The Hyder Report
6.1 The proposed tram route to Newbridge Park and Ride should be considered as an option to the proposed guided busway. A segregated alignment following the course of the former railway should be developed in preference to the TfB alignment using Windsor Bridge Road and Newbridge Road.
6.2 A study of the City Centre circle should be undertaken to establish the track alignment and traffic management measures necessary to ensure satisfactory operation of a central tramway. Clockwise and anti-clockwise options should be considered together with stop locations, junction arrangements and access arrangements for essential servicing vehicles. This should then be compared with the alternative of routing only to the bus and rail stations.
6.3 Further studies should be undertaken to determine the feasibility of a segregated alignment to serve the Lambridge Park and Ride site. A tramway may then be considered as an option to a guided busway.
6.4 The opportunities for providing the maximum level of segregation on the Odd Down Route should be investigated, using available highway space where practicable.
6.5 Further work on the remaining TfB tram routes should not be progressed in any level of detail until the results of studies of the Newbridge-Lambridge corridor and the City Centre circle are completed.
6.6 However, the identified network with the highest potential for public transport improvement (Figure 1) should be reviewed for bus priority measures. These are unlikely to involve extensive use of bus lanes, but rather to consider the application of other techniques to improve bus journey times and service reliability.
6.7 A workshop with interested parties should be arranged in the near future to discuss the findings of this review and to receive views on the best way forward.
6.7 Following this, it is suggested that a wider range of interested groups should also be consulted on the concept of a tramway for Bath, including representatives of residents, retailers, business and commercial interests, educational and service industries, tourist agencies and the general public.
6.8 The following is recommended for inclusion in the Local Transport Plan: -
i. The east-west corridor between the Lambridge and Newbridge Park and Ride sites, via the City Centre and Western Riverside, using segregated alignment wherever possible, be taken forward to Transport and Works Act Application stage;
ii The remainder of the network identified in the review as having the highest traffic potential should be kept under consideration for intermediate bus priority treatment, with longer term potential for inclusion in the tram network.
6.9 If it is decided to proceed with a tram system, it is strongly recommended that an experienced legal expert (probably a Queen's Counsel) be engaged at the earliest possible stage to ensure that the best case and supporting evidence is presented to the DETR and Public Inquiry. This is in order to ensure the greatest chance of success in securing an Order under the T & WA.
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