Bristol is to get a multi-million pound boost to its much maligned transport system with an emphasis on persuading people out of their cars and onto buses and trains. The city's transport leader is going as far as calling it the greatest revolution since the time of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Measures the City Council is expected to endorse tonight include:
- Funding for Bristol’s first new railway station for over 15 years at the Portway Park and Ride and the development of the Greater Bristol Metro, together costing £750,000.
- £1 million on road repair and resurfacing over the next three years
- £5.7 million on upgrading bus stops and bus routes
- £1 million over two years on white street light conversion.
Cllr Tim Kent, the council's executive member for transport told The West Country Tonight,
– Councillor Tim Kent
In the past there just hasn't been the investment we've needed in transport generally in our city and that's why we've been plagued by congestion, but we now have the money and plans in place. Over the next 10 years we're going to be spending something in the region of half a billion pounds on transport improvements. We've never seen anything like this since Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It's real revolution beginning. We need to be able to invest in public transport to give people more positive options, other ways to get to work which are cheaper than the car.
The news has been welcomed by those behind the Greater Bristol Metro, a series of stations and platforms serving Bristol from the suburbs. Keith Walton, Chairman of the Severnside Community Rail Partnership, said:
– Keith Walton, Chairman of the Severnside Community Rail Partnership
The Metro concept is great because it gets across to people that there is a rail network in Bristol and it's simple to use. the sooner we get on with this the better.
Further progress is also expected tonight on plans for the Bus Rapid Transit project, linking the outskirts of Bristol with the centre through new dedicated bus lanes.