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General questions

The West of England Mayoral Combined Authority was awarded £540 million in 2022 by the Department for Transport as part of the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement to improve the region’s sustainable transport network – including improvements to public transport, walking, wheeling and cycling. This project is part of that wider programme in the West of England. Sustainable Transport Settlement - West of England Combined Authority (

This includes funding for the proposals in Keynsham, Saltford, Bath and the short-term proposals in Brislington, but does not cover funding to construct Options 1 or 2 in Brislington. These options would need to be funded from further bids to the Department for Transport.

Decisions around spending priorities is a matter for central Government.

The funding awarded to the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority has strict criteria and is limited to projects that deliver better infrastructure for buses, cycling and walking.

Spending money on infrastructure contributes to economic growth, and investment in sustainable transport has wider benefits for air quality and health.

The proposals would improve the infrastructure for sustainable types of travel – making it easier for people to travel by bus, walking and cycling.

This could mean reallocating space on the road used by cars, lorries and vans in favour of other types of transport. In the short term, this might make it slightly longer to travel by car or to walk slightly further to park. But in the longer term, by making it easier and more convenient to use sustainable transport, more people could choose to use buses, walk or cycle - reducing congestion and making all journeys quicker.

This is not anti-car. We recognise that cars will remain an important way for some people to travel in the future and, for some journeys, the most appropriate form of transport. Rather than seeking to prevent people who need to use their own vehicles, we are looking to provide more choices and opportunities for people to travel sustainably.

We also have an obligation under national legislation to contribute to meeting the net-zero carbon target by 2050 - and an earlier local ambition to do so by 2030. Transport makes a significant contribution to carbon and other emissions; more sustainable travel choices will help us to achieve those targets.

Bus services

The central Government funding for this project can only be used to improve infrastructure for buses, walking and cycling.

But any investment in infrastructure is linked to improving bus services. Better infrastructure is a vital part of making bus travel quicker and more reliable – this means more people may use buses – and getting more people on the bus means that services are more likely to be commercially viable. Bus operators could potentially re-invest additional income into bus services.

At the same time as this project, work is ongoing with bus operators and local councils in an “Enhanced Partnership” to improve bus services – jointly aiming to make buses more frequent, keeping fares stable and developing new services.

£105m of Government funding has been earmarked for bus improvements across the region. Local improvements so far include:

  • New service 522 - Bristol to Bath via Keynsham and the Somer Valley
  • Increased frequencies and change of route for service X39
  • New on-demand WESTlink service to link people to buses running along main routes
  • Fares offers to encourage more people to travel including supporting the £2 single fares for adults and £1 for children

Bus Service Improvement Plan - West of England Combined Authority (

The money allocated by central Government has strict criteria what it can be spent on. The money allocated to this project can only be spent on making the basic infrastructure better, rather than bus services.

The overall proposals

There are several reasons for proposing changes between Bath and Bristol.

The cities of Bristol & Bath are well connected nationally by rail, but often the journey to the station can take as long as the rail journey itself. And journeys between places along the route by bus can take a long time. This is because the A4 faces high levels of traffic congestion, which in turn leads to inefficient public transport, poor air quality and noise issues. In Bristol, parts of Brislington are cut in two by the road – which sees a vehicle every three seconds during the daytime.

There’s a real lack of dedicated cycle paths and in some places poor footpaths meaning people don’t have the option of walking and cycling shorter journeys to school, work or the shops.

Improving buses, walking and cycling options along the route would reduce congestion and noise levels and improve air quality. This would make areas along the route more pleasant places to live, work and travel through.

  • To provide better choices to travel sustainably, encouraging walking, cycling and using the bus rather than using a car
  • To prevent buses getting caught up in traffic, improving journey times and making buses more reliable
  • To make it nicer and safer to use buses by improving bus stops and crossings
  • To provide more options to walk and cycle between villages and towns along the route and to access shops, jobs, education and public transport
  • To make it as easy as possible to make longer trips without using cars

The project covers the route of the A4 from Three Lamps Junction in Bristol to Windsor Bridge Road in Bath. The proposals include new bus, walking and cycling lanes on the A4 and changes to the way people can travel by car:

  • Virtually continuous bus lanes* from Saltford to Bristol, better bus stops and an option for a route through Brislington and Totterdown separated from general traffic
  • Better cycling commuting possibilities and connections to other cycle routes, with a completely new way of getting between Bath and Bristol. Almost half on new segregated cycle paths and cutting four miles off the current route
  • Changes to the Keynsham bypass - which could help to reconnect the two halves of the town - including a new “mobility hub”
  • Improvements for residents with wider pavements, better crossings, and thousands of new bee-friendly plants

(*Or separated from general traffic)

The first stage was to ask those who live and travel along the routes what they thought. In summer 2021 (we engaged with local people asking:

  • What are the transport issues?
  • How could this be improved

This resulted in more than 1,735 responses outlining concerns and making some really useful suggestions. All responses were reviewed and used to help identify what improvements were needed and where – leading to the current proposals. The findings are set out in detail in our engagement report.

