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Last Updated: Monday, 13 June, 2005, 07:42 GMT 08:42 UK
'Great' debate tackles problems
Traffic jam
Road congestion is the first topic to be debated
People in Gloucestershire are being asked for their views on how problems like congestion, unemployment and housing should be tackled.

Forty key groups, including the county council and police, have come together in the Great Gloucestershire Debate.

The public consultation exercise, starting on Monday, will be used to shape the direction of local policy.

Transport is at the top of the agenda. Road experts warn road congestion is likely to become a serious problem.

County planners, using computer models, predict that journey times to work could double in six years time.

Change habits

They claim that traffic at the Elmbridge Court roundabout, between Gloucester and Cheltenham, could come to a standstill by 2011 unless the number of cars are reduced by a third.

County Transport Monitoring Officer, Scott Tompkins, says only a few people have to change their habits to have an impact.

"If we can get 10 or 20% of cars off the roads, it'll make a big difference to congestion. We often see that on school holidays. At peak hour, 20% of journeys on the road are the school run," he said.

'Facilitate debate'

County figures show that:

  • 42% of households have three or more cars
  • 70% of work journeys are made by car
  • 85% of cars contain only the driver

    After transport, views will be sought on other social problems such as housing and drugs misuse.

    Gloucestershire County Council Chief Executive Peter Bungard said: "All the participants are saying we want to create a better environment for people's views to be put on the table and listened to.

    "In particularly, we want people in the community to speak to each other on an issue. We're trying to facilitate a debate, not just consult people on one idea or another."

    City bypass opens a month early
    16 Feb 05 |  Gloucestershire
    Views wanted for transport plan
    19 Oct 04 |  Bristol/Somerset

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