aaron Foot
Darren Hall Passivhaus
Lesley Mansell Minimum Building Regulations + 10% CO2 (emerging B&NES Placemaking standard)
John Savage Passivhaus
Stephen Williams Something close to the old Code for Sustainable Homes 5 Standard
Audience 45% Passivhaus, 35% Code for Sustainable Homes 5
What is the most important investment you have made in your home to make it more energy efficient?
Tim Bowles insulation
Aaron Foot We currently have an off grid energy system so no pulling power from the National Grid all funded by myself and we claim no F.I.T.s.
Darren Hall Most of the easy stuff like double glazing, roof insulation, draught proofing and LED lights were already sorted so I have added a 4kW solar PV system that is connected to my hot water system through an immersion heater switch.
Lesley Mansell Energy efficient appliances and compact fluorescent bulbs.
John Savage Downsized
Stephen Williams Double glazed PVC frame windows

Skills and Economic Development Questions

What type of jobs should be prioritised in the new region? Discuss briefly:
Tim Bowles A mix of sectors so there is no over reliance on one particular industry.
I am particularly keen to see Bath continue to develop creative, high tech industries and to help new businesses move to the area and to see entrepreneurs see the region as an area that is ideal to start new businesses.
Aaron Foot We can keep the grown of small and medium sized enterprises going by helping with skill based learning.
Darren Hall Future proof jobs i.e. those that are part of a circular economy strategy.
Lesley Mansell Jobs in renewable energy, the high tech and engineering sector and construction.
John Savage Hi tech modern solution businesses
Stephen Williams See my manifesto for a comprehensive section on the economy. But low carbon and local food are both mentioned.
Do you see the clean energy sector as a major employer in our region? If yes how would you be prepared to work towards its expansion? Discuss briefly:
Tim Bowles Yes. I want to see the region develop as a hub for new renewable sector industries.
Aaron Foot
Darren Hall Absolutely, Molly Scott Cato’s report clearly shows the potential for the South West.
Lesley Mansell I do. I would work with clean energy companies to invest in the skills they need from the labour market and invest in the infrastructure they require to generate clean energy.
John Savage Yes and yes
Stephen Williams Yes. See sections in my manifesto on the Severn tidal potential, using food waste for bio-methane buses.
Should Bath rely on tourism for its economic development?
Tim Bowles The tourism and visitor economy is important to Bath but I will ensure Bath has a diverse mix of businesses providing good jobs.
Aaron Foot Yes it should be a combination of existing and new business.
Darren Hall It is part of the answer, and greater emphasis on reducing its environmental impact can help it continue to be a strong part of Bath’s economy.
Lesley Mansell Tourism is important of course, but it would be wrong to try to rely on it for economic development. New investments are needed, in housing, in transport, in energy, and in skills.
John Savage Not rely but it is a contributor
Stephen Williams It’s an important sector. But impact on area needs to be ameliorated, my manifesto advocates a hotel room tax.
What is your top idea to ensure our region is a beacon of growth through a low carbon 21st century economy?
Tim Bowles Support for start up and technology businesses, ensuring suitable premises are built as part of future developments, improved broadband provision to allow more working from home.
Aaron Foot Talking to the voter and finding out how they want there money spent is key.
Darren Hall I want to establish the region as a global leader in the circular economy, leading the way in the next generation of smart urban living, supported by organic agriculture, resilient, diverse social enterprise and businesses that are prepared to adopt a balanced “people, planet and profit” for the future.
Lesley Mansell As Metro Mayor, I will Set up a commercially attractive regional energy company to encourage investment into carbon free energy sources.
John Savage Reduce reliance on motorised individual transport units
Stephen Williams Working with Welsh government on Severn tidal energy.
Candidates Opening Speeches

Each of the candidates gave an opening speech with the following instructions “Prepare a 3 minute speech to introduce yourself to the audience. As we are an ‘environmental group’, most of our audience will be most interested in that aspect of your job so it would be appreciated if you could design your introduction with special reference to the environmental sustainability of the region “

We have tried to summarise each of the candidates views below, a more exact representation is available via the video links in each section.

