There should be no watering down on the Metrobus contract for Bristol says Bedminster Labour councillor Mark Bradshaw.
As the contract consultation is underway and due to end soon Cllr Bradshaw says that it’s vital that Metrobus operates with 40 plus much greener buses than we have currently, that the minimum frequency should be five buses an hour, that there should be smart card ticketing with substantial reductions for season ticket holders and the council should remain in control of fare prices.
“This is a terrific opportunity and if in Green Capital year we cannot get more greener buses for Bristol then we really do need to ask what Green Capital year is for.
“We know we have poor air quality standards in some parts of the city, notably the M32 corridor, and dirty old-style diesel buses are a major contributor to air pollution. This is great chance to substantially reduce those toxins in the air we all breathe. I’m hopeful of a positive response from the bus industry. Other cities have achieved this, we have some green buses already. We need far more.
“On fares and smart card ticketing – make no mistake the Metrobus routes will be the first in the city where the Council will have control over fare pricing. We’ve been crying out for this for years – the public and politicians alike wanted an Independent Transport Authority this hasn’t materialised but fare-pricing powers will come to Bristol’s Metrobus.
“Frankly we are presenting bus operators with a minimum standard of service that we want from them. The winning bid should offer much more than the mere minimum because the prize on offer are substantial passenger numbers, as 30 percent of Bristol’s workforce commute into Bristol from outside the city each day. Metrobus is not the golden bullet to solve all our traffic problems, but it must be a greener, smarter travel choice aimed at daily commuters who currently drive into and across Bristol,” says Cllr Bradshaw.
Note to Editors: Cllr Mark Bradshaw until recently held the Transport Portfolio as Assistant Mayor in the Bristol City Council cabinet. The BRT/Metrobus project has dominated that portfolio for the past 10 years.