Mass transit and public transport plans for Bristol

Mass transit and public transport plans for Bristol

What mass transit is, our plans for public transport and mass transit, what we're doing and why.

What mass transit is

Mass transit is a public transport system that: 

  • can move lots of people across a city and the neighbouring regions 
  • can run separately to other traffic 
  • could be made up of several different types of transport 
  • could run both over and underground 

What we're doing

We’re working on plans for a mass transit system for Bristol and the surrounding area with the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and neighbouring councils in Bath, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. 

WECA has invested £1.5 million to look into options for mass transit and investigate and develop possible routes. There’ll be a public consultation about them in summer 2021. 

They’ll assess all suitable options as part of the project. We’ve published a map that shows where and how we want mass transit lines to run (png, 387KB) (opens new window) , in order to help connect people in Bristol with each other, jobs, retail, leisure and the surrounding area. 

Our vision for public transport and mass transit 

Rapid bus routes

We ran a trial to close Bristol Bridge to traffic from August 2021. If Bristol Bridge closes to traffic permanently, we’ll be able to:

  • connect rapid segregated routes through the city centre  
  • create a central bus loop and a hub where different transport options meet

Upgrades to bus services, including new city centre bus lanes, have already started, and First West of England has doubled the number of route 2 buses crossing Bristol Bridge. There are also plans for:  

  • new bus lanes to connect the city to existing and proposed new park and ride sites 
  • connections between the rail network and new public transport routes 
  • new railway stations 

Mass transit lines

Our next goal is to bring in a mix of over and underground mass transit lines running separately to other traffic. More information on these routes is in the Bristol City Centre Framework, which we consulted on and adopted last year.

Why we’re doing this

By increasing the use of public transport, we can build a case for government and private organisations to invest in a low carbon, reliable transport network. 

This will:

  • connect people in Bristol and the surrounding areas to each other, jobs, education and leisure 
  • help us meet the challenges of a growing population
  • help us meet our environmental targets