Our overarching strategy for transport is set out in our Local Transport Plan ‘Somerset’s Future Transport Plan’.

Somerset’s Future Transport Plan sets out a long-term strategy for helping to get the best from transport. The plan explains how we will make the most of what we have now and prepares us for new opportunities in the long term. You can find more information about the Future Transport Plan and links to its supporting evidence on our Future Transport Plan page.

We often need to develop more detailed strategies, policies or plans for specific issues. This helps us to understand the issue in more detail, take a strategic approach and outline guidance to other stakeholders, and put plans into action.

Somerset’s transport strategies, policies and plans are overseen by the Transport Policy Team. For more information about what the Transport Policy Team does and projects still in development, please see our Transport Policy page.

The National Bus Strategy 2021

Please visit The National Bus Strategy – Bus Back Better page.

Strategies, policies and plans

The most recent strategies, policies and plans are summarised below (in alphabetical order).  You can find copies in Downloads.

You can contact us for general enquiries and copies of documents. General enquiries and electronic copies of documents are free. We will charge for printed copies of documents where they are available. Please contact us for more information.

Active Travel Strategy 2012

Note – We are currently updating our Active Travel Strategy and will replace the documents below.

Somerset’s Active Travel Strategy has been written to inform the Future Transport Plan and brings together the individual modal strategies for cycling, walking, information and communication with a shared vision for Somerset residents to cycle and walk more often and more safely.

The aim for the strategy is to enable the population of Somerset to make active travel choices by making these options easier to access and more attractive to use.

Bridgwater, Taunton and Wellington: Future Transport Strategy 2011-2026

The Bridgwater, Taunton and Wellington Future Transport Strategy acknowledges that good transport links to, in and around this area are fundamental to its economic and social vitality.  The need to provide better transport options has been recognised for a number of years and has resulted in a long-term action plan which will address issues until 2026.

Bus Strategy 2018-2026

Note – Bus strategy is changing nationally with the publication of ‘Bus Back Better: National Bus Strategy for England’ by the Department for Transport. View a copy of this document. 

We will update the bus strategies, policies and plans on this page as we continue to shape our public transport policy within a national and local context.

Somerset strives to deliver an integrated quality bus, community transport and rail network, while acknowledging the challenges we face in achieving viable and sustainable passenger transport services.

The Bus Strategy forms part of the Local Transport Plan which we call the ‘Future Transport Plan’. The principle underpinning this strategy is to provide services and develop infrastructure that meets the needs of our customers: the residents of, employees based within, and visitors to Somerset.

Freight Strategy 2011

The Freight Strategy has been written to help support the development of Somerset’s Future Transport Plan. It sets out how we want to improve the way freight is moved around Somerset and how we hope to achieve this.

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans are focused, 10-year plans for developing a cycle and walking network within a local area. We have currently developed three Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans: one each for Bridgwater, Taunton and Yeovil and further Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans are being planned.

Motorcycling Strategy 2011

With the national increase in use of motorcycles, Somerset recognises the risk of a motorcyclist being killed or seriously injured is at least 50 times higher than that of a car driver. We are therefore fully aware of the need to improve the safety record of motorcycle riders.

The Motorcycling Strategy aims to support safe and responsible motorcycling but not at the expense of more sustainable modes of transport.

Parking Strategy 2013

Note – Somerset’s Parking Strategy will be informed by the Countywide Electric Vehicle Strategy, which is currently in development.

The Parking Strategy supports the development of the Future Transport Plan, setting out policies for parking throughout Somerset. It explains how much parking new developments need to provide and how this should be designed and managed. This includes parking for bicycles, motorcycles, cars, blue badge holders and other vehicles which have special requirements.

Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2 (2015)

The Rights of Way Improvement Plan identifies how we propose to improve the provision of public rights of way and service delivery in Somerset for walkers, cyclists, equestrians and those with visual or mobility impairments. It contains policy statements and an action plan.

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 placed a duty on all Highway Authorities to produce a Rights of Way Improvement Plan by November 2007. The first Somerset Rights of Way Improvement Plan was adopted in 2006 and has since been revised with Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2 adopted in 2015.

