Bids in for millions

MILLION of pounds worth of transport improvements could be made across the district over the next five years.

North Somerset Council has submitted its bids for funding to the Department for Transport (DfT).

It is involved in three schemes along with other South West authorities, the Weston Package, an Ashton Vale to Temple Meads rapid transit scheme and a South Bristol link.

They are a combination of highway, public transport and walking and cycling enhancements and have been developed over a number of years with community and stakeholder involvement and input.

The total funding being sought for the three schemes from the DfT is �74million and in addition to this North Somerset Council is providing �10.2million over a five-year period and �5.8million is being provided by developers. The West of England councils will hear by the end of December whether the DfT is to fund the schemes.

If successful, the first scheme to be created is the Weston Package, with construction beginning next October and completion due in June 2014.

Ashton Vale to Temple Meads Rapid Transit will provide a fast, frequent and reliable public transport service into and out of Bristol from Long Ashton park and ride.

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A range of existing bus services from Nailse and Clevedon will also feed into it, spreading the reach of the scheme across North Somerset.

The South Bristol link will join the A370 near Long Ashton park and ride to the A4174 Hartcliffe roundabout via the A38.

It will also act as a relief road for traffic currently using country lanes to reach Bristol Airport, including the inadequate road through Barrow Gurney.

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