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Creating Sustainable Communities: Hicks Gate

Use this page to find out about our Creating Sustainable Communities plans for Hicks Gate.

Background

Transport affects all aspects of our life: from the air we breathe, to the jobs we can access, and the quality of our place – it is an integral part of creating sustainable communities.

As outlined in our Corporate Strategy, our transport system needs to deliver more travel choices to make it easier for all people to walk, wheel and use public transport. This will help enable the different types of journeys we want for the places we live and work – creating better connected, healthier, and more sustainable communities.

Our strategy for creating sustainable communities outlines a holistic approach to meeting the transport needs of those living, working, and visiting Bath and North East Somerset. It focuses on:

  • enhancing health and wellbeing
  • improving air quality
  • reducing the environmental impact of transport
  • combatting climate change
  • tackling congestion

The goal is to create better-connected, healthier, and genuinely sustainable communities by encouraging the use of sustainable modes of transport.

Our strategy for creating sustainable communities aims to provide more travel choices, investing in a transport network that meets current and future community needs. Our strategy outlines indicative short, medium, and long-term interventions. Implementing this transformative change will require significant investment and time.

After extensive public consultation, we adopted the Journey to Net Zero (JNZ) in May 2022 for Bath, which outlined our communities’ ideas on how we can transform our transport network within Bath to better meet the needs of our communities, businesses, and visitors.

We are now seeking to broaden and accelerate our approach to creating sustainable communities across the district, specifically in:

  • Keynsham and Saltford
  • Hicks Gate
  • Somer Valley
  • Whitchurch Village

We are seeking to open up more travel choices for our communities, providing attractive options that enable people to choose sustainable transport options without compromising on time or cost, to help build healthy communities and places.

To do that, we need to look at the whole transport system, recognising that there is no one-size-fits-all solution – not every mode of travel will suit every trip and every individual, and we need to ensure that as well as providing more travel choices for people.

We are also thinking about how those choices work together as a network, enabling people to change between modes. This could be as simple as cycling to a bus stop, or getting a bus to a train station - we need to make these journeys as seamless as possible. It is also important that we make it easy to string multiple trips together, such as from home to school to doctors to shops to home. Just one missing link in the chain can mean relying on a car to do the whole chain, or unnecessary hardship.

The challenges we are addressing

While each place has a unique context, common challenges impact North East Somerset. These include:

  • low-quality public realm
  • access to rail services
  • limited bus provision
  • inadequate walking and wheeling networks
  • topography and distance to places people want to go
  • distance to the strategic road network
  • fragmented cycle network
  • traffic congestion in urban areas

Transport issues and challenges in Hicks Gate

Creating a transport system that supports creating sustainable communities is not without its challenges. The transport issues and challenges facing Hicks Gate have been informed by what you, the community, have told us. Expand the sections below to read more about what the community has told us are the challenges it faces.

Strategic movement

The issues and challenges around strategic movement include:

  • the A4 and A4174 are strategically important, particularly for freight journeys. Hicks Gate is at the intersection of major routes (A4 and A1417) connecting Bristol and Bath, orbital travel around Bristol’s East and North Fringe, and linkages with Keynsham
  • the area has a high volume of traffic with congestion at peak times
  • currently, Hicks Gate is a place that prioritises vehicle movement. New transport infrastructure should enable travel by a range of modes, creating more travel options for the whole community

Active Travel Network

The issues and challenges around the Active Travel Network are:

  • the heavy traffic flows, and high numbers of large goods vehicles, can make it difficult to walk and cycle
  • it is difficult to cross at major junctions within Hicks Gate, such as the Emery Road Crossroads
  • the local area is steep in places, making walking and cycling challenging for some

Public transport

Buses get caught in the general traffic congestion, as there are limited priority measures.

Congestion

The issues and challenges around congestion are:

  • traffic congestion at Hicks Gate Roundabout encourages traffic to avoid the bypass and travel through the centre of Keynsham instead, mostly via Avon Mill Lane and Keynsham Road (A4175)
  • there is also congestion and queueing at the Callington Road to West Town Lane junction within Bristol.

Barriers to movement

The barriers to movement are:

  • the amount of traffic makes it difficult to walk and cycle within the Hicks Gate area
  • this is exacerbated by the large numbers of heavy goods vehicles as well as general traffic, and the high speeds
  • the river and railway also create a barrier to people moving about

What we are consulting on

We are consulting on our plans for creating a sustainable community in Hicks Gate in order to achieve our policy goal of B&NES being Net Zero by 2030.

We have listened to the concerns of the community, and have identified a number of potential improvements that we would like to hear your views on. Expand the sections below to find out more about the potential interventions for Hicks Gate.

Mobility hubs

What it is

Mobility hubs bring together a range of transport options, for example, shared transport such as car clubs and e-scooters, public transport, and facilities for cycling. A network of mobility hubs allows people to travel between and around places without the need for a car.