Aaron Foot, UKIP
Aaron Foot was unable to attend but he kindly had time to complete our online questionnaire which was displayed at the start of the hustings:

Darren Hall, Green Party

  • His ‘greeness’ comes from a snorkeling trip 20 years ago to the Red Sea, when he realised the coral was about to disappear with global warming
  • On the board of Sustainability South West
  • Role to make sure people hear the is a voice for Climate Change in the region
  • Role about balancing people, climate and profit
  • Led team which won EU Bristol Green Capital award
  • In 2 decades more than half of the global human population will be living in urban environment, losing connection to the environment
  • Devolution: government defined role through economic terms; Darren, would like prosperity to be more than GDP, is about balance of environmental and social justice movements
Tim Bowles, Conservatives

  • Role about someone who can champion the entire region (1M people, in city centres and rural areas)
  • Will be judged in terms on growth in region to get further investment; role allows regional decisions currently made by Westminster
  • Will work with 3 Council Leaders, make long term changes over next 2 or 3 decades
  • Transport: move away from reliance on motor car, more effective journeys, planning communities, so include infrastructure (=>reduce transport needs)
  • Housing: make homes more energy efficient
  • Skills: champions and powerhouses, technology for renewable energy production; will be long term champion
Lesley Mansell, Labour

  • Preserving our Blue Planet, which is a finite resource
  • Make sure every contract has agreed elements in it, which preserves e.g. trees
  • Make transport greener, find ways to get people on public transport, cycling; new cycle ways
  • Cable car: innovative opportunity, green, low cost, but need to see more details
  • Work on things together
  • Doesn’t support fracking; supports renewable energy; energy needs to be cheaper, in favour of sea turbines – but needs to work with other areas
Stephen Williams, Lib Dems

  • TB’s, only hustings the one he has been to which has been packed
  • Bristol and Bath have most ill-served bus services in UK, rail services are just as bad; contrast with Birmingham or Cardiff
  • Main reason no local strategic oversight, and no power, this deficit will end with new mayor
  • Will have power to tell bus companies what to do through franchising; services later at night, out of cities, rural, hospitals, cashless payments, improve pollution, lower emissions vehicles; should be public health issue – air quality top of his agenda
  • Will make sure Bath and Bristol have sustainable communities where we can live , work and invest
John Savage, Independent

  • Not really a politician – interest in role stems from move from London to Bristol 30 years ago
  • Transport: people think this is the biggest problem, not necessarily John’s view
  • Role misunderstood by people – John views role to work with 3 LAs, and to attract further government grants
  • Other challenges: strategic challenges; governance arrangements in territory
  • Wrote a book called “2050 High in Hope” – gather benefits of economic development to work for all of us without destroying the environment”
Transport Question #1: Within your four year term, other than high cost schemes, what incremental improvements to existing transport solutions will you implement in Bath? How would you create a culture where walking and cycling is inclusive and the norm?
Tim Bowles, Conservatives

  • Will drive an agenda everyone agrees on; reduce reliance on the car
  • need to make it clear to all in society, including Planners, that we need to move away from reliance of car; Planners and Transport Departments, need to offer alternatives
  • Raise profile of transport in planning; need to make sure provision of cycling and walking included in new developments, and that transport servicing these developments goes somewhere useful
  • Carrot and Stick: important, need to provide Carrot first
  • Need to take positive stories to government to attract more investment
Lesley Mansell, Labour

  • Integrated ticketing system; to speed up and reduce bus prices
  • Need cap on bus passes for disadvantaged
  • Free busses for under 18 year olds
  • More disabled friendly busses
  • More cycle lanes
  • Quality of roads: pot holes put cyclists off cycling at night
  • Not just green busses, want co-op bus services – hope to see busses replaced where they are currently being cancelled
Stephen Williams, Lib Dems

  • Integrated ticketing system; to speed up and reduce bus prices
  • Need cap on bus passes for disadvantaged
  • Free busses for under 18 year olds
  • More disabled friendly busses
  • More cycle lanes
  • Quality of roads: pot holes put cyclists off cycling at night
  • Not just green busses, want co-op bus services – hope to see busses replaced where they are currently being cancelled
John Savage, Independent

