- Bristol BRT2 route – Ashton Avenue Bridge
(reply to ^ t’other page)
Hello corbs. Personally I’d be against any form of motorised transport using this route as its value is as a traffic free route in and out of the centre of one of the larger of the UK’s cities. The NoBRT2 team make some excellent arguments about how the scheme doesn’t actually solve many problems and can show the claims made for BRT2 are, putting it politely, overstated. I’m not clever enough to know how fast a bendy-bus can make it around a ninety degree blind corner, it’s not the sort of knowledge I aspire to. Trains are great, but I have no idea whether they’d go where people want to get to at whatever time they insist on being there (not a second before or a second later). I just think it would spoil a very beautiful cycle and pedestrian route – and this seems entirely at odds with so much of what the Mayor and Council say about making Bristol a nice place to live.Posted 4 years agoanotherdeadheroMember
Reinstating the Portishead line for passengers would use the extant line through Ashton Vale (possible reinstating the Ashton Vale station) to the junction just before Parson Street and via Bedminster station on to Temple Meads.
Reinstating the docks line would involve reworking the M-Shed area, buldozing a load of the new builds by Bathhurst basin, reengineering the tunnel behind the old General hospital under Redcliffe, rebuilding the two bridges over Temple Gate Gyratory and buldozing some of the new Temple Meads carpark to make the link.
If they wanted to return the bridge to its original two-deck configuration, one deck for rapid transit, one for everyone else, that’d be pretty cool, but they’re insistant on doing it on the cheap.Posted 4 years agojonny2x4Member
Hmmm…I don’t know where I stand with this one. I rode over the bridge for the first time on Sunday. Certainly the park on the south side is a nice spot and it would be a shame to see buses/trains/whatever coming through there. But looking at the route it seems as though this green area wouldn’t be affected too much, vehicles would run over the disused railway. Not sure you can really say the north side is that beautiful! Maybe if you find urban decay exciting…
I wrote an email to democratic services saying I was against the scheme, but I’m more against the way it’s being forced through un-democratically than the route, although it would have been awful if the original one in front of Arnolfini and M Shed had have got through. I’m more against the fact that the whole scheme seems like a cheap solution that just hasn’t had enough thought put into it. I think if people were presented with a proper tram system it would get more support. Interesting to see that the proposal says the buses would be electric? So at least they’d be quieter than diesels?
What if the bridge was rebuilt with space for cyclists and vehicles?Posted 4 years ago
Not sure you can really say the north side is that beautiful! Maybe if you find urban decay exciting…
These things are relative. Relative to glass-fronted modern buildings surrounded by notices informing you that you are on privately owned land, yes the dereliction is beautiful.Posted 4 years agoransosSubscriber
Hmmm…I don’t know where I stand with this one. I rode over the bridge for the first time on Sunday. Certainly the park on the south side is a nice spot and it would be a shame to see buses/trains/whatever coming through there. But looking at the route it seems as though this green area wouldn’t be affected too much, vehicles would run over the disused railway.
Actually, over 1ha of green space is going to be taken as the route runs to Long Ashton P&R, including part of a designated Site of Nature Conservation Interest.Posted 4 years agojonny2x4Member
Actually, over 1ha of green space is going to be taken as the route runs to Long Ashton P&R, including part of a designated Site of Nature Conservation Interest.
It does look as though most of the route is down railway line, looks like much of the green fields near Long Ashton has plans to be built on regardless of BRT2 anyway according to the route plans? As I say I’m against this scheme, but some sort of scheme is needed. Seems to me that using existing disused/underused railways is a good way to start.Posted 4 years agocorbsMember
Sorry, i should have qualified, my hypothesisisisited route was the missing 900 or so yards of track between where the docks railway ends now at the create centre, and ashton gate junction, with a station outside m shed (where the platform is now) rather than rebuilding the hotwells route. The rails on ashton avenue bridge are in fact still extant under the weeds, I think it was last used at the festival of the sea when the trains ran to megabowl.Posted 4 years ago
Ok, I understand the point of view that people would rather not have a mass transit corridor there. What about if the existing steam railway proposed extending to ashton gate, running only at summer weekends and sharing the trackbed with a cycle route, as with the avon valley railway at Bitton?anotherdeadheroMember
The odd saddletank steamer once every half hour on summer weekends? Would not really be a problem as far as I’m concerned, pretty much in keeping with the current ethos of the area I’d argue. A very different idea to a modern busy 24/7 mass transit corridor, on a through route (rather than a out-and-back full of tourists and kids dropping ice creams) stuffed with commuter traffic (or worse, hardly any commuter traffic) on a for-profit basis.
