The West of England Partnership's vision to improve transport across the region

South Bristol Link

UPDATE UPDATE - DECEMBER 2011 FUNDING SECURED - information on what next will follow shortly

The South Bristol Link  will link the A370 near Long Ashton Park & Ride to the A4174 Hartcliffe roundabout via a single carriageway road with rapid transit bus lanes and other bus priority measures, plus pedestrian and cycle facilitles,

A key role of the South Bristol Link is to provide a new route for the rapid transit system - a rapid and reliable public transport service that will link South Bristol to other areas of the city making it easier to travel to work, to study or to the shops and encouragiug new business to locate to the area.

The new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Network will be a higher quality experience; reliable, easy to use and understand, with modern vehicles and its own right of way. The BRT will have clear information, fast boarding and `smartcard’ ticketing linking with wider bus and rail services, creating a new way of travelling and be a catalyst for transforming public transport travel across the West of England area.

 The 'Best and Final Bid' for the South Bristol Link was submitted to the Department for Transport on September 9 2011 as one of the five West of England Major Transport Schemes.  Read the Strategic Business Case and see all the accompanying doucments.

The Major Scheme Business Case (or bid) was submitted to the Department for Transport in March 2010

In October 2010 the new Government held a Comprehensive Spending Review.  As part of this review, the Department for Transport are reviewing all the transport schemes from across the country that are asking for funding.  All local authority schemes have been placed in one of four categories, a supported, development, pre-qualification and longer term pool .

Three of our schemes, the Bath Package, Weston Package and Ashton Vale to Temple Meads Rapid Transit are in the development pool, while the North Fringe to Hengrove Package and the South Bristol Link are in the pre-qualification pool.

 RT Network JUne 2011 jpg  See how the South Bristol Link fits in the rapid transit network

 See information on the other parts of the rapid transit network projects - Ashton Vale to Temple Meads and North Fringe to Hengrove

The Department for Transport is asking for ’expressions of interest’ for all schemes in order that they can reassess the viability and deliverability of the proposals.  In the guidance they have advised of the need to look carefully at opportunities to reduce scheme costs and have reminded us that this is a ’competitive process’ so work is in hand to present a strong strategic and technical case for the West of England schemes.

The Best and Final Bid has to be submitted by noon on 9 September 2011 and we expect to hear back from Government by the end of the year.

Read about the early South Bristol Link consultation on our West of England sister website.

The South Bristol Link remains an important part of our priority programme because it:

  • Facilitates regeneration and growth in South Bristol – the scheme assists with the creation of 5,600 new jobs,
  • Reduces congestion in South Bristol and in adjacent areas of North Somerset;
  • Improves accessibility from South Bristol to the city centre and to strategic transport links, including the trunk road network and Bristol Airport – with the scheme an additional 9,800 households who currently don’t have it will be within a 40 minute public transport journey of the Airport,
  • Helps combat climate change – a reduction of 19,264 tonnes in carbon emissions over the project lifetime;
  • Has a strong body of support particularly from residents groups, local businesses and the wider business community;
  • Represents high value for money (benefits at four times the costs).  
In order to meet its objectives the scheme is comprised of four distinct elements:  
  • A new Rapid Transit link from Long Ashton to a new Hospital and Leisure Centre site in Hartcliffe;
  • A single carriageway highway between the A370, the A38 and the existing Hartcliffe Roundabout;
  • Cycling and pedestrian facilities parallel to the Rapid Transit and highway elements that will link to existing facilities;
  • Complementary traffic management measures on surrounding highways.
  • The project will continue to use the now well-established West of England governance involving the individual Councils of Bristol and North Somerset, and the Joint Transport Executive Committee and other sub-regional arrangements.

The earliest any construction could start would be 2015.

   A report on the South Bristol Link was presented to the Joint Transport Executive Committee in early February 2010 that asked the members of the four authorities to endorse themajor scheme bid prior to consideration by North Somerset and Bristol councils

See also

Winter 2008 comment on options consultation

Report of the Winter 2008 consultation published June 2009

Route Options appraisal report - February 2009 by Mott MacDonald

Route selection information

Consultation on the preferred route (information only)

Report on Consultation on preferred route - submitted as Appendix 4.6 of the Major Scheme Bid to DfT

See also the report on the junction of the A370 and South Bristol Link that explains why separate rapid transit and road junctions are needed.

Bristol City Council and North Somerset Council are managing the project.


The project will be progressed in stages.  The first stage included establishing the extent to which a scheme would contribute to the regeneration of South Bristol. The work involved preparation of the full Business Case (which is the basis of the bid to government for initial approval for funding, termed 'Programme Entry'). Subsequent work will be needed to progress planning procedures (including detailed design and environmental studies, planning approvals, Orders, Public Inquiry).  The project  is planned for construction between 2014/15 -2016/17.

Government has allocated £47.3 million to the project via its Regional Funding Allocation.

For further information contact North Somerset Council
Telephone: 01934 426646
Email: transport.policy@n-somerset.gov.uk