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Darren hosts third meeting to discuss changes to A4018

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones, has continued to listen the views of his constituents by hosting a third public meeting in response to the council’s proposed changes to the A4018. This latest meeting was attended by over 300 residents, taking the total number of attendees to the MP’s series of meeting to well over 600.

The packed meeting was held on Saturday 9th March in Westbury village centre and started with a video from the MP which offered an overview of North Bristol’s transport and how this will be impacted by developments taking place across the North Bristol arc, including thousands of new homes in South Gloucestershire.

The MP chose to host a series of his own meetings after hearing feedback that council-organised events were insufficient, hugely oversubscribed and poorly managed alongside many of the affected residents having not been aware of the proposals until he sent a leaflet to 10,000 homes with details of the consultation.

As part of the plans, the city council is seeking to put more shared bus and cycle lanes along the A4018 from Henbury to Durdham Downs – whilst this would help to improve the speed of bus journeys it would create ten junctions with turning restrictions on or off the main route. Highways chiefs have said this could help reduce congestion from queuing and improve traffic flow, but the MP fears the volume of restrictions will severely impact resident’s ability to get and from their homes and/or Westbury village without significant detours – therefore creating rat running and worsening congestion on residential roads. The MP also fears that the number of restricted turns into Brentry would force more traffic through already-congested routes in Southmead and only add to the poor quality of air in the area. The most controversial aspect of the plans includes restrictions into Westbury village by car.

Darren said:

“Local businesses and residents have been vocal that they fear this will have widespread impact on their livelihoods as well as the vibrancy of the village itself, and many struggling businesses will not be able to take another hit on trade. I know the council fear that without any restrictions there could be increased traffic through the village, but my constituents have told me they acknowledge this but given most of the traffic is concentrated during rush hour, often before many shops open, keeping the village as is would have less of an impact than unnecessarily closing large parts to traffic 24/7.

Over 3,500 constituents have signed my petition calling on the Mayor to scrap these changes – I’ll continue to make sure my constituents views are heard loud and clear on this issue”.

Darren continues to urge constituents to sign his petition calling on the Mayor to scrap the plans to the village, complete his A4018 survey and formally respond to the council’s consultation before it closes on 17th March.

Darren will now be pulling together the comments and concerns of the thousands of residents who have attended events or contacted his office and submitting a formal response to the consultation. The submission will be available on the MP’s website later this week.

The MP also took the opportunity remind constituents that regional transport is the responsibility of the West of England Regional Mayor, Tim Bowles and these proposals must be reflected by integration between the local authorities rather than in isolation.

Darren also continued to call upon the Regional Mayor to review and support his North Bristol Transport Plan, published in January 2019, which calls:

1-  for three new Transport Hubs bringing rail, bus, cycle hire, cycle lock-up, car parking and electric vehicle charging points together on one site. These Transport Hubs should be at the Portway Park & Ride in Shirehampton, at Henbury (next to the Rugby Club) and North of Lockleaze. The locations were chosen by darren to offset the additional traffic created by new housing and development across North Bristol.

2- The Plans also called for the new Transport Hubs to have non-stop bus and cycle lanes into and out of Bristol City Centre and Cribbs Causeway, with a review of travel to work routes in Avonmouth alongside

3- restricted access to the proposed Bristol YTL Arena from residential single roads in Henbury, Brentry, Southmead and Lockleaze. The MP has long said these roads should not be used as access routes to the proposed Bristol YTL Arena for fear it will create rat running, exceptional congestion and poor air quality.

Darren expects to see significant transport upgrades using major routes to move people into and out of developments across the North Bristol Arc and hope this plan will focus national, regional and local government on where funding should be spent.

