More bus lanes to ease Muller Rd delays

WORK could start next year on new bus lanes on Muller Road, which is said to be one of Bristol’s worst performing public transport routes. 

Two sections are planned eastbound between Heath Road and Tackley Road, and between the railway bridge and Elmcroft Crescent. The new bus lanes would only be in operation at peak times.

An extra £388,000 has been pledged towards the project, councillors  at a meeting of the West of England Combined Authority (Weca) have been told.

Councillor Kye Dudd, Bristol’s cabinet member for climate, said: “Something definitely needs to be done there so it’s welcome to see the funding for the bus lane. The 24 route is, I believe, still the worst performing bus route in the city in terms of punctuality – and goes along Muller Road.

“So it’s really welcome to improve the public transport option but also to alleviate congestion.”

New bus lanes were built further up Muller Road, which links Eastgate shopping centre with Horfield, earlier this year, as part of wider plans to upgrade the road network. A  thousand new homes are planned for Lockleaze, adding extra demand to public transport.

The new Ashley Down train station is also under construction just off Muller Road. It is expected to open in summer next year, prompting campaigners to call for the bus stops on Muller Road to be relocated.

Christina Biggs, from Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways, said: “Let’s make every single suburban railway station interchanged with buses at the railway station. It doesn’t quite happen at the moment, notably at Filton Abbey Wood there’s a bit of a walk to get to the bus service.

“There are two bus stops near Ashley Down station on Muller Road. You can come in on one and the bus stop is near the station, but going the other way it’s quite a long walk. You’ve got an extensive walk up a long hill. Both routes should have stops in both directions near the station. It’s something you can get going with right now.”

Bristol City Council is responsible for where bus stops are located in its area at the moment, although this power will soon transfer over to Weca. 

Metro mayor Dan Norris said the location of bus stops was “complicated”.

He told the meeting: “I was at Ashley Down this week and it’s coming on at pace. The platforms are now in and it’s ahead of schedule, which is fantastic. It’s due to be completed in February or March next year, and then hopefully within three or four months in next May or next summer it will actually open.

“But we do have to have it joined up.”

By Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporting Service