WECA Head of Transport, walking and cycling not needed

Before attending WECA meeting today to do my speech (WECA 18 April March 2018 pdf) on behalf of Cycle Bath and Bristol Cycle Campaign, somebody made me aware that the West of England Combined Authority is looking for a Head of Transport. Within the job specification document the key responsibilities listed are:

  • Manage the Transport Team of the West of England Combined Authority.
  • Manage and lead on the strategic transport functions of the West of England Combined Authority including the Joint Local Transport Plan, Bus Strategy, Key Route Network and Major Transport Scheme programme and other transport projects and initiatives that arise.
  • Manage the West of England Combined Authority’s Integrated Transport Authority functions for concessionary travel, bus information, community transport and supported bus services, clean air zones and transitional arrangements with the constituent councils
  • Monitor and manage spend from the West of England Combined Authority’s transport budgets.
  • Lead and co-ordinate the development, adoption and enactment of transport policies and schemes that assist the West of England Combined Authority in making best use of its capital and revenue resources including the West of England Investment Fund.
  • Develop the future role of the West of England Combined Authority in taking on responsibility for new transport powers and functions.
  • Provide strategic transport advice to the Mayor and the constituent councils on transport and planning functions.
  • Provide a lead role in joint working with the constituent councils on developing and delivering transport schemes including leading on bids to Government and other agencies to maximise investment in the area.
  • Promote the role of the West of England Combined Authority as a transport authority.
  • Engage with a range of stakeholders including Network Rail, Highways England, bus and rail operators.

We need 21st century answers

No mention of cycling or walking on the job page or in the job spec despite 61% of commuters that drive to work live within a 20 minute eBike journey to work. We have a Mayor with 20th century ideas who is trying to solve 21st century problems and is failing miserably.

This is what you could have had

Greater Manchester’s Metro Mayor appointed a Cycling and Walking Tsar, ring fenced £1.5Billion to walking and cycling, and the tsar (Chris Boardman) just announced they were in the final stages of defining a connected cycle network across 10 boroughs suitable for 12 year olds and has already begun the building process for some of the network.

Struggling to do his job?

Tim Bowles is still asking for somebody to play with trains and buses while he focuses on the easy parts of his job, education. Given that 6 Metro Mayors were elected at the same time, and the progress others are making, he’s unfortunately looking really bad.

Congestions costs £300M per year

We need to ask more from this mayor. Road congestion alone is costing businesses and commuters over £300M per year in Bath and Bristol. Tim Bowles sells himself as pro-business. Tackling congestion is pro-business. Getting the west moving is pro-business. Making the west healthy is pro-business.

Change The Question

Successful mayors recognise the need to focus on moving people, not cars. Tim really needs to read up on how cities are transforming themselves into healthy, liveable places, stop prevaricating, and do his damn job.

Change The Question (1)

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