The amount of traffic in an area will affect both the travel time and the air quality for residents. At the time of the 2001 Census, 61% of people aged 16 – 74 in employment in Bristol travelled to work by car or van, both as passengers and drivers. Between 1994 and 2004 the volume of traffic on the West of England’s roads increased by 21% compared with 18% nationally. In some areas, such as the North Fringe, where there has been large-scale growth in employment, traffic levels have grown by 30%.
Impact of Congestion
Department for Transport data suggests that there has been an improvement in average journey times during the morning peak in all of the Core Cities. In 2008/2009 the average person journey time (for car and bus passengers) during peak morning hours in the Bristol Urban Area was 3:26 minutes per mile. This has improved by 13% since 2004/2006 which is the largest improvement of all the Core Cities.
Transport connectivity is a significant problem for residents in the south of Bristol, which has a high level of economic deprivation, as many residents would struggle to be able to commute to employment opportunities in the North Fringe area. Bristol, along with neighbouring authorities in the West of England, is trying to improve transport issues and connectivity with schemes such as the Cycling City project and the bid for the South Bristol Link submitted to the Department for Transport in March 2010.