Back to Top



Bristol is the largest urban area in South West England and is a centre of industry, commerce, education and culture. Bristol City Council is a local authority with responsibility for transport, planning and other public services covering an urban area with a population of around 400,000. Car ownership and car use in the city are among the highest in the country.

Bristol City Council’s administrative area covers110 square kilometers. The city is relatively hilly and is divided by the river Avon. The north of the city has experienced rapid growth, while large-scale redevelopments have also taken place in the city centre and around the historic harbour area. Traditionally, employment was provided by the manufacturing sector, but this has been in decline in recent years. However, Bristol is still a centre of excellence in a number of areas, including the aerospace industry, and has a well-established reputation in the film industry. The city has recently been attracting service industry, finance and tourism sector employers, and these areas are expanding rapidly.

The city has a far higher level of commuting than neighbouring areas, and transportation in the region is predominately car based. The public transport system mainly operates bus services, and a network of park and ride facilities with buses serving the city centre has been established around the edge of the built-up area. Bristol Temple Meads is a hub in the national rail network, with direct services to most parts of the country.


Jodi Savickas
Policy and Strategy Team Manager