The Living Heart for Bristol** has condemned a planning application which would demolish shops along Horsefair to create a 1000 space car park and a four-lane road. (See the living-heart-objection-to-horsefair-application).
The application from the Bristol Alliance Partnership, which owns Cabots Circus and part of Broadmead, would create a four-lane road with new traffic lights to access the new car park, near where CEX is located today. It would also close Horsefair to vehicles and re-route buses around the city centre.
“To knock down independent shops to build a four-lane road and a huge new car park in the centre of the city would be an act of madness! Bond Street, already clogs up in the rush hour; it already suffers from dangerously bad air pollution. The four-lane road they want to build would cross over the bus lane carrying Metrobus, with a new set of traffic lights to slow all the buses down. At busy times cars wanting to turn into the new car park will have to wait in the middle lane of Bond Street, blocking the rest of the traffic until they get a green signal to turn left.
The Council have consulted with bus operators and shop owners who have ‘expressed concern’ about the congestion this car park would cause. Councillors should listen to those concerns and tell the Bristol Alliance to go back to the drawing boards.
We think some other aspects of this proposal are more positive; it would close off the rat-run along Horsefair and increase the pedestrianised area. We would welcome that, but not at the price of carving a four-lane road and turning 33,000 square metres of the city centre into another car park.”
Ciaran Mundy, Director of Transition Bristol added:
“Redeveloping the centre of Bristol is a great opportunity to create enjoyable public spaces that can be safely enjoyed by thousands of residents and millions of visitors. It is an opportunity to reduce pollution from traffic too – over 300 tragic deaths a year in Bristol due to air pollution is far too many and increased pollution from diesel and petrol cars could harm or kill even more. A plan to encourage hundreds of extra parking spaces for private cars flies in face of the evidence on public health and the fact that we need to create a low carbon future to tackle climate change. Car dependent development of this kind is not only outdated, in my view it is morally wrong. Let’s choose a healthier, happier future.”