A CONSULTATION has been launched to help shape new proposals for public transport improvements at Rownham Hill on the A369.

It has been identified that Rownham Hill, where Bridge Road and the Ashton Court access road join the A369, is a significant source of congestion for buses which operate along the A369 bus corridor.

It is hoped that, by making some changes, journey times will be made quicker and more reliable.

Currently, Rownham Hill is serviced by the X4 bus service connecting Portishead and Bristol. Every month, an estimated 71,000 passenger journeys are made.

A subsidy of £380,000 a year from the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) has meant that the bus can run every 20 minutes an hour in peak times, up from 30.

It is thought that, by implementing bus priority infrastructure changes at Rownham Hill, the X4 service will be better placed to sustain its 20 minute frequency.

The online consultation, which launched today (Wednesday, February 7), will finish on Friday, March 22, 2024.

Here's some of the proposed changes:

  • New bus lanes added on both A369 approaches to the junction;  
  • An upgrade of the junction traffic signals to give priority to approaching buses. The junction would be linked to the nearby traffic signals at Beggar Bush Lane, once the works on those are complete, to improve traffic flow and allow public transport to take priority;
  • An upgrade of the bus stops on the A369, in the vicinity of the junction, would also be planned over the next two years, creating enhanced waiting facilities for both Leigh Woods residents and visitors to Ashton Court;
  • Improved access into Ashton Court for cyclists is also being considered.

Cllr Hannah Young, executive member for Highways and Transport at North Somerset Council, said: “Delivering the proposed changes at Rownham Hill would make bus travel faster, more reliable and help make the bus a realistic option for more people – helping to increase usage and secure the future commercial viability and frequency of bus services like the X4 once BSIP funding ends. 

“The proposals for Rownham Hill form part of a bigger picture of improvements to bus travel and its supporting infrastructure, helping to increase connectivity across our beautiful region.

"It is one of a number of schemes which together will reduce bus journey times across the whole network, saving hundreds of thousands of pounds for taxpayers in bus subsidies."