Election 2015

Bristol North West: Bus and train services debated

BBC Radio Bristol election debate: Bristol North West constituency
Image caption From left, Michael Frost, presenter Geoff Twentyman, Charlotte Leslie, Darren Jones and Clare Campion-Smith

Breaking up the bus "monopoly" and extra inner city train services have been backed by Bristol North West candidates.

Transport in the city was discussed by four candidates in a live election debate on BBC Bristol on Tuesday.

Candidates also debated the creation of an integrated transport authority and boosting cycling and walking levels.

The city council was criticised over resident parking zones and 20mph speed limits across the city.

'Gridlocked nightmare'

All candidates backed the inner city train service known as the Henbury Loop.

The Henbury Loop service between Filton and Avonmouth was closed off in 1964 but despite public support it has yet to reopen. Local councils, though, have begun preparatory work to achieve this.

Labour's Darren Jones said there was a "bus monopoly" in Bristol that needed to be "broken down".

He added: "We need new powers in Bristol City Council to make sure bus routes aren't just closed without any consultation and ensure passenger power is heard."

Conservative Charlotte Leslie said the Henbury Loop would be the "bedrock of the solution", as well as an integrated transport authority.

UKIP candidate Michael Frost said: "The A38 is a gridlocked nightmare - we need to make it easier to drive around the city because people want to use their cars.

"The 20mph limit on main arteries is quite ridiculous... it increases pollution because your car is pootling along, it's a nonsense."

Clare Campion-Smith, the Liberal Democrat candidate, believed the Metrobus scheme would relieve congestion.

She also said future housing developments such as in Filton needed transport issues solved in the early stages.

Ms Campion-Smith said: "If you can persuade people to use buses and to walk or cycle, right from the beginning you have got a big gain rather than relying on market forces."

The candidates for the constituency are:

Clare Campion-Smith - Liberal Democrat

Michael Frost - UKIP

Darren Jones - Labour

Anne Lemon - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

Charlotte Leslie - Conservative

Justin Quinnell - Green

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