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Frequently asked questions

There are several reasons why we are proposing changes along the A37, A362 and A367.

Cars are heavily relied on by people for travel between their home, work and leisure activities, because there are few opportunities to use buses, bikes, or other types of sustainable transport to travel around quickly and safely.

This has led to significant congestion along with related carbon emissions, noise issues and poorer air quality, particularly at the approaches to Bristol and Bath.

Air pollution levels on some parts of the route currently exceed recommended national limits with Temple Cloud and Farrington Gurney recently been singled out as hotspots or “Air Quality Management Areas”.

The Somer Valley is also predicted to grow with the numbers of people using the main roads to Bath and Bristol likely to increase in the future. But the current infrastructure won’t be able to cope with this extra demand. If nothing is done, we will see poorer air quality, yet more carbon.

The “Somer Valley Links” project covers travel on:

  • A37 - between Whitchurch on the outskirts of Bristol and the junction with the A362 at Farrington Gurney
  • A362 – including Midsomer Norton, Westfield and Radstock
  • A367 - including Peasedown St John and into central Bath along Wellsway

The proposals include:

  • Two new bus lanes, two extended bus lanes and improvements at five junctions
  • Improvements to ten pairs of bus stops
  • Eight new mobility hubs - places where you can switch between different types of transport easily
  • New segregated cycle lanes, shared use paths and quiet routes

We’ve also included potential new crossings and cycle routes - which could be developed in the future if we get more funding.

Click here to read about the proposals in detail.

The project aims to give residents a better choice of more sustainable ways to travel along the A37, A362 and the A367 by:

  • Preventing buses getting caught up in traffic, making journey times faster and buses more reliable
  • Making it nicer and safer to use buses by improving bus stops and crossings
  • Providing more options to walk and cycle between villages and towns along the route
  • Putting in place facilities that make it as easy as possible to make longer trips without using cars
  • Improving Odd Down Park & Ride to encourage more people to use it

The first stage - before anything was drawn up – was to ask people who live and travel along the routes what they thought. Between December 2021 and January 2022 we held a consultation asking:

  • What are the transport issues?
  • How could this be improved?

We had more than a thousand responses outlining concerns and making some really useful suggestions. All of these were looked at and used to help identify what improvements were needed and where – leading to the current proposals.

The full report can be found here – some brief highlights include:

  • 75% of journeys are made by car
  • 71% (cycling) and 69% (walking) rated safety as poor along the A37/A367
  • 61% rated traffic flow along the A37/A367 as poor
  • Barriers to walking more:
    • Lack of pavement or poor surface - 69%
    • Do not feel safe - 63%
    • Not enough safe crossing points – 55%
  • Barriers to cycling more:
    • Vehicles travelling too fast - 86%
    • Vehicles passing too close - 85%
    • Not enough cycle lanes – 83%
    • Too much traffic on the routes - 83%
  • Buses – issues rated as poor
    • Cost of using bus / bus fares - 46%
    • Bus timetables / or the time of buses - 38%
    • Reliability - 34%
  • Residents want more frequent buses (43%), more reliable services (29%) and quicker journey times (25%)
  • More people would choose to cycle if:
    • There were more off-road cycle routes away from traffic (79%)
    • There were separate (or segregated) cycle lanes on roads (60%)
    • There was less traffic on route (27%)
  • More people would walk if:
    • Pavements were wider (45%)
    • Pavements were separated from traffic (43%)
    • There was less traffic on routes (28%)
  • Improving walking, wheeling and cycling was the highest priority (80%), followed by improving traffic and roads (45%) and bus improvements (39%)
  • The most requested walking, wheeling and cycling improvements were:
    • Making routes safer (17%)
    • Continuous foot/cycle paths (16%)
    • Maintenance/wider roads/paths (15%)
    • Segregated cycle paths (13%)

A mobility hub is a place where you can easily switch between different types of transport – from walking, cycling or an e-scooter to standard buses, or one of the new on-demand WESTlink minibuses, which allow you to connect into the main bus and rail network.

