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Darren speaks to BBC Bristol about Blaise Castle Parking

Bristol City Council are currently consulting on the introduction of a £2 per day parking charge for Blaise Castle estate’s car park as well as a traffic order to restrict parking on nearby roads in and around Blaise Hamlet and Henbury.

You can find more information on the proposals here. The deadline for responses to the council is 29th June.

Following hundreds of comments from constituents about the matter, Darren spoke to BBC Bristol:

 

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Watch Darren on BBC Sunday Politics West

Today, Darren was on BBC Sunday Politics West, appearing as a studio guest alongside Conservative MP for Wells James Heappy. He was asked about Brexit, energy and transport.

Firstly, Darren was asked about his views on Brexit. He took the opportunity to restate his commitment to mitigating the effects of Brexit as far as possible.

In relation to energy, the government’s recent decision to fund a new nuclear power station with public money was discussed. Darren said that  more money needed to go into renewable energy sources, like wind and tidal energy.

Darren then spoke about the need for better transport in North Bristol. He highlighted, in particular, the need for better road networks owing to new developments in the area – which could come from a £50m fund which North Bristol will need if the Bristol Arena is situated there.

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Darren continues campaign for £50m transport fund

Ahead of his Gridlock Conference in July, Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones has written to all Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) members to encourage them to invest £50 million into his North Bristol Transport Fund initiative.

Darren said:

“North Bristol is undergoing intensive development alongside a transport system and road network that is struggling to cope with current, let alone future, demands. Congestion is rife and it affects my constituents and local businesses every single day, not just in respect of travel time and parking but also our continued failure to meet air pollution targets.

Transport is the number one local concern in North Bristol and anyone who uses our roads, buses and limited local rail network knows our infrastructure can’t cope with proposed development of thousands of new homes and new businesses. Walking is often not safe and cycle routes are inadequate.

With tens of thousands of new homes, plans to expand the Mall at Cribbs Causeway, the lifting of the tolls on the Severn Bridge and the potential for the Bristol Arena to move to North Bristol, we must get our transport solutions sorted now.

I’ve therefore organised a Gridlock Conference in early July with representatives of transport providers, transport campaign groups, developers and business representatives who will help develop a North Bristol Transport Plan.

This is a cross-party initiative and I’ll be working with Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors as well as Labour colleagues. But I am disappointed that the Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles, has refused to attend this meeting, or send anyone from his organisation.

For my North Bristol Transport Plan to work, we need a North Bristol Transport Fund. The LEP and the Metro Mayor have the ability to fund this, which is why I’m calling on them to get involved and to deliver for my constituents and for North Bristol.”

Local residents can sign up to support Darren’s call for a £50m North Bristol Transport Fund for road, rail, bus, cycling and walking improvements by signing his petition here.”

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Darren Talks With Police About Local Car Crime

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has recently received concerns from several constituents in the Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston and Sea Mills area about an increase in car crime and arson.

Darren said:

“ I am aware of multiple incidents of car theft and arson locally in recent weeks. Please be on your guard. I shared my concerns with the local beat teams – their positive and swift response is included below. I’ll continue to monitor this situation and encourage anyone with concerns or information to call the police on 101 or, if it is an emergency, 999.

You can continue to share your general views and experiences on my crime and policing-focused survey: http://darren-jones.co.uk/police/“.

Response from the Local Beat Team Inspector:

This is an issue that we too have recognised and have been monitoring. In terms of our response to this we have been raising our patrols in the area for reassurance and have also requested that a briefing document be prepared for the wider patrol units to ensure that we have a higher than usual Police presence in the area around the times the offences are being committed.

I would request that all residents are vigilant and do report any suspicious behaviour to Police. This will allow us to respond and carry out checks on persons which will help in disrupting the behaviour and reduce crime. We have a local Ward meeting this week on Thursday (17th) and I will request that officers attending this ensure they present on this issue. I will also request a letter drop be carried out in the effected roads to raise awareness and give Crime Prevention advice to the wider community.

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Darren meets First Bus and presses for changes to route 76

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones met the Managing Director of First bus, James Freeman, on 9th March 2018 and pressed for changes to the 76 bus route. The route no longer stops at Henbury School and has also affected residents travelling to Southmead Hospital and Henbury’s local vets.

Darren also shared his concerns about the impact of rising fares, the two-tiered fare system recently introduced and the poor service of route 2 through Henleaze.

Darren said:

“ James was aware of my concerns about the changes made to the 76 route. I wrote to him in advance of Friday’s meeting to push for at least some of the original route to be reinstated and drop-off and pick-ups at Henbury School. Along with local councillors, I also launched a petition which has been signed by over 545 local residents. I am delighted to hear First will be reassessing the changes they made.

