District’s planes, trains and automobiles debated ahead of December election vote

Weston Railway Station.

Weston Railway Station. - Credit: Archant

With every house built in Weston in the past few years, concerns over infrastructure to support it has grown too.

Long-awaited money for a Banwell bypass may have been secured in the past month by North Somerset Council, however jams to the M5 continue to cause misery to motorists every day.

And with Bristol Airport's expansion plans yet to take off, the four men wanting your vote on December 12 have outlined their priorities on transport.

Patrick Keating - Liberal Democrats:

Investment into public transport will help to tackle the climate emergency, provide a boost to our town centre and help to keep our villages vibrant and sustainable.

The Lib Dems would increase investment in railways, explore reopening old lines and opening new ones, as well as improving the way our railways are run.

We would introduce a national bus strategy to reverse the decline in bus services under the Tories and empower local authorities to have more control over public transport.

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Improving bus service quality and frequency will ensure that residents of the villages can access employment, education and health care without having to rely on car ownership.

John Penrose - Conservatives:

I worked with current and previous councils, persuading Government ministers to approve and fund several rounds of improvements at junction 21 of the M5, plus the long-wanted Banwell bypass after more than 50 years.

I've also pushed train firms to provide better, less crowded trains; we have more than 1,000 more seats every day so commuters have a green alternative to going by car, and faster intercity connections for local businesses too.

But the town keeps growing, and the jams are getting worse again. We've got to persuade ministers and the council to be much more ambitious about solving the problems on the M5.

Suneil Basu - Green Party

A major part of avoiding extinction will involve rapidly reducing combustion engine emissions.

We will bring railways and bus routes back into public ownership, reducing fares and giving rail workers, passenger groups, and local authorities a far greater say on how services are run.

An excellent public transport system will make private vehicle ownership less attractive.

We will scrap HS2 and use the money to invest in the much needed upgrade of regional services, creating new rail links in rural areas and better integrating existing transport options in our towns and cities.

Tim Taylor - Labour

It's getting harder and more expensive to go anywhere and there are environmental costs to the way we travel.

We need to invest in affordable public transport, for example by renationalising the railways to get more cars off the road and incentivise car builders to produce more hybrid and electric cars. Labour will introduce interest-free loans for electric cars.

Many people are on the roads travelling for office work. We need to allow more home working for people in office jobs, benefitting wellbeing as well as the environment.

We also need a national review of airport expansion - weighing the business case against the environmental costs.