Thursday, February 25, 2010

Personal Rapid Transit in Daventry? - An Update

Daventry Town Council page on the pods:

Following our Annual Town Meeting in April when over 100 residents attended and voiced their opposition to the proposed POD transport system, the Town council resolved to hold a Public Meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to allow members of the public to raise questions and receive information on how Daventry District Council’s proposed PRT plans would benefit the residents of Daventry.

However, following a recent statement by the DDC confirming that proposals for a futuristic Personal Rapid Transport System have been put on hold, the Town Council agreed this negates a need for a public meeting and resolved to defer holding a Public Meeting at this time.

The Town Council have further resolved to work in partnership with the DDC, NCC and WNDC and be actively involved in discussions on future public transport options for Daventry Town.

Further details will be available in the Autumn edition of our newsletter.

Daventry District Council Town Crier, October 2009 (PDF)

People Power Puts Pods on Hold?

Following our Annual Town Meeting in April when over 100 residents turned up to voice their opposition to the proposed pod transport system, it was agreed at full council to hold a Public Meeting to allow members of the public to raise questions and receive information on how the DDC’s proposed PRT plans are likely impact on the Daventry community. It was subsequently decided to broaden the scope of the meeting, allowing both public and council representatives to open up the debate by discussing the future transport needs for Daventry in the wider sense. With DDC refusing to participate, and publicly stating in the press that proposals for PRT are now on hold, this raises the question of the need, or timing of such a meeting, and as organisers we must ask what we expect to achieve by holding such a Public Meeting at this time.

It must be noted that DDC continues to promote PRT on their website; in fact there are no changes in the text or mention of any change in their position – the official line from DDC on their website is: “Plans for a pioneering driverless public vehicle system in the heart of Daventry are being developed.” The DDC have also now disbanded the PRT public advisory panel of which we had two members. The Daventry Town Council feels it would be useful, timely and informative to meet with the DDC and Northamptonshire County Council to discuss all public transport options for Daventry. We will keep you updated on the latest news from these talks whenever we can and we will tell you more in the next issue of The Town Crier.

As is usually the case when the PRT hucksters come to town, the public process is minimal or non-existent:

The town council has decided it will organise its own meeting on the personal rapid transport (PRT) system, also known as the pods, after DDC said it would not hold one in the near future.

DDC instead said it will consult with the public once proposals are sufficiently detailed to give people ‘meaningful information’ including the commercial viability of whatever transport scheme is chosen.

At a meeting on Tuesday last week town councillors unanimously agreed to reject the PRT proposals and pilot scheme saying it is ‘inappropriate for and unacceptable to the people of Daventry’ and to hold their own public meeting where officers and councillors from DDC will be invited to give townspeople the opportunity to ask questions on the PRT proposals.

Lynne Taylor, leader of the town council, said: “A lot of comments we received from the public show they believe they’ve not been informed and they don’t know what a PRT system would mean for the town and they are getting more entrenched in their views.

“The district council said there’s not plans out there yet and that it hasn’t looked into the system it would use.

“Our decision was unanimous because we felt that the public isn’t being listened to.”

More about the Daventry pod fiasco here.

Comments on PRT from the Daventry Town Council website:

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