Bristol Metrobus scheme gets £34m transport grant

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The proposed Metrobus scheme is aimed at cutting down on bus journey times

A major transport project in Bristol and South Gloucestershire has been given £34m in government funding.

The £200m Metrobus Scheme involves buses having exclusive "segregated lanes" and "guided busways" to speed up bus journey times.

Transport minister Baroness Kramer said the scheme would "stimulate economic development and link communities with jobs".

Opponents say the scheme will destroy green space and wildlife habitats.

The scheme involves three routes: Ashton Vale to Temple Meads; Cribbs Causeway via Emersons Green to the city centre; South Bristol link between the A370 Long Ashton bypass and Hengrove Park.

All three routes have got planning approval.

The government grant is for the Ashton Vale/Long Ashton Park and Ride route to Temple Meads, which is expected to cost £45m in total and is due to be completed by April 2016.

Government funding is being sought for the two other routes.

A total of £51m of funding is being sought for the northern route (Cribbs Causeway), with local councils contributing the same amount.

A total of £28m of transport funding is being sought for the southern route (Hengrove), with councils set to invest £17m.

The £200m project has been devised by the West of England Partnership (Wep) - an alliance between the four councils in Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

Wep has claimed the new metrobus line between Long Ashton Park and Ride to Hengrove route would cut journey times from 50 minutes to 12.

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