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Journey to Net Zero: Reducing the environmental impact of transport in Bath

Better public transport options current projects

WarningThe report on this page is an earlier consultation version of the Journey to Net Zero Transport Plan. Significant changes were then made to this report as part of the final adopted version

Current projects

Development of the Bus Service Improvement Plan


In October 2021, the West of England Combined Authority and North Somerset Council submitted the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) to central Government. The BSIP sets out the region’s plans to improve bus services, showing how we will meet requirements at a national level, (which are set through the National Bus Strategy), and how we will develop a well-connected, sustainable transport network.

The BSIP, which was developed in partnership between the Combined Authority, constituent unitary authorities, North Somerset Council and bus operators, sets several targets:

  • Reduce average bus journey times on designated corridors by 2% by 2025 and 10% by 2030
  • Achieve 95% of services running on time (no more than one minute early, or five minutes late) by 2030
  • Return to pre-pandemic patronage levels by 2025, and grow patronage by 24% by 2030
  • Increase passenger satisfaction to 89% for 2025, and 95% for 2030
  • By 2023, all buses operating in the BSIP area will meet the Euro VI emission standard, and by 2035, all buses will be zero-emission – with the ambition to bring this forward to 2030

Some of the schemes within Bath that have been included in the BSIP are set out in Our Developing and Future Projects. In addition to larger schemes targeting bus priority, we will also seek to improve communication with operators and passengers about roadworks and increase bus shelter cleaning and maintenance standards.

As part of the BSIP, the Combined Authority and North Somerset Council have committed to developing an Enhanced Partnership (EP) with local bus operators and highway authorities in 2022.

An Enhanced Partnership is a statutory partnership between one or more local transport authorities and their local bus operators that sets out how they will work together to deliver BSIP outcomes in a defined geographical area. An EP consists of two parts:

  • An EP plan
    A clear vision of the improvements to bus services that the EP is aiming to deliver, mirroring the BSIP

  • One or more EP schemes 
    An accompanying document that sets out the requirements local services must meet to achieve the BSIP outcomes

The local transport authority has the formal responsibility for making the scheme, but at set points, they must seek the support of a proportion of bus operators, in order to proceed with their proposals.

Delivery timescales: Plan submitted in 2021, covers the period from 2021 to 2030

Other themes supported:

Connecting Bath to rural communities and market towns


MetroWest Phase 1


MetroWest Phase 1 is the first of an ambitious programme of major projects to enhance the local rail network across the West of England. The overall aim is to introduce fast and frequent metro rail services across the local area, including the following measures:

  • Making better use of existing local passenger lines and freight lines
  • Re-opening viable disused lines
  • Increasing the size of the local passenger rail network
  • Increasing the frequency of train services

In 2019, there were significant timetable changes that saw the introduction of 43 additional high-speed, long-distance services every weekday, an increase of almost 29% from May 2019.

Phase 1 of the MetroWest project includes upgrading the Bath Spa to Bristol Temple Meads line to provide half-hourly services. This will be achieved through the provision of an additional stopping service between Bristol Temple Meads, Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bath Spa and Westbury. This is forecast to generate over half a million new passengers a year. Work has already taken place to increase the platform size at Bath Spa station, to provide the required capacity for increased passenger numbers.

To date, over £26m has been invested in developing MetroWest in the West of England, and this remains our rail priority.

Delivery timescales: Short- to medium-term

Other themes supported:

Connecting Bath to rural communities and market towns


West of England Combined Authority Ten Year Rail Delivery Plan


In December 2020, the Combined Authority and Network Rail released a joint Rail Delivery Plan. This Plan aims to enhance local rail services, providing people with better access to jobs and services. Within the B&NES region, the Plan includes the MetroWest initiatives, as well as a commitment to bringing railway stations up to a MetroWest standard regarding accessibility. This includes full step-free access, seating, shelters, wayfinding, easy walking and bike access, disabled parking, and improvements to security, including CCTV and lighting.

Delivery timescales: Plan released in 2020, covers the period from 2020 to 2030

Other themes supported:

Providing for travel on bike and foot