Proposed Closure of Park Street and other Traffic Routes

Jan 29, 2022

The Transport Engagement Team at Bristol City Council launched an important consultation which directly affects residents of BS8. It is innocuously entitled 'Consultation on Improvements to the number 2 Bus Route'.

Link: travelwest: Improvements to the number 2 bus route (A37/A4018)

It is likely that those few people who will have seen this ill publicised consultation will have thought that it had little relevance to them, unless they were regular users of the no.2 bus.

The stated aims of these proposals purport to be to tackle the issues of traffic congestion and harmful air pollution levels, aims which, in our view, the plans will spectacularly fail to meet. They involve enormous changes to traffic flow, particularly in Park St. and Queens Rd.

The consultation closed on January 28th, only a few days after a committee member drew the matter to our attention. However, we did manage to make a representation to the Council on behalf of CHIS, based mainly on the partial closure of Park St. This is what we said:

"I am writing as deputy chairman of the Clifton & Hotwells Improvement Society, an amenity society founded over 50 years ago and having some 1000 members.

We are opposed to the above plans for the following reasons:

a. There will be increased traffic flow in Park Row and Upper Maudlin St., thereby causing greater levels of pollution in the vicinity of the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

b. The area outside the Infirmary is already heavily congested as there are scant facilities for dropping off and picking up patients and visitors. The extra traffic will cause utter chaos.

c. The closure of Park St. will mean that Great George St., St George's Church, Brandon Hill and Charlotte St. will be inaccessible to cars.

d. This closure will force those obliged to use cars (the elderly, infirm, those with small children) to make lengthy detours to reach their destinations, thereby increasing pollution.

This scheme has not been properly considered neither has it been properly publicised. It seems unlikely that even 1% of Bristol residents is aware of plans which will further paralyse this City and cause enormous inconvenience.

The Society urges you to think again and to ensure that the plans are made known to the citizens of Bristol and their views taken into account."

CHIS has received from BCC several very prompt emails in reply, which perhaps suggests that there have been few other correspondents.

In response to our query at c. about access to Great George St., etc. we were told 'Traffic would enter via St George's Rd. and can turn left up Park St. and left into Great George St. Traffic can then continue up into Charlotte St. and back out onto Park St. at which point you can turn left or right to exit Park St. at top or bottom'. This is certainly not apparent from the map! It would involve a long detour from Clifton Village via Hope Chapel Hill or Constitution Hill.

The Transport Engagement Team further suggests that 'You can use Hill Street if you wish...'. We suspect that few would wish to risk their cars in that narrow back road.

Our other points have not been addressed.

CHIS very much hopes that Bristol City Council will not proceed with these ill considered and badly publicised plans. Although it is too late to make a formal complaint to BCC's Transport Team, it is not too late to contact your local councillors and make your views known to them.

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