District-wide transport assessment announced for Bromsgrove as 5,000-named petition calling for Western Relief Road is submitted to council
PLANS were unveiled for a full Strategic Transport Assessment (STA) at the Bromsgrove District Council meeting earlier tonight. It came after a 5,000-name petition was presented to the council by campaign group Whitford Vale Voice calling on the authority to put a Western Relief Road into all its policies and plans. That was followed up by a motion from Coun Luke Mallett asking for a feasibility study to be conducted into whether a Western Distributor / Relief Road would help urge congestion now and in the future.
In between those two actions deputy leader Coun Adam Kent, responsible for transport on the district council, announced the STA. Work on the investigation has already started by both the district and county councils and Coun Kent said it would look at all the options. He called on everyone with a view on transport in Bromsgrove to have their say and ‘feed into the study’.
The Conservatives said the assessment, anticipated to take seven months, would look at transport for the whole district to futureproof the way residents got around, also taking into account the Climate Emergency declared by the council last year. Coun Kent added it would also examine walking, cycling, public transport, electric cars and charging points, along with the new demand responsive transport shuttle bus due to be launched today but now postponed to June 21 – after the county elections. He added the pandemic had led to a modal shift with more people working from home and less reliance on the car which needed to be reduced further in favour of other forms of transport.
Coun Mallett thanked the 5,000 people who had taken the time to sign the petition and said a feasibility study into a relief road was needed and could be done alongside the STA. He added with planning applications on the west side of Bromsgrove due to be decided time was running out and the opportunity to examine what a relief road could achieve would be lost ever. The Conservatives said a separate relief road study was not needed as ‘everything would be on the table’ during the STA – which would be conducted in three stages – evidence gathering and two assessment stages.
With all the Conservative councillors voting against Coun Mallett’s motion and all Labour, Liberal Democrats and independents voting for it, it was defeated 18-12.
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