October newsletter

This issue we welcome our new Interim Chair of the Western Gateway STB Board, report on our latest freight forum meetings and share news from our local authorities and partners. 

Welcoming our Interim Chair

We were very pleased to have Cllr Don Alexander elected as our Interim Chair of the Western Gateway STB Board at our September Board meeting, along with Cllr Caroline Thomas as Vice Chair. 

Cllr Alexander is Bristol City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, and Cllr Thomas is Wiltshire’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Street Scene and Flooding. Both have been valued members of our Western Gateway Board and we look forward to continuing working with them.  

The next Western Gateway Board meeting is on Wednesday 6th December at 2pm.

South West Freight forums

This month saw the fifth meetings of each of our South West Freight sub-groups for road, rail and aviation and maritime.

Each forum was well-attended and we enjoyed interesting presentations from and discussion with speakers from Hydrogen South West, the Road Haulage AssociationBradfords builders merchants, Clearview IntelligenceVaramis RailGPS Marine and Portland Port,  as well as our partners National Highways and Network Rail. 

The South West Freight main steering group meets next, on Tuesday 7th November at 2pm. 

Join our coach steering group

We recently published our Western Gateway Coach Strategy, setting out the key challenges facing coach services in our region and identifying opportunities for improvement. Thirty-six interventions are identified in the report to address challenges such as poor facilities, driver shortages and route connectivity gaps.

It is also proposed that a South West coach steering group is established. In a similar way to our Western Gateway Freight steering group, this coach steering group will meet regularly to bring together public and private stakeholders in order to drive forward the interventions identified in the strategy.

If you would like to know more about this coach steering group or are interested in becoming a member then we’d love to hear from you. Please contact WesternGatewaySTB@westofengland-ca.gov.uk

STB Conference 2024

The third annual STB Conference will take place on Wednesday 28th February in Manchester, where all seven of England’s sub-national transport bodies will come together to showcase their work to develop an integrated, resilient and low carbon transport infrastructure.

This year, for the first time, the STB Conference takes place on the second day of Interchange UK – a two-day event which will bring together public and private transport infrastructure clients with the energy, property and tech sectors, to help enable a more effective, integrated and decarbonised transport network.

Freight: call for evidence response

The Department for Transport (DfT) and Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) recently sought views on the interaction between freight and logistics and the planning system in England, so that the planning needs of the freight and logistics sector can be properly and effectively considered.

We submitted a response to this call for evidence, which is available to read here.

In case you missed it…

Here’s a round-up of the latest news as seen on our social media channels. You can find us on X/Twitter here and LinkedIn here.

Residents and workers in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are being asked which transport schemes they’d like to see prioritised, while WECA is asking for views on their draft Electric Vehicle Charging Action Plan

BCP, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire have been awarded over £5.8m to support their Bus Service Improvement Plans up to 2025.

Network Rail shared a neat timelapse video of the first phase of the Bristol Temple Meads’ eastern entrance project.

Two thousand e-scooters rolled out across Bristol, while the Wiltshire Connect on-demand bus service is extending to cover the rural area to the east of Marlborough to Hungerford as well as a new service between Marlborough and Devizes.

There has been lots of news from the Department for Transport, which announced the extension of the £2 bus fare cap and funding for innovation in freight, as well as outlining its Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate, Network North and the Plan for Drivers.

The National Infrastructure Commission published the UK’s second National Infrastructure Assessment, which includes a call for £22bn to improve public transport in the largest cities outside the capital, with Bristol one of the four city regions recommended as initial priorities.

Finally, during World Car Free Day we reminded people about the important role coaches can play in improving connectivity and reducing car dependency and carbon emissions. 

You can keep up to date with all our work by following us on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/company/western-gateway-stb and Twitter @WestGatewaySTB and subscribing to our newsletters by emailing westerngateway_stb@westofengland-ca.gov.uk