The Rights of Way Improvement Plan is a requirement and part of the Future Transport Plan. Rights of Way Improvement Plan is to be reviewed at least every 10 years.

You can find more information on our Rights of Way pages 

Safe Roads in Somerset: Road Safety Strategy 2017 – 2026

The Road Safety Strategy supports the overall vision of Somerset Council to increase prosperity and ensure that we continue to care for and protect the people of Somerset and its visitors.  We will adopt a Safe System approach to road safety, seeking to ensure that no human is killed or seriously injured as a result of a road crash.

Travel Planning Guidance 2011

The Travel Planning Guidance document is a set of standards that is tied into local development plans and the Future Transport Plan to aid the delivery of travel plans through the planning process in Somerset.

This policy aims to:

  • ensure that proposed developments contribute to modal shift
  • define the expected content of travel plans
  • ensure that good quality cycle parking and other on-site physical facilities effectively support new development
  • set a consistent process for the delivery of promised travel plan outcomes, and
  • describe the overall process for efficient and predictable decisions for the development industry.

Travel Planning Guidance November 2011

Strategies currently in development or under review

  • Somerset Rail Strategy (to replace the Rail section of the Passenger Transport Strategy)

Trains - Local Community Rail Partnerships

South Wessex Community Rail Partnership

The Heart of Wessex Community Rail Partnership is a 20 year old joint venture between seven local authorities (including Somerset Council) and the train operator, currently Great Western Railway.

The core objective of the partnership is to increase awareness and use of the Bristol to Weymouth services, in turn contributing to economic growth, carbon reduction and other key priorities for local authority partners.

From 2003, the partnership gradually transformed into a wider community venture, encouraging participation from local groups, organisations and businesses

For more information, visit the South Wessex Community Rail Partnership website.

Blackmore Vale Line Community Rail Partnership

The Blackmore Vale Line Community Rail Partnership is a Department for Transport Accredited rail partnership covering the stations and 53km route from Tisbury to Crewkerne, on the West of England Line between London Waterloo and Exeter St. David. The area of benefit extends to more than 160 predominately rural settlements served by 11 major regional towns and villages of:

  • Tisbury
  • Gillingham
  • Shaftesbury
  • Mere
  • Wincanton
  • Stalbridge
  • Marnhull
  • Sturminster Newton
  • Sherborne
  • Yeovil
  • Crewkerne
  • Chard.

Tisbury is the only ’dark skies’ friendly railway station in the UK and is the gateway to Cranborne Chase AONB international dark sky reserve. Sherborne is the ‘jewel in the crown’ the most popular visitor destination. Blackmore Vale Community Rail Partnership is a partnership made up of local people, station groups, statutory and voluntary groups, and businesses who together promote the area to prospective rail passengers stimulating tourism and the local economy. Blackmore Vale Community Rail Partnership also works to increase community involvement in its award-winning stations and encourages residents and visitors to use the stations for a wide range of journeys. As a keen advocate of “green travel,” Blackmore Vale Community Rail Partnership also encourages onward connectivity by promoting local bus services, and electric car, scooter and bike hire.

Projects range from marketing campaigns and events encouraging potential rail-users to visit the beautiful Blackmore Vale through to publications, Line Guides and a First World War book commemorating the fallen from the towns and villages along the line. Volunteering is at the heart of the rail partnership and celebrating this gives rise to the annual favourites “Community Rail at Christmas” and “Stations in Bloom,” campaigns brimming with friendly inter-station rivalry and fun. This year extended to stations from Salisbury to Exeter, Westbury to Weymouth and those around the Romsey area, Blackmore Vale Community Rail Partnership working in partnership with Devon and Cornwall Community Rail Partnership, East Hampshire Community Rail Partnership and the new South Wessex Community Rail Partnership.

How to influence transport policies in Somerset

Contact us providing the following information:

  • Your name, email address and phone number
  • The policy or principle that you wish to comment on
  • Any suggestions you have for improving our approach to transport policy

We will evaluate whether your suggestions can be taken forward in future policy work and explain any relevant context that is informing our work.

We work to understand what people in Somerset require from transport. We develop plans to meet the current need and to manage future transport demand.

Last reviewed: March 25, 2024 by Qi

Next review due: September 25, 2024

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