The first of several major bus improvement schemes planned for North Somerset is set to begin in Long Ashton next month [March 2023] as part of North Somerset Council’s ambition to improve local bus services.
The local authority has planned a series of route upgrades to make bus travel faster, greener and more reliable, convenient and co-ordinated across the region.
This first scheme will take place in Long Ashton. The project will involve the conversion of the existing 2+ lane into a bus lane, which will then be extended through to the Gurney roundabout towards Bristol.
This project will also include some resurfacing and the introduction of an ANPR camera.
North Somerset Council successfully bid for more than £105m in funding to the Department for Transport (DfT) for bus improvements, with £48m of this earmarked for capital improvements in North Somerset alone.
Some £57.5m of the funding will be used as a combined revenue fund with the West of England Combined Authority to support the delivery of the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).
The BSIP aims to offer improved services and a reliable, sustainable alternative to private vehicle use.
Additional improvements as part of BSIP include:
- introducing demand-responsive transport
- improving 18 bus corridors in North Somerset
- accelerating the decarbonisation of transport through the bus improvements
- supporting economic growth enabling people and businesses to connect, attend college whilst travelling easily and affordably to new education and employment opportunities.
Steve Hogg, executive member for transport and highways at North Somerset Council, said: “Securing this money is a major boost for travel across North Somerset and it’s great to see our plans for improved bus services coming to life so quickly.
“Introducing a bus lane on one of the key routes into Bristol will make public transport an easier and quicker route choice for many people travelling to work or for leisure.
“These improvement works will result in more services and increased frequencies which are key to enabling people to travel around North Somerset by public transport, offering equal access to employment, shopping and leisure.”
The road works will start on 13 March and is expected to take four weeks.