How trams address the rural commuters
In the past there was a good and frequent bus service for rural commuters into Bath. However, commuter drivers slow the buses down once they reach Bath, and this puts up the fares due to the extra cost and discourages the bus users. This is exacerbated by the park and rides which also attract previous bus users. The shift from bus to car gradually diminishes the bus service viability, reducing numbers and frequency which further discourages bus users who are then forced to own a car, which continues the downward spiral.
Trams have a proven ability to solve in-city congestion by attracting car drivers out of their cars, this mean that rural commuters are more likely to use a rural bus because it will be quicker and cheaper as a result. This has a positive feedback effect on the rural buses because yet more cars are removed from the Bath traffic queues who are now in the bus.
Trams to Radstock
Since huge amounts of traffic comes in from Radstock and its environs, clearly a tram or light rail should be re-installed along the line of the Somerset and Dorset Railway, or the gradients are not to steep as to preclude on-street running along the existing main road the A367.
Trams to Bristol
Similarly a huge amount of traffic comes in from Bristol and vice-verse. A tram route could be placed along the Bath Bristol A4 with on-street running. This will increase the capacity of the road from about 2,000 passengers per hour with cars, to about 20,000 per hour with trams. The Keynsham bypass and the bypass to the Glove should be converted to single carriageway with the redundant carriageway converted to park and ride, which already happens on the Globe dual carriageway at Christmas when coaches are parked on it.
Trams to Chippenham
This is another possibility to be considered.
Above: Calculated rates of return for selected routes. Route A above is Batheaston to Whiteway as below, and Route B is Upper Weston to Combe Down
One proposal for a new tram network – the actual routes would be determined by economic and feasibility studies. Nevertheless engineers have already established that all these routes are feasible from the point of view of road width, bends and gradients.
Below – the same layout but “tube map style”
The above map shows the schematic of the old 1904 – 1939 tram routes IN BROWN with the modern proposed routes which largely duplicate the old routes in other colours. Below is shown the old tram map, with routes corresponding to the BROWN above