Building upon last month’s major investments in our MetroWest local rail plans, Metrobus and walking and cycling, I hope that at the July WECA Committee, I can secure further investments for projects to ensure that our region’s public transport is fit for the future.
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 Keynsham could use the same ticket to take the train into Bristol and then a metrobus towards Cribbs Causeway. 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 you travel. This is yet another important investment to ensure that our public transport is accessible, convenient and user-friendly.
Ultimately, each investment is vital as we work to offer residents a comprehensive public transport system to move people seamlessly across the region. This is important not only to connect people to work, loved ones and leisure activities but also to further reduce our region’s carbon emissions and improve the air we breathe. I am proud to be working with the region’s other leaders to deliver these crucial investments and ensure continued, sustainable development and economic growth that benefits everybody.