Weston Package

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 Weston-super-Mare suffers from 'out commuting' to Bristol and other parts of the sub-region.

Cyclist WSM Weston Pic

The need to encourage people to live and work in the town has been identified in both the draft Regional Spatial Strategy and the Joint Local Transport Plan.

North Somerset Council is developing the 'Weston Package' as a key element in its strategy of enabling sustainable development in Weston-super-Mare. To view a map of Weston's Phase One Transport Package, click here.

The objectives of the Weston Package  are to: ·   

  • Improve the highway access between the M5 motorway and Weston to reduce congestion;·   
  • Relieve congestion on the A370 corridor in Weston·   
  • Provide improvements to local access, safety, public transport, walking and cycling and;·   
  • Improve access between regeneration areas and other residential areas of the town. 

A 'long list' of proposals were assessed against a framework with criteria including:

  • Conformity with the Weston Package objectives;
  • Compatibility with Department for Transport (DfT) Major Scheme Bid (MSB) criteria;
  • Fundability; and
  • Deliverability.

The following have been evaluated to provide the best value for money combination of schemes to form the Package:

  • Improvements to M5 Junction 21 to improve journey time reliability and safety for both Weston and strategic traffic. (see also M5 Junction 21 bypass)
  • A Cross Airfield Link road (CAL) to connect the Airfield regeneration area with the A371 and Winterstoke Road.
  • A new bridge, the Airfield Bridge Link (ABL) over the main railway line to help reduce severance for all modes between the town centre and the Regeneration Areas;
  • Traffic management proposals for the A370 in the 'Gateway' area between the town centre and the new bridge;
  • A transport interchange at Worle station including -
    • a new car park on council-owned land;
    • bus interchange on both sides of the station;
    • extended and/or new bus services to the station (including bus priority measures to improve service reliability);
    • improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians;

The overall Phase 1 Package would cost £59m over four years and requires further third party funding that has not yet been identified.  The additional funding is only needed for the ABL and the CAL, so rather than waiting for the economy to improve before this becomes available, it was felt better to deliver the rest of the Package as soon as possible.  A bid for Programme Entry was submitted in April 2009 for the £16m ‘Low Cost Option’ which includes all other elements of the Preferred Scheme.

Weston Package – the £16m Low Cost Option:

1. Improvements to M5 Junction 21;

2. A370 Gateway improvements that include widening Marchfields Way;

3. Worle Station improvements including:

  • A new south side car park
  • Bus interchange on both sides of the station
  • Extended and new bus services to the station with:
    • Bus priority measures along Elmham Way
    • A new bus only link to Queensway
  • Improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians.

Next Steps

The full bid has now been submitted to DfT. More information is available here, including a link to the full bid document.

After responding to questions about the bid from DfT we gained Programme Entry in March 2010, and have will be starting work on detailed designs, securing land and arranging planning permissions. Further consultation will also take place alongside the design process.  We then hope to apply for Conditional Approval in 2011 and Final Approval in 2012 which should enable construction of the Low Cost Option to start in 2012/13.

Travel+ logo   The Weston Package is one of the West of England’s Travel+ projects that together aim to tackle congestion, improve air quality, ensure that alternatives to the car are a realistic first choice for the majority of trips, offer real travel choices - affordable, safe, secure, reliable simple to use and available to all  - and meet both rural and urban needs.

 

For further information contact:

Steve Thorne, North Somerset Council

Telephone: 01934 426 920

transport.policy@n-somerset.gov.uk

 

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