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Members of Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce had a chance to put their concerns about transport directly to the leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council at their latest meeting.

Councillor Tim Warren heard that parking in Chew Magna and the availability of public transport were the two main issues, and they formed the basis of the Chamber’s response to a consultation exercise on the creation of a Transport Strategy for the area.

Chamber President, Sandy Bell, said the village of Chew Magna was an important commercial hub for the Chew Valley but its economic success is at risk because of the ever increasing difficulty in parking.

“We would like to see an additional long stay car park on the outskirts of the village, particularly of use to local workers or those people who have parked their cars and continued their journey by bus. This would free up more space in the centre for customers and visitors, so we hope B&NES Council will take that forward.”

“Our members would not necessarily be averse to time restrictions be applied to village centre spaces once an additional car park was created,” she explained.

Public transport is vital, not just for getting to people into Bristol, Bath or Keynsham but also to allow people to get into the Chew Valley for work.

“We acknowledge there is an issue for the Chew Valley simply because of the lack of large numbers of people, but we still believe it should be possible to create a system whereby small shuttle buses travel around the area, delivering people to the main arterial bus routes in either South Bristol or Whitchurch. Such a service would need to run at appropriate times and be guaranteed to operate for a prolonged number of years in order that people have confidence that the bus will be available when they need it,” added Mrs Bell.

Councillor Warren took the opportunity to provide members with more information about the proposed Devolution deal for the West of England, explaining he felt it was a better deal than had been negotiated in other parts of the country, worth more than £800 per person. He conceded the concept of having an elected Mayor was not ideal, but he felt it was a price worth paying.

Members expressed some concerns about a Metro Mayor and the risk of being overwhelmed by Bristol. However, they also recognised the importance of getting funding for infrastructure and so the consensus was that they reluctantly supported the deal.

The next meeting of Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce will be a BBQ at the Queen’s Arms in Chew Magna on Monday September 12th. New members will be very welcome. For more information about

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