The next major bus improvement scheme planned for North Somerset will take place in March on the Wood Hill junction of the A370 to help make bus services faster whilst future-proofing sustainable bus travel and enhancing conditions for passengers and pedestrians.
Under the A370 Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), the Wood Hill crossroads junction will be reconfigured to include:
- A new signalised junction offering bus priority and improved traffic flows in the area.
- Wood Hill access onto the A370 will be open to all movements, previously left turn only
- A new bus lane on A370 Bristol-bound.
- Provision of crossing points across A370 both east and west of junction and on both Wood Hill and Wrington Road, improving access to pedestrians and cyclists.
The A370 is a key corridor for bus improvements, which when complete will reduce the longest round-trip journey by between 20 to 25 minutes.
The Wood Hill junction has been identified as an area of delays for buses along the popular X1 bus route and traffic heading into Bristol as well as the X5 and A3. The works will also create a safer junction for road users and buses by allowing traffic and buses to move in all directions.
A legal notice of the planned works, known as a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), will be published this week by North Somerset Council, and will be advertised for six weeks. Anyone wishing to submit a formal response to the TRO before it closes can do so by visiting https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/notices
About the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP)
BSIPs are regional initiatives, funded by the UK Government. They are specifically aimed at championing and strengthening bus services across the UK, to make them more frequent, faster, greener, affordable, accessible and reliable – and therefore, an attractive alternative to the car, for far more people.
North Somerset Council and the West of England Combined Authority received the second largest BSIP settlement with £48m dedicated to capital bus service improvement schemes across the area.
Infrastructure improvements that reduce journey times will make buses more reliable, frequent and attractive for customers, reduce the number of cars on our roads, improve local air quality and help us meet our 2030 net zero.
The UK Government has made funding available through BSIP, through select local authorities, to deliver local schemes that support the use of public transport, while addressing localised issues. Plans are not solely based on bus use, but also on how pedestrians, mobility users, cyclists and motorists use the area. Its fundamental aim is to ensure commercial bus services can be self-sustaining, once BSIP funding comes to an end, without having to rely on ongoing local authority support.
Alongside the infrastructure changes, bus service improvements have also been put in place as part of BSIP, including:
- A new stop at Worle Train Station for the A3, with links to the West Coast main line
- The X5 has been re-routed to serve Congresbury, Yatton and Kenn on-route to Clevedon and Portishead, reconnecting the residents to these key areas
- The X1 is now every 15 minutes Monday to Friday and every 20 minutes on Saturday evening and Sundays are still every 30 minutes
- A £2 bus fare cap for all passengers.
- Changes will also help school buses using the corridor, improving journey times
Maps and detailed timetables for individual bus services are available at journeyplanner.travelwest.info/routes/region/3. You can choose ‘current timetable’ or ‘upcoming timetable’ to view any future changes that will be made to the network.
More information on the Bus Improvement Service Plan can be found on the North Somerset Council website: Bus service improvement plan | North Somerset Council (n-somerset.gov.uk)