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 250 spaces – work due to start Autumn 2013 subject to planning permission.
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;
- Measures to improve bus priority so that journeys have a better chance of running on-time.
Work is underway on raised pavements already with new shelters and real-time information displays to follow.
Improving traffic flows
There will be better information for drivers through the introduction of new Variable Message Signs (VMS) which are going to be installed on primary routes into the city. Work has now started at a number of locations to install foundations and protective barrier, in preparation for the signs which will follow later this summer. Once fully functioning, the Variable Messaging Signs (VMS) will provide a range of information including incidents, events, car park space availability, and encourage motorists to use Park & Ride.
The first VMS are due to be operational in late summer 2013 and the full network of signs is anticipated to be up and working later in the year. The 8 outer Variable Messaging Signs 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. In April, work was completed on improvements to Morrisons junction on London Road, which was an identified traffic ‘hot spot’ causing queues and delays. An upgraded signal arrangement and reconfiguration of traffic islands will improve management of vehicles and ensure that the junction works at optimum capacity. Work at other key locations will also be undertaken in line with our plans, starting with the Windsor Bridge Road/Lower Bristol Road junction in June.
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.
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