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View from the top of a double decker bus

Mass transit will help to improve congestion and air quality, reducing our carbon emissions.

Led by the West of England Combined Authority, we are working with the councils of Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol City and South Gloucestershire, and neighbouring North Somerset Council to deliver the programme.

Mass transit: what is it, and why do we need it?

Mass transit will greatly improve transport for residents across our region. It is a high-capacity public transport network that provides fast, frequent and reliable services. Mass transit could lead to more people moving away from cars. This would result in lower carbon emissions and improved air quality.

It could also include a mix of transport types, such as over or underground routes, that would link to existing rail and bus services.

With 1.1 million residents, the West of England’s population is growing at a rapid rate. Better transport will support the delivery of new homes, improve access to jobs and link communities with employment areas. We need to plan for a transport network that works for everyone, every day and for every journey.

Mass transit is an important part of the West of England Combined Authority’s transport plans for the region. This is alongside investment in the rail, cycling, walking and bus routes outlined in the Joint Local Transport Plan.

It will provide significant economic benefits and employment opportunities. It will enable everyone to access what they need with less reliance on cars.

Bridge in central Bristol

What this means for you

The project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revolutionise the way we travel around our region.

Mass transit will:

  • Ensure we support the development of a green network and regional prosperity
  • Offer freedom and flexibility on transport options to encourage greater rail and bus use
  • Make public transport the preferred way to travel, reducing the region’s carbon emissions.
  • Encourage more active travel and green infrastructure to protect the environment and improve health and well-being
  • Reduce inequality with an inclusive, affordable and safe network
  • Put work, housing and education opportunities within reach of everyone in our region
Pedestrian crossing light showing green light, with bus stopped behind it

Next steps

It’s essential that we do the groundwork to understand what this mass transit system might look like and how much it would cost.

Working with our local authority partners, we'll take a closer look at how mass transit can best connect the four areas within the West of England. This will include which routes and technologies may work best for our region.

The development of the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) is now in the final stages.  The draft SOC financial dimension is available here.  The intention is to present the full draft SOC and next steps at the October committee meeting.