29 Mar 2016

Transport

Get around the roadworks

Bristol City Council is advising people to allow extra time for journeys during the closure of the Bristol to Bath railway line this week.

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 for the electrification of the Great Western Line.

First Bus is running regular rail replacement bus services during the nine-day closure on behalf of GWR along the route, including Bath to Bristol non-stop every 15 minutes, Bath - Oldfield Park - Keynsham - Bristol, every 30 minutes, and Keynsham to Bristol, every 30 minutes.

The council is working to minimise disruption by restricting non-emergency works and ensuring all bus lanes along the A4 Bath Road remain operational during this period. There is also an embargo on all utility works on the A37 and A420. Additional buses will be provided at Brislington Park & Ride site.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Bristol has one of the most vibrant economies in the country and having an efficient public transport system for commuters and visitors is absolutely essential in keeping that momentum going.

“Network Rail’s electrification of our railways is a crucial step in ensuring we have a reliable service with faster, cleaner, better trains.

“We are aiming to make Bristol one of the most liveable cities in the world and I welcome any work to make the city healthier by encouraging public and active transport.

“Unfortunately there is bound to be some short term inconvenience for rail travellers while the work is being carried out. However, officers are working closely with Network Rail and Bath & North East Somerset Council to minimise disruption.”

The council’s traffic team will be closely monitoring the situation using a sophisticated traffic control network system that links each set of lights, allowing them to synchronise and improve traffic and public transport flows.

Central Bristol is undergoing a major transformation over the next few years with construction works for MetroBus, Arena, Temple Quarter and Network Rail projects which will have an impact on the transport network. When the works are complete, the city centre will be remodelled and new services such as MetroBus will provide an efficient and reliable public transport service for the city region, building on the good progress made in increasing bus usage.

Up-to-date information about works as well as journey planning and alternative travel options advice can be found on Travelwest.info and @travelwesteng.

ENDS

Notes to editors

Measures to minimise disruption during the Bristol to Bath railway closure include:

Traffic Management
•            Roadworks will be embargoed along the A4
•            Hauliers have been asked to route M32/A37/A38 through traffic to the west of Bristol where possible
•            Waiting times on the pedestrian crossings in Saltford will be temporarily increased from 1 April, in order to prioritise A4 traffic
•            The box junctions on the Hicks Gate roundabout will be refreshed, in order to help prevent the junction become blocked
•            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.

Public Transport: 
•            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 and the Brislington Park & Ride site as and when necessary.