A38 bus lane opens after months of disruption

A38 Gloucester Road bus lane

A new northbound bus lane on the A38 Gloucester Road between Patchway and Aztec West has entered service following months of construction and associated traffic disruption.

Work on the Greater Bristol Bus Network (GBBN) funded scheme started in April 2010 and was originally due to finish by October but “engineering issues” and “adverse weather conditions” saw its completion slip to the end of February this year.

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) says the new bus lane, combined with improvements to bus stops, pedestrian access and road widening, will improve the reliability of bus services and also improve the experience for bus users and reduce congestion for all road users.

A38 Gloucester Road bus lane sign

The service lane between the Little Stoke junction and Hempton Lane has been converted to a peak-time only bus lane between 7:30am – 9.30am and 4pm – 7pm.

The existing carriageway from Hempton Lane to the Aztec West Roundabout has also been widened to accommodate a new bus lane.

Taxis, motorcycles and cyclists are also permitted to use the bus lanes.

Further improvements include:

  • The bus stop on the A38 northbound near to the roundabout has been relocated adjacent to the pedestrian access to the business park to improve access
  • The existing pedestrian crossing point on the approach to the roundabout is upgraded to enable cyclists to use it
  • An additional on-carriageway cycle lane on the southbound A38 from Aztec West Roundabout
  • An additional traffic lane on the roundabout for all traffic heading right toward Woodlands Lane via Bradley Stoke Way

A similar improvement scheme has also recently been completed at Great Stoke Way, near the Sainsbury’s store in Stoke Gifford.

Cllr Brian Allinson, SGC’s executive member for planning, transportation and strategic environment said:

“These new improvements are fantastic news for all road users. The bus lanes and road improvements will improve the punctuality of local bus services, the cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings and improved road layout will also benefit all other road users.”

“We are over half way through delivering the ten showcase corridors with our partner authorities and First and we are well on track to delivering this by spring 2012.”

Tony McNiff, Managing Director, First Bristol, Somerset and Avon, added:

“Delivery of the Greater Bristol Bus Network is now well underway, and the benefits are already being felt. We welcome all these new measures as they help ensure that bus services keep to time, reducing the effect of peak hour traffic congestion on services – something that both we, and all our customers, really appreciate.”

The Gloucester Road and Great Stoke Way schemes are both part of the Cribbs Causeway to Bristol showcase route, which runs along the 73 bus service route that serves Bradley Stoke.

SGC says the improvements will also benefit the following services:

  • 309/310 Thornbury to Bristol
  • 312 Thornbury to Bristol Parkway and Fishponds
  • 318/9 Cribbs Causeway to Keynsham and Bath
  • 483 Chipping Sodbury to Cribbs Causeway
  • 517/8 Emersons Green to Avonmouth and Shirehampton
  • 581 Hanham to Chipping Sodbury
  • 625 Severn Beach to the University of the West of England, Frenchay campus

The GBBN project is a £70 million investment, part funded by the Department for Transport, to develop ten showcase bus routes across the region.

Photo L-R: Cllr Brian Allinson (Executive Member, South Gloucestershire Council) and Tony McNiff (Managing Director, First Bus Bristol, Somerset and Avon) welcome the opening of the A38 bus lane near the Aztec West Roundabout.

Footnote: Timings of the traffic signals on the Aztec West Roundabout appear to have been altered since the new bus lane was opened. If you have noticed any impact, less us know via the comments form below.

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  1. Cllr Brian Allinson “These new improvements are fantastic news for all road users”

    So on Wednesday evening it was taking 20 minutes to get to the Aztec West Roundabout with the northbound A38 being backed up to the Patchway underpass and guess how many buses used this fantastic new lane in all that time?

    A big fat zero. Not one. But there’s 2 lanes of solid traffic hardly moving due to the changed lights at the roundabout and an empty lane alongside them. Utter madness and contempt for the majority.

    “Fantastic news”? We will let the motoring electorate decide that one!

  2. Yet another waste of money-shove the buses through only for them to barge out further up the road. How long will it before we get a camera put in to observe errant car drivers?

  3. Since the change to the sequence of the lights it’s become even more of a nightmare to get to, and past Aztec West Roundabout in the mornings and evenings.

    Total waste of time and effort.

  4. Yes, the new light sequencing has been timed to coincide with the opening of a new car park on the Aztec roundabout where the spaces have been marked with novel yellow hatching.
    The bus lane, meanwhile, has been introduced to combat the problem we have with roads that are too wide or straightforward to drive on. It is a well-known fact that dozy motorists on their way to work on a Monday morning could be lulled into a false sense of security, and, worse, could be listening to “beat music” on Jack FM. By narrowing the road, complicating the rules, and allowing buses and cyclists to stream up the inside on drivers’ blind spots, full alertness is maintained – or it better be!

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