Council working to improve transport and broadband in North Somerset

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies and deputy leader Mike Bell.

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies and deputy leader Mike Bell. - Credit: Archant

The past few months have seen two government announcements on public transport, both for buses and trains, with the realisation that, for us to meet both our climate emergency and our wider environmental goals, we need to provide, as a nation, public transport based on need rather than profit.

This council is ready to embrace the challenge set us by government and we shall be explaining our vision for buses over the coming months.  

 While the car will still be a key form of transport, clogged roads full of electric cars, with so much space given up to provide parking, allied with the challenges of charging capacity will only be avoided if there are credible affordable alternatives.

Yes, we are working on improving cycling and walking, but for many journeys buses are a quick solution for transporting significant numbers of people. And what is particularly interesting for us is the emphasis on serving all residents, both urban and the far too long neglected rural areas. Tap ‘Bus Back Better’ into your search engine and you will find more information.  

On rail, the plans are to give much greater local say in services and to join the infrastructure providers with the rail operations again, this project is named ‘Great British Railways’ and we await fuller details. Our main driver is to ensure rail is another credible alternative means of transport, and we look forward to how this will be delivered. 

What has become clear during the Covid-19 pandemic is that there is an appetite for many people to work from home or in more local venues. This requires us to think more creatively about the opportunities we offer for very local workspaces.

North Somerset Council has been leading the way in delivering shared workspaces and helping to kickstart commercial development to offer greater choice for our residents and businesses who want to continue what they’ve started during the pandemic.

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Alongside good transport links, a strong fibre broadband network is key to this. North Somerset Council has worked to encourage the commercial market to invest in high-speed broadband across the district and where the market fails, we have worked with the Connecting Devon and Somerset partnership to deliver projects in a public-private partnership. 

On both transport and broadband, North Somerset is accelerating its work to ensure we have an infrastructure that is fit for the future. 

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies, and deputy leader Mike Bell.