Following the release of the BCC Parking Survey results, we have spent time analysing these and consulting with our local Councillors who broadly support our campaign and actions.
We want to report on recent activity and some important conclusions :-
1) We protested vigorously to the Mayor and to Cllr. Dudd (in charge of Transport and Energy) about their dismissal of the validity of the survey results. We submitted a question to full council on 08/09/20. about the Mayor’s dismissal of the survey results and his response was even more negative, declaring that “I don’t think that RPZs are popular or even fit for purpose in many cases.” And that “RPZ are an out of date mechanism.” He made it clear that ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ are their ‘direction of travel’ although he failed to clarify what ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ are, how they might ameliorate traffic conditions or on street parking and what the timescale might be.
We have replied to the Mayor’s response in detail but have not yet had a reply but will continue to robustly question his conclusions.
2) On 06/11/20. three BOSA members attended a Zoom meeting called by Cllr. Fi Hance to consider joint working on ‘highway safety’ issues in the Redland Ward in which part of the BOSA area lies. Although it was depressing to hear about the frustration of other neighbours concerned about the lack of ‘listening’ and action by our Council, it was good to share our frustrations. One conclusion of the meeting was that we will work with these neighbours to build up pressure on our Council concerning highway safety issues in that ward.
We also concluded that we should move forward with our idea of a city-wide community campaign about traffic, parking and highway safety issues and the plan is to hold a city-wide community meeting/conference in March 2021. This date is timed to catch the interest and enthusiasm of candidates in the Mayoral elections in May! We have already informed our contacts in BS3 and St Werburghs about this idea and it has been received enthusiastically. Other relevant but not necessarily community-based organisations would obviously be asked to be involved.
We are pleased to say that Cllrs. Fi Hance and Martin Fodor, who also attended the meeting, are enthusiastic about taking a role in these initiatives. They undertook to work with colleague councillors across the city to gain support for the idea. Cllr. Mike Davies sent his apologies to the meeting and asked to be kept informed about the outcome.
3) CONCLUSION – THE FUTURE OF BOSA’s ACTIVITIES:
With the firm rejection of the survey results (and the value of RPSs) by both the Mayor and Cllr. Dudd, it is difficult to believe that they are likely to change their view in the near future even in the face of a press/publicity campaign.
The three alternative ways forward appear to be :-
a) Lobby candidates before the Mayoral elections and hope that, with a change of Mayor, a more reasonable approach might prevail.
b) Work within the ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ initiative to ensure that our shared concerns about traffic, parking and highway safety are taken into account.
c) Make a formal complaint to our Council on the basis that they have failed to recognise the scale of the problems we highlighted; have failed to offer any tangible solutions or a timescale for implementing them; ultimately, they have ignored the wishes of a significant percentage of the people expressed in the survey results.
d) A combination of all of these.