WECA signs off £3.5m to improve railway network
Westminster might be slightly distracted by the leadership contest to choose the next Prime Minister but I’m still working with our leaders to plough ahead with plans to improve our region with the funding we’ve already received from Government.
Last month’s public meeting in Bath saw multi-million pound plans to improve where we live agreed by all leaders in the West of England Combined Authority, marking a major step forward for the region. We signed off £3.5m to press ahead with plans to improve our railway network with seven new train stations and more frequent services across the region.
We also approved big plans to expand the Metrobus network between Bristol Parkway and Cribbs Causeway, connecting even more communities to the increasingly popular service.
We’re also seeing investment in new environmentally friendly biogas buses on the M1 route connecting Bishopsworth to Bedminster & Frenchay to Patchway as part of plans to introduce nearly 100 biogas buses to our bus network.
We’re being ambitious to build a better transport network to get you where you need to be. We are looking to agree £1.3m to develop more-detailed plans for an innovative mass transit system for the region. This funding will help explore the routes across the region including connections to the airport. It will also assess different types of vehicle as new technology continues to emerge. This is a long-term plan but I’m a firm believer in being ambitious because as our region keeps growing, we must embrace a range of options to meet the needs of the future.
We must also make travelling on public transport easier for everyone by simplifying the ticketing system. I have long thought that we should look to London as a prime example where you can travel by bus and train using a single ticket and payment option to cover the whole journey. For example, a resident in Lockleaze could use the same ticket to take the bus into Bristol and then a train towards other locations. Offering the option to use contactless cards will also help reduce bus boarding times and mean that there will be no more worrying about having the correct change before travelling.