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Darren backs climate award local winner

Writing on Facebook, Darren said:

‪Great to be at the The Climate Coalition Green Hero Awards in Parliament tonight. Even better to see constituents from Bristol North West rewarded for their energy efficiency project – CHEESE. #ShowTheLove ‬

https://facebook.com/The-C-H-E-E-S-E-Project-Bristol-1816371931706302/

The ceremony – which recognised the efforts of green schools, businesses and MPs, sustainable sports projects and overseas schemes – was hosted by television and radio presenter Clive Anderson, and featured Sky News journalist Kay Burley alongside a number of other award presenters.

The Climate Coalition is made up of more than 130 organisations representing over 15 million people, ranging from aid agencies such as CAFOD and Christian Aid to groups such as the Women’s Institute, WWF, RSPB, and the National Trust.

The awards ceremony follows on from the fifth year of the Coalition’s Show The Love campaign, which sees people from all walks of life – faith groups, sports clubs, businesses, schoolchildren – come together to Show the Love for all that they want to protect from climate change.

Clara Goldsmith, Director of Campaigns at The Climate Coalition, said:

“It’s fantastic to see the work that people from all over the country are doing to protect the things we love from climate change.

“Climate change is already changing the things we love in the UK. It’s also hitting the most vulnerable people, whether that’s very young or elderly people struggling with heat waves here at home or those in communities overseas affected by a loss of crops or more severe disasters.

“It’s important we take the time to celebrate the incredible people taking their future’s into their own hands. Now we need to see the government to set an ambitious target to reduce emissions”

To find out what happened this Show The Love, visit theclimatecoalition.org or search #ShowTheLove on social media. The Climate Coalition is holding events throughout the year for people to get involved with, including a climate and environment mass lobby of parliament on the 26 June.

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North Bristol Transport – explained in Darren’s video

Darren is calling on Bristol City Council to scrap controversial proposals which would see the carving up of Westbury-on-Trym village and the cutting off of Henbury and Brentry.

Under these proposals, due to the volume of turning restrictions, congestion in Southmead is also likely to be impacted.

Darren is also calling on residents impacted by proposals to Muller Road to get in touch.

You can join Darren’s dedicated Facebook Group to keep up to date with his campaigning on transport at www.facebook.com/groups/northbristoltransport

You can watch Darren’s pre-recorded 30-minute video here.

You can follow Darren’s work on Transport here.

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Darren comments on Childcare Survey and backs childcare improvements.

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones, has commented on the release of the2019 Childcare Survey from Coram Family and Childcare. This follows Darren’s recent Westminster Hall debate where he called for fully-funded state childcare.

Darren said:

“I know families are struggling – that’s one of the reasons I recently called for fully-funded state childcare. Yesterday (28th February 2019), Coram Family and Childcare released their Childcare Survey 2019.

The headline results show: 
• The average price for 25 hours per week of nursery childcare for a child under two is £127, a rise of 3 per cent since 2018.
• In 94 per cent of local authorities, the maximum limit per child under Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit of £175 per week does not cover the average cost of full time childcare for a child under two.
• 57% of local authorities in England have enough childcare for parents working full time.
• Less than one in four local authorities have enough childcare available for children needing after school care, parents working outside normal office hours, or disabled children.

I support calls for the government to reform the childcare system, to make it simpler for parents, encourage improvements in quality and make sure parents aren’t forced to give up work or drastically reduce their hours (unless they want to) because of the price of childcare – if we want true gender equality in the workplace and to ensure all kids get the best start in life, we must improve childcare provision.

In the short-term Coram are also asking that the government:
• Increase the maximum amount of childcare costs that are supported by Universal Credit in order to make sure parents are better off for every extra hour worked, and switch to upfront payments so that parents can afford to move into work.
• Provide start up grants and responsive funding for childcare providers to increase the availability of childcare places.
• Extend the 30 hours entitlement to parents undertaking training to make sure childcare costs do not prevent parents from developing the skills and employability that drives social mobility.

I fully support these steps but in the longer-term, I still believe childcare should be state-funded”.

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Muller Road proposals – How to make your views and suggestions known.

Muller Road proposals – How to make your views and suggestions known.

Bristol City Council have recently launched a public consultation on proposals to improve public transport routes and pedestrian safety along Muller Road. Full details of the online consultation can be found here.

