OK but don’t highway works and transport projects rely on Council expertise?
Yes, but community input can be very important, if not essential, in identifying them in the first place and speaking up for the highest priority ideas.
Technical know-how and Council resources are then needed to implement schemes that address transport bugbears, and manage the complexities that can be involved.
An objective of “The Good Transport Plan for Bristol” is to “empower communities to help redesign residential spaces that work for everyone”. Bristol City Council wanted to directly invest in bugbears and decided that the best way to identify them was to engage the public and crowd-source ideas.
A major 2016 consultation, Bristol Bugbears, generated many suggestions and requests from the public for solving road safety issues, traffic problems, and cycling 'bugbears'. An interactive comment map (illustrated) was produced, and a summary report can be found here.
The Traffic Choices project gave residents a say in how traffic should be managed in their area. Furthermore cash was allocated to implement priority highway schemes through the then Neighbourhood Partnerships.
Our local partnership, BCRNP (Bishopston, Cotham and Redland Neighbourhood Partnership) helped draw out more ideas, and used public forums to facilitate democratic decision-making on which to go forward into the Council’s works programme. Bugbears recorded for our area can be found here.
Community voices have also been made loud and clear in related, more strategic, projects such as a Bishopston congested residential street group which discussed many different ways of managing traffic and rat running through the neighbourhood.
A full report on this project can, for example, be found here on the legacy BCRNP site, but it is not clear at the time of writing, following this organisation's transformation to BCRCP (the new Community Partnership), whether the work of its Sustainable Travel group will continue.