The previous engagement ran between 26 July and 10 September 2021. The key findings include:

  • People want bus services they can depend on - they must be quick and reliable, easy to use and affordable
  • Most journeys on the A4 are made regularly and primarily by car followed by walking and then cycling.
  • Traffic flow, air quality and traffic noise along the A4 were rated as poor, along with cycling safety and the quality of cycle paths
  • More than 60% of people who responded were very likely to use the bus often if the bus services were more reliable, or fares lower. Just over half said that they would if the bus services are more frequent, and 35% if space for bicycles was provided
  • People who responded said they would be very likely to cycle more often if separate cycle lanes were provided, if there was less traffic on the route, and if there were safer junctions and crossings with priority for cyclists. The importance of cleaner air and less pollution was highlighted by more than half (56%)
  • More than half would be likely to walk along the A4 more often if the air was cleaner and less polluted along the route (56%), if there were more green spaces and/or trees (47%), less traffic (44%) and if there were segregated paths (43%)

The proposals are at a very early stage. Nothing is set in stone, and we haven’t yet completed detailed analysis and modelling. Through this engagement we want to understand which (if any) of the concepts that are being shared now, are supported by residents before we progress and develop any detailed designs. This means we can take views, comments and suggestions on board and make changes as necessary.

We will be engaging on the project again once detailed proposals have been drawn up.

Yes, some on street parking will be lost. All existing drop curbs and access to garages will be retained. There may be a loss in on street parking at the following locations:

  • On the bridge over the bypass on Station Road Keynsham (current parking is 1 hour max - Mon-Sat only)
  • On the left-hand side of Bath Road (heading towards Keynsham from the bypass) between the Broadmead roundabout and the roundabout at Bath Hill /Wellsway (near the Talbot pub)
  • The time that the bus lane between Paintworks and Burger King operates would be changed to 24 hours per day. This would mean vehicles could no longer load or park during the day (currently up to an hour’s parking is allowed).
  • Along Emery Road in Brislington
  • Car parking along the Bath Road in Totterdown (approximately between 190-284 Bath Road) – in Options 1 and 2 only
  • In Brislington, it would no longer be possible to park in places where currently parking is allowed in bus lanes at off-peak times and weekends, such as opposite the Lodekka pub. We would look at providing alternative short-term parking and loading points. This is for Options 1 and 2 only
  • On the right-hand side of Manor Road from the A4 (Little Coffee Shop side) to Golf Club Lane. Parking on the other side of the road would be unaffected On the left-hand side of Grange Road from the A4 until the junction with Claverton Road
  • Along the north side of Newbridge Road

Environment and climate

The West of England Combined Authority is committed to tackling the climate and ecological emergency. In 2022 six priorities were identified where action is needed and where the region aims to deliver tangible progress. One of the key priorities is to “decarbonise” the transport system - reducing car dependency and increasing cycling, walking, wheeling and public transport use.

This project will directly help to achieve this objective by giving people more opportunities for travelling by bus, walking and cycling. At a project level we are considering the impact of the project on the environment at every stage, through design decisions and the choice of materials we use. We are also making a commitment to make sure the natural habitat for wildlife is in a better state than it was beforehand - this is known as biodiversity net gain.

Through the next stage of the project, we will be looking to understand exactly what impact the project may have on carbon – during construction and beyond - including the differences that can be made by people travelling more sustainably.

There would be some impact on trees if these proposals went ahead – for example in Brislington, along the A4 heading to Hicks Gate roundabout and on part of the Keynsham bypass. It’s too early to say what this might be because we haven't undertaken the surveys needed to identify exactly which trees could be affected.

All trees lost as a result of the project would be replaced. We are committed to making sure that there is at least 10% biodiversity net gain along the route – this means the natural habitat for wildlife would be in a better state than it was beforehand.

Ecological surveys will be undertaken in the next stage of the project. We are committed to protecting wildlife and will make sure that we comply with environmental regulations.

What could happen next?

We will produce an engagement report and publish it on this website, hopefully later this year. If you want to know when this happens, please register to sign-up for updates.

All the feedback we receive from this engagement will be reviewed in detail. The next stage of the project will include technical assessments and detailed traffic modelling. This will look at how the proposals would affect journey times for buses and for other traffic, how the environment might be impacted and economic benefits.

We then develop what’s known as an Outline Business Case which will be submitted to the Department for Transport who will scrutinise the proposals and may give the go-ahead to develop the proposals further.

If this is the case, there will be another opportunity to comment on the proposals as they develop in a further consultation, likely to take place in 2024.

If the proposals go ahead, construction could start in early 2026 and last for approximately 1 - 2 years in Keynsham, Saltford, Bath and the short-term Bristol changes. The longer-term options in Bristol wouldn’t start construction until 2027 onwards, if further funding is secured.

The construction works will be carefully planned with contractors to keep any disturbance to an absolute minimum. However, there will inevitably be some degree of disruption. Local residents and road users will be kept well informed well in advance during the delivery of the project.

