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South Bristol Link Q&A

Read our Q&A on how the South Bristol Link will improve airport access for those travelling by car from the north, east and west.

January 2017

Q: What is the South Bristol Link?

The South Bristol Link (SBL) is a new road and express MetroBus route which runs between the Long Ashton bypass and Hengrove Park, linking the A370 and the A38 along the way.

Q: What is MetroBus?

MetroBus is a rapid public transport system designed to quickly transport large numbers of people around the West of England using a combination of segregated busways and bus lanes.  It will be connected to the traffic light system to ensure a fast, reliable, express service between 94 strategically placed stops across a 50km network.  By improving the reliability of bus services it is intended to encourage public transport use.  Bristol Airport has contributed nearly £5 million to the cost of building the MetroBus network.

Q:  When will the SBL open to vehicles?

The SBL opened on Monday 16 January 2017.  MetroBus services will start operating on the South Bristol Link from autumn 2017

Q:  Will this reduce traffic on roads through local towns and villages?

The SBL is expected to reduce traffic on the B3130 through the village of Barrow Gurney* in particular.  Traffic is also expected to dramatically reduce on the roads which currently link the residential areas of south Bristol to Winterstoke Road and to the city centre via Bedminster.

*Once the SBL is open from Monday 16 January, the B3130 through Barrow Gurney will close for a period of eight weeks for traffic calming improvements. Diversion signs will be in place during the disruption. 

Q:  What does it mean for passengers travelling to and from Bristol Airport?  Will this reduce journey times?

The SBL will improve access to Bristol Airport for passengers travelling by car from the north, east and west, although journey time reductions may be tempered in the short term by delays caused by road improvement works elsewhere in the local area.  On completion of the MetroBus network, the route of the Airport Flyer Express bus service will be reviewed to make use of the South Bristol Link and the Ashton Vale to Temple Meads (AVTM) MetroBus route.  

Q:  Why won’t the Flyer be using the SBL as soon as it opens?

The Flyer will make use of the SBL once the AVTM route has also been completed, thus providing a seamless onward journey to Bristol Temple Meads station.

Q:  What about staff living on the current Flyer route through south Bristol?

Many Airport staff make use of subsidised travel on the Flyer to get to and from work.  When reviewing the route to make best use of the MetroBus network, consideration will need to be given to ensure staff in south Bristol are still able to access public transport to and from the Airport.

Q:  When will new routes and timetables for the Flyer be announced?

The contract to operate the Flyer from April 2017 is currently out to tender.  Consideration of the new MetroBus network is part of the brief for potential operators.Q:  What about other bus services like the Bath Air Decker, the South West Falcon and the National Express coach from South Wales?
It will be down to transport operators to decide how best to make use of the SBL when considering future routes and timetables for services to Bristol Airport.

Q:  What about Airport taxis?

We will be asking our official taxi provider, Arrow Cars, to request that drivers use the SBL in preference to alternative routes through local villages where possible.  This should result in better service to customers as well as reducing traffic on local roads.

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