The grand details of south Bristol’s new public transit network have gone on show as a major public consultation begins.
Bristol City and North Somerset councils are preparing planning applications for the South Bristol Link section of the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) network, costing about £200 million.
New services will transport passengers to and from South Bristol, linking Long Ashton Park & Ride to the new hospital, Skills Academy, the shops at Imperial Park and leisure centre at Hengrove Way.
The South Bristol Link is a combined road and rapid transit route for buses to travel between the A370 Long Ashton bypass and Hengrove Park, including new cycle and pedestrian facilities. The route will link into the wider rapid transit network with direct access to Bristol city centre and along the M32 to Cribbs Causeway and Emersons Green in the north.
The Bristol councillor in charge of the city’s transport brief said the city “will finally get the public transport system that a major league player deserves”, after the government agreed to fund the remaining parts of Bristol’s bus rapid transport system (BRT) plans at the end of last year.
Councillor Tim Kent’s said at the time: “It shows the government shares our belief in the rapid transit network and its power to unlock new areas for economic growth, linking jobs and people by creating fast comfortable routes through the city to the North and South.
“Bristol is the most competitive and economically sound city in England outside the capital, in spite of under-investment in public transport in the past. Now our great city will finally get the public transport system that a major league player deserves.”
Among some of the works to be carried out in south Bristol are:
- A new single carriageway road will connect the A370 Long Ashton bypass to the A38 near the Town and Country Lodge Hotel, and onwards across Highridge Common;
- Minor widening will take place along King George’s Road, leading to a new section of road along the route from Queen’s Road to the Hareclive Road junction;
- Whitchurch Lane will be extended and widened to link the A4174 at the Cater Road roundabout and onto Hengrove Park using the existing road.
Opponents of the scheme have though attacked the plans, saying they are a colossal waste of money and a blight on the green spaces in the south of the city.
Green Party councillor Gus Hoyt told Bristol24-7 last year: “This ring-road will be a blight on the countryside and opens the door to the further destruction of one of our most precious remaining resources: green space. It will have a catastrophic effect on local wildlife, biodiversity and future generations of Bristolians.
“Our local rail network is in desperate need of investment; we should be investing here, not in some grand scheme that no-one really wants.”
The South Bristol Link consultation runs until June 29, and leaflets have gone out to local residents. Exhibitions will be held at:
- Long Ashton Village Hall on 9 May (2pm to 8pm)
- Gatehouse Centre Hartcliffe on 16 May (5pm to 8pm)
- Withywood Community Centre on 22 May (2pm to 6pm)
- The North Fringe to Hengrove consultation starts on 17 May and runs until 13 July
- The Ashton Vale to Temple Meads Public Inquiry starts on 22 May and is expect to last for about three weeks, with a recommendation in due course.
View the plans here…