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10:40 - 06 November 2006
By James Cowling Business editor

A PRESSURE group which is campaigning for a Bristol transport authority to sort out the city's traffic congestion unveiled its manifesto today.

The Transport for Bristol Alliance wants to improve transport links and is calling for the creation of an all-party working group to produce plans for more funding for transport.

Groups which have so far signed up to the Alliance include the Bristol Civic Society, Friends of the Earth and Living Streets.

Chris Gittins, of Living Streets (Bristol), said: "Bristol's transport system is getting worse and we think that a step change in powers and funding is needed to reduce congestion and climate change.

"For years we have been tinkering about and we believe that a bold new approach is needed."

Colin Jefferson, of the Bristol Civic Society, said: "Our manifesto contains all the policies necessary to start transforming transport in the city, providing genuine alternatives to the car as we move to a low-carbon economy.

"However, these will not be achieved without two fundamental changes which are the key demands of the Alliance - the creation of a Transport for Bristol Authority and increased funding for transport in the city."

Pip Sheard, of Bristol Friends of the Earth, said: "People in Bristol are fed up with lots of reports and hopes about transport and instead want real change.

"We intend to make transport a key issue at the May local elections and so we welcome people to support the manifesto by visiting our website

"Bristol desperately needs a properly funded transport authority which would put transport at the top of its agenda and not balance it against social services, education or council tax bills.

"The people in charge of transport need proper powers, as well as the bottle and vision to deliver real improvements. All of these are lacking today in Bristol."

The moves come after an all- party traffic select committee claimed last month that major cities like Bristol should copy the example set by London and its bus network.

It claimed that the capital's success in increasing bus use stemmed from the power of the capital's mayor and transport authority to pick operators, decide routes and set attractive fares.
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  Your Views
It takes me 30 minutes to drive to work - 1 hour 30 minutes at least if I were to use public transport. It's also cheaper for me to drive - bus fares are too high. It's about time the parties work together for the good of Bristol rather than against each other for political gain. We may acutally acheive soemthing instead of just talking about it!
anon, Bristol

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