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 Yet when Young people move into 6th form education this facility is withdrawn, even though legally they are required to be in further education until they are 18.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

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  • Posted by wmheath January 01, 2021 at 16:38

    Of course. But also it's for rural communities - all communities - to speak up for themselves.
  • Posted by DavidOrme January 07, 2021 at 20:02

    All agreed - and there is a great opportunity to help, and challenge, rural communities to speak up for themselves on these rural issues through the Community Engagement Forum (CEF) structure. At the moment, those meetings, whilst being useful, are a bit unfocussed and aimless, meeting every 3 months to review stuff that is sitting on the top of the inbox at that point in time so is a bit visible. Creating a more long term role for the CEFs could help develop and deliver the shared vision, stakeholder ownership and collaborative delivery plans. The importance of these things is cited by the authoritative speakers in the videos.

    In passing, the idea of compulsory purchase to develop more active transport options might work for a limited pilot, but we might as well face the fact that across BANES it'll be unaffordable to achieve the level of purchase necessary to deliver the envisioned seismic shift in rural behaviours.

  • Posted by DavidOrme January 08, 2021 at 08:57

    Ref Rural Communities Speaking Up for Themselves:

    Following a very emotive and unhelpful hiatus caused by a sudden reduction in First's 179 service, creation of the BANES Rural Transport Group was agreed in March 2019 at the BANES Parishes' Liaison Meeting. The Group's 7-point Action Plan was then developed as a collaborative exercise to capture a shared view of the future - a Vision, if you will - and published in June 2019. Following a 12-month review of the plan, the current version is here:[…]/

    The Group's view of progress against the Plan is published monthly:[…]/

    Speaking for the BRTG (I am its Programme Manager and Secretary), we hope that the collective vision described by the Desired Outcomes in the plan are considered as part of this consultative exercise. We further hope that the Group gets appropriate feedback if it is felt that any aspect of its plan is inconsistent with views emerging from this process. For reference:
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