Rees weighs the advantages of the subway against trams

Millions of pounds of funds have yet to be released to advance Marvin Rees’s plans for an underground railway for Bristol.

But the Mayor has gone into much more detail about how he sees the future of transport in Bristol, even weighing the possibility of trams returning to our city’s streets.

Rees also appeared to support removing cars from the city center before saying such a move would be unpopular with much of the electorate.

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Speaking at a West of England Combined Authority (WECA) committee meeting on Friday, Rees said “we should be positive about where we are.”

“A couple of people talked about the trams,” Rees said, referring to earlier statements from the flat in ward 1 of Bawa Healthcare & Leisure in Filton, including Emma Edwards, Bristol’s Green Party group leader.

“Let me stay away from specific modes. Let me suggest a few types of features.

“I think something that we will need to support that modal shift is something that is fully segregated.”

The mayor didn’t elaborate on this point, but it’s likely he’s referring to an underground railroad rather than something above ground, which would see road space shared by several different forms of transportation.

Rees added: “I think also one of the other things to think about is the price we paid during construction…

“We heard before about stopping the cars that go to the center midfield. I think that, all things being equal, we would prefer cars not to share space with human beings. But all other things are not equal and as you’ve heard… we have to keep people with us.

“There is a point where when a system is working, you can justify stopping it because there is a viable alternative. But there’s a period of time between when you dig that first hole, and I’m not prejudging if it’s under or over, but you’re going to dig a hole at some point, from the time you start the project until it’s finished. is running for the first time, you get all the build but none of the benefits.

“That must be taken into account when we are thinking about the consequences, keeping the locker room with us in terms of popular democratic support, and also the economic and inclusion consequences of that.

“So I think I’ll just say, again, without anticipating the specific kit or the specific routes, but I think there are some things that are incredibly important that we need to keep in mind.

“And if we test ourselves against those, let’s see what happens when we test ourselves against the ones we end up on, instead of just jumping forward…

“I think trams are something that people have loved for a long time and that’s great, but I think we have to think about all those broader challenges…

“There is money looking for ready-made opportunities to invest. I think… we should be excited at this time and opportunity because I think we’ve got our ducks in line.

“We can sit on the same side of the table and see the challenges on the other side of the table.

“We can align ourselves to be better positioned to outline the scale of opportunities that can be unlocked if the government were to support us with some money to address our own transportation problems, so I think we should be positive about where we are.

Lead photo: Martin Booth

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