Could Trams Connect Bath to Bristol and Unlock Trams for Bath And The Surrounding Area? – New Report

Above: How a tram reduces the number of cars and permits those who must drive to get around more easilly


PRESS RELEASE  30/06/2021 Embargoed until July 1st

Could Trams Connect Bath to Bristol and Unlock Trams for Bath And The Surrounding Area? – New Report

Bath and Bristol Area Trams Association BABATA welcomes a new report showing how trams could return to Bristol with a potential connection to Bath taking in Keynsham and Salford. The expert study builds on the wide agreement that Bristol and surrounding areas need a new mass-transit system to ease gridlock, clean the air and to reduce the carbon footprint.

Appraisals of three potential tram routes show they are economically viable and there are no engineering or traffic management blockers to installation.

The report is offered as a “pre-feasibility study”, as Bristol Council and the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) develop their proposals for a new mass transit system

The report suggests that the routes are suitable for “new generation” trams with low disruption,    quick to install “glue-in-road“ tracks    which would cost up to 50 per cent less per kilometre to install than conventional tram systems. Bristol and Bath could thus leapfrog other cities, by adopting this technology, and achieve a substantial shift from car use, the study says.

Detailed route studies focused on potential demand, reallocation of road space (from private cars to public transport and active travel) and tram network management – designation of Public Transport Pathways (PTPs) and multi-purpose tram stops.

The report highlights three potential starter lines. Of particular interest to Bath is from a proposed Park+Ride at the Globe Inn on the A4 Bath Rd to Bristol city centre. BABATA have long campaigned for a tram out to the Globe (and other routes in Bath) as existed 1904 – 1939 as this would offer a speedy journey to and from Bristol and could be extended right through Bath to Bathford, where trams  used to run.

BBATA has also campaigned for one entire carriage way of the dual carriageway between the Globe and Bath to be closed and used as a park and ride.

BABATA has previously provided a pre-feasibility study which shows there are viable routes in Bath, and as a result Bath Council commissioned consultants Atkins to look at tram routes in Bath which found 4 feasible routes.

Dave Andrews, Chair of BBATA said “We have long argued for trams within Bath, reaching out to Radstock Chippenham and connected to Bristol. The reason is that a tram line can carry up to 40 times as many people, as can cars on the equivalent road.

Experience shows in all 7 UK re-trammed cities that car drivers will accept a tram as an alternative to the car because of the intrinsically higher quality of service of a tram ( reliability, frequency, comfort)  whereas they will not accept a bus,


A tram has much lower carbon emissions than a bus and does not emit tiny and dangerous rubber tyre dust particles which get deep into organs including the brain.

Thus new trams have in the UK always reduced congestion and pollution and revitalised cities.

It is thus futile to promote bus based rapid transit as nowhere in the UK have these been successful in reducing car travel or cutting congestion. We are pleased WECA have put them in the long-term plan for the area the JLTP4”

A summary and the full  report is available here (74pp) report in PDF format.

or mail

Notes for editors:

Bath and Bristol Area Trams Association is a group promoting re-tramming Bath, Bristol, Chippenham, Radstock and beyond due to their proven ability to attract car drivers, and the low environmental footprint.

Moving Bristol Forward is a project overseen by the Transport for Greater Bristol Alliance and Zero West CIC, and supported by the Foundation for Integrated Trans-port.

The report was commissioned from Professor Mike Gibson Chair LCT Ltd ( ) and Jim Harkins, Chair LR (UK) Ltd ( )

Professor Mike Gibson is Chair of Lightweight Community Transport, a Chartered Town Planner and Emeritus Professor of Urban Planning London South Bank University, with a wide range of teaching. research, consultancy and project development and management experience in the UK and elsewhere in Europe,


BBATA – Chair Dave Andrews, – 07795 842295

Moving Bristol Forward – Emilia Melville – – 07746 567430

Jon Turney – – 07429 611964

Light Rail UK Group (for technical queries) Jim Harkins – – 07721 378223

Other relevant links:

trams have lower lifetime emissions than electric buses

Trams have lower carbon footprints that buses

Summary of technical and economic reasons why trams and buses work to reduce congestion but buses alone don’t.