Wednesday, 30 November 2011

South Bristol link road bulldozed through (along with many others)

The Treasury neatly side-stepped a year's work by experts, campaigners and civil servants on 45 local transport projects in the DfT's 'development pool' the Chancellor announced he was providing funding for all 45 schemes and gave the go-ahead to the Kingskerswell Bypass and the South Bristol Link Road to grab headlines...

...As well as the Kingskerswell Bypass and the South Bristol Link Road, the go-ahead was also given to the Lincoln Eastern Bypass, the A164 Humber Bridge to Beverley, and the A43 Corby Link Road...

We are all justifiably angry as ourselves, the Kingskerswell Alliance and Transport for Greater Bristol had hired consultants to produce an evidence-based response to the funding bids showing major flaws in the plans. Instead it appears the schemes have been bulldozed through to allow the Chancellor to do some headline grabbing posturing today.

Analysis of the Kingskerswell Bypass showed that it would simply move traffic jams further down the road. It would also be environmentally devastating, trashing the habitats of rare bats, birds and newts. The South Bristol Link Road will at best shave just 2 minutes off journey times, and passes through Common Land and the green belt.

This is unlikely to be the end of the road for the campaigns as there are grounds for legal challenges now, and later there will most likely be protests.

Roads blog Campaign for Better Transport


  1. They are great schemes and about time too. Basically your stance is too oppose everything that invloves laying a brick or a bit of tarmac. By the way, I fully support the re-introduction of the rail network in bristol, but as well as, not as a an alternative.

  2. This would be a reasonable comment if you'd bothered to say why these are great schemes, giving some supporting evidence. See here

    It would have been a fair comment if you had not massively exaggerated my position to the point of huge inaccuracy - and whilst remaining anonymous without explanation. I'm in favour of any brick laying or tarmac that helps build a sustainable society.

    All I've done in this instance is make the case for: the value of green spaces, green belt and common land; more efficient, effective use of the current transport network, especially via public transport, walking and cycling; reducing the transport intensity of our lives through building stronger communities. Why? Because we wont have a society we can sustain for generations to come otherwise.

  3. The South Bristol Ring Road -let's give it is proper name- will benefit S bristol as much as the extended A4174 did for fishponds. All that did was create a new suburb (there: Emerson's Green, here: Ashton Sprawl) and enough traffic to bring the ring road to a halt, and create a new generation of people complaining that "Something Must Be Done", whether its about traffic, parking or fuel rates.

    Oh, and the cycle path is a 3m wide farce shared with pedestrians, so designing in conflict from day one

  4. ok. In response to the above and the SBLR in particular.

    Home- North Somerset
    Family - South Bristol
    Work- Varied, south & central bristol, keynsham, bath etc
    Lesuire- South/Central Bristol mainly.

    so, Walking, not practical.

    Cycling, not interested nor practical.

    Public transport, not buses, I will use P&R but bus transport in general is uncomfortable and slow, and doesnt connect with the places I need to go or go at the times I need. A bus from North somerset would go into the cetntre of Bristol, I would then have to come all the way back out to get to where I need to go, maybe with another futrhter connection.

    Trains, yes, where feasible, but not train then 15 min walk to bus stop then wait then 15 minute journey etc. So Central Bath is good, but Bristol is hampered by not having a direct quick link to the centre or the bus station.

    A Bristol metro style system would be excellent. why the exisitng stations in and around bristol cant be re-opened and networked is a very pertinent question.

    So that leaves the car, not always a first choice, but sometimes no option, and I would rather use the new SBLR, rather than having to negotiate winterstoke road, parson st etc. i often use barrow gurney and bishopsworth to avoid this, hence pushing more car journeys through barrow gurney. Also, surely it is safer to use a segregated purpose built road rather than the current constant flow through Kings head road, and the roads around bishopsworth pool.

    The alignment has been reserved for 50 years?? or more, anyone who lives there now would have known that, that canmot be used as a reason against.

    £22,000,000 has been spent recently by Bristol city Council on cycling, if it wasnt spent wisely that is another matter, dont begrudge some funding for road schemes in Bristol for the motorist.

  5. I'm glad you've take the opportunity for debate. You are making a case for more and better public transport here much much more than you are justifying the building of a new road.

    Building yet more roads cant be sustained because they encourage car use which is already very high. All the research show that new roads simply fill up with more traffic.

    New roads and more car use means loss of sustainable, valuable resources such as land and biodiversity and continued dependence on finite resources such as fossil fuels and the use of the atmosphere as a dumping ground for pollutant gases - all of which creates problems for communities now and passes even bigger problems on to future generations.

    How does building the link road build stronger local communities? Doesn't it encourage the opposite ie do your work, leisure, family stuff or whatever somewhere other than your community, at someone else's social and environmental cost? This pattern of economic development that previous governmens and now George Osbourne is pushing is the one that has brought us: fractured communities; friends, family, facilities, services, work...spread increasingly far and wide; uneven and unfair distribution of opportunity; large and looming environmental impacts. Ultimately it cant be sustained and so it will go and I'd rather it was by choice and planning than because we are forced by events.

  6. I just wrote a large response and it failed!

    So, in summary. Fractrued communites are driven by the people who live in the community, not by a road or development. I live in an area with a main road through the middle, it doesnt stop us having a fantastic community spirit.

    If you have people living somewhere who dont want to be part of a community they just wont be. that is people rather than infrastructure.

    I also dont subscribe to the 'live where you work theory' That is an immediate community breaker, you could end up having to move 3 or 4 times a year. There are very few jobs for life now, we dont have pits or factories or great manual shipyards anymore. I have worked all over Bristol and beyond in the last 10 years, would you advocate moving each time to be closer? That is totally imparactical, would cost a fortune and mean that I end up having to live somewhere in which I had no connection.

    On the other post, the A4174 does not go through Fishponds, it is Frenchay, Downend, Siston, Hanham, Hicks Gate, and would work a whole lot better if there as an M4 east link, thus reliving the M32 junction. with regards to Emersons Green, People have to live and work somewhere, or would you rather the population of the Bristol area be reduced to 250,000??


  7. No anonymous I wasn't referring to people who remain in a community but all those who move out from it out of necessity...loss of family, friends and neighbours surely reduces community bonds?? And how about all those people who live in a place and work so far away that their opportunities to participate in the community they live is cut because they dont have the time or connections? In addition I was referring to the physical effects of a large road eg consider before and after the M32 was built, or when roads in general have become ever-busier barriers. Whatever happened to activities out on the streets??

    The logic in your last but one paragraph is upside down. If you build strong local communities work is stable and secure, as are the other facilities, and so people can and do stay there or at least dont have to move out because of necessity. The scenario you describe is in fact the one we have now. Where 'there are no jobs for life' people are at the service of a very fickle economic system run for the benefit of the rich and powerful who can bring jobs to a place and then just as quickly take them away, forcing people to move on to get work.

    I'm not arguing for jobs for life in itself, just for secure, stable, locally available work opportunities and an economic approach that is more localised than globalised - just look at the economic chaos globalisation of banking has brought us.

    Anyhow the debate is straying onto other territory. Why haven't you responded to my points about loss to road building and car overuse of sustainable resources like land and dependence on resources we cant sustain like fossil fuels and availability of the atmosphere as a dumping ground for waste - dont you agree that building more roads passes problems on to future generations because of this?


Genuine, constructive, relevant comments are most welcome.