A MAJOR bus improvement scheme is set to start in Long Ashton next month in order to make bus travel faster, greener, and more reliable.

The first improvement will be converting the existing 2+ lane into a bus lane, and extending this through to the Gurney roundabout towards Bristol.

North Somerset Council are also hoping to carry out some resurfacing work and introduce a ANPR camera.

The road works will start on March 13 and is expected to take around four weeks. 

The majority of roadworks will take place at night, with part and full closures of the A370 between 8pm and 6am.

Diversions to the A38 will be put in place during any road closures.

Following a successful bid to the Department for Transport (DfT), over £105m funding has been allocated for bus improvements, with £48m earmarked for capital improvements in North Somerset alone.

£57.5m will be used as a pooled revenue fund with the West of England Combined Authority to enable delivery of the Bus Service Improvement Plan.

Other bus service improvement schemes include work on Barrow Gurney, Brockley Coombe, Wood Hill, Beggar Bush Lane junction and Marcombe Road.

It is hoped that more people will use the bus service if it proves to be affordable and more reliable.

Additional aims of the programme includes:

  • Introducing Demand Responsive Transport to connect communities without a bus service.
  • Improve bus corridors across Somerset, resulting in quicker services and higher bus frequencies in towns and urban areas.
  • Make bus travel environmentally friendly.
  • Provide affordable bus transport.

Steve Hogg, executive member for transport and highways at North Somerset Council, said: “Securing this money is a major boost for travel across North Somerset and it’s great to see our plans for improved bus services coming to life so quickly.

"Introducing a bus lane on one of the key routes into Bristol will make public transport an easier and quicker route choice for many people travelling to work or for leisure.

“These improvement works will result in more services and increased frequencies which are key to enabling people to travel around North Somerset by public transport, offering equal access to employment, shopping and leisure.”

More information on the Bus Improvement Service Plan can be found on the North Somerset Council's website.