New city centre road layout

In April 2017 we opened a new road link between Baldwin Street and St Augustine’s Parade which changed how traffic travels through Bristol city centre.

The change was designed to simplify traffic flows for motorists, reduce congestion and create more space for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists.

The changes have:

  • Simplified the layout of the city centre;
  • Made the key traffic movement from Anchor Road/Park Street to Baldwin Street more direct;
  • Reduced the overall number of traffic movements through the centre, enabling it to draw traffic from other congested routes when necessary, relieving pressure on the city network;
  • Diverted through-traffic to more suitable routes;
  • Created simplified, largely segregated routes for buses, pedestrians and cyclists.

The previous city centre layout with the scissors junction and circulatory system meant that the city centre was prone to locking up when incidents occurred or when traffic volumes become heavy. This caused traffic problems in other parts of the city and led to widespread congestion.

City centre image gallery

Bus journeys now quicker because of MetroBus improvements

In January 2018 First West of England changed the service timetables of 60 of their routes. The changes are to reflect the quicker journey times which are a result of the MetroBus city centre improvements.

The changes we made to Bristol’s city centre, which segregated buses from general traffic and simplified routes for motorists, have dramatically improved journey times for bus services that travel through the centre.

Bristol City Council have also reported that the city centre changes have also cut journey times for motorists travelling through the city centre.

Traveling from the end of the M32 motorway to Anchor Road used to take 13 minutes in the morning peak. This journey now only takes six minutes. The same journey is quicker in the evening peak too, it used to take 12 minutes and now takes seven minutes.

The time savings are as a result of our changes to the layout of the city centre which reduced congestion by simplifying traffic movements. The changes have also meant that traffic no longer comes to a standstill in the centre when incidents occur or when traffic volumes become heavy and that Bristol’s wider road network can cope better if traffic is bad in the city’s central area.

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