We have a variety of projects currently being undertaken across the district, which will form a part of our Transport Delivery Plan. Expand the following sections to find out about the various projects.
Liveable neighbourhoods are an important part of our plan to tackle the climate and ecological emergency and improve health across the area.
The aim is to reduce the dominance of vehicles in residential areas - particularly through-traffic - while maintaining vehicle access to homes and businesses. This can be done through a range of measures including vehicle restrictions, traffic calming, one-way streets and residents’ parking zones.
For more details, go to our consultation page
A Clean Air Zone will be introduced in Bath during March 2021 to help the city meet UK air quality legislation. In 2019, 12 locations in Bath exceeded legal limits for nitrogen dioxide pollution which is mainly caused by diesel and older petrol vehicles - in 2017, the Government directed Bath and North East Somerset Council to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide in the city in the shortest possible time.
Technical work has shown that a charging zone for traffic is the only measure that can achieve compliance within the required Government timeframe - effectively deterring the majority of higher emission vehicles from driving in the inner-city area by charging them to enter the zone.
Following a public consultation during the autumn of 2018, the council agreed to introduce a class C charging clean air zone with traffic management at Queen Square. As from 15th March 2021, all higher emission vehicles, except private cars and motorcycles, will be charged to drive into Bath city centre.
For more details, go to our Bath's Clean Air Zone web pages.
The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has commissioned consultants to undertake a study into a mass transit network for the West of England area, focusing on four key corridors as shown in the map below. This includes mass transit along the A4 corridor between Bristol and Bath to maximise mode shift from car-based trips.
For more details, go to the WECA website
Traditional park and ride (P&R) services are usually based at large car parks, located at a city’s periphery, offering direct bus services to the city centre. This model can result in increased vehicle mileage outside of the city, as new car journeys to P&R sites are created by passengers who would have otherwise used public or active modes of travel for the whole journey. Furthermore, providing P&R at the edge of towns and cities for those who have cars abstracts passengers from traditional rural bus services, rendering them unviable and ultimately leading to a reduction in bus access to the city centre.
We have commissioned a study to assess the feasibility of a Chippenham to Bath, West of England style metro bus system with Wiltshire Council. This could offer smaller local or ‘pocket’ park and rides along a transport corridor, linked to the bus network and cycle routes. The service would provide local towns and villages along the route with linkages to other key destinations in Bath, such as The Royal United Hospital and Bath’s Universities.
The West of England Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) is a significant and exciting first step towards transforming active travel in the region, proposing investment of £411 million over the next 16 years for walking and cycling routes. The aim is to provide high quality infrastructure to support our transition to a region where walking and cycling are the preferred choice for shorter trips, and support access to public transport.
Within Bath, the LCWIP proposes the creation of several new walking and cycling key routes that enable travel on foot and on bike across the city. The plan proposes the allocation of £105 million to improving 30 local high streets and £306 million for upgrades along 55 continuous cycle routes.
The LCWIP marks the start of more investment in cycling and walking facilities across Bath and work will continue to develop these first steps into a holistic cycle network for the city.
For more details, go to the Travelwest website
In 2019, 18 regional areas were invited to submit applications to apply for funding as part of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Future Mobility Zones (FMZ). Following a number of stages, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) was named as one of the successful bidders.
The Future Transport Zones (FTZ) fund will trial new mobility services, modes and models, seeking to improve mobility for consumers, whilst attracting inward investment and creating new commercial opportunities.
For more details, go to the WECA website
In 2009, the Government announced that the Great Western main train line, which serves Bath, would be electrified as part of a wider £1.1 billion funding package, seeking to modernise rail travel and reduce carbon emissions.
The Great Western main line is the longest non-electrified intercity route in Britain, of vital national strategic importance to both England and Wales, with many commuters relying on the route to get into London. Electrification of the line would improve journey times, increase capacity and improve reliability whilst reducing carbon emissions, resulting in improved air quality. Electric high-speed trains are also cheaper to buy, operate and maintain.
In November 2016, the Government announced that planned electrification works which included the electrification of Bath Spa to Bristol Temple Meads, had been indefinitely deferred due to rising costs. A period of review has since said that the planned completion of electrification between Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway and Chippenham, will now take place between 2020 and 2030.
MetroWest aims to improve rail services in the West of England. In Bath, MetroWest Phase 1 will focus on the enhancement of local services between Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa, providing additional stopping services at Keynsham and Oldfield Park stations. The details of how these improved services will operate is still to be confirmed, with the aspiration to provide a half-hourly service throughout the day.
Further enhancements in the longer term are being considered for Bath under the broad MetroWest banner, which could include a station at Saltford, possibly in conjunction with changes to Keynsham station.
Over the next 12 to 18 months, upgrades to level crossings will enable an increase to half hourly services from Bristol Temple Meads to Westbury.
