JLTP4 and more
The JLTP4 Draft Joint Local Transport Plan 4 opened of comments. I could not understand why this consultation had been launched after the JSP. In my mind, the JLTP4 should have feed into the JSP. When the Whitchurch Lane element fails to get off the ground that will mess up the JSP and all the hours or work and thousands of pounds spent on it.
I got hold of the full document and the summary version. 171 pages in the main document and 15 pages in the summary. I tried to read and absorb the information. Something was not right. The Visions, Objectives and Outcomes did not seem to apply to the part of the plans from the Hicks Gate roundabout to the Hartcliffe roundabout. On a map, I could see that the route followed the line to join these to join points up. But there was very little detail for the part covered by Bristol City Council! Did anyone know that this ‘line’ is a c class residential road, with a large primary school? Did they know that the road has a 20mph speed limit, traffic calming measures, a 7.5 ton weight limit, speed humps and homes with drives that are on it? Putting together the objection letter was simple. The plans do not fit in with the Visions, Objectives and Outcomes. The letter was produced and shared with the group. The group was encouraged to write, and email to ensure that their voices were heard. I did not like the online tool that was offered to submit comments. In my view it was very limited. You could not focus on the elements of the plans that were specific to me and the area where I live. It was very woolly. I did make my thoughts known to WECA and I was assured that they would consider my comments for next time and that it was too late to do anything about the ‘tool this time.
Again the Facebook group came up trumps. One group member put me in touch with someone who had been involved in a local campaign previously, (they are not on Facebook). They produced a letter for people to just sign and send off. They were absolutely horrified when they discovered, after the event, that all the letters had been counted as ONE comment because they all read the same. This gave me another task, I had to make sure that EVERY letter and email counted. This took quite some time although, eventually I had the confirmation that each and every one would count. We continued to do all that we could to encourage comments.
Another task I sent myself was to email ALL the local, South Bristol, councillors to ask them for their comments on the JLTP4. My concerns were that Whitchurch Lane is the weak link in the plans for the whole of Bristol. It would impact on the whole of South Bristol. I pointed out that theses plans were not dealing with the issues, it was just moving the problems around. The responses were basic, if at all! The one particular reply I was looking forward to receiving was from my own Councillor Barry Clark. The next day I had a reply, he said that he lives in the area and he was also against it and actively doing what I can to get it stopped. I replied saying that I was pleased to hear what he had said and I asked him for any suggestions that he had for helping us to stop the plans as they were. His next reply talked about boundaries coming into play when responding to consultations and politicians have a responsibility to represent their own constituents. He commented on how the Facebook group had gone a long way to achieving opposition in all areas. He also commented that Karin Smyth MP Bristol has already declared her opposition to this plan. That email was dated 19 Feb. I have continued to email Barry to ask him to meet me to see how we can achieve the aims of the group. AS at 04/04, I have had no further replies form him. I have also left messages on his answer phone. (Note to Barry, if you read this, the offer to talk with me still stands. I would love to know what you have done and what you are doing to support the campaign.
Another thing I have learned is that members of the public are able to submit statements to Bristol City Councils Full Council Meetings. I took the opportunity to do so. I sent a statement in on 15th January. (Here is the link if you would like to know how you can do it https://www.bristol.gov.uk/council-meetings ) Eventually I had a response from Mayor Marvin Rees on 7 Feb. The reply was unclear had things like ‘remove unsuitable traffic from Ridgeway Lane’. It also said that they would take action to address situations where those solutions are felt to impact negatively on people’s lives. He referred to a consultation on BCC Local plan in November 2019.
I emailed back with a variety of questions. I want to the answers to help me response to the JLTP4. I am told that Marvin has now given responsibility to Councillor Kye Dudd. He will be the person to reply. I waited, (Fortunately I didn’t hold my breath), No reply. I put in a complaint. I was assured that I will have a reply by 30th March. I asked for my complaint to be escalated on 4th March
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