A Sustainable Transport Declaration for Bristol Businesses

Published on by Roger Key, Chairman (Transport) Planning & Transport Group.

To help deliver a successful transport legacy from Bristol’s year as European Green Capital, we need to get business behind the initiative in every way possible. Go Green is making strides to recognise and celebrate the actions that individual businesses can take to improve their sustainability, but we also need to get a collective voice behind the wider policy to encourage change to more sustainable transport modes.

Some media coverage may lead you to believe that the business community sees sustainable travel as a hindrance. Cries from individual organisations complain about bus lanes, or how Bristol is the ‘worst city in the UK for car drivers’ and mean that many presume business is against leaving a green legacy.
As Bristol’s Chamber of Commerce we want to quash this myth because we know the majority of our member firms are behind the principles of sustainable travel and openly back the objectives of the Green Capital Partnership. As a result, through consultation with our monthly Planning and Transport Group we have created a Sustainable Transport Declaration and invite firms to sign up to make their own declaration.
The points of the declaration can be seen below. By providing a portal for businesses to express their support for long term sustainable transport goals, we will create an evidence base that business supports a greener future, to enhance the legacy of our European Green Capital year.

Image courtesy of First Group

Declaration of Business Support for Sustainable Transport
As Part of Bristol 2015 European Green Capital Year

  • As a business leadership organisation, Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Initiative (BCCI) declares its support for Bristol European Green Capital 2015 and the Green Capital Partnership’s aim to promote sustainable travel.
  • Bristol is a growing, dynamic city and is expected to continue growing over the next 25 years. Yet, many roads are at capacity in normal commuter periods, particularly in the city centre. So if the city and its neighbouring authorities are to meet the challenge of providing for the travel needs of their residents, they will have to do so by focussing most of their efforts on improving and enhancing systems for mass transport (bus and rail) and sustainable travel (walking and cycling).
  • The existing Joint Local Transport Plan 2011 to 2026 has enabled the local authorities, consistently supported by BCCI, to secure Government funding support for five major transport schemes that are programmed for delivery in the next few years. The 2013 JLTP Refresh sets out proposals for Metrowest Phases 1 and 2, which should see welcome improvements to the city’s suburban rail network by the end of the decade. But new transport systems need long term planning. So as a primary objective for Green Capital 2015, BCCI supports the local authorities of the West of England Partnership (the WEP) in their initiative to produce a 25 to 30 Year Strategic Transport Plan. BCCI commits to work with the local authorities to secure substantial completion of the Plan by the end of Green Capital year.
  • The Plan will set out a long term, balanced and integrated package of sustainable transport measures including but not limited to: future MetroWest phases; bus rapid transit; cycling; and walking schemes; and, where appropriate, away from the city centre, road schemes.
  • To aid funding and delivery of the Strategic Transport Plan, BCCI encourages the local authorities to form a Combined Authority to better enable funding and delivery of the Plan projects.
  • For its part in 2015 BCCI will campaign to encourage its member organisations to:
  1. Introduce Employee Travel Plans to promote travel by non-car modes;
  2. Sign up to the Go Green initiative;
  3. Encourage take up in 2015 of low emission vehicles; and
  4. Invite other business leadership organisations to pledge their support for this declaration.

Sign up to the declaration

The declaration is now live on the Business West website, take part by signing up.