Major overhaul of bus services in Bath proposed by transport chiefs
Transport chiefs are proposing a major overhaul of Bath’s transport network as it looks to improve the region’s traffic problems. The ambitious projects laid out in the Joint Local Transport Plan sets out a GBP8.9billion wish-list of schemes for completion by 2036. This includes a GBP2.5billion “mass transit system” with sections of underground rail for Bristol, reports Bristol Live.
And in the latest edition of the programme there are bold plans for Bath which include a light rail system from Hicks Gate to Bristol as well as the introduction of a metrobus route between the two cities. There are now nine new routes planned for metrobus, a new bus service that boasts faster and more regular services for users that has started already in Bristol.
Proposed metrobus routes
- Bristol city centre to Avonmouth and Severnside
- Almondsbury to Thornbury
- Bower Ashton to Nailsea and Clevedon
- Bristol to Bath along the A4 corridor, with potentially a light rail system extending from Hicks Gate to Bristol in the longer term
- Bristol Parkway via The Mall at Cribbs Causeway to Cribbs Patchway, serving Whitchurch and new Park and Ride sites at Whitchurch, Hicks Gate and the East Fringe
- an orbital route connecting south Bristol to Emerson’s Green via the ring road
Bromley Heath to Yate
Bristol city centre to Bristol Airport
An iPoint at a metrobus stop in Bristol
Running through southeast Bristol, the new route is pencilled in for the medium to long term, meaning it would be built by 2026 or 2036. The stretch between Keynsham and Bristol would incorporate the Callington Road Link to reduce congestion on the M4.
The route could eventually connect with a light rail system from Hicks Gate to Bristol, according to the plan. The estimated cost of the scheme comes in at more than GBP200million.
There are also hopes of Bath getting its own metrobus service but is considered more expensive and would be expected later. The new metrobus routes would be part of an enhanced public transport network under the latest Joint Local Transport Plan.
If all the schemes laid out in the draft plan go ahead the bill would top more than GBP8.9billion. West of England mayor Tim Bowles said: “I’m ambitious for our region, bringing partners together to improve transport on whole region basis, because people’s journeys don’t stop at council boundaries. “The West of England Combined Authority is already investing millions in bus and train travel, and walking and cycling routes, to tackle congestion and improve air quality.”
What is metrobus?
The service describes itself as: “a new, modern public transport service for the greater Bristol area.
“Metrobus offers faster, more frequent and more reliable services with direct routes to key destinations. It uses new, modern, environmentally-friendly vehicles with USB sockets and free Wi-Fi. The buses have an extra pair of doors to speed up getting on and off.
“We’re also a ‘buy before you board service’ with ticket machines at every stop, for quicker journeys.” Its buses are also said to be less polluting than conventional buses.
(Image: Joint Transport Plan)
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Running through southeast Bristol, the new route is pencilled in for the medium to long term, meaning it would be built by 2026 or 2036.
The stretch between Keynsham and Bristol would incorporate the Callington Road Link to reduce congestion on the M4. The route could eventually connect with a light rail system from Hicks Gate to Bristol, according to the plan. The estimated cost of the scheme comes in at more than GBP200million.
In a previous report it said: “A mass transit route between Bristol and Bath will transform travel choices along this corridor, which would be delivered in conjunction with the Callington Road Link to facilitate roadspace reallocation on the A4 into Bristol.
“This would be to MetroBus standard but with the expectation of light rail between Bristol city centre and Hicks Gate and potentially beyond.
New and expanded Park & Ride sites are proposed as an integral part of the future public transport network, including a new site at Hicks Gate.”
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