Election 2015

Thornbury and Yate: Transport problems dominate election debate

Traffic jam Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption All participants agreed a "joined-up plan" is needed to reduce congestion

Transport problems have dominated an election debate in Thornbury and Yate.

Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP candidates said they believed the problems stem from the lack of a strategic plan.

Lib Dem Steve Webb wanted more locally-based jobs and Labour's Hadleigh Roberts said councils should have more say in transport routes and fares.

Tory Luke Hall wanted to see an M4 link road built while UKIP's Russ Martin wanted a transport referendum.

Four of the five candidates for the constituency took part in the BBC Radio Bristol election debate.

'Have greater say'

They all agreed congestion was a problem and called for a "more joined up approach".

But, Mr Webb claimed planners do not spend money from developments to address big transport issues and road upgrades are done "piecemeal".

This, he said, meant the "big picture" of congestion was not addressed.

Labour's Hadleigh Roberts said councils should have a "greater say" over the routes public transport firms follow.

Mr Hall said he wanted a new M4 link road built and to "work with First Bus to make sure the routes we already do have are reliable and clean".

Mr Martin said the transport infrastructure in urban and rural areas needed to link together.

"We need local referenda in the affected areas so people have their say - because they are not having their say at the moment," he said.

Green Party candidate Iain Hamilton did not take part in the programme but said private companies running public transport services "should be kept on a tighter rein".

He added services, such as buses, should be run for the benefit of the public.

Candidates in the Thornbury and Yate constituency:

  • Conservative Luke Hall
  • Green Iain Hamilton
  • UKIP Russ Martin
  • Labour Hadleigh Roberts
  • Liberal Democrat Steve Webb

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