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Creating Sustainable Communities: Whitchurch Village

Use this page to find out about our plans to create sustainable communities in Whitchurch Village.

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 Whitchurch Village

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

Orbital connectivity

The issues and challenges around orbital connectivity include:

  • limited orbital connectivity between Whitchurch Village, Keynsham, the A4 corridor at Hicks Gate, and Bristol’s East Fringe
  • traffic using residential roads and rural lanes, causing congestion and making it less safe and attractive to walk and cycle

Severance and barriers to movement

The issues and challenges around severance and barriers to movement include:

  • the A37 cuts through the heart of Whitchurch Village and carries high levels of traffic, making it harder to walk and cycle
  • there are multiple traffic routes within Whitchurch Village and many of these routes are used as alternatives to main roads at congested times, making it harder to walk and cycle

Public transport

The issues and challenges around public transport include:

  • A37 corridor has a half-hourly bus service into Bristol, however, there is poor east-west connectivity into Keynsham and the A4 into Bath
  • bus services are considered to be inadequate by many local residents

Lack of local job opportunities and facilities

The issues and challenges around the lack of local job opportunities and facilities include:

  • limited local employment means that a high proportion of people travel out of Whitchurch Village for work
  • people often need to travel outside of Whitchurch Village to access day-to-day facilities (for example, children going to secondary school at Broadlands Academy, Keynsham)

Active Travel Network

The issues and challenges around the Active Travel Network include:

  • National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 3 currently connects Whitchurch Village with the Chew Valley to the south and Bristol to the north, and from this route it is possible to access Bristol city centre and Bristol Temple Meads
  • there are currently no dedicated east-to-west routes to Keynsham and Bath

What we are consulting on

We are consulting on our plans for creating a sustainable community in Whitchurch Village 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 Whitchurch Village.

Local living

What it is

Enable a greater proportion of residents to live, shop, and undertake leisure activities within Whitchurch Village.

How it could be achieved

This could be achieved by:

  • improving local walking and cycling links within Whitchurch Village, including making it easier to cross the A37 corridor
  • supporting the delivery and retention of viable local services and amenities through reducing the negative impact of traffic through the area

Public realm

What it is

Improving public spaces and routes, including crossing facilities, to enable people to use active modes of travel.

How it could be achieved

This could be achieved by:

  • building on the existing Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme (Queen Charlton) to create greener, safer spaces for people, including improved quieter routes for walking, wheeling, and cycling
  • creating new safe pedestrian and cycle crossings on the busiest routes to improve the safety of those walking, wheeling, and cycling and reduce the dominance of vehicles

Active Travel routes

What it is

Supporting travel by walking, wheeling, and cycling by improving the routes connecting people with where they need to go.

How it could be achieved

This could be achieved by:

  • improving the crossing over the A37 to better link up the NCN3 Cycle route between the Chew Valley and Bristol city centre
  • improving crossing facilities over the A37 to link with the children’s playground and sports facilities
  • expanding and improving the Active Travel Network to connect Whitchurch Village with Keynsham and Bath
  • improving access routes for pedestrians to facilities including the South Bristol Hospital and Hengrove Leisure Centre, reducing the need to travel further afield
  • considering targeted improvements including traffic calming and modal filters to support active travel on key routes, reducing the level and speed of traffic on inappropriate local routes

Quiet lanes

What it is

Identifying minor rural roads that can be designated as quiet lanes to provide safer routes for pedestrians, cyclists, and horse riders away from fast traffic.

How it could be achieved

This could be achieved by:

Investigating the potential to link Whitchurch Village into a wider network of quiet lanes that provides the community with more pleasant routes away from busy main roads, especially the existing north-to-south corridor into and out of Bristol.

Micromobility

What it is

Extension of short-term e-scooter and e-bike rental within Whitchurch Village.

How it could be achieved

This could be achieved by supporting the extension of the e-scooter trial to Whitchurch Village.

Mobility hubs

What it is

Mobility hubs are places that bring together a host of transport options in one place, including shared transport such as car clubs and e-scooters with public transport and active travel modes.

A network of mobility hubs allows people to travel between and around places without the need for a car.

How it could be achieved

Whitchurch Village's proximity to the A37, a key route that leads into Bristol, and its proximity to surrounding rural areas makes it an ideal focal point for:

  • improved public transport
  • DRT services
  • shared mobility
  • micro mobility trips
  • a hub for community uses and events

Bus services

What it is

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

How it could be achieved

This could be achieved by:

  • considering bus priority measures along the A37 corridor
  • supporting the community in encouraging the West of England Mayor to deliver a new bus service between Keynsham and Whitchurch Village, ensuring good access to the facilities and services in Keynsham, such as Broadlands Academy.

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

WESTlink South zone runs through the middle of Whitchurch Village. DRT could be used to connect communities with a mobility hub within Whitchurch Village, where passengers can gain access to a connecting bus or local rail station to complete their journey.

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.

Car clubs

What it is

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

How it could be achieved

This could be achieved by introducing electric vehicle car clubs to provide households with an alternative to owning multiple cars.

Electric vehicle 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

This could be achieved by introducing EV charging points, including at key local facilities such as Community Hubs.

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 Whitchurch Village, 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.