Bus Stops near Ashley Down Station

Railway bridge over Muller Road, near new Ashley Down Station, with northbound bus stop.

Bristol Rail Campaign attended the full meeting of Bristol City Council in December 2023. We asked what plans they have to improve bus stops near Ashley Down Station. You may remember that last year we held an event to draw attention to poor interchange facilities, and apparent lack of planning.

Muller Road

The site of the new Ashley Down station is only about 200 metres from Muller Road. There is currently a bus stop under the railway bridge for northbound buses, but not for those heading south. Muller Road is on a key bus route serving Southmead Hospital. A southbound bus stop would be at a location where the road is wide enough for traffic to pass.

The council does not appear to have made any plans to provide adequate interchange between buses and trains at the new station. Ashley Down Station will therefore open without such connections. And council officers have advised us that the council considers that to have an additional (southbound) bus stop on Muller Road would be inappropriate. They say it would hinder traffic flow and cause congestion. This view seems to be at odds with the Council’s stated policy of favouring active travel and public transport over cars! 

Disappointed

We were disappointed by the Council’s response, which we think was uninformative and unhelpful.

They did not tell us whether they intend to install bus stops where there are currently none. They didn’t make it clear whether they even have a view about this. Instead they told us that they will be installing an accessible path from the station, and (unspecified) signage. Rather than answer our questions about placing a bus stop on Muller Road, they told us that it is not possible to create an interchange at the station itself.

We are still not clear if any real time bus and rail information will be provided at the station or at bus stops.

All this reinforces our perception that the Council are not interested in enabling good interchange opportunities at rail stations. It seems they have not given and will not give this any thought.

Our questions, and the Council’s responses

QUESTION

The site of the new Ashley Down station is only about 200 metres from Muller Road, where there is currently a bus stop under the railway bridge for northbound buses but not for those heading south.

Given that it would be at a location where the road is sufficiently wide for traffic to pass, does the council agree with its officers that a southbound bus stop on Muller Road to serve the new Ashley Down station is inappropriate because it would cause congestion? If so how does this fit with the council’s stated aim to promote active travel and public transport?

REPLY

The project has been considered closely with the Muller Road corridor enhancement project which is improving public transport facilities along the Muller Road corridor. Improvements to the northern section of Muller Road have been delivered.

The Ashley Down Rail Station project seeks to make improvements in the immediate vicinity of the station so that the station is accessible to all members of our community. For example, there will be an Equality Act compliant path with handrail from the disabled parking spaces on Station Road to the station entrance.

Muller Road and Ashley Down Road are two important bus corridors and appropriate directional signage will be installed to connect the station to them.

To connect the station to Muller Road, Station Lane has recently been improved.

Public engagement on potential improvements for the southern section of Muller Road will take place in January.

QUESTION

What actions do the council plan to take to enable interchange between bus and train? Or do they consider that walking 600-700 metres up steep hills is acceptable, including for those with limited mobility and encourages people to use public transport?

REPLY

Bristol City Council welcomes participation in the engagement/consultation process which will provide an opportunity to feed into designs and improvements and will consider options for new and upgraded bus stops on Muller Rd near to the station noting that there are a variety of constraints that would have to be addressed.

Given the station’s historic location on the site of the former Ashley Hill station, within the residential area of Ashley Down, a bus interchange at the station itself would not be feasible due to narrow streets and the detours that would be required for services.

Ashley Down Station - view from Station Lane, 28 December 2023
New Ashley Down Station under construction, seen from Station Lane (off Muller Rd)

We press on!

We will of course respond to the Council’s consultation on improvements to the southern section of Muller Road. 

We will continue to press this issue however we can. Bus – rail interchange is essential for an effective public transport system.

STOP PRESS: The consultation is now open at https://www.ask.bristol.gov.uk/muller-road-phase-2


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Comments

One response to “Bus Stops near Ashley Down Station”

  1. Ann avatar
    Ann

    Sad that the idea of integrated transport that is easy to use seems to go out of the window – not much good if a station is inaccessible with people with mobility issues either – it seems that build a station what more do you require!!

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