PEOPLE in Yate and the surrounding villages could finally be getting a park and ride scheme.
The issue has been near the top of the agenda for local people for a number of years as the population has continued to grow.
Progress has been slow since the Gazette first reported that plans for a Yate park and ride had been put on the backburner in 2007, with South Gloucestershire Council instead opting for a scheme of several smaller park and rides across the area.
In that same year a new bus lane was opened in preparation for the 176-space park and ride next to the new South Gloucestershire Council building.
Now though, councillors have revealed that they have bid for £3.5 million of funding from the regional transport fund in the hope of finally securing a park and ride in the west of Yate to provide better access to Bristol and to Yate Shopping Centre.
Luke Hall MP expressed his delight that one of his key campaigns since being elected could soon be delivered.
“Myself and my teams are delighted with another milestone with our Get South Gloucestershire moving campaign,” he said.
“We are finally seeing a genuine re-focus of transport investment for our area – after years of being overlooked. My local teams have been a huge part of keeping up the pressure for our towns.”
Leader of South Gloucestershire Council Toby Savage added: “Our commitment to improving Yate transport is now not just words but real action after previous Lib Dem and Labour neglect for our town on this issue.
“If we retain control of the Council next May we will see it through.”
Leader of the South Gloucestershire Council Liberal Democrats Claire Young warned that it may be pushed aside come May this year after the elections.
“Back during the 2007 council election, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives both campaigned on the delivery of a Park & Ride at Nibley,” she said.
“The Conservatives won the election and promptly scrapped the Park & Ride plans and diverted the money to a pet project in a Tory cabinet member’s ward.
“Now, two months away from the next council election, and the Conservatives are promising to deliver the Park & Ride they have blocked for the past twelve years.
“Residents will be forgiven for feeling a sense of ‘once bitten, twice shy’.
“It’s clear that the Conservatives are still, at best, lukewarm in their commitment to delivering a Park & Ride for Yate.
“At Thursday’s meeting of Cabinet, Conservative Council Leader, Toby Savage dismissively said that a Park & Ride at Nibley “would have been a massive white elephant” if it had gone ahead in 2007 when they first promised it.”
On the Gazette website around 300 people took part in a poll as to asking whether a Park & Ride would be a good idea.
On the poll, results showed that around 80% believed it was a good idea and 20% voted no, suggesting the scheme would not be a positive move for the community.