West of England
The West of England is a loose and locationally unspecific term sometimes given to the area surrounding the city and county of Bristol, England, and also sometimes applied more widely and in other parts of South West England.
Use in the Bristol area
The term is increasingly used by organisations such as the West of England Partnership, Connexions West of England, and the West of England Sport Trust, as a synonym for the former Avon area, which existed as a local government unit between 1974 and 1996. Some aspects of transport planning and policy are coordinated using the TravelPlus (or Travel +) logo.
According to the West of England Partnership website,
- "The West of England Partnership brings together the four unitary authorities - Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council - and a range of social, economic and environmental partners. It co-ordinates high level planning to improve the quality of life of its residents and provide for a growing population. The Partnership was formed to focus on things that are better planned at the West of England level, rather than at the level of the individual council areas. One example is major transport schemes, which have an impact on the West of England as a whole and which may cross the council boundaries. "
Specifically, the term is also used by the University of the West of England, the Royal West of England Academy, and by voluntary groups and clubs such as the West of England Bridge Club, all of which are based in or near Bristol.
Use more widely in South West England
The term "West of England" is also often used more widely to include the counties of Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire; sometimes extending to Devon and Dorset. These counties also form part of the South West of England, a region which additionally includes Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which are in fact the most westerly parts of England.
It is also used by various organisations across the South West, such as the West of England School and College for blind and visually impaired children, based near Exeter, and the West of England Transport Collection, at Winkleigh, Devon.