We are carrying out a significant upgrade of Bath’s transport network through the Bath Transportation Package.
Nearly 50,000 cars enter Bath every single weekday. The Government predicts that this will increase by 15% over the next 10 years – equivalent to an extra 7,500 cars per day. The improvements will help to tackle traffic congestion, improve air quality, and provide the infrastructure needed to support new homes and jobs for local people.
The projects are funded through a combination of Council and Department for Transport and represent £27 million of investment.
Increasing Park & Ride capacity
At regular times during the year, the Park & Ride sites are full by midday at the latest. This means that motorists who cannot find a space travel towards an already congested city centre to find a parking space, despite being willing to use public transport. To address this we are revolutionising our Park & Ride service.
We are increasing the number of spaces from 1,990 to 2,860 at our three Park & Ride sites;
- Odd Down by 230 spaces – completed November 2012
- Lansdown by 390 spaces – completed February 2013. A video of the extension on the day it opened is available on YouTube.
- Newbridge by 248 spaces – the additional car park spaces have now been completed. Construction work is currently ongoing on additional facilities within the site, including new waiting facilities.
The expansion follows a massive upgrade in October 2012 of the 8 strong Park & Ride fleet, operated on behalf of the Council by First, which included greener hybrid electric/ diesel vehicles, climate control, Wi-Fi, and leather seats, as well as a 7 day a week service.
Better bus routes
To encourage more people to use public transport, we are improving nine main bus routes in Bath. Passengers will see improvements on the showcase routes including:
- Raised pavements to ease access on and off buses for older disabled people, and those with prams;
- Electronic information at the busiest stops;
- New bus shelters at some stops;
Raised pavements have been completed at over 300 stops to date, with the remaining due to be completed by Autumn 2015. 100 new or replacement shelters have been installed, with a further 60 scheduled. See our news release.
Improving traffic flows
There will be better information for drivers through the introduction of new Variable Message Signs (VMS) which have been installed on primary routes into the city. The signs provide a range of information including incidents, events, safety messages and car park space availability allowing motorists to make informed decisions on their journeys, avoiding problems and reducing traffic in already congested situations.
Outer Variable Messaging Signs on roads into Bath are sized to ensure drivers can read the information easily whilst on the move. The inner VMS signs are being integrated with existing road signage where appropriate to rationalise and improve clarity of signage, reflecting the Government’s guidance to reduce ‘street clutter’.
As part of the Bath Transportation Package, engineers are also looking at measures to make the network as efficient as possible. Improvements at Morrisons junction on London Road and the junction of Windsor Bridge Road and Lower Bristol Road were carried out in 2013.
Creating a safer pedestrian experience
Bath's historic City Centre is a vibrant area where many people live, work and visit. However the streets were not designed to accomodate the current mix of people and traffic. Following a comprehensive consultation process, the Council proposes to improve the City Centre environment by introducing traffic restrictions on a number of streets.
The Council aims to create a safer and more attractive experience for residents, visitors and business by reducing conflict between vehicles and pedestrians in the main shopping areas. The changes will see current Saturday restrictions (10am to 6pm in Lower Borough Walls and Stall Street) extended to core shopping hours every day. A scheme to make the pedestrian experience better by improving the quality of the street with a new level surface is now under way.
We will be keeping people updated on the progress of the Bath Transportation Package via the local media, our weekly e-newsletter E-Connect, and via Twitter @bathnes using #bathpackage. People directly affected by any works related to the Package will be informed directly.