The routes to Upper Weston and Newbridge and
the Twerton service all run through the Western Riverside area
which is at present under consideration for redevelopment. The
routes leave the City Centre Circle at Kingsmead Square and run
along James Street West, across Charles Street to the north side
of the old Green Park Station buildings.
The original tramway proposals continued this route along James St West and into the Western Riverside site adjacent to the river footbridge. This was done in order to avoid removing parking places from Sainsbury's car park on the north side of the river but recent developments may make this unnecessary.
One idea is to make the station buildings area
form a 'gateway' to the site. Sainsbury's car park could be relocated
or Sainsbury's might move altogether and the present parking area
would become a pedestrian area or a civic amenity.
If this plan goes ahead, it will allow the tramway to be much better integrated into the site in a way which would be impossible with a bus-based transport corridor. From Charles Street, the tramway routes would be to run up the ramp on the north side of Green Park Station buildings and directly along the old railway track alignment as far as the river bridge.
The footing of the railway bridge, which brought one of the tracks of the Somerset and Dorset Railway into Green Park Station, are still in place and would serve to support a tramway bridge, alongside Sainsbury's footbridge. (Picture)
The alignment is shown passing along the route of the old S&D trackbed, through the Western Riverside site. In practice, there is no reason to slavishly follow this exact line and the route can deviate to accommodate the requirements of the new development. On reaching Windsor Bridge Road, the Twerton and Weston routes diverge. The Twerton route crosses Windsor Bridge Road into the industial estate, then curves southwards to cross the Lower Bristol Road into Bellotts Road. The Weston and Newbridge track runs northwards over the Windsor Bridge to the Upper Bristol Road. and then westwards to the Weston Hotel junction.
Choice of route
The Western Riverside Development has become a very important area to Bath, for redevelopment into industry, housing and commerce. 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.
The use of a tramway, rather than bus or guided bus will confer the benefits of a quiet, fume-free transport corridor which does not cut the site in half. Because trams are fully compatible with pedestrian areas, there will be no need for the underpasses, flyovers, bridges and ramps normally associated with a major transport link. The reliability of a tram service, which serves all of Bath, will allow prestige development which is not car dependent.
Trams will be essential if a stadium is built on the site because their ability to carry large numbers of standing passengers enables them to rapidly transport large crowds.
More on tram capacity
Various consultation processes have been undertaken
to decide the future of the Western Riverside site. In response
to these, Trams for Bath has published reports and other documents.
Reports and documents
The guided busway which was once proposed for this site would confer none of these advantages and would cost approximately 4 times as much per kilometre. Recently, a "Rapid Transit" link to Bristol has emerged as a real possibility and the advantages of a shared technology with the Bristol tram system will overwhelmingly support the use of trams on theis route.
link to Bristol
More on guided bus
Return to maps
Return to routes homepage