Bus stops planned along the M32 motorway in Bristol and turned into an A road

Bus stops could be added to a stretch of the M32 in Bristol Bus stops could be added to a stretch of the M32 in Bristol
Bus stops could be added to a stretch of the M32 in Bristol
New bus stops would allow people living in St Pauls, Eastville and St Werburghs to catch the Metrobus services

The M32 motorway in Bristol will be reclassified as an A road under a plan to install bus stops along its length. Bus lanes are also planned along the entire stretch of the road in a move to provide better and more reliable bus services for thousands of commuters.

New bus stops would allow people living in St Pauls, Eastville and St Werburghs to catch the Metrobus services, which currently just pass through those neighbourhoods. But the changes will mean much less space on the road for people driving private vehicles.

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A park and ride is also planned on land near Junction 1, although it’s unclear exactly where. Updates on the plans for the M32, and other transport projects, were given to councillors on the growth and regeneration scrutiny commission on Thursday, September 28.

Adam Crowther, head of city transport at Bristol City Council, said: “One of the key issues about Metrobus was that it doesn’t stop in St Pauls. The M32 is a motorway so it’s very difficult to have a stopping service, so we’re missing areas like St Pauls, Easton, St Werburghs. They’re missing out on connections and good quality bus routes.”

The changes are planned over several years and will be split into two phases, with work led by Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority. Separate work is also planned by National Highways to carry out a £200-million refurbishment of the Eastville Viaduct, the M32 bridge which runs over Junction 2 near Ikea, starting in 2026 or 2027.

The first phase of work will reclassify the M32 and turn it into an A road. It would still be classed as a trunk road but no longer a motorway, and managed by National Highways. Land will be bought for a new park and ride site, which will then also need planning permission — however a park and ride has been discussed for at least two decades.

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New bus lanes will be created inbound from the park and ride and Junction 1 into the city, and then outbound from Junction 2 out to the park and ride. Bus lanes won’t be installed along the whole length until the National Highways repairs take place, as this will involve removing the central reservation.

The second phase will detrunk the road, which would mean Bristol City Council takes over its management. This will also see bus lanes along the whole length of the road and putting in bus stops.

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