VMS sign in operation Christmas 2013

Since 2012, we have been 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 have been funded through a combination of Council and Department for Transport and represent £27 million of investment.

Increased Park & Ride capacity

Due to significant demand at the three existing park and ride sites, we have increased the total number of spaces from 1,990 to 2,860;

  • Odd Down by 230 spaces – completed November 2012
  • Lansdown by 390 spaces – completed February 2013.
  • Newbridge by 248 spaces - completed July 2015.

In addition to the increase in parking spaces, waiting facilities at all three sites have been upgraded. 
In October 2012, the Park & Ride fleet operated on behalf of the Council by First was also improved with 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 have been improving facilities on nine main bus routes in and around Bath. Passengers have seen:

  • Raised pavements at 375 stops to ease access on and off buses for older disabled people, and those with prams;
  • The addition of 169 electronic Real Time Information displays at busy stops;
  • Complete replacement of existing shelters and the addition of new bus shelters at other popular stops;

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 at Lansdown, on the A4 at Saltford and the A39 at Corston. More signs are being installed on the A36 and A4 this spring 2016. 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 have been 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 also looked 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. Improvements to the signals and pedestrian crossing at the junction of Monmouth Street and Charles Street were carried out in February 2016. 

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 introduced 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. This supports the Council's ambition to make the City more walk-able. The changes see the previous Saturday restrictions (10am to 6pm in Lower Borough Walls and Stall Street) extended to core shopping hours every day. A complimentary scheme to make the pedestrian experience better by improving the quality of the street with a new level surface was completed in November 2015. 

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