New plans for Bristol’s transport vision for the next twenty years includes an underground system, a congestion zone and charging businesses for employee parking.
Ideas for projects in the West of England worth £10 billion have already been announced as Bristol City Council looks to build a transport system that meets specific challenges, such as creating infrastructure for the 100,000 new homes set to be built by 2036, fixing a pollution problem and making the city more equal in terms of wealth distribution.
These plans will feed into the wider joint local transport plan with Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.
The Bristol Transport Strategy reads: “Our vision for Bristol is to be a well-connected city that enables people to move around efficiently with increased transport options that are accessible and inclusive to all.
“We will deliver an improved sustainable and resilient transport network that supports Bristol’s vibrant independent local centres and neighbourhoods and connects to an attractive and thriving city centre.”
Currently, the draft, which will go to public consultation, commits to reducing lorry and van travel through the city centre and making walking to places easier. Another part of the plan is looking at options for an underground system.
The report says: “A light automated metro could be transformational for the region, cutting peak journey times from Aztec West, Emerson’s Green and the airport to the city centre to under 25 minutes, with increased capacity and reliability with services every couple of minutes.
“Automated operation with no drivers reduces costs and allows for more frequent trains with very short headways. Trains can be as often as every sixty seconds.”
However, this will need some serious consideration as tunnelling underneath a developed city is not cheap. The estimate is that it will cost £3-4 billion to build a system with three lines. Even with funding, the council believes it would take around twenty years before subterranean trains could be running.
The Bristol Transport Plan and the Joint Local Transport Plan, which covers the West of England, will go to public consultation in October.