Ambitious West of England mass transit project motors forward
- Credit: Pixabay
The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has announced the next steps for its ambitious plans to transform the region’s transport network to meet the needs of the growing population.
The authority has already invested £1.5million to identify options for a high-capacity mass transit network in the West of England in a bid to make public transport the preferred way to travel, which will better-connect the area in an environmentally-conscious way.
Over the next few months, route options will be developed across North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire, which have the potential to connect the highest volumes of people, city and town centres as well as employment hubs.
Routes will connect with existing and planned bus and rail services and the plans coincide with the combined authority’s significant investment in the rail, cycling, walking and bus routes outlined in the West of England Joint Local Transport Plan.
West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the way people travel around our region, so that people can live, get to jobs and education right across the West of England and not have to rely on cars.
“This will cut congestion, improve air quality and cut our carbon emissions so that as we recover from the pandemic, we can build back better.
“Over the next few months, we will be talking to communities and businesses to make sure that our plans meet the needs of people who live and work here in the West of England.
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“Mass transit is part of our ambitious plans to provide a better-connected and greener future for the West of England.”
The authority is in the process of assessing how mass transit can best connect the four areas within the West of England and what routes and technologies may work best for the region.
The mass transit programme is being led in partnership with North Somerset, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils and focus groups with local people, businesses and stakeholders will take place in the coming weeks.
The focus groups will provide evidence for the submission of the combined authority's Strategic Outline Business Case to ensure the project meets the needs of local people.
Leader of North Somerset Council, Don Davies, said: “If we are to build a truly sustainable West of England, then a mass transit scheme is a key part of that.
“This engagement gives the people and businesses of the West of England an opportunity to help mould that vision, by telling us where they believe the vital thoroughfares of the future need to be.”
To stay up to date with the latest information on the mass transit project, log-on to www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/mass-transit-project/