Early engagement with stakeholders from across the West of England region shows that a new mass transit system must offer flexibility on transport options; put work, housing and education opportunities within reach of everyone and encourage more active travel.
Mass transit is a high-capacity public transport network that provides fast, frequent and reliable services, often segregated from other traffic. It could potentially be made up of several different types of transport, with links to existing rail and bus services.
During February and March 2021, the West of England Combined Authority held webinars and focus groups with local communities, businesses, environmental organisations and transport stakeholders to understand their priorities and any barriers to future use of our mass transit system. Other initial feedback gathered from these engagement events highlighted that mass transit must be frequent, reliable, affordable and fast to encourage use.
This feedback will provide evidence for the Strategic Outline Business Case as WECA begins to develop options and ensure our plans meet the needs of local people.
This stage of the process was not designed to choose particular modes of transport or specific routes or stations, as these will identified and put out to consultation later in 2021 following a robust assessment of evidence from a variety of sources across the region.
Mass transit will dramatically improve transport for residents throughout the West of England and could lead to significant numbers of people moving away from cars, leading to lower carbon emissions and improved air quality.
As employment, travel and commuter patterns across the West of England are so interconnected, the regional mass transit system is the ideal programme to be led by the Combined Authority, supported by its constituent councils, Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol City and South Gloucestershire, as well as neighbouring North Somerset Council. WECA is working with the councils to create a sound evidence-base of all the current and existing plans for the area to inform our mass transit project.