An overview on population and the key points include:

  • The rate of population growth forecast to 2041 is higher within the Western Gateway area when compared to England as a whole
  • Areas forecast to have the highest levels of population growth include Bristol and surrounding areas, and
  • Attracting and retaining businesses within the Western Gateway area through better connectivity is essential to ensure sustainable economic growth. 

An overview on connectivity and the key points include:

  • If congestion is not managed in urban centres, it will negatively impact sub-national connectivity
  • Travel times to London by rail vary considerably
  • East / West connectivity between urban centres on the south coast is good, but resilience is an issue
  • Improving North / South Connectivity are vital to improve productivity and increase access to markets located in the Midlands and the north
  • Due to the close proximity of larger airports and the relative ease of access, there is a lot of passenger leakage to Birmingham and the South East airports, and 
  • It is important to ensure the Ports in the Gateway area are well connected to the national transport network to maintain their long-term viability. 

An overview on planned growth and the key points include:

  • Each area has an adopted local plan – providing long-term certainty on locations of future growth
  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s strategy are focused on their town centres and sustainable transport corridors
  • Dorset’s planned housing growth is one of dispersed medium-sized developments 
  • Gloucestershire’s growth strategy is focused on its primary urban settlements and the M5 corridor
  • The West of England’s growth strategy is focused on Bristol and then dispersal to its smaller settlements, and
  • Wiltshire has focused growth on its Principal Settlements and then to its Market Towns. 

An overview on economy and the key points include:

  • At a national level, the highest employment rates for Travel to Work Areas were generally observed in the South East and South West
  • Western Gateway area supports over 1.6 million jobs 
  • The two city regions of the West of England and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole provide 53% of the Western Gateway Areas jobs
  • Travel to Work data identifies the importance of working with neighbouring areas, and
  • A function of transport is to support economic growth by enabling key employment sectors to thrive. The role of transport in this context is twofold – ensure there is sufficient capacity in the transport network to enable employees to get to work, and that goods can be transported to facilitate supply chains using good quality reliable strategic networks. 

An overview on local transport and the key points include:

  • The area has a high dependency on car ownership and car use
  • Network capacity constraints have resulted in several strategic corridors experiencing congestion, which has had a negative impact on productivity and the local environment 
  • As the economy grows, journey time reliability and choice will be critical in travel decisions
  • The impact of planned growth must be managed to reduce its impact
  • Growth is not evenly distributed and will negatively impact several strategic travel corridors
  • It is paramount to reduce car use and manage the network more effectively 
  • There is a need for improvements to public transport corridors and investment in bus networks to address urban issues and rail network to address sub-national issues
  • There is limited access to the Strategic Road Network in the south and capacity constraints throughout the area which impacts network resilience, and
  • Demand for new rail services need to be matched by infrastructure investment to remove pinch-points on the network to provide additional route capacity. 

An overview on enhanced productivity and the key points include:

  • Although the STB contains centres of economic activity, the Western Gateway has several areas and communities that experience poor transport connectivity
  • The Western Gateway area is ideally suited to agglomeration improvements given that several Functional Urban Regions are in the area
  • Planned employment sites being delivered could support over 170,000 new jobs. Based on GVA per employee across all of the Western Gateway area, this is equivalent to additional GVA of £8.7 billion
  • Enhanced connectivity will help to unlock new housing sites (due to transport constraints being lifted), and 
  • The Western Gateway STB has a major role to play in this rebalancing as it offers a unique set of economic opportunities that if sufficiently exploited, can help achieve the Government’s objectives of rebalancing the economy. 

An overview on environment and the key points include:

  • Reducing carbon emissions associated with infrastructure and transport propulsion is fundamental to addressing the global challenge of climate change
  • New infrastructure can have significant effects on the natural landscape and thus consideration must be given to the natural and built landscapes when planning new infrastructure
  • The Western Gateway area is home to a range of different landscape designations including: 3 World Heritage Sites, 1 National Park (New Forest), and 6 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Flooding is an issue across the Western Gateway area which can impact transport connectivity
  • Climate change is likely to exacerbate the number of flooding incidences (surface water flooding, sea level rises, tidal flooding), and
  • Outdoor air quality across the Western Gateway area is generally good however there are Air Quality Management Areas in place at a number of locations.