Western Gateway STB launches region’s long-term transport plan

Today Western Gateway Sub-national Transport Body (STB) launches its long-term Strategic Transport Plan, setting out the region’s transport priorities from now until 2050.

The Western Gateway stretches from Gloucestershire to Bournemouth. Working collaboratively with its nine constituent authorities, Western Gateway STB speaks with one voice to address local transport needs at a regional level.

With this aim, this Strategic Transport Plan sets out the ambitions and priorities that will help unlock social, economic and environmental benefits, improving the lives of everyone who lives, works and travels through the region.

Drawing on a strong evidence base, including the work of its partners National Highways and National Rail, input from private and public stakeholders and responses to its ‘Making the Right Choices’ consultation, Western Gateway’s Strategic Transport Plan identifies the specific transport challenges facing the region. These include rural mobility (a quarter of the people in the region live in rural areas); journey time reliability and the impact of seasonal tourism; and connectivity gaps in the region’s transport system. The plan also draws on national policy, including the Department for Transport’s three key aims for transport: growing and levelling up the economy, reducing environmental impact and improving transport for the user.

To address these local, national and regional considerations, the Strategic Transport Plan identifies five key areas of focus for the Western Gateway:

  • Supporting sustainable housing and employment growth by improving connectivity to enable all parts of the region to flourish.
  • Delivering the changes needed to reduce emissions from transport and achieve net zero carbon.
  • Enabling access to services and opportunities for everyone while reducing the need to drive.
  • Improving transport links in the region from north to south to ensure prosperity and opportunity for all.
  • Easing freight movements on strategic routes and supporting a shift to rail, coastal shipping and alternative fuels.

Following the publication of this strategy, Western Gateway has now begun work on producing a list of Strategic Investment Priorities, setting out what it believes should be the region’s key transport projects, schemes and interventions for investment in the next 25 years. This list will go out to consultation to allow all residents, businesses and communities in the region to have their say on how those priorities should be developed.

Commenting on the launch of the Strategic Transport Plan, Western Gateway’s STB Liaison and Partnership Lead Allan Creedy said: “Our vision is for a resilient and sustainable transport network that works for everyone and is fit for the future, helping people and businesses throughout the Western Gateway to thrive while protecting our environment.

This long-term Strategic Transport Plan sets out the challenges we face as a region as we work together to fulfil that vision, and what we must do to address them. It outlines our evidence and research, along with our local and national ambitions and policies, to identify a clear path towards a future transport provision that enables all our communities and businesses to thrive for the next 25 years and beyond.

To read the Western Gateway Strategic Transport Plan 2024-2050 visit our Strategic Transport Plan 2024-2050 webpage or contact us by email WesternGatewaySTB@westofengland-ca.gov.uk.