A “transport interchange” is a mobility hub at larger scale with a more strategic function.

How it could be achieved

A new transport interchange at the Hicks Gate Roundabout, supporting better connection between an increased range of public transport services.

This supports connectivity between a wide range of destinations through a choice of modes. This would include linking Bristol, Keynsham, and Bristol’s East and North Fringe.

In the long term, it may replace the Brislington Park & Ride.

Bath to Bristol Strategic Corridor

What it is

Significant investment to improve facilities for walking, cycling and public transport along the A4 corridor.

How it could be achieved

Schemes to make it easier to travel between Bath and Bristol, and the destinations in between, by public transport.

Measures to reduce the negative impact of the A4 on communities, including better crossing facilities and speed reduction measures.

Better facilities for people walking and cycling along the A4, as well as tree planting, making it safer and more attractive.

Better facilities for buses, meaning they can avoid the traffic queues, delivering better journey times.

Public realm improvements

What it is

Investment in improving public spaces and routes, including crossing facilities to encourage people to use active modes of travel.

How it could be achieved

Improve crossing facilities on the A4 for people walking and cycling.

Improve the network for people walking and cycling, to ensure that there are commuter routes connecting the Hicks Gate area with places such as Bristol City Centre, Bristol East and North Fringe, Stockwood, and Keynsham.

Cycling and walking links along the river corridor.

In future, replacing the Brislington P&R with a new Transport Interchange could offer opportunities to improve the road network. The P&R junction could be used to connect areas to the south, with the A4, potentially as a diversion of Stockwood Road. This would change the Emery Road Crossroads to a three-arm junction, providing opportunities to improve facilities for walking and cycling.

Micromobility

What it is

Extension of short-term e-scooter and e-bike rental within Hicks Gate.

How it could be achieved

Introducing e-bikes and e-scooters to Hicks Gate.

E-bike hire stations.

Improved storage with appropriate range of services such as charging, maintenance, lockers.

Bus services

What it is

Improve bus services, including bus infrastructure, routes and bus priority measures.

How it could be achieved

Additional bus routes to link with a greater range of places, such as Keynsham, Whitchurch Village and Bristol’s East Fringe.

Bus priority measures along the A4 corridor.

Demand responsive transport

What it is

Demand responsive transport (DRT) can complement fixed route public transport on the main corridors by providing connections into these existing services, thereby improving mobility and social inclusivity.

How it could be achieved

Introduce Westlink DRT zones. DRT could be used to connect a Transport Interchange at Hicks Gate, where passengers can gain access to a connecting bus or rail service to complete their journey.

Public transport decarbonisation

What it is

Zero emission buses will help local authorities achieve their net zero targets and cleaner air, encourage green growth, and improve health and wellbeing.

How it could be achieved

Work with bus operators and other key stakeholders to decarbonise the bus fleet in the Hicks Gate area.

Electric vehicle (EV) charging

What it is

Providing electric vehicle charging points encourages individuals to use electric vehicles which will help local authorities achieve their net zero targets and cleaner air, encourage green growth, and improve health and wellbeing.

How it could be achieved

Introduce EV charging points at the new Transport Interchange.

Car clubs

What it is

Car clubs allow members access to locally parked cars, therefore supporting lower car ownership.

How it could be achieved

Introduce electric vehicle car clubs at the Transport Interchange to provide households with an alternative to owning multiple cars.

Read the full creating sustainable communities strategy

Who we are consulting with

We would like to hear from residents, businesses, and other organisations in the area, as well as anyone who uses Hicks Gate, about the potential improvements we are suggesting.

Respond to the consultation

The consultation is open from Wednesday 10 July until 5pm on Tuesday 20 August 2024. You can respond to the consultation using our online form.

Start now

Other ways to take part in the consultation

Printed copies of the report are also available to view at each of our libraries, along with questionnaires for you to complete. These can be handed in to library staff.

Alternative formats

If you need the consultation material in an alternative format such as large print, easy read, audio recording, or braille please email strategic_transport@bathnes.gov.uk

Come to a consultation event

We will be holding 4 consultation events where we will be able to answer any questions you may have about our proposals. The table below shows the details of the events.

Consultation events
Date and time Location
Thursday 18 July, 3pm to 7pm Council Chamber, The Hollies, High Street, Midsomer Norton, BA3 2DP
Monday 22 July, 3pm to 7pm Keynsham Community Space, 5 Temple St, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1HA
Tuesday 23 July, 3pm to 7pm Brunswick Room, Guildhall, High St, Bath BA1 5AW
Tuesday 30 July, 3pm to 7pm Whitchurch United Reform Church, 24 Bristol Rd, Bristol BS14 0PQ

What happens next

We will consider all of the responses we receive and publish a consultation feedback report on this web page.

We will adopt the plan in winter 2024.