Transport Improvements to the A4 Portway route early engagement

Over the past decade changes have been made to the road network in Bristol to improve bus journey times and encourage walking and cycling. However, the transport network in Bristol still faces challenges, including growth in housing and employment areas, unreliable journey times, and high levels of congestion and air pollution.

To address these challenges, and help Bristol reach its 2030 carbon neutral target, radical changes to Bristol’s road network are required. These changes will need to make a transformational difference to bus travel, and act as an enabler for cycling and walking.

Over the next 10 to 15 years Bristol and the West of England Combined Authority have committed to developing and improving bus services as a priority for the region, in collaboration with bus operators.

Clean Air Zone (CAZ)

The government has directed Bristol, and other cities, to reduce harmful pollution from vehicles in the shortest possible time. The size of the zone and its boundary has been designed to meet legal air quality targets in the central area where air quality is worst.

Central areas of the city and main routes, which include the Portway and the Cumberland Basin, have breached legal levels of pollution for several years because of the number of vehicles that use them. For this reason they are included in the Clean Air Zone, which is being introduced later this year.  The A4 Portway will support the aim of the Clean Air Zone by helping to make sustainable transport modes – such as public transport, walking and cycling – the natural choice for people’s journey.

How the Portway A4 route project links to the Western Harbour regeneration project

Some of the A4 Portway route passes through the Western Harbour regeneration zone and this section is out of scope for this early engagement. This is because work will be needed to update or replace the Cumberland Basin road system in the future as part of the Western Harbour’s regeneration project. Replacement of large parts of the system will be necessary because the infrastructure of the Cumberland Basin has become older and maintenance has become increasingly costly.

Implementing short term improvements along the Portway A4 route will improve bus journeys and the walking and cycling environment now ahead of work undertaken as part of the Western Harbour regeneration project in the future.

Feedback from this early engagement on the Portway A4 route will be integrated into Western Harbour’s masterplan that will consider more detailed proposals for the area alongside consultation with the community.

Project ambition

The focus of this project is to develop and improve bus services and the walking and cycling environment running along the north western section of the A4.

Buses are an essential service connecting people to education, employment, sport and leisure activities, and are integral in connecting communities. Through infrastructure changes, the aim is to achieve greater bus reliability, improved bus punctuality, growth in people travelling by bus, and a step change in the quality of bus services along the A4. While the focus is on the bus services, there is scope to consider improvements to active travel infrastructure.

The A4 Portway route

The A4 in Bristol links two of the city’s park and ride sites: one at Portway and one at Brislington.

This early engagement will focus on the north western section, starting on the A4 Portway (near the M5 flyover) running south along the Portway to Hotwell Road. It will then continue for a short section of the A4 Anchor Road, up to the junction with Explore Lane.

Feedback from previous public engagement and consultation on Western Harbour will be used to inform proposals on the Portway A4 route that runs along the Western Harbour boundary, which follows Hotwell Road, Dowry Place and Oldfield Place

Portway A4 route that runs along the Western Harbour boundary, which follows Hotwell Road, Dowry Place and Oldfield Place

Multiple bus services are set to benefit from improvements to the route, including First Bus services, Portway P&R, X1, X2, X4, X6/X7, X8/X9, and U2, Stagecoach service number 13, and HCT service number 505.

Get involved

We would like your views on how the A4 Portway route could be improved for walking, cycling and bus travel. Your suggestions will help us design proposals that will work for everyone.

You can fill in the survey where you will also find an interactive map where you can add your comments about specific locations on the route and see what other people have said.

You can find out more at one of the drop-in sessions:

  • Shirehampton Library – 1pm to 5pm,  Wednesday 6 July
  • Sea Mills Library – 10am to 2pm, Tuesday 12 July
  • Portway Park & Ride – 8am to 12noon, Tuesday 19 July
  • Central Library – 10am to 2pm, Thursday 21 July
  • Portway Park & Ride – 8am to 12noon, Saturday 23 July

You can also reply with any comments you have using the contact details.

Contact us

If you have a query, would like the survey in an alternative format, or want to find out more about the project you can:

  • Write to: A4 Portway, Transport Engagement Team, PO Box 3399, 100 Temple Street, Bristol, BS1 9NE
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Answerphone: 0117 9036449 and leave your name, contact details and request

Please give us your feedback online by Wednesday 17 August 2022.