The chances of Bradley Stoke gaining a fast and reliable bus service linking the town with the centre of Bristol have become significantly slimmer following an announcement made by Chancellor George Osborne in last week’s Autumn Statement.
The £97 million North Fringe to Hengrove Bus Rapid Transit Package failed to appear in a list of 20 projects winning a total of £386 million of funding from the Department for Transport, in contrast to two South Bristol schemes which together picked up £61.1 million of Government money.
The North Bristol scheme is now left in the remaining pool of 25 projects, fighting for a residual £244 million that is due to be handed out before the end of the year.
South Gloucestershire Council and Bristol City Council have jointly asked the Government for a £51.1 million contribution to the scheme but the central funding pot is now oversubscribed by 249%, up from 96% before the Autumn Statement.
If the scheme fails to attract Government funding, the bus service aspect of the scheme is likely to be dropped but South Gloucestershire Council would be left to foot the full cost of the Stoke Gifford by-pass, which will still have to be constructed to support the building of 2,000 new homes on land between the Winterbourne Road and the Avon Ring Road (the ‘East of Harry Stoke’ new neighbourhood foreseen in the Council’s Core Strategy).
The by-pass, known officially as the Stoke Gifford Transport Link, will link Great Stoke Way with the Ring Road via a new bridge over the London to Bristol railway line.
Should the scheme defy the odds and succeed in attracting government funding, it will see a new bus lane constructed on the northbound carriageway of Bradley Stoke Way from the Savages Wood Road Roundabout (near the Leisure Centre) up to the Aztec West Roundabout, where a new bus-only ‘straight through’ left-turn lane will be constructed onto the A38 southbound.
New bus lanes would also be constructed on Bradley Stoke Way southbound, between the Aztec West Roundabout and Woodlands Lane and on the approach to the Great Stoke Roundabout on the Winterbourne Road.
A further bus lane would be constructed on the northbound carriageway of Great Stoke Way on the approach the the Great Stoke Roundabout.
Between the Aztec West Roundabout and Cribbs Causeway, the ‘rapid’ bus service would follow the route of the existing route 73 service, although it will be rather less than ‘rapid’ along Highwood Road in Patchway, where a 20mph speed limit will apply once the work to convert the road into a pedestrian-friendly ‘linear park‘ has been completed.
In the city centre direction, buses would head down Coldharbour Lane (past UWE) to access the M32 at a new bus-only junction. The existing inbound bus lane at the end of the M32 would also be extended northwards to start midway between junctions 2 and 3.
- Best and final bids submitted to the Department for Transport on 9th September 2011 (travel+)
- North Fringe to Hengrove Package (The Journal)
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