WECA A4 Bath to Bristol Consultation: 'Key findings' published but Public Engagement Report delayed until May 2024 - Saltford Parish Council

Residents will recall WECA’s public consultation that took place between August and October 2023, on A4 Bath to Bristol transport proposals made by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).

Saltford Parish Council strongly opposed the majority of proposals, including bus lanes on the Keynsham Bypass and in Saltford. Please see our news article published in September 2023 ‘SPC strongly objects to A4 Bath to Bristol consultation proposals‘.

Following its objection, Saltford Parish Council also raised its serious concerns about the way that WECA had conducted the consultation in a formal complaint. Please see our news article published in October 2023 ‘A4 Bath to Bristol Consultation – SPC submits formal complaint to WECA‘.

At the time of the consultation, WECA initially stated that it intended to publish the Public Engagement Report from the A4 Bath to Bristol Consultation, held in 2023, at the start of 2024.

This was delayed, and SPC then understood following attendance at the Keynsham Area Forum in February (where a short, written update was shared – as circulated by SPC following) that the Public Engagement Report would be published alongside the Online Business Case which was due to go to WECA Committee on Friday 15 March.

However, SPC has since been informed by B&NES Council that on Thursday 14 March B&NES Council was made aware that the report would no longer be published alongside the Online Business Case due to the Bristol City Council pre-election (‘purdah’) period and that the report would be published following the Bristol elections in May.

A note has since been published on WECA’s ‘Bath to Bristol’ consultation page indicating this, as follows:


“Work on the A4 Bath to Bristol project has been continuing since we asked for feedback on the proposals last year between August and October.

We’d like to again thank everyone who took the time to comment on the proposals. We have taken on board your feedback and considered further technical analysis to make a small number of initial design changes. These are not final, and nothing has been ruled in or out at this stage. The next phase of work will develop designs in greater detail, considering more of the feedback. Nothing is set in stone.

To keep the project on track, we are seeking approval to continue work on the Bath & North East Somerset section from the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority Committee (15 March 2024).

The engagement report is not being published at this time due to the Bristol City Council pre-election period but will be released shortly following the election”.

Online Business Case document

Of interest to Saltford residents may be the short summary of ‘key findings’ on proposals in and near Saltford in WECA’s Online Business Case document,  (OBC document), in the paragraphs from section 2.8.10 on pages 107 and 108. This includes findings for the Keynsham Bypass and the section of A4 between the Broadmead (Waitrose) Roundabout and The Globe Roundabout.

B&NES Ward Cllr Summary of the Online Business Case document for Keynsham & Saltford

A B&NES Council Ward Councillor for Saltford has summarised information from the Online Business Case document and shared this with Saltford Parish Council, as follows:

WECA’s Online Business Case – Keynsham Bypass: Hicks Gate roundabout to Broadmead roundabout “The elements of the proposals for the Keynsham bypass were strongly opposed by over half of respondents in all cases. The level of support for the proposed elements of the Keynsham bypass proposals is significantly greater among those respondents outside the BS31 postcode, compared to those respondents within the BS31 postcode (Keynsham and Saltford). The majority of respondents did not agree with the impacts of the proposals in this area, although there did appear to be a greater proportion of agreement for the safety benefits for cyclists. The most frequently occurring issues in the received comments was a concern that the proposals in this area would increase congestion, followed by a related concern that there would be a negative impact on air quality (e.g., idling engines of stationary traffic)”. Keynsham Mobility Hub: “The majority of respondents oppose the Keynsham Mobility Hub. Levels of opposition to the elements of the Keynsham Mobility hub are higher in the BS31 postcode compared to elsewhere. Respondents listed features that would encourage them to use the Keynsham Mobility Hub and these included requests for inclusion of toilets and information on transport services, as well as enclosed cycle parking and sheltered waiting areas”.

WECA’s Online Business Case – Saltford: Broadmead roundabout to The Globe roundabout: “Overall, respondents were in the majority in disagreement with the proposed elements on this section of the route. The proposed segregated cycle track appeared to have more support compared to the other elements on the Broadmead to The Globe section. For each of the proposed elements, the proportion of respondents that disagree with the proposed element is greater inside the BS31 postcode compared to respondents outside that postcode. The level of support for the proposals depended on whether the respondent is from within the BS31 postcode or outside of it. In all but one of the predicted potential impacts, more than half of the respondents strongly disagree that these will take place. The exception being improved safety for those walking or cycling along the route. The most frequently occurring issues in the received comments was a concern that the proposals in this area would increase congestion, followed by a related concern that there would be a negative impact on air quality (e.g., idling engines of stationary traffic)”.

WECA’s Online Business Case – Bristol and Bath Railway Path in Saltford area: “The proposals resulted in supportive attitudes among respondents. In all cases, the largest proportion of respondents were in favour of the proposals. There was particular support for providing better off road cycle provision. Respondents outside the BS31 postcode are more supportive of the proposals. Respondents overall agree that there will be improvements to safety for pedestrians and cyclists and that more people will be encouraged to do these activities. Of the comments received, the most commonly mentioned issue was to suggest focus on improving safety, followed by concerns about the use of shared space within the scheme.”

Future WECA actions indicated to SPC

SPC has been given to understand from B&NES Council that going forward, WECA intends to develop a new approach to stakeholder engagement on the project, including considering how to better involve communities through the next phase of work.

Residents could sign up for updates from WECA at the time of the consultation last year, and so it is hoped that once the report is published those who signed up for notifications will receive a copy of the report from WECA.

SPC has yet to receive any communications or updates directly from WECA about A4 Bath to Bristol proposals since the consultation closed, and as such appreciates B&NES Council’s communication on this.

SPC did not receive a response to the formal complaint it made about the 2023 consultation process. SPC hopes that the new approach to future engagement referred, as referred to by WECA, will have taken into account the concerns raised by Saltford Parish Council.

SPC also hopes that the Public Engagement Report from the 2023 consultation is published as soon as possible after the May elections, and that a timescale for the project – including the next stage of consultation (previously advised as September 2024) – will be available from WECA in the near future.

SPC will continue to look to share any information it receives with residents.

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