I’m also aware from Henleaze constituents that route 2 is also a cause for concern with many services cancelled or erratic in arrival time. I made James aware of those issues and asked that he investigate.

I also shared my thoughts on the two-tiered payment policies First have recently introduced – these require customers to pay 50p extra for day passes if payment is not made via an app. Many people are not able to use app-based systems – these people are likely to be some of Bristol North West’s (and the cities) most vulnerable residents – the very people often least able to pay the extra charge.

I am clear that for people to be encouraged out of cars and onto public transport the service must be accessible, affordable and reliable”.

 

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Darren questions the government over Severn Bridge traffic

Both the Department of Transport and the Wales Office have failed to assess the increase in car travel in North Bristol following the removal of tolls on the Severn Bridge. Darren questioned the government over this failure.

Watch below:

 

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Darren calls for reinstatement of 76 bus to Henbury School – sign the petition now:

Darren Jones MP has called for the reinstatement of the number 76 bus to Henbury School following changes to the First Bus route in January 2018.  Darren has written to the Managing Director of First Bus, along with Bristol North West councillors Gill Kirk (Lockleaze) and Helen Godwin (Southmead). Pupils at the school come from across Bristol North West.

Darren Jones MP said:

” A number of pupils, parents and local residents have been affected by the changes to the 76 route through Henbury – bus services are a vital community resource and changes need to be fully considered before they are made. It is totally reasonable for large, urban schools to want a bus stop near-by – not having one is only likely lead to more parents dropping their kids off which creates congestion, parking issues and air pollution. I’ll be meeting with First Bus in early March to discuss these changes alongside the recent fare rises and their practise of charging varying fares based on payment method.”

A petition has been launched to call for the reinstatement of the 76 to Henbury School – you can sign it here.

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£50m North Bristol Transport Fund

Bristol MP calls for new £50m North Bristol Transport Fund

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones is calling on the Metro Mayor for the West of England Tim Bowles to commit at least £50m to a new Transport Fund for North Bristol. His campaign follows confirmation from Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees that the Bristol Arena could move from Temple Quay to the Brabazon Hangar in North Bristol.

Commenting, Darren said:

“We’re in desperate need of transport funding in North Bristol but we’re going to have to wait years for any new money from national Government. With so many new houses and now the potential for the Bristol Arena in North Bristol we must bring that funding forward now.”

“That’s why I’m calling on the Metro Mayor to fund a North Bristol Transport Fund with at least £50 million of new funding. If Bristol City Council decides to move the Bristol Arena to North Bristol, which is likely to attract private sector funding, then public sector funds should be diverted to vital transport upgrades instead. This must happen before massive developments in North Bristol open to the public.”

Darren has launched a public petition to back his campaign, which can be signed at www.darren-jones.co.uk/arena or by clicking here

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Darren calls on the government to support the Henbury Loop

Darren Jones has spoken in today’s (29th November) House of Commons Ministerial Rail Update to call for proper investment in the local rail network, specifically the Henbury Loop line. He called for funding to be secured for an independent study to ensure the longer-term delivery of the Loop.

Darren has also written to the West of England Combined Authority Mayor, Tim Bowles, to request that funding is allocated to progress an independent business study into the Henbury Loop.

The Henbury Loop line would join the existing Severn Beach line that runs from the Temple Meads through Clifton, Seamills, Shirehampton and Avonmouth to Severn Beach. The new loop would see new rail stations created in Henbury and the Horfield/Ashley Down area.

 

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Darren backs Road Safety Week

Road Safety Week, coordinated by the road safety charity Brake, is the UK’s leading event to promote safer road use. This year Road Safety Week focuses calls on all road users to “Speed Down” to help stop the five deaths that still happen every day on UK roads – and particularly to protect people cycling and walking.

Darren Jones, MP for bristol North West said:

“After the tragic loss of a pedestrian’s life on a Henbury road last weekend this year’s Road Safety Week feels very close to home. After years of consistent progress by Labour governments in reducing deaths and serious injuries, sharp increases in recent years have alarmed road safety experts and campaigners. Latest government figures show that in 2016 there was a 4% increase in the numbers of people killed on our roads, the highest level since 2011, and an 8.5% increase in the number of people killed or seriously injured. I am calling on the Government to end complacency on road safety and restore targets to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the roads.

The seemingly never-ending reduction in local authority funding has also severely impacted the council’s ability to introduce new road safety schemes or traffic calming measures on minor roads and estates. This is yet another knock-on effect of austerity politics.

With the announcement of £80million additional transport funding for the West of England region in yesterday’s budget, I will be continuing to push for a fully- integrated transport system across Bristol North West – one that makes public transport accessible and affordable and mitigates the gridlock we can expect from the thousands of new homes on the ‘northern fringe’ if proper action is not taken. “