Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary, has approved the £50m rapid transit scheme in Bristol which will provide a new bus service from the south west of the city to the centre via a 4km segregated busway.
The Bristol Metrobus route will run for 2.5 miles from Ashton Vale to the Temple Meads train line. The Department for Transport (DfT) will fund up to £34.5m towards the total cost of the project, with the remainder provided by two authorities.
The project is part of a wider scheme by the West of England Partnership to encourage car drivers coming into Bristol to switch onto public transport. Those living in the city centre will also benefit from faster journey times with added bus priority measures including bus lanes and upgraded junctions. Existing bus routes operating from the west of the city will be able to use the new infrastructure also.
The busway will follow former rail routes and the project consists of works broken up into seven separate design and build contracts including the design and construction of the busway itself, alteration and construction of the highway, construction of a new bridge over the Bristol to Portishead rail line and repairs and improvements to existed bridges which are listed.
McLoughlin believes the scheme will provide “some benefits” that “would be supportive of economic growth” as a direct result of increased accessibility into Bristol city centre and its Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.
Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer, said: “The Bristol Metrobus will provide a step change improvement for public transport serving not only the city itself but also surrounding communities. Buses will be able to get around quickly, travelling along dedicated busways and priority lanes around Bristol and into the city centre. The new link will stimulate economic development and link communities with jobs.”
The scheme is expected to open in April 2016.