  • More to do with regional integration than just Bath
  • Strategic solution rather than solving problem in one area
  • Buses: Smart ticketing
  • Stop using cars one day per week, would lead to a 20% reduction
  • use some of the £30million to seduce people out of their cars
  • would use bus to go to work at Hospital, if it was on time, reliable
  • now too old to cycle, older people need an alternative
Darren Hall, Greens

  • Response to John’s old people can’t use bikes comment – new innovation called electric bikes!
  • Need to address ‘Car Culture’ – car culture starts at early age where parents feel children can;t walk or cycle to school, will sort out congestion
  • Better for business if centres of cities not dominated by cars; people enjoy centre of cities more if fewer cars
  • Bristol has Living Heart project – perhaps bath could have one as well (Darren was clearly unaware of Adam Reynolds, Bath Living Heart plan)
  • Cycling lessons for HGV drivers – also cyclists sitting in HGV seats to see what drivers can see: good incremental improvement
  • Cashless payment
  • Bike hire schemes for all large hotels; for tourists
  • Sustainable business community for transport e.g. existing one in North Bristol SusCon – get business to lead conversation
Housing and Land Use Question #2: Bath and its environs are beautiful - who wouldn't want to live here! There are huge profits to be made from housing development, yet there are potentially huge environmental costs too. In a number of recent major housing developments, developers have reduced both the number of affordable homes and sustainable construction standards saying that these are not financially viable. What would you do to ensure the construction of more affordable homes and higher than minimum levels of insulation and CO2 emissions?
Lesley Mansell, Labour

  • Lesley also has a manifesto available online
  • Need more council housing, labour’s Marvin Reece, Bristol Mayor already building 1,700 council houses
  • In her home of Radstock experience of developers saying affordable and higher standard homes too expensive
  • Needs to be coordinated with 3 x LAs, but also North Somerset
  • Need to challenge developers who are not hitting high sustainability charges
  • Want ‘Living rent’ for affordable rents, work with Acorn
  • Unite construction charter to help skill shortages in construction
Stephen Williams, Lib Dems

  • you need to borrow 12 x salary in Bath to buy your first home; social disaster for community; need to attract skilled people
  • need to build more, question of where and how, more in manifesto; housing focused social enterprise, owned by Authority and possible in the future by the community through shares; building home for sales, build homes for private rental sector, reinvest profit in building homes for social rent
  • Sustainability: was minister for regulating housing 2+ years ago, implemented Allowable Solutions through Infrastructure Bill, would have allowed local investment in retrofitting older homes; but Conservative government have scrapped this. Would build homes in Bath to the sustainability standards he set out as a minister in 2014
John Savage, Independent

  • Unacceptable in a civilised world that people can’t afford housing
  • Concerned about the way the question is asked; has to be done by the Metro Mayor facilitating between the 3 LAs
  • Talking to developers, who are up for change, must address affordable housing; should not allow developers who don’t provide affordable homes and sustainable homes to carry on
  • Doesn’t know how this can be achieved at the moment, but hopes to do more than has been achieved in last 300 years
Darren Hall, Green Party

  • on board of Bristol Community Land Trust (16 affordable homes)
  • disagrees with the definition of affordable being only 20% off price of home
  • Community Land trust do it through shared ownership, supports ‘seat equity’ to build community and housing
  • bring in presumption in favour of organisations who can offer higher sustainability and affordable housing
  • 5.7 acre brownfield site being land-banked in Bath by Tesco, should CPO
  • Possible to build affordable sustainable homes e.g. Exeter – OSP homes – solves both fuel poverty and sustainability issues at the same time
  • Wants by 2020, standard, for over 20 units, that homes need to be net energy positive
Tim Bowles, Conservatives

