The West of England area has been working together on cross boundary transport issues since 2004.
In consultation with residents, businesses, operators and other stakeholders we have developed a 15 year vision for an affordable, low carbon, accessible, integrated, efficient and reliable transport network to achieve a more competitive economy and better connected, more active and healthy communities.
All of our Travel+ improvement plans:
- Reduce carbon emissions
- Support economic growth
- Promote accessibility
- Contribute to better safety, security and health
- Improve quality of life and a healthy natural environment
Together they make a transport system that is affordable, safe, secure, simple to use and available to all, whether you live in the city, a town or a rural village.
The Joint Local Transport Plans have formed the basis of bids for additional funding to the Government and we have had some successes that are already making transport in the area better, more convenient and more sustainable.
The £79 million investment in 10 Greater Bristol Bus Network Showcase routes has brought improved reliability, are tackling congestion, reducing journey times and providing additional walking and cycling routes, making public transport a more attractive option and helping to reduce carbon emissions.
Cycling City improvements are increasing levels of cycling by 90% in Bristol and South Gloucestershire contributing to air quality improvements and improving the health of the local population. The £22.8 million investment in cycle routes and training has given us a long lasting legacy that will benefit the health of many residents over years to come.
In June 2012 the Local Sustainable Transport Fund announced £40 million of investment from Government funding and local business partners to help stimulate growth in key areas, create connected and thriving local centres, and help people make the change to a low carbon (travelling) lifestyle. This will help reduce carbon emissions and support economic growth by encouraging options to travelling alone by car.
Major transport investment
A report published in December 2012 has found that a range of planned transport schemes for the West of England are critical to its future economic growth.
Produced by independent consultants Atkins for the West of England Authorities, 'Unlocking our Potential: The Economic Benefits of Transport Investment in the West of England' looks at how the schemes would support economic growth and job creation, impact on Gross Value Added (GVA) and the return on the capital investment. A detailed report on the GVA impacts entitled 'GVA impacts of Major Transport Schemes' is also available for download.
The West of England is investing £244 million in five transport infrastructure projects over the next few years.
The Bath Transportation Package will result in £34.3 million invested in transport infrastructure that will tackle the city's current and future traffic problems and support the economic growth of the city, including the 9,000 new jobs expected as part of the Bath 'City of Ideas' Enterprise Area.
The Weston Package is key to the Weston-super-Mare J21 Enterprise Area that will bring 11,000 new jobs to the area. The £14 million will find significant transport improvements schemes for cars and motorcycle drivers, bus passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.
The three rapid transit routes, known as MetroBus, (Ashton Vale to Bristol City Centre, North Fringe to Hengrove Package and the South Bristol Link) form a network which will be a higher quality experience; reliable, easy to use and understand, with modern vehicles and its own right of way.
MetroBus serves the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone supporting the creation of 17,000 new jobs, the South Bristol employment area supporting 10,000 new jobs and the Emersons Green (including the Science Park and National Composite Centre) and Filton/A38 Enterprise Areas (supporting 13,000 new jobs), linking new housing areas and addressing congestion hot spots.
It will have clear information, fast boarding and 'smartcard' ticketing linking with wider bus and rail services, creating a new way of travelling and be a catalyst for transforming public transport travel across the West of England area.
Rail and MetroWest
We are also working to bring improvements to the local rail infrastructure and services.
Electrification of the main line from London to Bristol Temple Meads via Bath and Bristol Parkway is due to be completed by 2017 and we are pressing for this to be extended to Yate, Weston-super-Mare and beyond.
The new franchise for the Great Western route, starting in 2013, has provided an opportunity for the development of plans for the MetroWest.
This has wide support and backing from business, local cross party politicians and community stakeholders.
The Government has announced that funding for the tracking of Filton Bank (between Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway) to provide the capacity for MetroWest will be made available to Network Rail.
The West of England is working to encourage the shortlisted bidders for the new Great Western franchise to ensure their support for and inclusion of our priorities in their bids for the new franchise.
We are also working with them to ensure inclusion of proposals such as improved customer services, support for community rail partnerships, innovative ticketing including smartcards, station enhancements and long term aspirations for new services, lines and stations in their bid to Government.
For more information on transport in the West of England visit the TravelWest.info website
See how the City Deal can help transport and infrastructure in the West of England
LEPs are driving economic growth across an economic area. They provide a means for local authorities to work together with business in order to quicken the economic recovery.