You might see cycle stands and lockers, bike repair stand and pumps, along with mobile phone charging points, and bus stops with digital information screens.

The hubs are designed to bring everything together in one convenient place, to make it as easy as possible to make more sustainable travel choices.

We’ve carried out a comprehensive analysis of transport in the local area around the A37, A362 and A367. This included reviewing existing buses, journey times and delays, looking how walking and cycling routes were used and by who, as well as traffic data and predicted future travel requirements. We combined this with the feedback raised during the previous consultation to develop and assess the individual proposals being presented. They have been carefully selected to improve local connections - for example by creating the missing links between cycle routes.

We couldn’t include every suggestion, but we hope these proposals will benefit many people.

Yes – there could be depending on the location.

  • Along Wellsway in Bath, the proposed changes could mean reducing car parking by 37 spaces between Midford Road and Devonshire Buildings. Some parking spaces would have to move from one side of the road to the other
  • Car parking spaces could also be reduced by two spaces in Bear Flat in Bath, three spaces in Temple Cloud, four spaces in both Pensford and Farrington Gurney and eight in total in several locations in Midsomer Norton.

Bath & North East Somerset Council has recently introduced the Entry Hill Residents Parking Zone (RPZ) which covers part of Wellsway, following consultation in 2022. They will work with the West of England Combined Authority to make sure that the RPZ works in tandem with these proposals as we move forward.

We’ve included two possibilities for future cycle routes – along the old Railway track between Hallatrow and Midsomer Norton and an upgrade to the National Cycle Network route 24 between Paglinch Farm and Littleton Lane, Wellow.

These are not planned as part of this project but have been suggested previously as possible off-road cycle routes. We want to understand people’s views on this for future planning.

The West of England Mayoral Combined Authority has secured more than £500 million in funding from central Government to improve the region’s sustainable transport network – including improvements to public transport, walking, wheeling and cycling. The Somer Valley Links project is part of this wider programme – more details can be found here.

The proposals are part of a programme that is looking at improving infrastructure such as better bus lanes, cycle routes and improvements to bus stops.

The West of England Mayoral Combined Authority has also been successful in securing funding from central Government to improve bus services to make the most of this better infrastructure.

Click here to find out more.

Better infrastructure is a vital part of making bus travel a more attractive option. By tackling pinch points where buses are being delayed, we can make buses more reliable and reduce journey times.

At the same time, we’re working very closely with bus operators and local councils in what’s known as an “Enhanced Partnership” to improve bus services – aiming to make buses more frequent, keeping fares stable and develop new services.

£105m of Government funding has been earmarked for this across the region. Some of the local improvements so far include:

  • New service 522 - Bristol to Bath via Keynsham and the Somer Valley
  • Increased frequencies and change of route for service 172
  • New on-demand WESTlink service

Click here to find out more.

You can comment on some or all of the proposals outlined on this website using the online feedback form.

If you’d like to speak to a member of the team, you can join our webinar on Thursday 6 July, 6.30pm - 7.30pm.

Or come along to one of our drop-in events:

Radstock Wednesday 12 July 2pm-7pm Trinity Methodist Church, Wells Road, BA3 3XA
Bath Wednesday 19 July 3pm-8pm St Luke’s Church, Hatfield Road, BA2 2BD
Farrington Gurney Monday 24 July  2pm-7pm Memorial Hall, Farrington Gurney, BS39 6UA

More information can be found here.

All the feedback we receive will be reviewed – and will be used this to draw up more detailed designs. You will have an opportunity to comment on these in a further consultation, likely to take place in 2024.

We’re currently expecting construction to start in 2025 and last for approximately one year.

We will plan the construction works carefully to keep any disturbance to an absolute minimum, but we recognise there will inevitably be some degree of disruption. We will let local residents know what is happening and when - well in advance.

This is not yet decided. We will undertake a tender process to find a supplier closer to when construction is planned to start.