A RADICAL solution to tackle congestion in Bradford on Avon could see a toll imposed on through traffic.

And Green Party members say automatic number plate recognition should be used to do it.

Local party member John Pearce, said: “This autumn Bradford on Avon Town Council is due to start the first stage of a consultation on traffic.

“This is clearly a controversial area, with the potential to be divisive, but we would like to think that given enough creative thinking and collaboration, there might be a position the great majority town could unite round.”

He said: “Rather than favouring a one-way system, which transfers the traffic from one part of town to another, and helps traffic race through, we might encourage traffic reduction, with a toll on non-local through traffic using ANPR technology on the town bridge, with the revenue raised paying for the system.

“And once paid for, going to the town’s strategy for carbon reduction as part of its climate and ecological emergency plan, for example with grants for tree-planting and home insulation.”

Mr Pearce explained: “A Green Party response to the consultation might aim to encourage a reduction in road traffic, with a shift to sustainable forms of travel, including incentives to use buses and trains rather than cars, both by residents and visitors.

“This reduction in traffic might be seen as part of a wider national strategy to ‘build back better’ after the pandemic, when for a while we saw how much more pleasant the town could be when not dominated by cars.

“As part of this approach, pedestrians and cyclists might be given priority over motorists, with cycle lanes, wider pavements, and more pedestrian crossings, to make it safer to get around for those not creating pollution. Traffic speeds might be reduced to 20mph throughout the town.

Town councillors will meet on Tuesday to decide on whether to go ahead with a public consultation aimed at helping to solve the town’s traffic issues.

It has committed to deliver a meaningful public engagement on the traffic issues which have dogged the town for decades.

Cllr Tim Trimble, who chairs the council’s sustainable travel committee, said: “We need to work together to request an outcome that will benefit as many as possible and inconvenience as few as possible. Most people agree on the need to reduce the number of vehicles on our roads.

At Tuesday’s resources committee meeting, the town council is expected to appoint a partner to develop the consultation process.

Due to the complexity of the issues, the council is pursuing a phased approach with the first phase concerned with evidence collection.

A questionnaire will be delivered to every resident and business in November, alongside online information and two public drop in sessions, provisionally scheduled for November 27 and December 4 at St Margaret’s Hall.