Villages Alliance for Sustainable Transport

Residents in Churchill and Langford, Sandford and Winscombe have formed a new group, the Villages Alliance for Sustainable Transport, VAST, to campaign for a better deal for villagers in North Somerset on transport and traffic management.

 VAST invites residents and transport groups in the other North Somerset villages to join them in working with North Somerset Council to get action on 2 key issues, the urgent need to reduce traffic and transport emissions in line with North Somerset’s climate emergency targets, and urgently improving transport and traffic management in the villages.

VAST is calling on North Somerset Council to

  • develop a Transport Strategy and Transport Action Plan aligned with its Climate Emergency Net Zero Carbon target of 2030 effective for the whole of the county including the villages, to include a shift to public transport.
  • prioritise the decarbonisation of transport throughout North Somerset, assessing all transport decisions including procurement decisions for their carbon cost, with an annual reduction target towards 2030, and six-month review and reports on progress, 
  • urgently review all major infrastructure projects including the Banwell Bypass,  taking into account their carbon cost of construction and operation and their individual impact on North Somerset’s carbon budget and Net Zero target of 2030.

Contact VAST by email at       VAST@winscombeandsandford.org.uk

For more online information, go to     https://winscombeandsandford.org.uk/vast/

A Sandford Neighbourhood Group Transport Action spokesperson says:    

We are calling for a better deal for the villages from North Somerset Council.  We need much better transport options and traffic management. Speeding traffic through the villages, and congestion at pinch points are on the increase again, which means more worries about road safety, noise and pollution.

 In Sandford we have Sandford Primary School and Sandford Station retirement complex right on the main road through Sandford, the A368.  Cyclists, including young children, take to the pavements to avoid the heavy traffic.  In many other areas, there are no pavements, and cyclists and pedestrians face serious dangers on the narrow roads.

Sandford residents have been living with increasing through traffic and HGVs for many years now, and the traffic will get much worse if the Banwell Bypass project goes ahead.  We can expect half as much traffic again from the new bypass road, plus the additional traffic from the new developments near Banwell, which could mean over 3000 new homes and as many additional new cars.

We urgently need North Somerset Council to update its transport and traffic management policy to bring in active travel schemes, with walking and cycling lanes, reduced speeds limits and improved public transport links for Sandford and the other villages, as they are already doing for the towns.  This is essential to reduce transport emissions overall, which are already out of control at 42% of North Somerset’s total carbon emissions

A Churchill and Langford Residents Action Group spokesperson for CALRAG says:

 ‘Large areas of the country live in low emission zones, with traffic calmed to 20 mph, while in our villages the traffic has become much worse, with deteriorated public transport. Young and old in many villages have very poor connectivity and are unfairly isolated. Rural roads have the highest death and injury tolls. Churchill is facing greatly increased traffic and emissions from the A38, and also the A368 via the Banwell Bypass which will increase traffic by 50% even before any new housing is built.  We’re already experiencing flooding in and around the new housing developments in Churchill, and we’ve been left out of the Health Impact Assessment for the Banwell Bypass, which has a massive negative impact on community resilience. We need a much better deal for Churchill, much better transport planning and management, and a much stronger approach on reducing carbon emissions and our flood risk.

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