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Creating Sustainable Communities: Keynsham and Saltford

Use this page to find out about our creating sustainable communities plans for Keynsham & Saltford.

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 Keynsham and Saltford

Creating a transport system that supports creating sustainable communities is not without its challenges. The transport issues and challenges facing Keynsham and Saltford 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.

Public transport

The issues and challenges around public transport include:

  • it is often easier to drive than to take public transport as car parks are closer to where people want to go
  • a lack of bus priority measures, and congestion on bus routes, means that bus journey times can be unreliable. This affects the attractiveness of public transport, and the ability to operate commercially viable services.
  • it is reasonably easy to get to and from Bristol and Bath by public transport, but much harder for other parts of the district
  • buses are not able to access Keynsham station itself to pick up and drop off passengers and there is limited cycle parking, without CCTV and good lighting
  • the A4 and rail lines make it harder for people to walk and cycle between the town and the station
  • no permanent rail ticket office at Keynsham station for the purchase of tickets and travel assistance

Congestion

The issues and challenges around congestion are:

  • congestion, particularly on the A4 corridor, impacting both Keynsham and Saltford
  • lack of good quality transport links between the A4 and A37 means that residential roads and rural lanes often take high volumes of traffic as the “main” route using West Town Lane is often heavily congested
  • it is easier to drive through Keynsham than travel on foot, by bicycle, or on the bus
  • congestion on main roads can result in drivers taking routes through more sensitive areas, making walking and cycling less attractive
  • car parking in Keynsham is easier and cheaper than public transport
  • there is a surplus of car parking in Keynsham
  • limited availability of public Electric Vehicle Charging Points (EVCP)

Travel patterns

The proportion of journeys to work by private car is higher than both the national average and the average for the South West.

Active Travel Network

The issues and challenges around the Active Travel Network are:

  • the cycle network in Keynsham is not well joined up and gaps in cycle infrastructure make it difficult to travel by bike
  • no direct, off-road access to the Bristol Bath Railway Path route from Keynsham, and the connection at the Bird in Hand pub in Saltford is steep or stepped and not accessible to all
  • walking routes between residential areas to the south of Keynsham and the town centre are often not direct

Public realm

The barriers to movement are:

  • Public space is more balanced towards cars and parking over people, meaning it is often seen as easier to drive than to walk, wheel, cycle, or take public transport
  • congestion makes it harder for people to walk around
  • challenges with the Keynsham High Street on-street cycle lane

What we are consulting on

We are consulting on our plans for creating a sustainable community in Keynsham and Saltford 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 Keynsham and Saltford.

Active mode routes

What it is

High quality, attractive, safe, and integrated network of walking and cycling infrastructure.

How it could be achieved

This could be achieved by:

  • new segregated cycle lanes and changes to country lanes where appropriate, providing a clear network of attractive and safe routes connecting the places where people want to go
  • improved walking and cycling connections within the town centre, including to the High Street, bus stops, and the rail station
  • complete delivery of Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan routes and other routes committed by recent developments in Keynsham
  • direct and segregated Active Travel Network connection along the A4 between Hicks Gate and Broadmead roundabout, to improve the directness of Bath to Bristol journeys as an alternative to the Bristol Bath Railway Path, or routes through Keynsham
  • cycle link on Durley Hill to connect Keynsham with cycle routes at Hicks Gate, and potentially a new transport interchange (see section on mobility hubs below)
  • improved cycle route between Whitchurch and Keynsham, connecting the two communities and supporting sustainable travel to Broadlands Academy
  • potential for Manor Road to become a “quiet lane”, providing a safe and attractive walking and cycling route between Keynsham and Saltford
  • measures to improve the pedestrian environment in the centre of Saltford, including making it easier to cross the A4

Local living

What it is

Supporting residents to be able to access the amenities required to meet their daily needs within walking or cycling distance.

How it could be achieved

This can be achieved by:

  • supporting remote working through improved digital connectivity and local remote working facilities in community spaces
  • supporting local centres, particularly on the outer edges of Keynsham, through our provision of good walking and cycling links

Local improvements

What it is

Working with our communities to identify and deliver improvements identified through workshops, as part of the community-led Liveable Neighbourhoods programme

How it could be achieved

These interventions aim to support active and sustainable travel through:

  • traffic management interventions such as the measures to restrict who can use routes, park and the speeds with which they travel
  • improvements to the walking and cycling infrastructure along the route, such as better crossings, provision of footways, and cycle lanes
  • street furniture such as benches, parklets and cycle parking along routes and at destinations

Micromobility

What it is

Extension of short-term e-scooter and e-bike rental within Keynsham and Saltford.