The consultation is live until Sunday 7th April, I will be hosting a meeting on Saturday 30th March to pull together feedback from residents, community organisations and businesses to enable me to submit a formal response to the Council.

Please come along and have your say! Spaces at the event are limited, so please reserve your ticket here.

To connect with residents on transport issues, please join my Facebook group

You can read more about my work on transport here.

 

 

Policy Pod 4: Votes at 16

At 16 you’re allowed to join the army and to get married. Should you be allowed to vote?

On Policy Pod 4 we discussed Votes at 16, and why this was allowed for the Scottish Independence referendum but not the Brexit one.

Policy Pods is Darren Jones’ podcast answering constituents’ policy questions. If you’re a constituent with a policy question, email it in to darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk with Policy Pods in the subject header and your postcode included in the email.

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Council replies following Southmead walk around.

In November 2018, Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West,  took part in a litter pick and estate inspection with local councillors Helen Godwin and Brenda Massey in the Twenty Acres area of Southmead. Following that meeting, as promised, Darren shared his concerns with the council’s head of service.

Darren has now received a reply from Bristol City Council:

Upon receipt of the response, Darren said:

“You may recall back in November, I attended an estate walk around and litter pick with local councillors on Twenty Acres in Southmead. I shared a number of concerns about how the estate was being maintained by the council shortly after my visit. It was clear many members of the Twenty Acres community feel unheard and forgotten. I have now received a reply from the council. I do urge local residents to report their concerns to the council and be sure to let Councillor Helen Godwin and Brenda Massey know the challenges you’re facing – they work hard for the local community and we all want to ensure resident’s voices are heard.”

 

 

 

 

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Darren joins Redmaids team at LEGO League Final

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones recently joined an all-girl team from Redmaids School in Westbury on Trym at the UK’s first LEGO league final at UWE to celebrate their success on reaching the finals.

Darren said after the event:

“It was great to meet with the Redmaids School team at the national finals of the Lego League today, making it very clear that engineering, technology and coding is not just for the boys. Well done to everyone who reached this year’s final”.

 

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Darren meets Southmead Sudanese community

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones recently met members of Southmead’s Sudanese community at the Greenway Café to discuss the on-going conflict in Sudan.

Darren said after their meeting:

“I was pleased to meet a number of Southmead constituents with Sudanese heritage to discuss the on-going violence in the country. We talked about what I can do to raise the profile of this often-invisible conflict in Westminster and share the plight of those living surrounded war, food shortages and human rights abuses including sexual violence.”.

 

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Darren receives update on 3 and 4 bus routes

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has shared additional updates on First Bus services that run from Cribbs through Henbury, Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton, Sea Mills, Coombe Dingle and Stoke Bishop to the city centre.

Darren said:

” Whilst discussions of the proposed A4018 changes have been my focus, I have not forgotten about the other on-going transport challenges in Bristol North West. My team recently arranged for First Bus to attend the Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston Forum. After the meeting, First told us:

The reliability of service 3 and 4 is still challenging; but service changes planned for 28th April (bus service changes cannot take effect until after 70 days notification time) will see additional running time put into the schedule on Monday to Saturday which should improve punctuality and reliability. In addition, from the 28th April Monday to Friday additional journeys are being introduced between 14:30 and 16:00 to reflect customer demand; and help ease overcapacity.

Residents shared their desire for a direct link between Lawrence Weston and Southmead Hospital, the First rep has fed back these requests to their commercial department.

Residents also expressed concerns with the ‘Real Time Information’ (RTI) displays at bus stops and advised they were not working as they should. The First rep advised, bus stops and their associated infrastructure are the property of the council, and residents are encouraged to feedback these concerns directly. First have also agreed to share these concerns with the local authorities as there are known issues across the city. I do hope bus users start to see an improvement soon – I’ll be keeping a close eye on this over the coming months!”

To follow Darren’s work on Transport click here.