Authorities set to approve Joint Local Transport Plan in March

A planning application has been submitted to North Somerset Council

A planning application has been submitted to North Somerset Council - Credit: Archant

A multi-billion-pound transport wish list, which will connect North Somerset with other areas in the South West, is set to be approved by councillors next month.

A map of the JLTP4 plans.

A map of the JLTP4 plans. - Credit: Archant

Walking, cycling and public transport 'will become the natural way' to travel around Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset under the Joint Local Transport Plan (JLTP).

The plan for a connected transport system across the region sets out an £8.9billion wish list of projects for completion by 2036 including a £2.5billion 'mass transit system' with sections of underground rail.

The revised plan follows a public consultation in February and March last year which drew around 4,200 responses.

If approved, the system would make it possible to travel between Bristol city centre and Bristol Airport in 15 to 20 minutes.

A network for Weston to link the Weston Villages developments and the M5 Junction 21 Enterprise Area is also proposed, while a new junction 21A on the M5 and a 'multimodal transport corridor' linking the junction and the A38 with a bypass for Banwell has been mooted.

Cllr James Tonkin, executive member for planning and transport, said: "The importance of having an up-to-date joint transport plan with West of England partners remains the same as it was for the first time in 2006.

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"It gives us a voice in central government and helps us build strong cases to win funding for major transport schemes.

"Its aims are based on evidence and cover every aspect of transport policy including public transport and sustainable transport development, road safety, highways maintenance, and technological advances in the sector."

Following its withdrawal from the Joint Spatial Plan last month, North Somerset will produce a new local plan to guide future development requirements.

A council spokesman said: "As transport and planning are strongly linked, it is likely work will begin almost immediately on a new JLTP to ensure transport and planning remain aligned and strategic cross-boundary issues are addressed."

The plan has been recommended for approval by officers, with a final decision due to made by the four authorities on March 20.