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NEW AVON BRIDGE TO CUT ROAD CONGESTION
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5 readers have commented on this story. Click here to read their views.

16:36 - 21 June 2006
A New bridge could be built over the River Avon to ease traffic going in and out of Bristol. The low-level bridge at Avonmouth could relieve the M5 bridge of traffic and also reduce the impact of incidents which cause major traffic congestion.

And it could also carry a light rail transport link to Portishead.

Both schemes have been included in the Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Study (GBSTS) - a 25-year blueprint for transport in the West of England.

It also includes a number of measures to encourage alternatives to car travel. But the suggestions have been met with opposition by some campaigners.

The study, funded by the Government and local councils, looked at the future of the main transport routes and movement of people in the area over the next 30 years.

The final recommendations have now been handed over to the Government Office for the South West.

The GBSTS also suggests reducing the number of parking spaces, increasing parking charges and introducing workplace parking charges and road charging to cut the number of car trips.

Measures to improve public transport, from improvements to bus services to an expansion of the rail network, have also been suggested. And it also recommends the extension of the park-and-ride system and the expansion of existing sites in Bristol and Bath.

The GBSTS has also proposed measures to improve the region's roads and to look at the growth of passenger and employee numbers at Bristol International Airport

But Transport 2000 representative David Redgewell said he was "disappointed" with the proposals, saying they did not place enough importance on public transport.

He said: "We are very disappointed with the study. They haven't recommended investment in the local rail network - especially as that's where lots of new housing is.

"It should be more about public transport, but instead it is looking at controversial road networks and a bridge over the River Avon.

"Their priorities for a great European city like ours are all wrong.

"Our public transport system is worse than parts of South Africa - I know because I have lived there.

"The city desperately needs a better public transport system."

Other measures recommended in the study include a South Bristol ring road linking the A4 with the A38; a new road linking the A38 and the A370 in North Somerset; links between south Bristol and M5; improvements to Weston-super- Mare's motorway junction; widening the M4 between junctions 19 and 20; and a Stoke Gifford bypass.

 
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  Your Views
As a former local councillor, I continue to support the general principle of a South Bristol Ring Road, which will bring jobs and investment, but not a route which lowers the quality of life for local residents in Whitchurch & Hartcliffe by running it through Dundry Slopes - an area of scenic beauty - and bisecting Hartcliffe into 2 parts. There are alternatives available, which must be thoroughly researched and consulted on before a conclusion is reached. The impact of more noise, more pollution and declining property values on residents of the Whitchurch Park Ward is too great to make this part of the rumoured route acceptable.
Colin Smith, Whitchurch

A rail link from Portishead to Bristol is much needed, and better use should be made of all the small stations in and around Bristol. Then how about a circular tram route from Temple Meads, around Old Market, Broadmead, The Centre and back to Temple Meads to combat the problem of Temple Meads not being in the centre of town?
Ian, Portishead

Steve, you do get Tax incentives, you don't pay the obscene amounts of tax on fuel or the Road tax.
Lee, Shirehampton

why not give tax incentives to people who use public transport?
steve, bristol

At last!!! We (Bristol residents and all motorists) have been needing a second Avonmouth Bridge for years. Fingers crossed it won't take as long to build as the first one did.
Ali, Bristol

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