  • need to work with 3 LA leaders
  • need to build more homes where people want to live and the homes they want
  • developers want to build on greenfield; but homes not affordable because transport needed to get into Bath
  • need to release more brownfield sites in towns – costs more for developers, needs Housing Development Fund to support this; close to work, communities, schools reducing reliance on transport
  • need to work with housing associations
  • CO2 critical; can now use Smart Meters to analyse when electricity is needed, can have huge affect by applying technology
  • Referenced B&NES Placemaking Merton Rule (building regs – 10%)
Skills and Economic Development Question #3: Bath has two universities and research shows that its population has higher than average levels of education but proportionately lower than average wage levels from a local economy dominated by retail and hospitality. What would you do to build a more balanced economy in the area of jobs and skills?
Stephen Williams, Lib Dems

  • Area already the most prosperous City Region outside London; but not shared geographically (Twerton, Whiteways, Somer Valley) – need to attrract employers to particular parts of region, north Bristol has the opposite problem; need to improve transport offers to less prosperous areas
  • From year 2 get skills budget; need to rain people e.g. Bath College hospitality course; but after Brexit, hospitality, hospitals employ lots of Europeans; need to manage Brexit freedom of movement shock need to reskill existing workforce
John Savage, Independent

  • problem not universities, but people who haven’t been educated; must ensure fair wages in this area; employers need to realise their profit won’t be maximised by minimising wages; colleges will favour highly in plans based on lots of previous experience; upskill (cleaners to develop skills)
Darren Hall, Green Party

  • Commends fellow candidates on shared vision in more equal society
  • we are too profit/GDP focused, need to shift way from focus on growth
  • Most businesses have dealt with minimum wage but Care system breaking down as relies on minimum wage
  • Recommends book the ‘spirit level’ more equal society better for all
  • Automation: loss of jobs, not everyone can retrain, wants to lead on circular economy; difficult to challenge current economic
  • ‘Recommends ‘Demain’ film
Tim Bowles, Conservatives

  • mayor can make a difference to build a more balanced economy
  • tourist, hospitality important for Bath
  • Needs to support new businesses; enterprise zone; Bath should become leader in digital and creative industries; but need transport and housing
  • Skills: in 2nd year of term; championing local jobs in new industries with young school children; need to promote exciting new areas of work
Lesley Mansell, Labour

  • Government has been clever with metro mayor and 3 main areas of responsibility fit well together
  • Wants equality charter: region poor for equality; black, Asian, women – limits skills people have to offer – equality is a driver for economic success
  • Wants West of England living wage
  • Wants W of E Transport Commissioner
  • Need to fill skills gap e.g. Construction would work with Unity, Digital Industries: lack of equality
  • About small businesses, social enterprises, co-ops
Audience Question 1: Mark Shelford: Old houses in Bath can't be insulated - restricted by planning law. What will you do about making them more energy efficient?

John Savage, Independent

  • not a lot Metro Mayor can do
  • the detailed look of windows seems to be more important than energy efficiency; mayor can only highlight the issue
Darren Hall, Green Party

  • Divide between heritage/civic groups and environmental groups, but climate change playing havoc with older buildings
  • Has been working with company which can apply thermoglazing to single glazed windows, reducing heat loss by 70%
Tim Bowles, Conservative

  • Planning needs addressing; working with councils on planning policy
  • Works with Trust working with Medieval Barn; mindful of insulation, smart meters
  • Make Bath a hub for technologies to make older homes more energy efficient
  • Combination of solutions
Lesley Mansell, Labour

  • Through planning responsibility; doesn’t want to change aesthetics of buildings in Bath
Stephen Williams, Lib Dem

  • Wouldn’t advocate anything which would cause detriment to historic buildings
  • When minister worked with Building Research Establishment, can move innovation into the area; looking at doing away with PV panels as unsightly, can get power straight from you window panes – will be cracked soon; work with other UK mayors
  • preserve what is best about our past but live more sustainably in the future
Audience Question 2: Lin Patterson: What would be mayor do about the 6/7 Larkhall bus, support 2,500 signatories, restore service?

