The first major bus improvement scheme planned for North Somerset is set to begin in Long Ashton next month as part of ambitious bus service improvements which will make bus travel faster, greener, more reliable, convenient, and co-ordinated across the region.
The first improvements works of North Somerset Council’s Bus Services Improvement Plan taking place in Long Ashton include converting the existing 2+ lane into a bus lane and extending this through to the Gurney roundabout towards Bristol. The work will also include some resurfacing and the introduction of an ANPR camera.
Long Ashton Bypass is the first of eighteen planned bus improvements works to help make bus travel the first choice for travellers. Others initial schemes include Barrow Gurney, Brockley Coombe, Wood Hill, Beggar Bush Lane junction and Marcombe Road, south of the M5.
Following a successful bid to the Department for Transport (DfT), over £105m funding has been allocated for bus improvements, with £48m earmarked for capital improvements in North Somerset alone. £57.5m will be used as a pooled revenue fund with the West of England Combined Authority to enable delivery of the Bus Service Improvement Plan.
The ambitious Bus Service Improvement Plans aims to offer an improved service, a quicker and greener alternative to using the car, with accessible and affordable bus travel, offering accessible options with simple and consistent fares, said the council.
Additional improvements as part of BSIP include:
- introducing Demand Responsive Transport – a local bus that connects communities that are without a local service
- implementing 18 schemes to improve bus corridors in North Somerset, resulting in quicker services and higher bus frequencies in towns and urban areas
- accelerating the decarbonisation of transport through the bus improvements – a key priority for the council as part of its commitment to tackle the climate emergency
- 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 will take approximately four weeks. The majority of roadworks will take place at night, with part and full closures of the A370 between 8pm and 6am. Diversions to the A38 will be put in place during any road closures.