Work to start on new bus lane for busy Somerset commuter route
Work on installing a new bus lane on a busy route through North Somerset is due to start next month. The work will see a section of the A369 at Beggar Bush Lane widened to make way for the new lane for buses heading towards the M5.
The left hand lane turn on the A369 will be adjusted to make way for the new lane. New ‘smart’ traffic lights will also be installed to detect and prioritise buses and three crossing points installed for pedestrians and cyclists on the A369.
Beggar Bush Lane has been identified as a pinch point along the popular X4 bus route, which serves Portishead, Portbury and Easton-in-Gordano passengers travelling direct to and from Bristol. Council bosses say the changes will offer a speedier and more reliable service during peak times, resulting in a significant time saving along the entire network for the X4.
READ MORE: Calls for new bus lane to removed amid congestion claims
The road works will start at the end of July and will take approximately nine weeks with a short break during the Bristol Balloon Fiesta. Works will mostly be undertaken at night and outside peak hours to minimise disruption.
North Somerset Council executive member for highways and transport, Councillor Hannah Young, said: “The bus lane improvements will have a positive effect on the entire network allowing more buses to run, reducing journey times and increasing reliability of the service making the bus a more attractive option for commuters and other passengers.
“The new Beggar Bush Lane crossing points will also make it easier and safer for those travelling by bike or on foot to cross an extremely busy road. With so many feeling the effects of the cost-of-living crisis, I hope that together these changes will also make it easier for people to choose to save money by leaving the car at home.”
Following a successful bid to the Department for Transport (DfT), over £105million in funding has been allocated for bus improvements in the West of England, with £48million earmarked for capital improvements in North Somerset alone. £57.5million will be used as a pooled revenue fund with the West of England Combined Authority to enable delivery of the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).
The Bus Service Improvement Plan aims to offer an improved service, and more accessible and affordable bus travel with simple and consistent fares, to provide a quicker and greener alternative to using the car. Across North Somerset the funds have already been used to support the launch of the on demand WESTlink service.
Funding will also be used to upgrade 18 bus corridors across North Somerset. A bus lane installed on the Long Ashton bypass earlier this year however is not proving popular
People say the lane has increased congestion and have launched a petition calling for its reversal.