  • Yes, speaking to First Bus; need additional drivers, but less congestion would allow greater investment in new busses and routes; so tackling congestion is key, if not bring in community transport to fill the gaps
Tim Bowles, Conservatives

  • Supports using busses more; has similar experience with First Bus close to his home; has been working with other bus providers
  • Franchising will allow looking at route as part of overall strategy
Lesley Mansell, Labour

  • wants mixed or co-op bus services
  • deregulation focuses on most lucrative routes; doesn’t get reinvested into services
  • big problem in Larkhall as destroying local shops and community
Stephen Williams, Lib Dem

  • doesn’t know issues about Larkhall bus route
  • perhaps with franchising opportunity that alternatives to First Bus might provide service, interested in social enterprises
  • wants to see more bus operators by 4 years time, working in a planned way
John Savage, Independent

  • sympathy with LAs
  • why in France can you go long distances for small amounts of Euro?
  • concerned about Bus Bill going through parliament at the moment
  • Need to work out ways of supporting people in need, the old
Audience Question 3: Bryn Jones: A36/A46 Link Road, Ben Howlett, supported by B&NES Council; however the link road is environmentally destructive, only reduce traffic by 10% to 20%, do you support Ben?

Tim Bowles, Conservative

  • used to have to commute through Bath to get to the motorway; has seen issues along London Road, need to provide new roads for benefit of everyone in Bath, but part of a bigger package of measures; links with other motorway junctions (M4 Jn 18A)
  • it is not a decision mayor will make, but supports it to reduce congestion, improve, air quality and help businesses
Lesley Mansell, Labour

  • underground, through air or across nice countryside
  • wants meaningful consultation; won’t be up to Metro Mayor; when Labour gets in in parliamentary election in June will ask for more powers
  • don’t really want to build across countryside
Stephen Williams, Lib Dems

  • see his manifesto; put in place key principle tests; need to prove net environmental benefit; air quality issue in east Bath
  • Doesn’t believe in East Park and Ride
  • Sceptical about A36/A46 route; needs study to see how can be done, minimising environmental impact, would adversely affect villages en route like Freshford
  • need to work with Wiltshire Council post their Thursday election; railway stations at Box and Corsham; use A350 up to M4; charge veihicles to come into Bath which will deter them
John Savage, Independent

  • instinctively wary of road building; chaotic law, building roads, adds traffic
  • wants to see more proof
  • in his 2050 book; predict by 2050 will be a dramatic reduction by then of use of individual vehicles; concerned that it might be a wasted investment if over taken by technology
Darren Hall, Green Party

  • experiencing South Bristol Bypass, same conversation, has alleviated the traffic at one bit of the road, but ow have 2 traffic problems elsewhere
  • talked about Hyperloop transport systems
  • Need to get away from combustion engines
  • 30 to 40 year transport strategy needed
Audience Question 4: Fiona Williamson: As a parent and resident of East Bath, what would the candidates do to alleviate pollution in Bath with respect to school run?

Lesley Mansell, Labour
  • flexible working, take some of transport off the road, start schools at different times
Stephen Williams. Lib Dems

  • flexible school starting times wouldn’t work with parents of kids at more than one school (see Leslie’s previous comment)
  • No magic bullet
  • More patrols nearer schools to deter parents driving; make parents feel children are safe to walk and cycle to work, so they don’t feel the need to drive
  • All children should know how to cycle, should be in every primary school, safe walking routes to school, but want to give parent’s choice over schools (implies travel)
  • Buses: look at what you can do about free travel passes for children (only available in London), but current mayor transport budget probably won;t stretch, need to ask Government
John Savage, Independent

  • Agrees with others
  • Walking buses
  • Control timing of timing of big vehicles coming through
Darren Hall, Green Party

  • bristol schools walking route App could be used in Bath?
  • Cargo bikes as used in Europe to carry multiple kids – but need safe cycling routes to school; better for car drivers to take a lot of these people out of their cars
  • Wonder whether 1 hour for 1.70 Euro in Strasbourg could be applied hesre; volume would make buses more cost effective, but needs subsidy
Tim Bowles, Conservatives
  • No easy answers
  • Clean air zones
  • Address how people think; experience in South Gloucester, with kids cycling to school; but problems with Chelsea Tractors taking kids to school; need to make cycling safer; combination of measures; locating homes close to community infrastructure