Sir Liam Fox MP writes to CEO of NSC on new bus lanes in Clevedon

Letter from Sir Liam Fox MP to Mrs Jo Walker, Chief Executive of North Somerset Council, on new bus lanes in Clevedon:

Many residents in Clevedon have been in touch about proposals to widen three roundabouts on Clevedon’s ring road -  Tickenham Road, Ettlingen Way and Southern Way - to create bus lanes.

As you know, central government finance has been made available to improve bus transport across the country. It is intended for “any roads where there is a frequent bus service, congestion, and physical space to install one in Bus Service Improvement Plans (BSIPs).”

In North Somerset, we do not have a frequent bus service, are not subjected to the level of congestion that occurs in many of our cities, and given the nature of our transport infrastructure, there is seldom physical space to install bus lanes without substantial disruption to other road users.

It is difficult to see, therefore, how some of the changes which may be forced upon many parts of North Somerset, including Clevedon, can be justified.

The government has also made clear that while the money has been made available for appropriate plans this does NOT mean that councils need to spend taxpayers’ money where it is inappropriate to do so. Indeed, I believe that, at a time when public finances are under strain, it is irresponsible to do so.

Having seen the horrendous management of the seafront in Clevedon, the waste of money (doing something that residents opposed), and the need to transfer resources from other budgets to put it right, many believe that the plans for unnecessary roundabout changes will be “Seafront 2: The Sequel”.

There is likely to be considerable disruption to traffic during the construction of these lane changes for what most see as little if any tangible benefit.

I urge North Somerset Council to think again before spending further money on this scheme.