There is plenty of road space extant in the city. If clogging it up with cars is inefficient and leads to bottle necks, prehaps the council should grow some and force people to use this dedicated infrastructure. Rather than trying to provide an ‘alternative’ which won’t chnage behaviour (see Park & Ride) as well as destroying the only currently available alterative.Posted 4 years agoransosSubscriber
It does look as though most of the route is down railway line, looks like much of the green fields near Long Ashton has plans to be built on regardless of BRT2 anyway according to the route plans? As I say I’m against this scheme, but some sort of scheme is needed. Seems to me that using existing disused/underused railways is a good way to start.
I was quoting from the council report…
I agree that we need to invest in public transport, but what we have here is many millions of pounds, a loss of green, walking and cycling space, predicted to take 0.1% of commuter traffic.Posted 4 years ago
Hi Corbs – thanks for your interest. 🙂
As has been said, I suspect many current users of the Bridge would find extension of the steam railway to be a far more welcome prospect than the approaching BRT2 behemoth. More generally, I’m with Wordnumb on this: the way things are in Bristol right now, I’d rather not sacrifice an important vehicle-free route for the sake of the current scheme. As per ransos’s post, it offers negligible benefits – not least given the likely expense.
I’m more against the way it’s being forced through un-democratically
It’s an equally important dimension to all this: BCC & the WEP have – essentially – bent the modelling to fit the DfT funding requirements, and then steamrollered the scheme through. As StopBRT2 write in their letter to the Post: “It is as if there is a collective Council denial of the level of opposition to BRT2.”
And whilst we’re at it, here’s a bump for StopBRt2’s walk and picnic protest thing on the afternoon of saturday 6th July. The walk along the Ashton Vale route is at 2 pm, returning to the park side of the Bridge for a picnic at 3.30-6pm. If any of y’all are in the area, feel free to drop by.Posted 4 years ago
How’s he going to picnic with no teeths?
Lots of chewing… 8)
The picnic: as I understand it, there will be some music & other stuff (including activities for kids). The weather is looking good, so drop by and say hello! 😀
Yet more drilling near the Chocolate Path this morning. Meanwhile, the link to the Post article about the Cumberland Road decision appears to be permanently broken, despite the rest of the page working ok. Perhaps George’s “promise” about electric buses is being reined in – or maybe BCC are just embarrassed by how dumbass this whole thing really is.Posted 4 years ago
Thanks DoctorRad – question 9 on the consultation website allows you to make a statement concerning the new Ashton Vale Route (although Metrobus are saying that any issues concerning the Ashton Avenue Bridge have already been covered by the public inquiry). Still, it’s an opportunity to voice discontent.
The picnic went well, given how much other stuff was going on in Brizzle that day – fine weather, good music & plenty of cake! Some peeps pinned artwork to the Bridge, but this was promptly taken down by the BRT2 neighbourhood watch (whoever they may be). A shame, because Mayor Ferguson was seen wandering around the area on the following day.
The next public meeting meeting is tuesday (tomorrow) 23rd July, 7.30 pm at the Hen & Chicken Pub, North Street. StopBRT2 have submitted some pretty leading FOI requests, and are now actively linking up with other groups, such as the Civic Society & Bristol Cycling Campaign. So, it carries on…Posted 4 years ago
Excellent post on the StopBRT2 website:
Further to the so-called ‘consultation’, there are exhibitions of the revised (i.e. Cumberland Road) Ashton Vale route at St Mary Redcliffe 6th Form Centre, Redcliffe Hill, on 31st July and 7th August, between 4-8pm. The Bristol Civic Society are encouraging people to turn up en masse at 6pm on 31st July, & ask awkward questions.
Metrobus are repeatedly claiming that people have already been consulted about the Ashton Avenue Bridge plans… 🙄Posted 4 years ago
Okaaay, the ’consultation’ on the revised (i.e. Cumberland Road) BRT2 route (now re-branded as Metrobus) ends tomorrow. Anybody who wishes to make a comment can do so at the Metrobus site: http://www.travelwest.info/metrobus. Again, this doesn’t include the Aston Avenue Bridge section (which was covered by the previous TWA), but there are still plenty of implications for cyclists/pedestrians… not to mention a whole lot of expensive over-engineering & potential tree-felling…
As StopBRT2 note, the re-named scheme is still as idiotic as ever, and the exhibition of plans left plenty of unanswered questions. Quelle surprise!Posted 4 years agoMr AgreeableSubscriber
Bunch of jobsworths. I thought we lived in a city famous for its vibrant street art?