How it could be achieved

This could be achieved by:

  • supporting the expansion of e-scooter and e-bike rental schemes into Keynsham and Saltford to improve local travel options
  • improving storage with the appropriate range of services e.g. charging, maintenance, lockers

Keynsham Town Centre

What it is

There is an opportunity to reallocate road space to prioritise pedestrians, cyclists, and bus users, to achieve mode shift and create better places.

How it could be achieved

This could be achieved by:

  • comprehensive study and community engagement to re-imagine Keynsham town centre to improve the quality of place, support sustainable transport, and deliver economic prosperity
  • measures to reduce the impact of traffic, including opportunities to keep traffic on appropriate routes, away from more sensitive areas, a potential North Keynsham Strategic Access Link reducing traffic in the town centre, enabling significant improvements to be made. Combined, such measures would support delivery of sustainable transport and public realm benefits
  • investigation of opportunities to prioritise pedestrians, including re-allocating road space to people over cars, including:
    • widened footways
    • improved crossings
    • footway crossovers
    • more public space
  • improving facilities for cyclists, including safe routes and cycle parking provision
  • supporting improvements to bus journey times and journey time reliability, improving the level of service and the ability to run viable bus routes
  • make it easier to change between travel modes
  • providing improved public space, creating a more attractive local environment that people want to spend time in

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

This could be achieved by:

  • new mobility hubs on the A4, within Keynsham town centre, and in proximity to Keynsham rail station, to make it easier to get around.
  • provision of mobility hub facilities at existing car parks, such as Ashton Way
  • a new transport interchange at the Hicks Gate roundabout, supporting better connection between an increased range of public transport services

Bus priority

What it is

Interventions to provide bus journey time benefits, by prioritising buses over private vehicles.

How it could be achieved

Targeted bus priority measures.

Rail

What it is

Rail is an attractive option for long distance public transport.

How it could be achieved

Feasibility study into a potential rail station at Saltford.

Fixed route bus services

What it is

The provision of new bus services where there is a demonstrated demand will be supported.

How it could be achieved

This could be achieved by:

  • supporting the community in encouraging the West of England Mayor to improve the bus network to ensure residents have a reliable bus service to meet their needs, including connections between the High Street, residential areas including Somerdale, a new Transport Interchange at Hicks Gate, Saltford, and industrial areas north of the A4
  • bus priority measures to improve journey times and journey time reliability

Demand responsive transport (DRT)

What it is

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

DRT could be used to connect to:

  • the proposed mobility hubs within Keynsham town centre, where passengers can gain access to a connecting bus, e-bike, or rail service to complete their journey
  • a new transport interchange at Hicks Gate

Public transport decarbonisation

What it is

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

How it could be achieved

This could be achieved by:

  • working with bus operators and other key stakeholders to decarbonise the bus fleet
  • potentially installing charging infrastructure in Keynsham

Car parking

What it is

Availability, convenience and cost of parking, in comparison with other modes, are key factors in people’s travel choice. Furthermore, the use of public land for parking has an opportunity cost in terms of what else it can be used for.

How it could be achieved

There is the potential to review the use of public land for parking, and how that parking is managed. For example:

  • there is potential to improve the walking and cycling route between the rail station and Keynsham town centre, by reallocating car parking on Station Road over the A4
  • mobility hub facilities could be introduced into car parks, such as Ashton Way
  • parking charges and management could be reviewed in order to improve the attractiveness of public transport and active travel in comparison with driving

Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicles (ULEV) & car clubs

What it is

It is recognised that car travel will remain a necessity for many. Transitioning to shared ownership and ULEV vehicles is therefore important in reducing the impact of cars on our communities.

How it could be achieved

This could be achieved by:

  • a study into an ULEV on-street charging strategy, to support people without access to off-street parking to transition to ULEVs
  • introduction of ULEV car clubs to provide people with access to a vehicle without having to own it

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 Keynsham and Saltford, 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.