Tony Clarke Radio Bristol 23.6.17 talking about trams
Emma Britton; So what’s occurring here then, is this a fly by night idea or a serious suggestion?
Tony Clarke; It is a serious suggestion, as I think everybody knows there are problems with congestion and pollution (err) in Bath and (err) trams are what is called sustainable transport they run on electricity they don’t (erm) put out nasty emissions and can be designed with routes and the tram cars themselves to fit into quite narrow spaces. So that is certainly worth looking at and (erm) and that’s why we have decided to go ahead with a small study to see (err) what the possibilities are and if it looks like a runner (erm) we will (err) look for external funding to mount a much bigger study.
Emma; I took a call from a listener earlier who said there was a scheme put forward 15 years ago all costings were done and routes etc but it never came to fruition. What would be different this time around Tony?
Tony Clarke; Well … (err) I would emphasise that we, the, … what we are not doing is launching a scheme straight away, we are looking at the probabilities and possibilities that arise from (err) such a scheme and (err) the difference would be that once (err) I mean, the environment (err) has changed in transport, light rail is now in the main seen as a good option and (err and err) because of the… 15 years ago people did not take much notice of air pollution for instance and air quality wasn’t an issue, it is now, you know, right up top of the agenda.
Emma: Is it fair to say you are you coming under increasing pressure as a council to be seen to do something about Bath’s congestion problems?
Tony Clarke; Yes, I mean we do have very specific problem in relation to congestion mainly because we don’t have any by-passes to the city and cant put restrictions on vehicles coming onto or going out of the city. And you know Cleveland Bridge is part of the national trunk road scheme so it means we have to look to other (err) measures while we (err) get on with the business of looking at a regional level at, at, by-passing the city.
Emma; Speaking of other measures, what’s the latest with Bathampton park and ride are you still perusing site B?
Tony Clarke; The position is … you’re aware of the new (err err) West of England (err err) Combined Authority, and, the, which has just started, (erm) from the election (erm) a couple of months back and, and, we are working with the Mayor and with (erm) the other two authorities and for that matter still with North Somerset looking at the regional plan.
Emma But that’s not what I asked what’s the latest with the Bathampton P&R?
Tony Clarke; Well what I am saying is that that until we have signed off the overall (erm, err) plan we aren’t going to make an announcement …. the, the, (errrr) so I mean, that’s the position.