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A4 Upper Bristol Road

Introduction and policy background

This road improvement scheme forms part of our district-wide strategy to move away from the idea that streets are just for cars, and to promote active travel in Bath and North East Somerset. This means making it safer and more convenient for you to take short journeys by walking, wheeling, or cycling. This strategy aims to help residents, businesses, and visitors to our area to live healthier lives, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.

The scheme will be paid for from the government's Active Travel Fund, which offers time-limited grants for specific projects promoting active ways of travelling. If we don't use our share of the money by March 2022, we will lose it.

Project aims

The Upper Bristol Road improvement project will provide a safe and convenient cycle facility, and improved pedestrian routes, as part of a first phase of putting in place wider cycling infrastructure along the A4. This aims to do the following:

  • Encourage and enable more journeys by bike and on foot
  • Improve the confidence of people to cycle and walk
  • Give greater priority to cyclists and pedestrians on the road
  • Improve the health and wellbeing of residents
  • Support our wider work to address the climate emergency

How the scheme fits into our wider plans

A strategic cycle network

The provision of a high quality network of safe, direct, and continuous cycle routes is central to encouraging more people to take up cycling, both for leisure and as a primary mode of transport. The Upper Bristol Road scheme will be an important part of our plan to develop this network. New cycle paths here will link to existing facilities in the city, such as the following: 

  • The recently installed toucan crossing which connects to the cycle route over Victoria Bridge to Brougham Hayes and Oldfield Park
  • Existing cycling routes from Monmouth Street, New King Street and James Street West, and the riverside path
  • Newly provided ‘early start’ cyclist traffic lights at some of the traffic lights in Queen Square, which help cyclists move off ahead other motor traffic

We are constantly working to create this cycling network and will continue to programme new improvements every year.

map showing Bath's Cycle Network (city centre and north)
Bath's Cycle Network (city centre and north)

An improved A4

This scheme is the first phase of future cycling and pedestrian improvements along the A4, and we are also planning to signalise the Upper Bristol Road / Midland Road junction, with new pedestrian facilities. Future plans to enhance the bus route between Bath and Bristol along the A4 will bring further improvements for bus users, cyclists and pedestrians.