Tag Archives: Transport

Introducing a new journey sharing platform for Bristol commuters

Councillor Donald Alexander smiling on College Green, in front of City Hall. He has trees behind him.
Today’s guest blog is from Councillor Donald Alexander, Cabinet Member for Transport.

With Bristol’s Clean Air Zone starting next week, now is a good time for us all to continue considering how we can change the way we travel, to reduce our impact on the environment and make the city’s air cleaner.

To give commuters a helping hand, we’ve launched Join My Journey. This is a free to use online platform, which matches people up from the same workplace to share walking, cycling and car journeys.

It’s a great way to save money, reduce rush hour congestion and pollution, and connect with co-workers.

We’ve commissioned it, working alongside Travelwest and South Gloucestershire Council. We are now encouraging business leaders across Bristol and South Gloucestershire to sign up their companies and organisations so their staff can easily share journeys to work.

To get started all you need to do is register with the website and create a company hub. Once it’s been verified, you can then invite your colleagues to start using Join My Journey.

Anyone who doesn’t have many people to commute with at their workplace, the site can link up smaller businesses through an area hub. This means you can share journeys to work with people who live nearby or on the same route, who are travelling to the same area.  

Not only will it have a positive impact on the environment, but you could save money if you and some of your colleagues take it in turns to drive one another to work by sharing fuel costs and cutting down on the wear and tear of your vehicle.

We also wanted to give people the option to buddy up when walking or cycling to work, which is especially handy as we head into winter as it gets dark so early. It’s a good way to connect with people, keep fit, and enjoy the journey.

Users of Join My Journey smile in front of a car and a bicycle, Southmead Hospital is in the background.
Join My Journey at Southmead Hospital.

To make the most out of the platform, we need as many users as possible to register and create journeys. Our advice is, if you don’t find a match for your journey straightaway, keep checking as the more businesses and individuals that register, the more likely you are to find a match.

We’ve been trialling Join My Journey with the University of the West of England and North Bristol NHS Trust. More than 100 people have signed up so far and the feedback has been positive, especially because all the matching up is done behind the scenes, so all they need to do is encourage their staff to sign up.

To use Join My Journey, simply register, create or join a hub, search for a journey, then join a journey or host one.

Safety features include only being visible to colleagues in the same workplace or agreed businesses nearby. 

Get started at joinmyjourney.org.uk today.

To discuss how your business could benefit from setting up a company hub, email travelwestbusiness@bristol.gov.uk.

The Join My Journey poster. A purple and white background has cartoons of bikes, cars and people. Gold and White text reads: joinmyjourney Share your journeys with others to save Money and the Environment - Register at joinmyjourney.org.uk.

Building a better Bristol

Bristol is a rapidly growing city. One of the fastest growing areas in England and Wales, our population has grown by 10% in the last decade. We need to work together to make sure that Bristol grows well, with local communities benefiting from the change happening on their doorstep. Regeneration will bring city-wide benefits so that everyone can thrive.

To ensure these changes are as positive as possible, we have a vision to create vibrant communities with sustainable, inclusive economic growth. Quality affordable homes and job opportunities will be in locations where we can have reliable, frequent public transport connections and be within walking and cycling routes.

As I shared at last month’s State of the City Address, we are elected to shape the city and the outcomes we want for it. The changes coming for Bristol cannot be left to the chances of a developer aligning with an out-of-date Local Plan and a quasi-judicial process. So, we work to push the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, affordability targets, mixed tenures, modern methods of construction, and active frontages. We want to make sure the changes happen as coherently as possible. It’s essential we work in partnership with landowners, developers, and local communities, to create development frameworks which will set out the principles that will guide and inform how change will take place in an area.  

A map of Bristol with highlighted areas showing regeneration projects across the city. Western Harbour is highlighted pink, Bedminster Green is highlighted green, Southmead is blue, City Centre is purple, Whitehouse Street is deep blue, Frome Gateway is orange and Temple Quarter is red.

Bristol’s transformation is already in progress. Our regeneration programme stretches from Bedminster to Temple Meads, St Judes’s to Broadmead, and includes Western Harbour, Hengrove, and Southmead. This can seem overwhelming, especially after decades of under-delivery by the Council, but we have to recognise the changes are a key part of delivering much needed housing, transport infrastructure, and low carbon energy systems. We have to work with existing communities to manage Bristol’s inevitable growth and plan for it.

We need to deliver thousands of new homes by 2036 to match continuing population growth. We also need to invest in transport networks and infrastructure so people can work and learn. We all need to have access to green spaces, and community spaces. What’s more, we need to do this in a way that will help us be a carbon neutral and climate resilient city by 2030 while also improving wildlife and ecology. We have ambitious plans to support these goals.

