Residents may or may not be aware but the West of England Authorities were recently consulting on a joint transport plan. Part of this focused on the need for a series of park and ride facilities ringing the City.
I agree with this but believe that the current proposals being looked at in the plans were flawed and have been overtaken by events. At the moment the document discusses two proposed sites just North of Henbury & Brentry. These are designed to link with bus services along the A4018 and the proposed new station at Henbury.
Both come at considerable cost and will require a substantial amount of work on the road network to accommodate additional bus infrastructure (such as bus lanes on Wyck Beck Road - which we think would be a bad idea). This will cause problems as the re-allocation of road space from existing vehicle movements will only increase congestion (especially as there seems to be no move to a third inbound bus lane using the central reservation that runs along that stretch of the A4018). They should be looked at but not in isolation.
The event that I believe has overtaken this document is the ruling out of a central Bristol Arena location by the City Mayor. This now effectively leaves the Brabazon Arena proposal as the only viable option in town, sited as it is off of the A38. This facility will require evening event parking to make workable.
The Councils should be considering locating another North Bristol Park & Ride alongside the proposed Arena. This would have major benefits:
- Access from the motorway to the A38
- Access to the new Filton North Station
- It would serve commuters during the day and arena go-ers at night
- It would help alleviate traffic heading down the A38 and through Horfield & Lockleaze
- It would access the Metrobus network which would then be connected to the City Centre via already built bus infrastructure
I have therefore asked planners should look again at the proposed park and ride options in North Bristol and consider a more joined up approach.