February 2022: News from the Metro Mayor
Making our public transport better
I FINISHED my last Voice column welcoming the new, more frequent half-hourly train services between Temple Meads and Severn Beach.
Transport issues continue to dominate my 2022 work too.
January 15 was ‘National Pothole Day’ and I know the huge frustrations people have about this issue. The statistics show they cost West of England motorists over a million pounds a year in repairs, and for cyclists they can be very dangerous.
So I’m pleased to be allocating up to £125m to help local councils across our region repair potholes over the next five years.
Last year I was deeply proud to secure for the West of England the biggest per head investment in transport from the government in the country – over half a billion pounds.
In 2022 we will see the first of that £540m invested, with an initial focus on buses.
I am also creating West of England Sustainable Transport, which will gradually bring together buses, trains, e-scooters and other new public transport under one umbrella.
The aim is to give you and your family and friends more reliable, affordable, greener and safe ways to travel – especially for the 23% of local people without access to a car.
In time, you will be able to travel from A to B much more seamlessly as different types of transport become integrated.
We will begin by improving some existing routes, and as more money becomes available, expand to new places.
Sadly, such improvements are complex, so won’t happen overnight, and we will need to make big choices together, but I’m truly excited about what this significant sum of money can do to improve our local travel.
Just as the classic ‘roundel’ design is iconic in London, our transport network needs a great logo too. I want the design to be inspired by you – West of England residents and passengers. So I’m running a competition open to all to help influence that logo.
Entries are open until Friday February 12. The designs and ideas of local people will be finalised by professional designers who are working on the whole transport brand.
Please join in by visiting www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/logo-competition for more details. Our region is amazing.
Together let’s make it the very best it can be.