£34m for Bristol rapid bus network
A new rapid bus network for Bristol will be built after the DfT announced £34m funding towards the £45m project. The scheme is expected to bring better bus connections between key areas of employment, housing, retail and leisure in the city. It is envisaged the network will tackle traffic congestion, help create regeneration and support new jobs and homes. Called Metrobus, it is believed it will encourage car drivers coming into Bristol to shift onto public transport. Existing bus services in the west of the city will also be able to use the new infrastructure, with its faster travel times.
The rapid transit scheme will provide a new bus service from the south west of the city to the centre along a new 2.5mile segregated busway from the Long Ashton Park and Ride site. The dedicated busway follows former rail routes and will feature a new bridge over the Bristol to Portishead rail line. The city centre section will run on existing roads with added bus priority measures including bus lanes and upgraded junctions. The work is expected to be completed in April 2016.
Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer, said, ‘The Bristol Metrobus will provide a step change improvement for public transport serving not just in the city itself but also surrounding communities. Buses will be able to get around quickly, travelling along dedicated busways and priority lanes around Bristol and into the city centre. The new link will stimulate economic development and link communities with jobs. Our £34m investment towards the network shows we are serious about funding the infrastructure needed in this country to drive economic growth.’