April newsletter

This month we launch our engagement for ‘Making the right choices: Issues and opportunities for the Strategic Transport Plan 2025-2050’. We also have news about how we will help pilot new approaches to rural transport in the South West.  

Making the right choices

Western Gateway STB has launched engagement on the issues and opportunities that will shape the region’s long-term Strategic Transport Plan to 2050.

‘Making the right choices: Issues and opportunities for the Strategic Transport Plan 2025-2050’ sets out the issues facing the Western Gateway STB area, including planned housing growth and the need to enable economic growth while addressing the predominant issue of decarbonisation.

It examines regional concerns about car use and congestion, rural journeys, freight and connectivity, and sets out an assortment of opportunities that could be combined to help address these issues. These opportunities range from improving rail, bus and coach services and increasing multi-modal journeys to promoting active travel and alternative fuels.

Responses are requested to five key questions that will determine if the right issues and opportunities have been considered and what the priorities should be for the region as we develop our long-term Strategic Transport Plan.  

The engagement period is now open and closes on Friday 19th May 2023.

Rural mobility pilots

Work is taking shape to pilot new approaches to transport in the South West’s rural and coastal communities, as set out in England’s first rural mobility strategy, which was launched jointly by Western Gateway and Peninsula Transport STBs in September.

A third of the South West’s population live in rural areas, and the strategy addresses the challenges to provide decarbonised, publicly available and affordable transport to support these communities to become more connected and more prosperous. A wide range of potential interventions were identified in the strategy and packaged into bundles targeting different types of rural place, including rural towns, villages, hamlets and isolated dwellings. 

Local authorities have expressed a high level of interest in piloting such projects, so our next steps are to define what pilots should be taken forward and where, with the focus on approaches which if successful as live trials can then be rolled out across other areas.

STB Conference – register now

It is not long now until the STB Conference, which is taking place at the Vox in Birmingham on Monday 5th June. So make sure you register to attend here.

Following last year’s successful inaugural event, all seven of England’s sub-national transport bodies will once again come together to showcase their work to develop an integrated, resilient and low carbon transport infrastructure.

The conference will feature a range of speakers from across the STBs, government agencies and the private sector.

Also this month

As well as regular newsletter updates direct to your inbox, you can keep up to date with our news on Twitter @WestGatewaySTB.

This month we showed our support for Sustrans’ Big Walk and Wheel, the UK’s biggest walking, wheeling, cycling and walking to school challenge. This year saw a incredible and record-breaking 2.6 million active journeys taken to and from school during the two-week campaign. 

We shared National Highways’ updates on the A303 Sparkford to Ilchester scheme which is improving connections to the South West, and the A417 Missing Link scheme to make the road safer and reduce delays. And we were delighted to share Western Gateway Partnership’s 2050 Rail Vision, which sets out ambitions for the future of rail, including faster and more frequent services to the West of England. 

There was news from our local authorities, including a first look at West of Englands new on-demand buses and how South Gloucestershire’s new EV charging strategy aims to work with communities to install more charge points across the area.

Plus we shared how the A35 and A3102 are among the roads set to benefit from the Department for Transport’s £47.5 Safer Roads Fund, redesigning junctions and improving signage and road markings to make journeys safer for everyone

You can keep up to date with all our work by following us on Twitter @WestGatewaySTB and subscribing to our newsletters by emailing westerngateway_stb@westofengland-ca.gov.uk