Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet will be asked for approval to formally accept grant funding from the West of England Combined Authority, to support a number of sustainable transport schemes across the district, when it meets on Thursday 10 November.
The council has been awarded grant funding of £120million from the West of England Combined Authority, for six schemes across Bath and North East Somerset. The schemes will significantly improve public transport, walking and cycling routes, helping to better connect local communities and enabling more residents to take the bus, walk, wheel or cycle.
The funding comes from the regional allocation of £540million, which the Department for Transport awarded to the West of England Combined Authority earlier this year, as part of its five year City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement programme (CRSTS).
The cabinet report highlights the six local schemes which will benefit from the £120million grant funding, which must be delivered by March 2027. The report also considers the approval process for the implementation of the CRSTS programme, which cabinet is asked to delegate to the Directors of Sustainable Communities and Place Management, in consultation with the council’s S151 Officer and appropriate Cabinet members.
The six Bath and North East Somerset schemes, are:
Bristol to Bath A4 corridor
- Improved bus priority measures and walking and cycling routes between Bath and Keynsham.
- A new transport hub near Keynsham on the A4 / A4174.
Somer Valley links to Bristol and Bath
- Improved sustainable transport links between Somer Valley and Bristol (A37) and Somer Valley and Bath (A367), including new bus priority measures, transport hubs and cycling routes to better connect rural communities with the two cities.
Bath sustainable transport
- An improved public transport offer within Bath, including bus priority measures and improvements around the bus station.
- Walking and cycling improvements across the city to enhance connectivity, including off road, segregated routes and cycle parking spaces.
- Improvements to walking and cycling routes, such as through improved crossings, alongside local enhancements like tree planting, as part of the council’s Liveable neighbourhoods programme, which is currently being implemented in 15 local communities.
Councillor Sarah Warren, deputy leader and cabinet member for Climate and Sustainable Travel, said:
We welcome the substantial allocation of government funding, which will significantly benefit the West of England region and Bath and North East Somerset. It will provide an unprecedented opportunity to drive growth, de-carbonisation and productivity through infrastructure investment, which will also help tackle regional inequalities.
The grant funding will be added to existing funding within the council, including the Maintenance Challenge Fund, to create an overall spend of approximately £133million over the next five years, for new sustainable transport schemes and highways improvements, such as the recent renovation of Cleveland Bridge.
As part of the council’s journey to net zero priorities, which aims for Bath and North East Somerset to be carbon neutral by 2030, it is imperative that we provide an efficient, reliable and sustainable transport network, particularly in rural communities. The CRSTS funding will help us to achieve that by delivering schemes which will enable even more residents to leave their car at home and choose to walk, wheel, cycle or use public transport.