A £420,000 scheme to improve cycle access between Bath Spa University’s Newton St Loe campus and the city of Bath will continue in the new year.
Already B&NES has created a new cycle path alongside the A4 from the campus entrance to The Globe roundabout and from the roundabout to the A4/ A36 Twerton Fork; this was completed in spring 2013.
The next stage will involve putting in place a new crossing for cyclists and pedestrians to safely navigate the dual carriageway section of the A4 Bristol Road, near the roundabout. This will also make it safer for bus passengers travelling from locations to the west of the university such as Saltford, Keynsham and Bristol, who currently have to cross the busy dual carriageway.
Alongside this a new ramp is being put in place at the Twerton fork junction. 1,200 tonnes of stone will be re-used from the Kelston Road site to create the new ramp which will provide a new connection between the A4 shared use path and the Bristol and Bath Railway path (NCN 4). Work will begin on January 5, and last for around 10 weeks.
During construction, there is likely to be disruption with some local lane closures although the Council will do everything it can to minimise this by working during off-peak times (9.30am – 3.30pm) wherever possible. Both the existing Bristol and Bath Railway path and A4 Bristol Road cycleway / footways will remain open during the works and disruption kept to a minimum, where possible. Temporary bus stops will be provided at the Globe roundabout during the works and the current informal crossing point near the roundabout will be retained until crossings have been sufficiently completed.
Once completed there will also be reduction of the speed limit along the dual carriageway from National Speed Limit (70mph) down to 60mph on both sides. On the western approach to the southern crossing, the proposal is to reduce the speed limit further to 50mph. The scheme is funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF). The West of England authorities were awarded LSTF funding for this project in 2012 and this is anchored within the West of England Joint Local Transport Plan 3 which sets out the local vision for transport. The proposals reinforce the key aims of the plan as they assist in reducing carbon emissions through the promotion of sustainable transport modes, enhance community and highway safety and promote healthier lifestyles.
Cllr Caroline Roberts (Lib-Dem, Newbridge), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “This will realise a long term aspiration to provide a cycle link to Bath Spa University. We want to make it easy and safe for students to be able to travel by bike from the campus into the city, where many live in halls of residence on Lower Bristol Road. We waited until we had completed the new Kelston Road before starting this work and intend to keep disruption to a minimum.” £40,000 has also been contributed by the university, as part of its campus development.
The university’s Chief Operating Officer, Neil Latham said: “This is very welcome news for the University. Not only will these plans enable safer access for students travelling to and from Newton Park campus, but I hope it will continue to encourage our staff and students, as well as the general public to use sustainable methods of transport.”