The routes to Upper Weston and Newbridge share part of their course with the Twerton service. They leave the City Centre Circle south of Kingsmead Square and rejoin it in the square itself.
Because of this, Westgate Buildings becomes the only part of the City Centre Circle not served by every route and is an unsuitable place for a tram stop. At present it is used for a number of bus stops and these could stay in place; access to the trams being provided at one or other end of the street where all routes are present.
The Twerton and Newbridge routes continue along
James Street West, and across Charles Street. Alternative routes
are possible from here, through the Western
Riverside area, depending on the way the site is developed.
The Western Riverside Development is a very important area to Bath, the current plans include industry, residences, retail outlets and places of entertainment. Having two main tramway services passing through it, with connections to the whole of Bath, will be very beneficial for the area and for the tramway system. If the tramway is installed early in the development process and is built as a network to the whole of Bath, not just as a corridor, it will be a major stimulus to rapid regeneration of the area.
The Riverside alignment also has the advantage that it avoids running the tramway along a part of the Upper Bristol Road which is often subjected to traffic jams and which serves very few households or businesses.
On reaching Windsor Bridge Road, the Twerton and Weston routes diverge. The Weston track runs northwards over the Windsor Bridge to the Upper Bristol Road.
Discussion of possible alternative routes
At the Windsor Bridge Road / Upper Bristol
Road junstion, the existing filter system of the traffic lights
would be adequate, without modification, for the outbound tramway.
A special prolonged right-turn phase, controlled by a tram-detection
loop, should be added to ensure that inbound trams always clear
the junction within one cycle of the lights. Box junction marking
may have to be added to ensure that trams are not baulked by stationary
traffic and left overhanging a junction.. From here, the Newbridge
route continues westwards to the Weston Hotel junction and along
Newbridge Road to a terminus at the Park + Ride.
There are proposals by the Avon Valley Railway Company to extend their line towards Bath from Bitton. Although primarily intended as a tourist attraction, a rail link to North Bristol could attract commuters and a tramway link from the P+R site would give them easy access to and from Bath
The Weston route turns right up Newbridge Hill and into Combe Park. If required, the tramway could be taken through part of the Hospital grounds in complete safety and without detriment to the environment.. The route then passes through Weston High Street and up Lansdown Lane to a suitable terminus which must be on level ground.
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