Making urban mobility sustainable: in 4 steps

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Gloucestershire County & Bristol city

United Kingdom

Vision underpinning the plan


Gloucestershire contains a number of key settlements and issues surrounding access between these settlements are at least as important as issues linked to transport within them.

Therefore GCC have taken a ‘corridor’ approach looking at the main inter-urban routes and how the SUMP approach can be used to improve access along them.
They are producing 6 ‘Connecting Places Strategies’, with the county split into 6 main focus areas.


Bristol City Council is working on a SUMP for the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone (TQEZ), one of the UK’s largest urban regeneration projects. Covering 70 hectares in Bristol City Centre, the zone aims to create 4,000 jobs by 2020 and around 17,000 over the 25 year lifespan of the project. Therefore, the focus of the SUMP will be utilising sustainable transport in support of economic growth with a healthier environment and reduced congestion helping to attract new businesses to the area.

Long-term strategic objectives

Gloucestershire’s vision for transport is for: - ‘A resilient transport network that enables long term economic growth providing door to door travel choices’

The vision encapsulates the importance of journey time, reliability and travel choice as the economy grows. It is important to move away from a culture where the car is the dominant mode of transport towards one where the car is one transport choice within a range of realistic travel options. For some residents it may not be feasible to have a full range of transport choices, but there may be a choice for part of their journey.
The integration of travel modes providing travel choices for door to door journeys is essential to manage congestion in our urban areas. Information enables people to make decisions about how and when they travel. As technology advances during the plan period the County Council will ensure travel information is provided in accessible, useful formats to raise awareness of, and confidence in using different travel options.

The long-term strategic objectives for transport within Gloucestershire inculde:
Support sustainable economic growth;
Enable community connectivity;
Conserve the environment;
Improve community health and well being.



Whilst the emerging SUMP will cover the first five year of development up to 2020, the long term objectives for the TQEZ is to enable access and movement to the area by sustainable modes as the development grows to incorporate 17,000 new jobs over the next 25 years. This will include focusing on a mode shift away from single occupancy car use and for any essential motorized trips to be switched to cleaner fuels to improve air quality.

Mid-term goals

Gloucestershire is a place to do business and attract investment. 

The transport network is reliable, fit for purpose and demonstrates value for money.
An integrated transport network which provides genuine transport choices.
A transport network which provides individuals with the confidence to consider all travel choices.
A healthy more active population (addressing obesity and associated conditions).
A reduction in reliance on the private car, and an increased uptake of sustainable transport modes (walking, cycling and public transport) which will assist in reducing the adverse impact of transport on Gloucestershire’s high quality natural, built and historic environments.
Increased journey time reliability.
HGV movements are balanced between the needs of business and local communities.
A thriving tourist industry which benefits from ease of access to the county’s natural, built and historic environmental assets.



Consultation and engagement events on the emerging SUMP have identified improvements that can be made to better enable access and movement, including enhancements to the physical infrastructure, current transport operations and behavioural measures to encourage switches to sustainable modes. This has allowed ideas for feasibility studies to be carried out to inform the next phase of the SUMP from 2020.

Specific indicators


  • Journey time reliability on primary strategic routes – Ensure average journey times are maintained to 2015/16 levels
  • Number of peak hour vehicle journeys – restrict growth in the number of peak hour vehicle journeys on local access routes
  • Reduction in the inappropriate freight travel – To maintain the % of HGV traffic on inappropriate roads use to less than 5% 
  • Highway condition - Maintain the percentage of principal road network requiring maintenance at or below 4%
  • Maintain the percentage of non-principal classified road network where maintenance should be considered at or below 9%
  • Maintain the length of strategic road network with deficient friction (skid resistance) to at or below 20%
  • Increase use of rail – Increase the number of rail ticket sales from railway stations located within Gloucestershire
  • Increase use of cycling – Increase the number of cycle users at sites across the County
  • Increase use of bus – Increase number of bus passenger journeys 
  • Maintain bus passenger access – Maintain level of Access to GP services and facilities by public transport within 45 minutes 
  • Decrease reliance on bus subsidy – Increase the percentage of bus passengers on commercially provided public transport 
  • Reduce the number of highway casualties - Indicators for the Road Safety Framework (DfT), Killed and Seriously Injured Casualties
  • Reduce the number of child highway casualties - Indicators for the Road Safety Framework (DfT), Killed and Seriously Injured child Casualties
  • Improve Air Quality – reduce the number of Air Quality Management Areas in the county.



  • Reduction in single occupancy vehicles of 3%
  • Re-timing of 5% of journeys to arrive and depart outside of peak hours
  • Re-moding of 5% from car use to alternative modes
  • Re-routing 2% of road traffic to avoid the Temple Circus ‘pinch-point’.
  • ‘These targets will be monitored through surveys carried out through the area travel plan, which will be introduced in full in the Mindware chapter. This will capture how people travelling to the TQEZ are changing their behaviour as a result of the measures set out in this SUMP. From the surveys, we will be able to extrapolate data on reductions in fuel consumption and carbon emissions and report this in future SUMP iterations. In terms of improvements to road safety, the infrastructure measures that will be introduced in the Hardware chapter aim to stabilise the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed or seriously injured as the number of people accessing the TQEZ increases over the coming years. Given that this SUMP covers an area that is developing, research will be carried out with regards to establishing current KSI figures for those travelling to the TQEZ (as opposed to through the TQEZ) and will report progress against this in future SUMP iterations.’
Main implementation features

Gloucestershire _Context Analysis
The context analysis began with an independent review of the main strengths and weaknesses of the existing transport network. This was followed by a multi-layered consultation process capturing the views of all stakeholders over a 6 month period.

