MetroBus, a new express bus service planned for the West of England region, has the full support of the four West of England councils and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership. The £200m scheme was described as a key part of the area’s investment in public transport. Journey times on these new services are expected to be significantly quicker than current bus journeys. MetroBus services between Hengrove and the University of the West of England will be 27 minutes faster than existing services, taking 44 minutes instead of the current 71 minutes. Services will run on a combination of segregated busways and bus lanes, separate from general traffic where possible, with priority over other road users at traffic signals. Construction on the network started in early 2015, with services scheduled to start in 2016.
Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, Colin Skellett, said, ‘MetroBus is absolutely vital to tackling congestion, air quality and car dependency in our region, MetroBus will get people out of cars. It will ensure we have a public transport system that supports sustainable growth.’
Cllr Brian Allinson of South Gloucestershire Council and Chair of the West of England Joint Transport Board, said, ‘MetroBus is of critical importance to the delivery of each council’s core strategy. The South Gloucestershire Core Strategy alone sees the development of some 28,000 new homes and these homes will need to be effectively served by public transport.’