Posts Tagged ‘Jon Rogers’

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Park Street could become part-pedestrianised

July 30, 2009

Park Street and the Clifton Triangle could become partly-pedestrianised “shared space” under plans being considered by Bristol’s council bosses.

It would mean no form of transport having priority, with pedestrians and cyclists sharing the road equally with buses, cars and motorbikes.

A similar scheme operates in parts of Ashford in Kent; the forecourt of Temple Meads station is also largely shared.

Park Street: a shared space?

Park Street: a "shared space"?

Jon Rogers, the Lib Dem cabinet minister for transport, said: “If you have a shopping street like Park street, the idea of everybody going slowly down that street, all being careful of each other, has some attractions.

“A lot of the time, cars don’t travel more than 10-15mph round the city anyway. Journeys tend to be stop start and people don’t make much progress.

“If we could do away with all the traffic lights in that area and people just made a gentle and careful way through those areas, you may find the time it takes to get between the Victoria Rooms down to the St James Barton roundabout might be less than it currently is.”

But the idea has already come under fire from Conservative leader Richard Eddy. He told Jones The News: “All too often, as with Prince Street, we’ve seen the Lib Dems default position has been to make life even more difficult for those trying to work and shop in Bristol.

“We are not a city that can afford to take this heavy-handed approach to the motorist, particularly in recession.

“The Lib Dem administration seems to be making life much easier for cyclists, and that’s something I support, but not at the expense of every other road user.”

The report to be considered by the council cabinet on Thursday afternoon claims the idea would “truly reflect [Bristol’s] Cycle City aspirations.”

The Park Street plan, along with other proposals for improvements to roads around the Colston Hall and East Street in Bedminster are being considered because money will shortly be available for infrastructure projects from the Department for Transport.

Council bosses are also considering building a new pedestrian bridge betwen the end of King Street and Redcliffe Street, to use money given by property developers.

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Bristol “should have free loop bus” in centre

June 29, 2009

The councillor in charge of Bristol’s transport system says we need to be “more ambitious” in improving the city’s transport system and should not rest on “old prejudices” about the way things work.

Jon Rogers is proposing to change the way buses run in the city, so that all routes go in to the centre, terminate there and turn back on themselves, returning via the same route.

He said: “We could have buses coming in to the centre and then going back out on the same route.

“You might have green buses coming down Whiteladies Rd, you might have red buses coming in and out on the Gloucester Rd and so on.

“Other cities do it and Bristol should be raising its sights and setting our ideas higher than we currently do.

“We tend to moan about our buses and moan about our buses. We should be looking for some solutions rather than focussing on the problems.”

This is different from the current system in which all buses go to the centre, but many routes then continue after a break and often a change of driver.

To make it work, he wants to see a free shuttle bus running in a loop between Cabot Circus and Queen Square to help people switch buses.

Jon Rogers proposes the free bus could be paid for by the council, or by local businesses who would benefit from shoppers being able to get around the centre more easily.

He also acknowleded the city’s bus system would remain poor while fares remained high. But he said the city faced difficulties reducing fares because of obscure government subsidy rules.

He said: “I’m looking for some innovative ideas in how we can reduce costs for the average passenger not just the concessionary passenger.

“My firm belief is that if off-peak fares were lower the buses would be fuller. If the buses were fuller there would be more profit for the bus companies but also a better service for the passengers.

Martin Jones interviews Jon Rogers

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Is cycling cash money well spent?

June 23, 2009

A team of researchers at the UWE is starting a major study to discover if money spent promoting cycling makes any difference to the number of people who cycle.

The result could make a big difference to the way projects such as Bristol’s Cycling City programme are seen. The city is to spend £23m on becoming the most bike-friendly in the UK.

The start of the project comes as Bristol’s Lib Dem transport boss makes one of the most radical pro-cycling proposals yet: closing the Portway to cars on Sundays.

Jon Rogers has suggested the idea based on the success of Bristol’s Biggest Bike Ride this weekend. He says he’ll consider closing the Portway and Ladies’ Mile to motorists on several Sundays each year.

UWE researcher Kieron Chattarjee told #SITE_NAME# information was vital in assessing the success or failure of projects like Cycling City.

He said: “These are crucial issues for society in general and it’s important we have some objective information to give a robust picture of how effective cycling investment can be.”

He also maintained the UWE study would be independent, despite being funded by Cycling England and the Department for Transport.

He said: “The Department for Transport represent all forms of transport. They’re concerned that investment in cycling stands up to scrutiny as opposed to other forms of transport.

“Should that money be spent better on walking or buses for example? We’re an independent team looking into this.”

As an example of the type of plan being considered for cycling city, Jon Rogers proposal to close the Portway and Ladies Mile for several Sundays each year is one of the most controversial yet.

He wants the section of the Portway running beneath the Suspension Bridge to Sylvan Way to be closed to cars – as it was for the Biggest Bike Ride this weekend.

He told us:  “Currently it’s closed twice a year, for the biggest Bike Ride and the Half Marathon. But I wanted to raise the question with people whether we should do it more often so people can enjoy what is a beautiful bit of Bristol.

“If it’s only closed in that section there are alternative routes. We need to strike a balance and on Sundays the traffic on the Portway is fairly light, and I think it’s something worth considering.”

Audio: Martin Jones interviews Jon Rogers

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Lib dems defend bus fare increases

June 22, 2009

Both sides of the argument about fare increases on Bristol’s park and ride services. The Tories put out a press release criticising the increases as “ironic” given the Lib Dems pledges to promote public transport, but Jon Rogers defends the increase saying the prices are still low overall and represent good value.

Jon Rogers:

Barbara Lewis: