Our thoughts on transport policy

This policy document is the current draft (23/04/2022) of our position on transport policy, both locally, nationally, as well as more widely.

These documents are always under discussion and feel free to contact us on hello@bathcampaigns.org.uk.

  1. To deal with the climate emergency we need to drastically reduce the number of fossil fuel powered vehicles on our roads.
  2. However, our whole culture, economy and even the layout of our towns and cities in the 20th Century have been shaped by the rise and dominance of the private motor car. Powerful interests such as oil companies and car manufacturers have promoted the car culture that is considered the normal way of life.
  3. This makes change very difficult both practically and emotionally. However, carrying on as normal will lead to extremely damaging and potentially irreversible changes to the world we live in.
  4. Converting to electric vehicles will form part of the transition needed. However, this is not financially viable for a majority of people without significant subsidies.
  5. Those with greater wealth and income have the biggest carbon footprint and they should be taking the lead on conversion to electric vehicles.
  6. To make this happen we do need significant investment in a comprehensive electric vehicle charging structure.
  7. However, we do not believe that we should be replacing ALL vehicles with electric vehicles. This will require a significant extraction of natural resources and opens the way for the exploitation of workers and communities in resource rich areas and the potential for geopolitical conflict. We should not be replacing oil and gas wars with lithium wars.
  8. Active travel (e.g. cycling and walking) should be promoted and enabled as far as possible. This has additional physical and mental health benefits.
  9. However, active travel is not an option for many people or for many tasks and activities people need to carry out.
  10. Some groups are more reliant on cars than others e.g. some disabled people, some workers, some families with small children and those in dispersed rural communities. We should not discriminate against their needs in the rush to active travel.
  11. Most of us can and should cut down our car use. This will require us to put the needs of the climate ahead of our need for convenience and to change our cultural conditioning that sees the car as a symbol of status and personal freedom.
  12. Options for reducing car use include car sharing more and community solutions such as car clubs and community transport, which both need to be invested in.
  13. Collectively we need to explore how we can actively reverse the 20th Century trend of towns and cities being developed around the needs to the motor car and make the places where we live, work, shop and participate in leisure activities more accessible without the use of a car.
  14. We broadly support the development of Liveable Neighbourhoods but believe that these should not be brought in solely to advantage middle class neighbourhoods where people are more organised to demand them.
  15. The potential for traffic displacement from Liveable Neighbourhoods to other areas should be treated seriously and monitored during a trial period with the possibility of cancellation if this is detrimental or cannot be mitigated.
  16. The most significant change required, both for the planet and our communities, is the creation of a public transport system fit for the needs of the 21st Century.
  17. Such a public transport system needs to be affordable (either cheap or free), planned around the needs of all communities (especially rural), be reliable and powered predominantly by renewable energy.
  18. The system needs to be planned with local communities so that all parts of the system (e.g. buses, trains, trams) should work together and enable smooth integration with active travel such as cycling.
  19. We do not believe that such a system can be made possible within the privatised market structure we have at present.
  20. We need to make a shift from seeing public transport as a business venture to a vital public service as important as our health service.
  21. We need policy change to reverse the privatisation of our buses and trains and investment to support state, local council and community owned public transport services and public transport co-operatives wherever feasible.
  22. Regional bodies such as the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and local authorities should be working closely with passengers and workers to design and implement a public transport system that meets the needs of our local communities and the planet.
  23. Bath Campaigns will collaborate with public transport users, workers and community groups around actions and initiatives to further the development of the public transport system we have outlined above.

You can download a PDF of the document from the link below:

Header image courtesy of: Photo by Xiaolin Zhang on Unsplash


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