This is not yet decided. A tender process for a contractor will be carried out later, well ahead of planned start of works to make sure that residents are kept informed.


There would be a reduction in on-street parking in some locations to accommodate new cycling and bus lanes. We’ve minimised this wherever possible and will look at opportunities to provide additional parking nearby as the project develops.

We recognise this wouldn’t be perfect for everyone but would like to listen to your concerns.

We understand that some people may have some concerns about how these proposals may affect their property. The project is at a very early stage and the options are just concepts at present.

There is a legal process set out by central Government which details what steps need to be taken if any proposals impact on properties or property values.

At the next stage of the project if the proposals go further, we will look at this in detail and fully consult with anyone affected.

We recognise that this may be a concern for some people. The project is at a very early stage and the options are just concepts at present. At the next stage of the project, we will assess the impact of noise and air quality in detail and make sure that steps would be taken to minimise this.

The proposals will not stop anyone getting to houses or businesses. However, the route to get to local destinations may change, and it may no longer be possible to park directly outside. The full details will be developed and shared as the project is progressed.

Based on the feedback received during the previous engagement, a longlist of options was developed and then evaluated using the Department for Transport's criteria. This looked at whether the option was suitable or practical, and discounted any that weren’t.

Shortlisted options were developed further developed to form the proposals being shared now.

Figure 1: Engagement ad shortlisting process for the Brislington Section

Figure 1: Engagement and shortlisting process for the Brislington Section

Keynsham, Saltford and Bath

Based on the feedback received during the previous engagement, a longlist of options was developed and then evaluated using the Department for Transport's criteria. This looked at whether the option was suitable or practical, and discounted any that weren’t.

Shortlisted options were developed further developed to form the proposals being shared now.

Brislington Park & Ride to Hicks Gate roundabout

We set out a longer-term ambition to re-locate the Brislington Park & Ride nearer Hicks Gate roundabout alongside a new transport hub in our Joint Local Transport Plan 4. This does not form part of the proposals we are currently engaging on.

We’ve engaged with the Avon Fire & Rescue Service from an early stage in the project and will continue to do so. We will make sure that there is no impact on accessing the fire station.


The aim of the project is to make the bus an attractive alternative to the private car. To do this we need to give options to people for different types of journeys – for example shorter local trips or longer journeys. The existing buses that serve Keynsham High Street provide an important local service, stopping frequently. The X39 service along the A4 is a higher speed and more frequent service but is not very accessible for Keynsham residents.

The new mobility hub will reduce the time it takes for residents to catch the X39 (by up to 25 minutes) providing a new more frequent alternative. The hub will also allow people who live further afield for example in Saltford, Bath or Bristol to access Keynsham more easily, which could be a benefit to the town’s economy.

Initial surveys using “Automatic Vehicle Location” data have shown delays, mainly at junctions. Further work will be done at the next stage in the project to look at this in more detail.

However, delays to buses are not the only reason why we are proposing changes on the bypass. The proposals could create improved cycling options, a new connection between north and south Keynsham and make it easier to catch express buses.

A mobility hub is a place where anyone can easily switch between different types of transport, for example; walking, cycling, e-cycling, e-scooters, buses, or one of the new on-demand WESTlink minibuses, which allow connection into the main bus and rail network.

Facilities include; cycle stands and lockers, bike repair stand and pumps, along with mobile phone charging points, and bus stops with digital information screens.

The hubs are designed to bring travel opportunities and facilities together in one convenient place, to make it as easy as possible to make more sustainable travel choices.


No funding has currently been committed to construct a new station at Saltford.

However, in 2024 the West of England Combined Authority is looking to commission a 'new stations study' which will look at the cases for various potential future stations across the region. This is subject to internal approvals and sufficient funding being identified. The scope of this study has not been agreed but it is possible that Saltford station could be included if the study goes ahead.

The proposals being shared now would provide better sustainable travel options for Saltford in the short term.

The West of England Combined Authority is working through the detail of a more simplified long term fare system. More detail will follow in the coming months.

Newbridge Road, Bath

There would be a reduction in on-street parking in some locations to make space for new walking, cycling and bus lanes. We have tried to minimise this by providing a bus lane in one direction only, and by improving the parallel Bristol and Bath Railway Path for cycling rather than using space on the A4.

We recognise this wouldn’t be perfect for everyone but would like to listen to your concerns.

Key destinations such as the hospital, industrial estates and Newbridge Park & Ride are served by buses running along the A4, rather than the A36. This also links better with other potential bus improvements schemes in Bath city centre.

The A36 is not a viable alternative as pinch points would not allow continuous bus lanes.

The West of England Combined Authority and Bath & North East Somerset Council are jointly working on another project which aims to reduce congestion for buses around the bus station. We are hoping to engage on this project later in the year.

We have used real-time data from on-board bus tracking systems to identify areas where buses are delayed. This has shown delays for buses in both directions on Newbridge Road. However, in order to retain some on-street parking, bus lanes could not be accommodated in both directions. Our proposal is designed to achieve the maximum benefit while minimising impacts on parking.