East of Bath Express Feasibility Report
This feasibility report seeks to investigate whether a Link & Ride is possible along the A4 between Chippenham and Bath.
We are publishing a feasibility report which seeks to investigate whether a Link & Ride is possible along the A4 between Chippenham and Bath.
We are committed to reducing the number of private car journeys into Bath. There are currently over 28,000 commuter trips into Bath every day, the majority of which come from Wiltshire to the east, along the A4, and the wider B&NES area. This will not only protect our World Heritage Site, but also help us achieve our goal of being carbon neutral by 2030, in line with our climate emergency and journey to net zero priorities.
Link and Ride works in a similar way to a traditional Park and Ride, by intercepting traffic before it reaches the city centre. However, instead of having one large Park and Ride interchange hub, which people potentially have to drive further to reach, Link and Ride provides multiple, smaller interchange hubs at strategic locations along a set route.
The feasibility study tested different scenarios to better understand how a Link and Ride bus service could work between Chippenham and Bath. The introduction of a series of small interchange hubs, in locations along the A4 such as Corsham and Box, could enable more people to walk, wheel, or drive to a local hub before catching a quick and direct bus service into Bath city centre. The study suggests the greatest impact would be achieved by building on the existing X31 service, along with a combination of lower fares, high frequency services, and bus priority measures.
To reduce car journeys on the A4, we need to consider a range of options, including improved bus and rail services. It is proposed to re-open Corsham Railway Station in Wiltshire, which would transform the way people travel along this busy route. However, as this is likely to take a long time to deliver, we need to find a quicker solution, which will help address our climate emergency in the short to medium term. Following studies into a traditional Park and Ride site to the east of Bath, which concluded that no suitable site is available, it is therefore proposed that a Link and Ride scheme could offer a viable, attractive and sustainable solution for those who live and travel along the A4.
This is the first time we’ve undertaken a feasibility study into a potential Link and Ride scheme within Bath and North East Somerset. The study sets out our initial findings and recommendations and provides a good platform to move forward and discuss the idea further with the West of England Combined Authority, as the region’s transport authority, Wiltshire Council and local transport stakeholders, including our own Journey to Net Zero Transport Forum.
In order to better understand the wider benefits, impacts and viability of a Link and Ride scheme, we would need to undertake more in-depth analysis, including community and stakeholder engagement, before any decisions could be made. This would help identify who would potentially use the Link and Ride, the type of journeys currently being undertaken, where the interchange hubs could be sited and how they could best be utilised, including safe drop off points for people with limited mobility or children travelling to school, as well as possible locations for our electric scooters.
Last updated 13 October 2022