The problems that everyone talks about in Bristol are traffic, congestion and public transport. For the last 30 years, we’ve breathed in the fumes, been stuck in queues not getting to where we want to be. When the only plan is for an £8bn underground in 15 years’ time at the earliest, we need action that makes a difference now.
That is why I will start improving public transport by offering half-price bus fares for young people under 21 – which will benefit not only them but the whole city.
By making young people less reliant on cars, we cut congestion and our carbon emissions, helping us to reach our net-zero target and clean up our air. Making our bus network the reliable and convenient choice will give young people, who are most likely to be out of work, access to the opportunities available in Bristol they need to thrive.
I’ve run a large youth charity for over 15 years, and have worked with young people for much longer than that, and the one single message I have heard, year after year, from young people is, ‘Bus travel is too expensive.’
This is especially true for those in some of our suburbs that have been forgotten for too long, such as Hartcliffe and Withywood. Expensive and unreliable bus services cut off young people from college, training and jobs that would give them a future to look forward to.
The cost – £6 million – will be paid for by levying a corporate parking fee for companies offering free parking to employees in the city centre, similar to Nottingham’s hugely successful levy scheme.
To make sure our economic recovery leaves no one behind, and to reach our carbon target of net zero, we must reduce the number of car journeys in our city – by 40%, according to the research.
That means we must invest in public transport to give us a real alternative. Bristol City Council does not have the power to franchise or bring buses into public ownership, so we must do what we can.
On the 6th of May we have the choice to stay stuck where we are, or we can move forward together, making sure no one is left behind.
Vote Green for an economic recovery that includes everyone and makes Bristol and fairer and a greener city for all.