Bath & North East Somerset Council is urging commuters to plan ahead to during the forthcoming closure of the railway between Bath and Bristol.
The line between Bath Spa and Bristol Temple Meads will be closed between Saturday, 2 April, and Sunday, 10 April, while Network Rail carries out modernisation work, in preparation for the electrification of the historic Great Western Line.
As the work is taking place during the school Easter holiday, it’s anticipated that the volume of traffic in the city of Bath will remain the same as a normal busy day. However, roadworks in the centre of Bristol could have an impact on traffic flow, particularly between Keynsham and Bristol. As a consequence those travelling between Bath and Bristol are being advised to plan ahead, use alternative means of public transport, avoid peak travel times if possible and allow extra time for their journey.
During the nine day closure, GWR will run regular rail replacement bus services along the route:
Bath – Bristol non-stop, every 15 mins.
Bath – Lower Bristol Road (Oldfield Park) – Keynsham – Bristol, every 30 mins.
Keynsham – Bristol, every 30 mins.
There is also ticket acceptance on some First Bus Services.
In addition Bath & North East Somerset Council and Bristol City Council have put in place a series of measures to help traffic flow:
Advance message signs
Advanced messaging warning drivers of potential disruption will be displayed on Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Vehicle Management Systems from Monday 21st March.
Non-emergency roadworks will be embargoed along road in Bath and North East Somerset that are to be used for the rail replacement bus services, including the A4. This will also be the case on a number of surrounding roads that have been identified as alternate routes in the event of an emergency on the designated route.
Coach operators have been asked to route into Bath from the East where possible.
Hauliers have been asked to route M32/A37/A38 through traffic to the West of Bristol where possible.
Avon & Somerset Constabulary Road Policing Unit has been asked to enforce the box junctions at Hicks Gate, particularly during peak times.
Signal timings will be actively managed from Hicks Gate through to Bristol Temple Meads.
There will be strict parking and bus lane enforcement along the A4.
A CCTV link will be provided to Bath Spa station and to Bristol City Council’s traffic control room.
Extra rail replacement buses will be on standby to provide additional capacity/resilience if required.
Additional buses will be provided at Bath’s Park & Ride sites as and when necessary.
Cllr Anthony Clarke (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “We are working hard with Network Rail, GWR, and Bristol City Council to try to minimise disruption to travellers during the closure of the rail line. I would urge those who normally travel by train between Bath Spa and Bristol Temple Meads to use alternative means of public transport. In the long term the closure will benefit rail travellers, as journey times will be quicker once Network Rail’s electrification project has been completed”.
For your information:
Electrification of the Great Western Railway will open the way for a new generation of electric intercity trains to be introduced on routes serving Bath from 2017, meaning more seats, more leg-room, and more tables for passengers.
•It will also deliver a greener, quieter, more reliable railway with fewer carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere and a reduction in noise as electric trains replace existing diesel locomotives. This will be a real positive bonus for neighbour side properties.
•Additional seating capacity and newer trains will support the economic development of the area helping to attract more businesses into the city creating new jobs for the community.