Two new Twitter accounts have sprung up under the user names @metrobusTW and @sbristollink, presumably to try and win hearts and minds. Not sure who’d operating them – I’m guessing the WEP – but I’d urge everyone to ask them some awkward questions.Posted 4 years ago
a city famous for its vibrant street art
Not if it interferes with BCC’s rubbish transport planning. Shame there’s not some old Banksy piece on the Bridge – judging by the madness of the art market, it would probably increase its material value tenfold.
We could always barricade that stretch of the Festival Way with some strategically placed Gromits. 8)Posted 4 years ago
Bristol City Council have now received a solicitor’s letter raising the possibility of a legal challenge to their
transport schemegurt white elephant.
It seems things are turning ugly.Posted 4 years ago
Councillor Brian Allinson, chairman of the WEP transport executive, is currently moaning about the use of legal challenges – claiming that their use by “single-interest groups” is holding the city back.
In the case of BRT2, he would seem to be ignoring a number of salient facts – the supreme irony of which is almost amusing: 1.) Flaws in the scheme were repeatedly demonstrated by a large number of submissions to the Public Inquiry, from a wide variety of contributors. 2.) Many people voted for George Ferguson precisely because of his stated opposition to the plans 3.) The proposed BRT2/Metrobus AVTM route remains hugely unpopular, as indicated by the thousands of signatures to the online petition, and the many letters of objection sent to Bristol City Council (all ignored, of course).
If anybody is guilty of acting like a secretive single-interest group, it’s the WEP. 😈Posted 4 years ago
There seems to have been a fair amount of clearance work (apparently done on friday night) in the area adjacent to the start of the Chocolate Path – hopefully this is something to do with the heritage railway, and not preparations for a new bus lane… 😕
Internet trade rag TransportXtra kindly published a letter from yours truly, bemoaning the coming transformation of the Ashton Avenue section of the Festival Way.
I note with interest Councillor Brian Allinson’s reply to Gavin Smith at TransportXtra (“Putting the facts right on Bristol’s BRT plan” – Issue 628/629 9 Aug 2013). As a resident of Ashton Road and a daily cycle/pedestrian commuter into central Bristol, I would like to make a number of points:
1. Given its continued neglect (& Grade II listed status), I would very much like to see the Ashton Avenue Bridge restored. However, its present structural state is not, in itself, an a priori argument for the choice of bus route. The route should be decided on its own merits (and personally speaking, I see very little merit in the AVTM plans), not because it provides convenient investment capital for the upkeep of listed structures. The West of England Partnership are doing themselves no favours by continually suggesting that only buses will “save” the Bridge – other capital is available, e.g. the newly-announced funding for designated cycle routes. Besides which, some of the money already spent/wasted on BRT2 could have been spent on bridge upkeep!
2. I don’t think anybody who opposes the current BRT2/Metrobus scheme is claiming that funding should only be used for trains and cycling. Buses are clearly a major part of the solution. However, it seems very likely that Bristol City Council/the WEP are going spend a vast amount of money in order to simply re-route buses off the Hotwell Road, with little in the way of proven benefits over the existing P&R route (which is within a few hundred metres of the proposed route). Neither the WEP nor BCC have done much to allay public suspicion that the scheme has been modelled to fit DFT funding criteria (i.e. in order to secure the capital), rather than actually addressing Bristol’s transport needs. If all this proceeds in combination with BCC’s continuing failure to challenge the dire provision of bus services by FirstGroup, voters will not be forgiving.
3. Councillor Allinson correctly points out that Bristol is a hilly city. It is certainly true that cycling is not a viable option for everybody. However, the section of the Festival Way most affected by BRT2 is decidedly flat. Whatever its fascinating (rail/top-tier road) history, the stretch which includes the Ashton Avenue Bridge has become an important non-vehicular route into the city from South Bristol. It is immensely valued by the large numbers of pedestrians and cyclists who use it, every single day – each of whom is already helping to resolve Bristol’s gridlock. Placing them in immediate (and, to be frank, dangerous) proximity to a busy bus lane will entirely transform the experience, as even the BRT2 planners admit (pers.comm. – Metrobus consultation, 7th August). There is immense anger about the scheme among local residents and commuters – and those in charge of promoting it would do well not to underestimate the strength of feeling.
Noteeth.Posted 4 years ago
The clearance work is railway-related… its sudden appearance was slightly alarming, is all. I think they might be putting in a platform.
StopBRT2 will not be pursuing a judicial review, for various reasons (not least cost….). Still, it served as a good shot across the bows of BCC/WEP & generated some more publicity. It also helped flush out some rather, uuh, un-democratic sentiments on the part of senior Brizzle politicos (e.g.