For more details, go to the Travelwest website
In October 2019, West of England Combined Authority (WECA) submitted a bid to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Access for All programme for the West of England Station Enhancements project. This was for a package of measures for local stations, focusing on improvements to accessibility, wayfinding, seating, branding and shelters. The stations bid included improvements to Freshford Railway Station where currently only one of the two platforms has step free access.
DfT confirmed in February 2020 that half a million pounds of funding would be awarded over the period 2020/21 to 2021/22.
Last mile delivery is the final step of the delivery process, when a parcel is moved from a transportation hub to its final destination - in Bath, this includes goods moving to and from retailers in the city centre.
To reduce the environmental impact traditional delivery vehicles have when making deliveries, we have provided businesses with access to e-cargo bikes. This allows them to undertake the final stage of the delivery process by bike, rather than by vehicle. And following the early success of the scheme, we have recently added 10 new electrically assisted e-cargo bikes to Bath’s streets to support local businesses - this comes from a successful bid by us to the Energy Savings Trust earlier this year.
We also have four e-cargo bikes which are available for free loan to local businesses, organisations and charities who wish to trial them before making their own investment.
E-cargo bikes will eventually replace delivery vans in Bath's city centre, enabling local organisations to make quick, clean and economical deliveries. The bikes, which don’t produce noise or emissions, will help make the city centre a more pleasant environment, offering a sustainable mode of transport for the delivery of goods.
Since launch, the Grapes Freehouse, Bath BID, 6 City View and the council’s parks team have incorporated e-cargo bikes into daily operations.Book an e-cargo bike
The Loan Bike Scheme is funded by us and operated by local bike shops. Intended to help people swap from their car to a bike, the scheme lets people trial bikes before purchasing. It allows users to borrow both standard push bikes as well as electric bikes, which are very popular due to Bath’s terrain.Book a free loan bike
Working alongside The West of England Combined Authority (WECA), we have accelerated e-scooter trials to provide alternative ways to travel around Bath. Hop-on, hop-off e-scooters are now available in central Bath and at other key locations, such as Bath Spa railway station and Bath University. And longer term lease hire e-scooters are also available across Bath and North East Somerset.
If this 12 month trial is successful, e-scooters could soon become a permanent sustainable travel option in Bath.
'Low traffic neighbourhoods’ are being successfully introduced across the UK and abroad as a means of providing safer walking and cycling environments, reducing the dominance of vehicles. They are typically considered in residential areas, where several streets are grouped and organised in a way to discourage through-vehicle traffic or ‘rat-running’. Residents then remain able to drive and park on their streets and receive deliveries.
In order to be successful, a number of supporting strategies will be in place to help reduce car ownership and usage by residents within low traffic neighbourhoods. Residents’ parking schemes, where necessary, are one of the key supporting strategies that will help us return neighbourhood streets to the people who live and work there and in the process, create environments which encourage more walking and cycling.
In tandem with liveable neighbourhoods, we are reviewing the way in which residents' parking schemes are implemented to allow future programmes to be considered strategically, rather than just in response to reports of parking issues.
Currently fewer than 1% of vehicles travelling through Bath’s city centre are electric, so a step change is required in order to support our target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Modern ultra-low emission vehicles, along with cycling and walking, have the lowest carbon emissions per kilometre, compared with petrol or diesel vehicles - the latest technology is helping to increase the accessibility and appeal of these vehicles, including driving ranges of over 200 miles. We will be providing Fast and Rapid charging facilities to car parks across the district in 2021.
The Liveable Neighbourhoods project is providing fresh thinking on how road space is used, providing the opportunity to consider public on-street charging. As a consequence, we are in the process of producing an on-street electric vehicle charging strategy which will focus on the challenge of meeting demand.
Alongside the other Park & Ride (P&R) sites that serve Bath, Lansdown P&R was expanded as part of the Bath Transport Package, however, poor access constrains its current use and potential for future expansion. Working in partnership with South Gloucestershire Council, we are assessing options for access improvements from the A420 to Lansdown P&R.
This includes the Freezing Hill/A420 junction and Bath Road Junction /A420 junction, both of which fall within the boundary of South Gloucestershire Council, however form part of the main access to Lansdown P&R which serves Bath’s city centre from the A46 corridor linking to J18 of the M4.
In March 2020 the Department for Transport published the Road Investment Strategy 2020 - 2025, which includes a Strategic Study for the M4 to Dorset Coast route.
There are few north to south connections across the South West of England. The present strategic road for this area is a mixture of the A36 and A46, via Bath, Warminster and Salisbury. Local authorities in the area have suggested that there is a strategic case for adopting an alternative corridor (the A350) as the main strategic route for the area; and then beginning a coordinated programme of upgrades to provide a high-quality route linking the M4 to the Dorset Coast, including Bournemouth and Poole.
The Sub National Transport Board has promoted the study and a timeline is still to be confirmed. For more details, go to the GOV.UK website