I WRITE in response to G Smith’s letter of 8 January, in which he berates me for “repeating the transport officer’s mantra” that because our roads are so congested, transport improvements in the conurbation should prioritise public transport and cycling.

That Mr Smith comes up with no practical alternative is unsurprising really: because there just isn’t one.

Our local roads are full to capacity – plain and simple. There is no room to build more or to add lanes to those we already have except by buying up and flattening hundreds of houses: something which is never going to happen.

So, the only way of coping with our rapidly growing population is to convince a significant proportion of car drivers – our aim is 5% - that it will be quicker, more convenient and potentially cheaper to use alternative methods. It is stating that and talking about how it might be achieved that has resulted in Bournemouth and Poole winning what is likely to be the region’s largest ever award in government funding for its Transforming Cities bid.

Mr Smith asks “How do these people get their jobs?”. They do it by being prepared to speak up, to face uncomfortable truths, and to accept that our conurbation has changed even when we might wish it hadn’t.


Cabinet Member for Transport, Cleansing and Waste, Bournemouth Borough Council,

Bournemouth Town Hall