Director’s Bulletin, March 2021

Avatar for Sophie Spencer
By Sophie Spencer
26th March 2021

What will the 2021 local elections mean for the countryside?

With the 2021 local elections fast approaching, now is the time to ask those who aspire to be our Councillors and Mayors what they will do to protect the countryside if they are elected. So many of us have felt the benefit of regular contact with local green spaces and countryside during this difficult year, and it’s important that this message is heard loud and clear.

We’ve joined with local organisations, co-ordinated by Bristol Green Capital Partnership, to give everyone the opportunity to hear what candidates for both the Bristol and West of England Mayors have to say, and to ask a question. We will hold two Hustings events online, one for the Bristol Mayoral candidates, and one for the West of England Mayoral candidates. Please book your place and submit your questions below:
West of England Mayoral Hustings here (6pm Monday 19th April)
Bristol Mayoral Hustings here (6pm Tuesday 27th April)

Anyone is welcome to attend and submit a question (in advance). As many questions as possible will be chosen in advance of the event. As well as questions from audience members, we’ll be asking how our Region’s response to the climate and ecological emergencies can be fair and fast.


The next West of England Mayor must prioritise a future that is rich in nature

The next West of England Mayor must prioritise a future that is rich in nature

CPRE Avon and Bristol have joined with leading environmental organisations including the Woodland Trust, National Trust, RSPB and Avon Wildlife Trust, to call on the next West of England Mayor to prioritise a future for the local area that is rich in nature, for the benefit of all.

Our joint manifesto outlines how we can secure nature’s recovery, putting green infrastructure at the heart of planning, improving health and wellbeing, and put the West of England at the forefront of leading a green recovery.

This manifesto has been sent to all the local candidates, and we have also had online meetings with all four main candidates. You can read our joint manifesto here.

To see our national CPRE manifesto for local and mayoral elections nationwide, please visit our national website.


Our new report shows that a bus for every village, every hour is possible

We’ve all been there. Waiting hours for a village bus that never turns up. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We could fund a bus service for every village, every hour, by scrapping the government’s damaging road-building plans.

We’ve run the numbers and it’s clear: with the right investment, our towns and villages could have a reliable, frequent and cheap bus service.

Our research, conducted by CPRE and Transport for Quality of Life, shows that, with the right investment, the government could deliver a world-leading bus network capable of matching Swiss standards. In Switzerland, every village of two to three hundred people is guaranteed at least an hourly bus service from 6am to midnight, 7 days a week.

At CPRE, we believe that this level of service is possible here too, and should be our aspiration as we build back better after the coronavirus pandemic. Limited public transport in rural areas isn’t a given or a natural side-effect of living in the countryside, and we want to see these communities better connected to give everyone the best quality of life. Lack of bus services is leaving many people in rural areas cut off and isolated.

We must act now if we want to create a truly thriving countryside for all. 

More buses means:

  • Less traffic and air pollution
  • Better access to local green space for everyone
  • More spending on our local high streets
  • Access to training and jobs for everyone
  • A ticket out of loneliness and isolation for our friends and family.

If people across the country speak with one voice, we know politicians will have to listen. With just a few clicks, you can be part of this.

Sign our petition for a reliable bus service for every community

What will the 2021 local elections mean for the countryside?
Quernmore landscape