Over 200 people stop the traffic in Fishponds to protest against a McDonald’s Drive-Thru

Over 200 people marched down Fishponds Road today to protest against the proposed 24-hour Drive-Thru McDonald’s.

They gathered on the site that the fast food giant has earmarked for the store – theold Bristol Tiles unit – before marching down to the traffic lights at the bottom of Lodge Causeway and back.

marchingThe demonstrators chanted “No McDonald’s in Fishponds” to the tune of the nursery rhyme Old MacDonald Had a Farm.

Many carried signs saying a McDonald’s would bring “supersized traffic, supersized litter and supersized children”.

The proposed restaurant which would be two-storey and have seating for 100, with 28 parking spaces, is close to several local schools.

Another placard read “NOT Lovin’ It.”

messageThe closing date for comments to Bristol City Council’s planning department has been extended until 29th October. There are already dozens of objections and an e-petition on the city council website opposing the application has more than 1,200 signatures.

Local Labour councillors Mhairi Threlfall and Mahmadur Khan and East Bristol MP Kerry McCarthy addressed today’s meeting of protesters who regularly got beeps of support from passing motorists.

Cllr Khan said the biggest concern about the proposal was the health of local children. “We cannot let it happen on our doorstep,” he said.

Ms McCarthy told them: “I really think we can win this.”

In her letter of objection she says that of particular concern that the proposed site will be situated within 800 metres of three schools – the Metropolitan Academy, Fishponds Church of England Academy and Chester Park Junior School.

MP Kerry McCarthy

MP Kerry McCarthy

“I’m aware that some councils impose a distance of 400 metres (or five-minute walk) as a fast food exclusion zone, however I firmly agree with Brighton & Hove Council’s assessment that a 800-metre radius is better.”

Her letter also raises concern about the already significant congestion on Fishponds Road and says the transport survey has several flaws, including failing to take into account varying time periods, including the afternoon rush hour following the end of school.

She adds: “There are widespread concerns that the restaurant will generate significant additional noise pollution, litter and unpleasant smells. Many of my constituents are unconvinced that the measures designed to mitigate these impacts will work sufficiently.”

The planning reference number is 14/04519/F.