Bath & North East Somerset Council has welcomed the West of England Combined Authority’s proposals to fund studies into transport improvements in Bath as a major step forward in its drive to improve the city’s transport infrastructure and tackle congestion.
The Combined Authority will meet on Monday 30th October at the Guildhall in Bath to decide whether to kick-start a series of major schemes aimed at getting the region moving and securing more homes and jobs for local people.
Bath is set to benefit from investment in two schemes. The first is a £250K feasibility study into the provision of a new link road to the east of Bath.
The construction of such a link road has been a long-standing aspiration of Bath & North East Somerset Council and would remove north-south traffic from the city centre and improve the routing of east-west movements through the city. This is part of a regional bid to improve access from the Channel Ports of Poole and Southampton to the M4 and the wider motorway network.
Cllr Tim Warren (Conservative, Mendip) Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council said: “A commitment to fund a feasibility study into a new link road would be great news for Bath. The city is the meeting point of several major roads: the A4 to London and Bristol, the A46 to the Cotswolds and the A36 to Salisbury and Southampton. However, traffic on these routes is forced through the city centre as there is no adequate alternative, particularly for HGV’S. Bath & North East Somerset Council is currently working with Wiltshire Council, Dorset County Council and Highways England to bring forward a case for investment in a link road to the east of the city to ease congestion. Should the funding for a feasibility study be approved it would mark a significant step forward in achieving our objectives of improving our road network and cutting congestion.”
The West of England Combined Authority will also consider funding a £100K feasibility study on improvements to the junction of Freezing Hill Lane with the A420 at Cold Ashton in South Gloucestershire.
Cllr Mark Shelford (Conservative, Lyncombe) Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment said: “This route suffers from congestion at peak times as it forms the core access to the Lansdown Park and Ride site which serves Bath city centre from the A46 corridor. The proposed study will consider outline designs for improvement, modelling and consultation. Improving access to and from the Park & Ride at Lansdown for visitors and commuters will encourage more people to use it removing traffic from the Bath city centre.”
Transport schemes in Bath and North East Somerset have already benefitted from significant investment awarded by the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership including:
- £1.8m to relocate a coach park from Bath Quays North to Odd Down Park and Ride.
- £400,000 towards improvements to the A39/B3116 Junction, at the ‘two headed man’, to aid traffic flow.
- £40,000 Cycle Investment Package to help fund improvements to the cycle network in Midsomer Norton and the Bath City Riverside Enterprise Area and provide grants for employers to encourage cycling and walking to work.
- £75,000 to progress the design and delivery of Safer Routes to Schools Schemes.
Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, said: “Over the next 20 years the West of England Combined Authority aims to transform transport in the region. We need to address underlying transport issues while enabling the sustainable delivery of new housing and employment growth. The investment we are proposing to make in these specific projects forms part of a long-term commitment to getting the region moving.”