Bristol Civic Society slates Ring Road junction proposals  

Bristol Civic Society has criticised South Gloucestershire Council’s plans to improve the layout of five junctions on the A4174 Ring Road between the Lyde Green and Kingsfield roundabouts.

The independent voluntary organisation, which looks to influence the development of major sites, and new planning and transport policy, has warned: “The proposal may just mean that congestion and its associated problems of air pollution and accidents is shunted down the road to the next pinch point.”

The society has responded to the council’s consultation, which closes a week tomorrow.

“Whilst we agree the need for an effective ring road system to cater for essential through traffic, we do not believe that the proposed scheme will be effective in reducing congestion and are not convinced that these proposals are the best use of £30m of taxpayers’ money.

“It is disappointing that there seems to have been no attempt made to look at alternatives to increased road capacity when we are in an air pollution and climate emergency. There are no bus lanes proposed. Cyclists and pedestrians appear to gain no real benefits but have some existing provisions removed.”

It quotes the Government’s recently published Decarbonising Transport strategy which says: ‘We cannot pile ever more cars, delivery vans and taxis on to the same congested urban roads. That would be difficult for the roads, let alone the planet, to tolerate. As we build back better from the pandemic, it will be essential to avoid a car-led recovery.’

The society says that a number of mature trees will have to be removed and widening through additional lanes will remove green areas: “The net effect will be a less green road environment. Signal-controlled roundabouts would mean an increase in visual clutter from the increased number of signals, additional road markings and signage.”

It adds that if there are significant road safety issues at one or more of these roundabouts they could potentially be included in a smaller scheme.

Emersons Green Town Council recently lodged an objected as part of the consultation and South Glos Green Party is urging people to have their say before the deadline of Monday 16th August. Their coordinator Dan Johnston said the “five monstrous mega-roundabouts” would do nothing to tackle the climate emergency and will instead cause environmental damage and an increase in car dependency.

He added: “Local residents have also shared with us their concerns about many years of disruption to the roads and the potential worsening of air quality, especially for people with respiratory conditions like asthma.”

The Greens want the council to scrap the plans and focus on improving cycling infrastructure and bus routes instead.

South Gloucestershire Council has said the project will improve capacity and connections for walking and cycling, as well as help the flow of public transport.

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