Huge plan unveiled for new relief road in south Bristol
Radical plans to close off Brislington village to through traffic and build a relief road on a former railway line have been unveiled to the public.
The ‘A4 Bath to Bristol’ proposal will ‘fundamentally change the character of Brislington village’, according to a six-week consultation launched by the West of England Combined Authority. The removing of through traffic in the village, and the creation of the relief road, is by far the biggest part of the plans - but there are also proposals for an unbroken segregated bus lane to Bath plus more than nine miles of new and improved cycle lanes.
Under the longer term changes, the consultation lays out two options for the removing of through traffic in Brislington. Both are to build an A4 relief road on the former Bristol and North Somerset Railway Line, starting at the Tesco Extra store on Callington Road. The first option is to take traffic all the way to Sainsburys store at St Philips Causeway, the second is to bring it back onto the A4 Bath Road at The Lodekka pub.
Under the second option, the railway line past the Lodekka would be turned into a bus-only route to Sandy Park Road. For both options, Brislington would be open only to local traffic and buses.The footbridge crossing the A4 at Brislington Hill would be replaced with a street-level crossing, and there would be space for outdoor cafe seating.
The proposals confirm that plans have long been on the table to build the A4 relief road, as revealed by Bristol World last year.
Aside from the long-term plans, short-term proposals have also been unveiled for Brislington and Totterdown. They include extending bus lanes between West Town Lane and Emery Road on both sides of the Bath Road. The bus lane from St Philips Causeway to the entrance of Arnos Vale Cemetery would also be changed to 24 hours a day. Meanwhile, Talbot Road would be turned into a cul-de-sac with access at the junction with Queens Road for cycles only. Traffic calming including speed bumps would be installed in Hungerford Road.
For cyclists, in the short-term a new route could be created through Victory Park between School Road and Emery Road. Better cycling options would also be explored for Sandy Park Road and Wick Road. And the existing cycle route between Edwards Road and the River Avon Trail would be improved.
Further on out of Bristol, the A4 Bath Road between Hicks Gate and Brislington also faces further changes with few lanes open to normal traffic. Bus lanes would be introduced on both sides with a segregated cycle path also introduced. This stretch of the road is busy and a spot for congestion for in-bound traffic at rush hour.
The Keynsham by-pass would also see the number of lanes for normal traffic reduced with a new bus lane on either side of the road.
Weca is keen to point out that ‘nothing is decided at this stage’, but the consultation will form part of plans for the route sections going forward. On the plans for Brislington, it states: “In Brislington it might be possible to do something different. One big choice that could be made is to transform the current Bath Road in Brislington and Totterdown into a green route for buses, walking, cycling and some local traffic.
“This could fundamentally change the character of Brislington village – which is currently cut in two by the noisy, busy A4 and is not easy to cross safely. At the moment, a vehicle passes though Brislington village every 3 seconds from 7am in the morning until 6pm at night. Other traffic could be moved onto a new route along a disused railway track.”
The former railway line from Bristol to Frome closed in 1959. It included stations at Brislington, near Callington Road, and Whitchurch Halt. It has since been empty, although unsuccessful plans have recently been put forward for a cycle route along part of the route in Brislington.
The consultation can be accessed online here, or through a number of drop-in events including two in Brislington next month; at Hungerford Communtiy Centre on September 20 from 2pm to 7pm, and The Spielman Centre on September 26, from 2pm to 7pm.