Pod travel plan for Bristol enterprise zone

Pod at Heathrow Airport
Image caption Pods similar to those used at Heathrow Airport could be used at the enterprise zone in Bristol

Automated pods on a guided roadway may be used to transport workers around a multimillion-pound enterprise zone in Bristol.

The city council is considering the plan for the business park close to Bristol Temple Meads station.

Liberal Democrat transport councillor Tim Kent said the pods were one of many options under consideration.

"It's a lot cheaper than a traditional tram and it's good for an area as small as the enterprise zone," he added.

The zone was announced in April by the government and aims to encourage firms, with a business rate discount and simplified planning rules.

The pods would be similar to those in use at Heathrow Airport, which were designed by a firm from Aztec West near Bristol.

Small system

Officials from the city council have already visited Heathrow on a fact-finding mission.

It is likely that the cost per journey would be between £2 and £3.

"It obviously wouldn't be a very large system, it would be quite a small system but we think the option is very good and we have been talking with one provider and looking at it as a possibility," Mr Kent added.

Mr Kent said the system would link up with nearby Temple Meads railway station and could eventually run to Cabot Circus shopping centre.

He said the scheme would not be cheap to build.

"You could be looking at anywhere between £30m and £40m to build such a scheme in reality," he added.

Other options being considered include making the zone either cycle or pedestrian only, increasing the number of car parking spaces or using the nearby harbourside and River Avon.

Mr Kent said investigations into travel schemes were at an early stage and further work would be taking place over the coming months.

The council said 11 new business had moved into the enterprise since it opened in April, creating 306 jobs.

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