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EXTENSION OF THE WESTERN RIVERSIDE TO NEWBRIDGE
TO JOIN UP WITH THE BRISTOL TRAMWAYS
The B&NES Local Transport Plan has for many years shown a future "Rapid Transit" link from a proposed new P+R site at Lambridge, via the City Centre and the Western Riverside to the existing P+R site at Newbridge. Recently the emergence of tramway plans for Bristol have raised the possibility of a linking line from Newbridge through the Avon Valley. This would ideally be an inter-urban tramway, so as to retain vehicle and track compatibility with the Bristol tramway system and give easy interchange.
This raises the interesting possibility of compatibility at the Bath end of the link. The on-foot passenger catchment area for such a link is very limited and it would tend to draw large amounts of car traffic into the central areas of Bath from a much wider area. This is neither desirable nor practical, so with only local bus services as an alternative, potential passengers will make the whole journey to their ultimate destinations by car instead - as they do at present.
If the Trams for Bath routes are added to this plan, they complement the LRT system, widening its catchment area to include most of the residential, employment and commercial areas of Bath. The links to the P+R sites give an even wider catchment to Norton-Radstock, parts of Wiltshire and parts of S. Gloucestershire, without bringing more cars into the city
As the same basic engineering is planned for both Bath and Bristol trams, the ability to run from one system to another will allow the construction of a fully integrated transport system with the whole far greater than the sum of its parts.
More about the Western Riverside?
RADSTOCK / MIDSOMER NORTON
One of the major sources of traffic congestion
on the south side of Bath is the A367 commuter traffic, some of
which is diverted into the Odd Down Park+Ride.
The old Somerset and Dorset Railway trackbed forms a link from Bath to the area where this traffic originates and a possible later phase of the tramway system could include its extension along the S and D route.
Alternatively, a roadside extension from the Odd Down P+R site might be possible along the A367, with some diversions to avoid steep gradients and 'pinch points'. This would have the advantage of serving the large dormitory area of Peasedown St John.
The ability of the tram to run in streets would mean that the collection points for passengers could be distibuted widely over the area, eliminating the need for large Park+Ride sites and giving access for people without the need to use cars.
The route from Radstock could continue along parts of the Bristol & N. Somerset Railway alignment into Welton and Midsomer Norton, passing through the town itself. Smaller distributed P+R sites could cater for outlying districts without producing large traffic disruption.
A further continuation of the line would enable it to link up with the south Bristol tram routes giving easy access to the much of that city. (The first Bristol tram route is intended to open from the City Centre to Bradley Stoke - a southern extension is planned to follow soon afterwards)
AVON VALLEY RAILWAY
The Avon Valley Railway Company, which at present
operates a heritage steam railway at Bitton (N.E.Bristol) is extending
its track towards Bath. The first phase is planned to terminate
at Saltford but a further extension to Newbridge is under consideration.
Map and description of Newbridge route
It is inevitable that the services will be used by commuters, although not primarily intended for this purpose, and some form of public transport will be required from the Newbridge railway terminal into Bath. The tramway could not only provide that link, but trams could share track with the heritage railway and run as an interurban service to Bristol at some future date.
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