Issue date: 17 September 2012
THE DRIVE to upgrade and improve bus services in South Gloucestershire and the Greater Bristol area takes a further step forward today (17 September) with the official opening of the Cheswick Bus Link in Stoke Gifford.
The 1km bus and cycle-only route between the University of the West of England (UWE) and Abbeywood Roundabout in Stoke Gifford is set to improve journey times and reduce delays by allowing buses to bypass traffic on the Ring Road and Coldharbour Lane.
The link will also connect residents of the new Cheswick Village development into the area's public transport network and provide a vital link to the proposed Romney Avenue Bus Link, south of Cheswick Village, combining to form a direct, bus only route between the North Fringe and Bristol city centre.
The link can be used by pedestrians and cyclists and incorporates an automatic bus barrier to allow controlled access of buses onto the UWE-owned section of the link at the rear of the University campus.
Chair of South Gloucestershire Council's Planning and Transportation Committee Cllr Brian Allinson said: “I'm delighted to be opening another link in our area's public transport network, helping improve services for bus users and reducing congestion on our roads.
“This route builds on the Greater Bristol Bus Network infrastructure and will complement other schemes such as the Great Stoke Way bus lane and the Abbeywood Roundabout improvements.
“Importantly, it also means that the residents of Cheswick Village will also have ready access to our public transport network and underlines our commitment to delivering better public transport services across South Gloucestershire and the Greater Bristol area.”
Chris Abbott, Director of Facilities at UWE Bristol said, “This new link is a great step forward in helping to improve journey times and transport options for students and staff travelling to UWE. This initiative is part of UWE's long term strategy to ensure good transport links and develop the main Frenchay Campus. We are pleased to be working closely with our partners to deliver transport improvements that will benefit the whole community.”
The £1.5m link was funded from South Gloucestershire's Capital Programme, including £1.2m of developer funding and a further £300,000 from South Gloucestershire Council's Local Transport Plan programme.
It is anticipated that once fully operational the link will be used by approximately 20 buses per hour in each direction. Initial service providers include Wessex Red's number 19 service between UWE Frenchay Campus, via Horfield and Redland to the City Centre.