August newsletter

This month we published the Western Gateway Coach Strategy and launched our LinkedIn page. Plus we have updates from our local authorities and partners.   

Western Gateway STB launches first sub-national coach strategy

Western Gateway STB has published the Western Gateway Coach Strategy, setting out the key challenges facing coach services in our region and identifying opportunities for improvement.  

Coaches have an important role to play in providing a sustainable and accessible public transport option that can help reduce carbon emissions and congestion. However, as the Western Gateway Coach Strategy highlights, there are challenges facing the region’s coach sector, including connectivity gaps, poor facilities and driver shortages.

In the strategy developed by AECOM, 36 interventions are identified to address these challenges, including three new potential coach routes. It is also proposed that a South West Coach Sector Steering Group is established, bringing together public and private stakeholders to drive forward the interventions identified in the strategy. 

Find out more by reading our full news story and accessing the Western Gateway Coach Strategy on our website here or via LinkedIn here.

Join us on LinkedIn

Western Gateway STB is now on LinkedIn:

Please join us there to keep up to date with our latest news, along with updates we share from our local authorities and partners.  

Our first post shared news about our launch of ‘Making the case for rural investment’, which sets out the challenges facing England’s rural communities when it comes to funding and levelling up. It suggests key interventions needed to bring about change in rural mobility investment, along with the roles government, local authorities and STBs should play in helping deliver these. 

We shared a post on Western Gateway’s 2050 Rail Vision. Created in collaboration with Transport for Wales and ourselves, this sets out ambitions of the future of rail across the wider Western Gateway region.

There is also the Future of Freight and Logistics Survey. If you are a freight operator or customer, the APPG for the Future of Freight and Logistics wants to hear your thoughts about how government and industry can best work together over the coming months.

We also shared how Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper joined WECA colleagues in Portishead to hear first-hand about the benefits of reopening the rail line to Bristol.

Also this issue

Good news for bus travel! The national £2 bus fare cap has been extended until the end of October and will then be £2.50 for a further year. More locally, a month of free bus travel is now being offered to every resident in North Somerset and West of England Combined Authority during their birthday month. 

Cllr Caroline Thomas, Wiltshire Cabinet Member for Transport and Western Gateway STB Board member, officially launched the new Wiltshire Connect service, a bookable minibus service  that will initially operate in Pewsey Vale. It is perfect for connecting to GWR rail services at Pewsey and, from 4th September, Bedwyn station too.

Portway Park & Ride is now open. Bristol’s first new station in 96 years, it is also the first to be opened as part of WECA’s multi-million pound MetroWest rail programme, providing better access to jobs and businesses in Bristol and the South West.

On Twitter, we congratulated BCP Council on their recent Best Transport Decarbonisation Project win. Plus we shared the news that the deadline for the train station ticket office consultation has been extended to Friday 1 September. We have responded and encourage everyone to do the same.

We also welcomed the publication of the Transport Committee’s report on the strategic road investment, which recognises the role of the STBs and recommends formalising our engagement process with National Highways.

You can keep up to date with all our work by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter @WestGatewaySTB and subscribing to our newsletters by emailing