Consider the needs of rural communities in all aspects of this consultation
B&NES is more than just Bath, it also covers large areas of rural communities where the need to travel to net zero is just as key, but it is harder to get a critical mass to bring about change. B&NES is helping rural communities come together through the Forum system and things like the schools climate network but not it needs to consider how innovations can be rolled out in rural communities too.
To give some examples:
Public transport is scarce and not joined up in rural areas and can also be unreliable. This leads people to buy their own cars and this leads to problems associated with a lack of parking in lanes that were not designed for cars. This in turn impacts on raod safety for cyclists and pedestrians. B&NES needs to work with local Parishes to find innovative transport solutions that incentivise moving away from traditional car ownership.
In many rural disctricts children are bussed to school in free buses; an efficient mass transit system with pick up points in villages and clear workable timetables. Yet when Young people move into 6th form education this facility is withdrawn, even though legally they are required to be in further education until they are 18. This lack of free bespoke transport leads to lots of individual car journeys via parent taxis and in many cases young people learning to drive and getting cars, at the very point where they are learning behaviour they are likely to carry in to adult life. If B&NES is serious about behavioural change it needs to make shared free or low cost transport the easiest option.
Buses that serve rural communities are not net zero and often to not enable disabled access. if these two things could be changed, and if there was the chance to join local villages to main routes into Bath, Bristol and Wells, tenabling public transport to work, this would be a strong incentive.
Many rural communities were built before there were cars. There is no provision for parking in many of the properties and parking on lanes narrows the available space and makes walking and cycling less safe. This in turn increases car use. B&NES could usefully support a pilot in a rural parish to create a more liveable neighbourhood, with the timed pedestrianisation of routes to school for the school run, with compulsory purchase of land that enables some road widening, with compulsory purchase of land that can be used for carparking and recharging of electric vehicles and through road safety training for walkers, cyclists and car drivers in situ and relevant to local needs. The neighbourhood could be offered free bus service for YP in education 16-18 and linking minibus services so that the village could connect to arial routes. a carbon footprint for transport in the parish could be taken to set a baseline and then measured again after a 2 yr pilot. with a target set for reduction. B&NES could help with a community consultation process that woudl bring parishioners on board with positive environmental changes. Lessons learned in this parish could then be shared and applied in other parishes
Why the contribution is important
We need to reduce to net zero across B&NES, not just in Bath and we need to find workable solutions for rural settings that are sustainable over time. Focussing in one parish which is relatable to others would also ideas to be properly tested in the community. Benchmarks would allow an evidence base to be created
by jackiehead on December 15, 2020 at 02:47PM