Thursday, 6 November 2008
Influencing Transport in Bristol - 2
More cars and lorries may increase traffic!
That's the advice from the West of England's transport planners as they launch a 'consultation' on their plans for a South Bristol Ring Road. Except that these days, they never mention ring roads.
Its latest disguise, as a 'South Bristol Link' from Hengrove to Long Ashton, is being offered to us as a choice between a road, a rapid transit bus route, or both. No-one has yet explained why lots of people should want to drive, or get a bus, between these points, unless it's to travel on somewhere else - probably by way of the motorway, or Hicks Gate. Yes, this is a ring road.
A new road would attract more through traffic along Callington Road and Airport Road. When that gets too choked up (bad enough already isn't it?) it'll be back to the Phase 3 plan - Hicks Gate to Hengrove via Stockwood, Whitchurch and Hengrove, completing a parallel relief loop through south Bristol. And when that gets choked up.....?
The 'spin' in their consultation makes it pretty clear how they intend us to respond. A road "May increase traffic on King George’s Road" they say. Well, yes, there's just a chance that turning a quiet residential street (above) into a key link in a ring road would do just that. Aren't we lucky to get such quality professional analysis?
Still, they've found a silver lining! This road link is "Likely to reduce traffic on some key routes (including Kings Head Lane, Winterstoke Road, Parson Street and through Barrow Gurney)" they say. Which pretty well proves they see it acting as a ring road for through traffic. Not, of course, that it is a ring road.
Nowhere is there any mention of the most obvious impacts of a road; divided communities, poorer air quality, more traffic. Nor is there anything to explain how it might regenerate South Bristol.
OK, I'll try to write something more positive next time. About the alternatives.