>New bus link expected to take ten minutes off public transport journey times
By September 2012, a new road is set to be opened that will provide more efficient bus travel in and out of UWE’s Frenchay Campus. The newly constructed two-way bus route will be located in the Western Edge of the campus and will link UWE to the Abbeywood roundabout through the Cheswick housing development.
The Cheswick bus link will be open to bus use and cyclists only, whereby the alleviation of cars will allow for a quicker and more prompt service.
Plans are also underway to construct another road branching off of the Cheswick bus link, namely Romney Avenue, which will eventually provide a bus-only route between Horfield and the rear entrance of Frenchay campus.
This route will connect to the new ‘Heartzone’ and the sustainable transport hub, which are both currently forecast to commence construction in the latter stages on 2013. According to Nick Loughlin, UWE’s Travel Smart Project Manager: “The sustainable transport hub will, for many, be the main arrival point at the University. With in excess of 40,000 passengers using the service every week it is proposed to be located as close to the heart of the campus as possible.”
He further states: “It will provide a positive arrival experience at the heart of the University, facilitating quick and easy access to all the major facilities.”
The new routes have supposedly helped shape the proposed new location of the transport hub, which will be in close proximity of the new Students’ Union building.
Until the new transport hub is built, Mr Loughlin assures that UWE’s current bus depot will continue to operate in its present location, and will be accessible via the Cheswick route.
One of the major issues that the Wessex Red bus service has been facing is traffic congestion, which has historically led to students being unhappy about the reliability of the buses. Mr Loughlin states: “The University has been working with both South Gloucestershire and Bristol City Council in seeking alternatives to reduce the impact of congestion on bus routes, therefore resulting in the construction of the Cheswick and Romney Avenue bus link.”
Mr Loughlin believes that once the routes have been completed, it is envisaged that as much as ten minutes could be taken off of public transport journey times for routes from Bristol City Centre.
He states: “The new route will significantly improve bus travel for UWE students.”
“We are constantly trying to improve our bus services, and through constructing these new links buses should hopefully run more on time.”