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13 July 2015, 16:28 | Updated: 13 July 2015, 16:30
Commuters and visitors to Bath are being encouraged to beat the rail works and make the most of the World Heritage City with a range of travel options this summer.
From July 18, Network Rail will start work to improve the rail services in and around Bath, Reading and Wiltshire. The Bath railway corridor is being prepared for electrification and the introduction of new, higher capacity, trains that will improve journeys and benefit local economies.
Bath Spa train station will remain open throughout Network Rail’s programme of works but there will be reduced access to the railway from July 18 to August 31. Network Rail and First Great Western have developed a range of measures to help travellers to get to Bath, with the cooperation of Bath & North East Somerset Council – from a fleet of replacement coaches to reshaping the timetable. These have been funded by Network Rail.
Bath remains fully open for business and pleasure – and Bath & North East Somerset Council has taken a number of actions to help people get into Bath easily. These include:
· Increasing Park and Ride capacity at Lansdown
· Signing diversionary routes to the Lansdown and Odd Down park and ride sites
· Creating a temporary inbound bus lane on London Road
· Embargoing all non-emergency road works for the period
· Additional parking and bus lane enforcement – to keep Bath moving.
Cllr Anthony Clarke, Cabinet Member for Lansdown, said:
“We’re keen to ensure that everyone is able to get around in Bath and make the most of what our beautiful World Heritage City has to offer. Our CCTV control room will be monitoring the areas around Bath Spa train station and the bus station and the routes in and out of Bath. This will enable us to support the train station with managing people coming and going; guide the bus drivers to take the coaches and buses along the least busy routes and update our variable messaging signs to advise motorists of the best routes to take.”
Visitors to Bath are also reminded that the torchlit Roman Baths will remain open to 10pm (last entry 9pm) right throughout July and August; with additional later opening times at the Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery on Thursdays 6, 13, 20 and 27 August; until 7pm.
There are two phases of Network Rail’s electrification work: Phase 1 (July 18 – 31) when services between Bath Spa and Chippenham will be diverted, and Phase 2 (August 1 – 31) when the lines between both Bath and Chippenham and Bath and Trowbridge will be closed.
Rail replacement buses will be operating east of Bath. These will be direct express coaches running from train stations directly in to Bath Spa.
During Phase 1: First Bus will continue to operate services between Station Hill in Chippenham and Bath’s Grand Parade and Westbury Railway station and Bath Spa. To plan your journey visit www.firstgroup.com.
During Phase 2: The quickest way to get into Bath will be by bus. First Great Western will be running dedicated bus services for all passengers east of Bath to Bath Spa. Detailed timetables are available from Avoncliff, Bradford-on-Avon, Chippenham, Freshford, Frome and Trowbridge stations.
For more details, please visit www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/bath2015 and look out for more information in local papers and on the radio.
For regular bus services, check out Traveline at www.travelinesw.com.
Or if you’re planning to drive, please use the Park and Ride!