Gloucestershire _Measures to secure horizontal and vertical integration and participation of all main stakeholders
Internal stakeholders (staff and councillors) attended information sharing events and officer working groups, whilst external stakeholders were invited to local interactive workshops. These external stakeholders include transport operators, District and Parish Councils, neighbouring authorities, consultants, environmental bodies, transport bodies, interest groups, minority groups and the general public. All of this information was collated in a consultation report.
Within the council, the 6 SUMPs link to a number of strategic documents across a range of council departments. By tying these together, they help to ensure that these different departments have a clear common goal.

Gloucestershire _Measures to foster a balanced development of all means of transport
Within the Gloucestershire SUMPs, measures have been identified on the basis of need and not funding secured. This has meant that a full range of measures have been considered and these will provide the basis for future funding bids as opportunities arise. The measures also vary greatly between each of the 6 SUMPs, reflecting the diversity of transport issues and priorities across different areas of the county.

Gloucestershire _Monitoring and evaluation procedures
The SUMP document will be a living document and will be regularly updated to reflect changes in policy, funding or implementation at a local and national level. Implementation Reports will be produced annually to document scheme delivery, changes in policies and performance against the monitoring indicators.

Gloucestershire _Other key points
Funding for local transport schemes is no longer allocated by the Local Transport Plan (now SUMP). The SUMPs set the long-term strategy for transport within the county and the County Council actively seeks funding to deliver transport schemes identified within these. 
To support the ongoing development of the SUMP Review, a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is being carried out. The purpose of the SEA process is to inform and influence the planning process with the aim of maximising its contribution to sustainable development. The SEA process is being undertaken to meet the requirements of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Regulations.


Bristol_Context analysis
This is informed by various sources of data, including traffic counts (including pedestrian and cyclist counts), traffic modelling, use of ANPR cameras, travel data through the census, the Big Commuter Count (an annual survey of workplaces), as well as consultation with key stakeholders and members of the public to inform future direction.

Bristol_Measures to secure horizontal and vertical integration and participation of all main stakeholders 
Early involvement of key stakeholders and different departments. We have held internal and external workshops to invite ideas from various groups with regards to how we can enable access to the TQEZ as it grows and have incorporated these views into the SUMP. All of this is prior to taking the document out to public consultation. This has ensured that the SUMP is integrated into the Spatial Framework, which is the guiding document for all new development in the TQEZ, covering all disciplines, not just transport.

Bristol_Measures to foster a balanced development of all means of transport
During the engagement workshops, measures were presented to stakeholders in three categories: physical, operational and behavioural. This was to ensure that stakeholders considered all types of measures, as opposed to thinking solely about improving physical infrastructure. In Bristol we are lucky to have a strong track record for engaging with businesses and communities to provide measures that focus on changing travel behaviours and so we could use these as examples of measures that we could expand through the phase of the SUMP.

Bristol_Monitoring and evaluation procedures
The overall SUMP targets will be monitored through the area travel plan toolkit. The surveys conducted through the online toolkit will establish mode of travel of employees, arrival and departure time, flexible working opportunities and proposed changes to routes to identify if the target has been met. The measures featured in the SUMP will be subject to separate monitoring and evaluation as part of the overall project delivery to ensure they do not slip or go over budget.

Bristol_Other key points
The measures as outlined in the emerging SUMP have funding secured for their delivery through a mixture of Local Enterprise Partnership, Central Government and Local Transport Planning funds. The engagement workshops have identified future measures that can be incorporated into the next phases of the SUMP, and as such, feasibility studies will be carried out on identified measures for the medium term goals.


Know more

The Gloucestershire case study demonstrates how a poly-SUMP model can be utilized to develop a sustainable mobility planning methodology in polycentric regions – areas characterised by several centres, where services and goods, and therefore transport needs, are scattered across different towns. This case study would therefore be of interest to anyone interested in such a poly-SUMP approach.


Bristol City Council’s SUMP is of particular interest as it takes a different approach with its focus on a section of the city centre rather than encompassing the city as a whole. It therefore demonstrates how the SUMP approach can be adapted to suit different contexts and how it is possible for a SUMP for a relatively small area to be produced to help meet the wider strategic vision of a city as a whole. Therefore, the Bristol case study would be of interest to those looking to follow a similar path or wanting to understand how the flexibility of the SUMP approach can be utilized to their advantage.

the city


Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean. 
The county town is the city of Gloucester, and other principal towns include Cheltenham, Cirencester, Stroud, and Tewkesbury. Cheltenham and Gloucester Primary Urban Area counts 200,000 inhabitants, while 597,000 live across multiple settlements
Within the county there are high traffic flows between the major settlements and it is very common for people to work and utilize leisure facilities in a different settlement to that in which they live. There are also large rural areas with peak flows of traffic between these and the major towns and cities.
Gloucestershire is well connected to the north and south-west of the country by the M5 and to Wales, London and the south-east by the M4.

Population: 797,000 inhabitants

Bristol is located in South West England, bordering the counties of Somerset and Gloucestershire. It is England's sixth most populous city. With a key position near the mouth of the River Severn, it has played an important role as a maritime transport hub since its earliest days with a city centre harbor and more recently a large docks at Avonmouth just outside the city. It is now well connected with the surrounding region and the rest of the country by road and rail, including the M5 (which connects Bristol to the south-west, the Midlands and the north of England) and M4 (which connects the city to Wales in the west and London to the east). Bristol was named England's first Cycling City in 2008 and is the European Green Capital Award for 2015.

Its economy is now largely based on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries, and the city-centre docks have been redeveloped as a centre of heritage and culture. In 2005, Bristol was named by the UK government one of England's six science cities. The city also has two universities and a variety of artistic and sporting organisations and venues.

population: 432,500 inhabitants (City Council area)

(Picture by Joel Müller)