CHIS Response to Western Harbour Early Engagement Exercise

Sep 27, 2019


Neither the Western Approach nor the Hybrid Approach is acceptable due to visual damage to the Suspension Bridge and adjacent landscape by the encroachment of a new highway and concrete bridge. Parkland and wooded areas on the Somerset side would be violated which would cause damage to the setting of Clifton & Hotwells on the opposite side of the river.

We wonder how the Eastern Approach could possibly enhance the historic setting of the Suspension Bridge and no visuals are included to help us. There are no pictures either to show the 2500 dwellings planned. We cannot see how any of the 3 Approaches would reduce the need to travel by car, as suggested.

A Better Idea.

We support the option of investment in revitalising the existing road and bridge infrastructure with a modification of some of the current Cumberland Basin system. This would enhance its appearance and extend its life-span. It works, even when there is a bridge swing.

Long Term Thinking.

A much more extensive vision for the future of this complex and environmentally sensitive area should place the demands of the road network in a wider geographic context than the A4 section of the Gorge, to bear in mind the tentacles stretching from the M5 to Bristol Airport as well as to Bristol itself.

Whilst investment in a tunnel, referred to in the document, might seem a huge financial commitment now, in retrospect future residents might be as appreciative as we are now of those who commissioned the Suspension Bridge.

The Early Engagement Exercise.

Insufficient information has been provided for the public fully to assess the suggestions. The map fails to show the width of roads and many have no names. There is insufficient traffic flow projection particularly with regard to the Western Approach, which is over tidal water where shipping will take priority. There are no computer visualisations of the final appearance of any of the options. No comparative costs, even estimated ones, have been made public. The impact on heritage assets has not been addressed.

It is hoped that at the next stage full information, including the Arup reports, will be available so the public will be in a position to comment with full knowledge of the facts.

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