Bristol City Council’s deputy leader Dr Jon Rogers has said he wants Bristol to have the same powers on transport enjoyed by the mayor of London.
Speaking after he was nominated by Bristol’s Liberal Democrats to be their candidate for elected mayor, the Ashley ward councillor said he wanted to create a ‘Transport for Bristol’ authority.
The new organisation would mirror Transport for London - responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London.
If elected and powers are provided for him by the government, Transport for Bristol could provide such services as a city-wide Oyster Card system, which allows passengers to travels on different parts of the network run by different companies.
In an interview with BBC Points West last night, Dr Rogers said: “We have been given mayoral powers, so why can’t we have the same powers as London over transport.”
He added he wanted to turn Bristol into a “healthy, happy city”, with more done to encourage walking and protect pedestrians.
Dr Rogers beat current Lib Dem group leader and leader of the city council Simon Cook at the vote last night. Cllr Cook will remain council and group leader until the election, due to take place on November 15.
After his victory at a meeting of the Council House, attended by the party’s deputy national leader Simon Hughes and Bristol West MP Stephen Williams, Dr Rogers said: ”Labour think they have it in the bag. But they don’t. My job over the next few months is to talk to the whole of Bristol.”
Mr Williams, who had been tipped to make a bid for mayor during the referendum campaign in May, added: “”Jon is a fantastic candidate.”
Only the Conservatives are left from the major parties to announce their candidate. Last month, they announced a three-person shortlist for its nomination.
Current leader of the Tory councillors at Bristol City Council Peter Abraham is joined by the former Lord Mayor Geoff Gollop and former Brislington councillor Barbara Lewis.
Marvin Rees will run for Labour, and last night a spokesperson for Mr Rees said: ”It doesn’t matter which Liberal Democrat councillor is announced as their mayoral candidate because the LibDems have let down the city. Bristol needs fresh leadership and Marvin Rees is the only candidate who can deliver the necessary change’.”
Daniella Radice has been nominated by the city’s Green Party, while independent George Ferguson will be a strong contender.
Others to have put their names forward are: Paulette North, Respect Party; Craig Clarke, State Educated Party; Tim Collins, Independent; Spud Murphy, Independent; Andy Thorne, Independent; Eric Mutch (Mr Corrupt Self-Serving Thieving Lying B’Stard), Independent.