1 Greater Bristol: Public Transport Corridor Options Final Report January 2007

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  • Greater Bristol: Public Transport Corridor OptionsFinal Report

    January 2007

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  • Greater Bristol: Public Transport Corridor Options

    January 2007*

    Prepared by:Steer Davies Gleave28-32 Upper GroundLondon, SE1 9PD+44 (0)20 7919 8500

    www.steerdaviesgleave.com

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  • ContentsIntroductionBackgroundApproach to the StudyPolicy BackgroundGreater Bristol Strategic Transport StudyJoint Local Transport PlanRegional PrioritiesOption GenerationCorridorsBristol City CentreLong List of OptionsOption DesignSystem CharacteristicsDesign ParametersOperational SpecificationOption AssessmentReference SchemesAssessment CriteriaAssessment ResultsAssessment SummaryNext Steps

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  • 1. IntroductionBackground The four Councils of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire have joined forces to plan and deliver transport improvements through a Joint Local Transport Plan (JLTP). The JLTP sets out the transport plans for the next five years (2006 to 2011) and the vision for the next 20 to 30 years.During the next 20 to 30 years up to a hundred thousand new homes, and at least as many new jobs, may need to be provided to sustain growth. The area has over 3 billion of potential development sites available. With appropriate investment in public infrastructure, the JLTP area has the capacity and expertise to reduce overheating in the South East without damaging the areas high quality natural and built environment.Transport infrastructure is vital for this continued economic and social success. Yet the Shared Priorities work completed by the four Councils with the Department for Transport (DfT) in 2004 showed that at least 300 million is required just to address the under-investment in transport of the last 20 years. If growth is to be managed and delivered sustainability, additional investment will be required to address existing social, economic and infrastructure imbalances and deficits. It is estimated that time lost due to congestion costs the local economy some 350 million a year .Investment is required in a broad range of areas including bus, rail, park and ride, bus rapid transit or trams and also roads. All are critical to support economic development as well as tackling the impacts of large volumes of traffic on particular communities. A package of major schemes is being developed. This has been shaped by the outcomes of the Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Study. Achieving the Plans overall objectives and vision requires a range of major schemes to be delivered. The importance of the JLTP area is being recognised through the Governments new Regional Funding Allocation system for prioritising major transport schemes. As shown in Table 10.1 of the JLTP, eight major schemes in the JLTP area, including three Bus Rapid Transit schemes, are included in the list for funding during 2006 to 2016. A further 10 schemes are recognised as strategically important but requiring further work before they can be approved in this process.In February 2006 Steer Davies Gleave was commissioned by the JLTP Team to look at options for the delivery of Second Generation Public Transport Improvements for the Unitary Authorities of Bath and Northeast Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Councils, referred to in this report as Greater Bristol.

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  • Approach to the Study Options for the introduction of Second Generation Public Transport Systems, or Rapid Transit Systems, have already, to varying degrees, been studied or proposed in Greater Bristol for some years. These options range from previous light rail proposals through to identification of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors in the regional priorities, draft Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Study (GBSTS) and the Provisional Joint Local Transport Plan (JLTP). The JLTP authorities are already implementing significant bus improvements through the Greater Bristol Bus Network (GBBN) bid. The bid contains a comprehensive set of bus network improvements for the area. These improvements aim to deliver significant benefit to bus users. The question for this study was therefore how could an improvement in public transport, over and above the benefits of the GBBN proposals, be achieved?The task of this study was to take all the work undertaken to date, as well as undertaking an independent analysis of what options there are for delivering BRT in Greater Bristol. To do this a two stage process was undertaken:Stage 1: Generation of a long list of potential corridors; andStage 2: Distillation of the long list in to a prioritised set of options or programme of implementation proposals. This process is illustrated in Figure 1.1.From early on in the study it became apparent that the key focus for BRT in Greater Bristol is to provide a step-change in public transport provision, that is, to provide a new and different offer in the transport market that could provide current car drivers a comparable alternative. This study, as is reflected in this report, has deliberately focussed on options that are most likely to achieve modal shift from car and are considered to be deliverable in the current physical, policy, acceptability and funding environments.

    ConsultationThe study has been undertaken in consultation with officers from all four Authorities. This has mainly been through a number of workshops, firstly to understand the context and background of the proposals and establish the key success factors for the study (this is discussed later); and, secondly to obtain feedback on the progress of options at the long-list stage.In addition to this, some external consultation has been undertaken with two key stakeholders: First Group who are the main bus operator in Greater Bristol and Network Rail. Discussions with these organisations have informed the assessment of issues and risks associated with options. First Group has also provided initial views on the operational specification and possible services that may use the BRT infrastructure.

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  • Figure 1.1: Study ProcessBackgroundOption DesignOption GenerationJoint LTPRegional PrioritiesObjectivesBRT Potential LinesCorridorsOn Street SectionsLong List OptionsOption Assessment(Corridors/Alignments)System Characteristics

    Design Parameters(Key Success Factors)Operations SpecificationReference SchemesAssessment CriteriaScheme ObjectivesNATADeliverability / ViabilityGBSTSStage 1Stage 2

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  • 2. Policy / BackgroundRegional Policy

    Regional Economic StrategyThe Regional Economic Strategy (RES), Final Draft February 2006, sets objectives, regional priorities and delivery activity for the period 2006-2015. It has three strategic objectives :Successful and competitive businesses.Strong and inclusive communities.An effective confident region.Within the these strategic objectives sits a number of regional priorities. Regional Priority 3A is to improve transport networks by ensuring that poor journey times from parts of the region to major markets do not constrain productivity. It aims to reduce journey times to major markets and increase the reliability of public transport infrastructure. The RES recognises that Bristol has a lead role as a city-region of international, national and regional significance to strengthen the regions economic base. Therefore improving journey times to and from Greater Bristol and the reliability of public transport are seen as key to regional prosperity.

    Integrated Regional StrategyThe aims of the Integrated Regional Strategy (IRS), November 2004 are to:harness the benefits of population growth and manage the implications of population change;enhance our distinctive environments and the quality and diversity of our cultural life;enhance our economic prosperity and quality of employment opportunity; andaddress deprivation and disadvantage to reduce significant intra-regional inequalities.This again focuses on the importance of good quality access to employment across the sub-region and a sustainable transport system to support planned growth.

    Draft Regional Spatial StrategyThe draft Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) sets a framework for the location and scale of development in the region and the links between broad issues such as healthcare, education and crime, as well as infrastructure such as transport. It aims to protect the existing qualities of the region whilst making provision for sufficient new homes, jobs and facilities to meet the needs of a growing and increasingly affluent population.The draft RSS notes that the population in the South West is forecast to increase by more than 750,000 by 2026; this equates to around 25,000 dwellings a year. It recognises Bath, Bristol and Weston-super-Mare as strategically significant towns and cities where significant growth is planned in order to support their economic and service role and regeneration.One of the key priorities for investment to support the RSS is investment in urban transport systems and demand management with a step change in public transport support, with investment to enable high growth to be accommodated.

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  • The RSS makes a number of strategy statements. Those of most relevance to Greater Bristol and development of BRT are:SR2 balanced growth for the three urban areas of Bath, Bristol and Weston-super-Mare.SR4 provision on average of about 3,200 dwellings per annum within and adjoining Bristols urban area. Provision of around 40,000 dwellings complemented by the provision of urban extensions including 10,500 south west of