Multi-million plan for M32 park-and-ride to be ‘accelerated’, Government announces

Work could begin on the projects next year

A number of multi-million-pound projects to improve transport links around Bristol have been given top priority by the Government - including a long-awaited M32 park-and-ride.

Today (September 23), Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng pledged to “accelerate” a long list of infrastructure projects across the UK including major proposals across the city.

Work could begin next year on building an A4 corridor between Bristol and Bath to make the journey more accessible for residents via bus services, cycling, and walking.

A sustainable transport corridor and transport hub for the M32 would also be delivered by the government scheme.

Metro Mayor, Dan Norris has welcomed the news, stating that he has argued with ministers many times on delivering the projects.

Mr Norris said: “I really do welcome that the A4 Corridor - Bristol to Bath - and the M32 projects which I have consistently backed as Metro Mayor have been chosen for ‘accelerated delivery’.

“With sky-high inflation we desperately need to get on, and remove barriers, something I have spent a lot of time arguing for with ministers.”

M32 transport corridor and hub

The price of delivering the M32 transport corridor and hub has been predicted to cost £48million, with the council covering 20% of the costs and the government’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements scheme covering the rest of the costs.

WECA hopes to build add a transport hub and amend the current corridor, this would mean building a park and ride and improving bus links north of Lockleaze, near the motorway.

Bristol to Bath transport corridor

Bristol - Bath corridor

The Bristol to Bath corridor is tipped to cost around £40million.

According to WECA, The project aims to:

  • Enable people to move away from using cars by improving bus services between Bristol and Bath city centres
  • The new services will provide more frequent and reliable services, reducing journey times by offering bus priority measures and bus lanes
  • Create an end-to-end cycle route connecting communities along the corridor with easy-to-use cycling facilities
  • Support opportunities for regeneration and economic growth by offering better connections between our communities

A document listing the projects to be fast-tracked by the Government’s plans stated those named “will be accelerated as fast as possible, aiming to get the vast majority starting construction by the end of 2023.

“These projects may benefit from acceleration through planning reform, regulatory reform, improved processes or other options to speed up their development and construction, including through development consent processes.”

It added that inclusion to the list “does not guarantee, where applicable, funding, planning consent or approval for other regulatory or permitting processes”.