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Public transport gets £70m boost

The work to improve public transport corridors and ease congestion will go ahead, thanks to an award of £42 million announced by Transport Minister Rosie Winterton to fund the next stage of the Greater Bristol Bus Network.

Ten new route corridors and over 70 bus routes within the West of England Partnership area will now benefit from local improvements.

The improvements will start in summer with work on the M32 bus lane - improving punctuality and reliability for buses into Bristol without reducing any road space for cars.

The total cost of the upgrades is £70 million comprising £42 million from the Department of Transport, £20 million from local bus company, First, with £6 million from developer contributions, with the balance funded by the four local councils.

Cllr Helen Holland, Leader of Bristol City Council and Chair of the West of England Partnership said: "A high quality bus network is a top priority if we are going to successfully tackle congestion in our city and across the West of England.

"The new cleaner buses on faster routes will make a noticeable difference to bus journey times and encourage more people to use public transport in and around Bristol.

"It’s not just bus passengers who will benefit. The programme will enable us to improve pedestrian and cycle access and safety - and design more attractive street environments that will ensure better neighbourhoods for all."