We’re developing the District Heat Network, connecting energy users across Bristol to a ready supply of affordable, low-carbon heating. The District Heat Network includes the installation of new energy centres at Whitehouse Street, Frome Gateway, and the City Centre. Our Heat Hierarchy will be adopted by every developer when new housing projects are confirmed, energy efficient homes will make residents use of heat more efficient, lowering the cost.

The rivers Frome, Avon, and Malago run through some of the regeneration areas, but in many parts the Frome and Malago are hidden or unloved. Working alongside developers and landowners we have the opportunity to recover and restore these precious habitats. In Bedminster Green, the River Malago will be ‘daylighted’, uncovered from underground tunnels and its natural features restored. Restoring the river brings great benefits; improved flood resilience and biodiversity throughout the river’s course and new green public spaces for people to enjoy. 

We’re focusing on keeping the roots and history of Bedminster and making sure the heritage of industrial space works in harmony with the need for housing, jobs, and our response to the climate emergency to create a modern, thriving neighbourhood. 

We are creating new communities and revitalising Hengrove, with 1,435 new homes being built at Hengrove Park, 50% of these will be affordable. This means more homes for households who cannot afford to pay market rents or buy homes at market value.

To revitalise the local economy and help businesses on East Street, we are making sure that 5,000 residents in new housing in Bedminster Green and Whitehouse Street have easy access to shops with new walking, cycling and public transport routes. A few minutes more travelling will bring residents to the city centre and beyond.

We’re to create a network of low-carbon transport routes, which will make car-free travel in Bedminster and the surrounding areas easier and excellent public transport links connecting people to Temple Quarter. In June, we secured £95 million to kickstart its first phase of delivery around Temple Meads station. 

Our ambition for the Frome Gateway area, located in St Jude’s to the east of the city centre, is for an exemplar neighbourhood. We want it to be recognised for its unique identity, ability to support healthy sustainable communities, and high-quality and sustainable design. Regeneration there, as across Bristol, must include our commitment to retaining a range of employment to help ensure a diverse and growing economy. 

We know the community is strong and but also faces some of the highest levels of socio-economic deprivation in the city. Regeneration will need to provide meaningful opportunities to improve quality of life for the local community and access to opportunity. St Jude’s is also more vulnerable than other parts of the city to flood risk and heat wave caused by climate change and responding to this is a key priority. Our Bristol Avon Flood Strategy, in cooperation with the Environment Agency and developers, will deliver flood defences that work for Bristol: better protecting homes and businesses near our city’s rivers.

Change at Frome Gateway is not driven solely by Bristol City Council. We have to work with the network of landowners, existing businesses, community groups and cultural facilities. We’ve also partnered with South Gloucestershire Council, Wessex Water, and the Environment Agency secure funding to deliver the River Frome restoration project. 

In a similar way, the Council’s city centre team is working with businesses and other stakeholder groups to revitalise the city centre through the City Centre Development and Delivery Plan’. They told us what was important to them now and in the future looking at the centre’s character, economy, housing, movement, streets, parks, green spaces, and climate change, and our design proposals will focus on this guided by the ‘Citizens Brief’.

By planning and co-ordinating development we’ll able to think strategically about how a city impacted by the pandemic can recover and thrive with a modern, vibrant, commercial centre everyone can access.

Bristol will always be changing and growing in different ways, and we have to adapt and seize the opportunities this will bring us. By having a clear vision of the future we want, with sustainable and inclusive growth at its heart, we can build it together.

Want to know more?

Details about all the regeneration projects can be found on their websites.  

All our regeneration work is in service of the Bristol Local Plan, which Cllr Nicola Beech, who has responsibility for Strategic Planning, Resilience and Floods, talked about recently

We will soon be asking what people think of draft Whitehouse Street framework when the consultation opens on 17th November.

If you would like to help us shape these projects, or receive regular updates on project developments and engagement opportunities, please take a look at the websites and sign up to our mailing lists: 

Bedminster Green

Whitehouse Street

Frome Gateway

City Centre

Temple Quarter

Western Harbour

Southmead 

First Congestion Task Group Meeting

This morning I gathered together a group of transport experts from across the Bristol region to bring the city some hope for our badly congested and unreliable transport network.

This is an opportunity to move away from individual transport projects and look at how to deliver a transport solution for Bristol.

I explained to the group they will be driving the agenda. They will work together to look at what the city needs to tackle congestion and unlock economic growth for all. I want, and we need, a transport network that connects people to people, jobs and opportunities.

You can read more here.

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