Bristol councillor “fed up” with Bristol schemes being hijacked, and see also Tony Dyer’s article on Bristol 24/7: We must challenge cheap attacks on judicial reviews).
So, it carries on. The next StopBRT2 meeting is 7.30pm, 22nd October, the Hen and Chicken Pub, North Street (subject to room availability).
Tanks fer readin. 🙂Posted 4 years ago
Quick correction: the next StopBRT2 meeting is at 7:30pm, on the 29th October, the Hen & Chicken Pub, North Street – changed due to room availability.
There’s been some press coverage of the decision not to proceed with a judicial review. It’s a shame StopBRT2 don’t have the financial means to pursue it – I suspect that BCC/WEP know full well just how shoddy the whole process has been… 👿Posted 4 years ago
Bump… the next public meeting is tomorrow – 7:30pm, tuesday 29th October, at the Hen & Chicken Pub, North Street.
There’s still no sign of the Planning Inspector’s report… Meanwhile, the redoutable Bristol Civic Society have called for an urgent inquiry into the financing of the scheme – “We do not want future generations to inherit and have to pay for the white elephant that is BRT2”
The idiocy rolls on. 😕Posted 4 years ago
OK, quick update for anybody who is interested:
The StopBRT2 meeting took place in the pub, as the usual function room was booked & some theatre types were treading the boards upstairs. So, such difficulties aside, the following was discussed/agreed upon.
StopBRT2 are actively pursuing an official (i.e. eventually to be taken to the Political Ombudsman) complaint against Bristol City Council and the West of England Partnership. The whole process has been decidedly shoddy, to put it mildy. They are also engaged in a FOI request as to why the (taxpayer-funded) Public Inquiry is taking so very looooong to be published.
It was agreed that there was a fair amount of common ground with the campaign against the proposed South Bristol Link Road – for all the sustainable travel gubbins, BRT2/Metrobus actually forms part of a significant road-building programme. Now, arguments about whether urban (& esp Bristolian) congestion is best solved by building more roads is a whole ‘nother thread. But suffice to say, North Somerset Council are very keen to get Bristol to stump up for the majority (and liable) costs of BRT2, as part of the SBL. More here: http://nosouthbristollink.co.uk/
There will be some kind of publicity stunt/demonstration to highlight the pathetically-low projected patronage of the BRT2/Metrobus scheme – in simple terms, we’ll be spending £50 million for the sake of an extra 50 passengers. More details to be announced.
Mayor’s Question Time, 7 pm, December 3rd, Wills Memorial Building, Bristol Uni. Got any burning (transport or anything else) questions for the red-trousered one? Book yourself a spot here. If I wasn’t working that evening, I’d be asking why BCC/WEP have already spent so much public money (approx £8 million!) in advance of an official planning inspectorate decision.
Bristol “Green Capital” status: uhh, who says satire is dead? Given how BRT2 trashes much-valued green & vehicle-free space, there’ll be a concerted effort to work the angle on this one.
Parks/estates survey: Bristol City Council are currently asking people for their views on favourite parks or estates…. this kind of thing always worries me (i.e. just what is being planned down the line? 😕 ), but the survey itself is quick n’ easy to do:
Anybody who currently enjoys the Greville Smyth Park/Sylvia Crowe Park/Festival Way/Pump track area might like to highlight the detrimental effect of putting a busy bus lane right thru the middle of it. To that end, StopBRT2 are also talking to the fine folks at FrOGS.
Next public meeting is 7.30pm, 26th November, in the Greville Room, Hen and Chicken Pub, North Street.
Tanks fer readin’. 🙂Posted 4 years ago
Bad news – the Government has approved the AVTM route, thereby rubber-stamping one of the most idiotic transport schemes in Brizzle’s recent history – a whopping £50 million to re-route buses off the Hotwell Road, and slapping ’em down over part of the demonstrably successful (cycle/pedestrian) Festival Way. Metrobus are crowing about how all this is in the “public interest”, despite the whole process having been as bent as a Raleigh Activator that’s been hucked to flat. Of course, many in South Bristol voted for Red Trousers precisely because they believed he was opposed to the scheme… 🙄
Anyway, for those of us who regularly use the Festival Way into town, the Planning Inspector’s report notes that “the scheme [will] have an adverse impact on the enjoyment of some existing routes used by pedestrians and cyclists”. Basically, if you currently enjoy the green space in & around Sylvia Crowe Park (i.e. near the Pump Track), over Ashton Avenue Bridge and along the Chocolate Path, things are going to become a good deal less pleasant. And I’m willing to bet that the city will still be in terminal gridlock – & money that might have been used for, say, improving existing bus services will have been pished away.
A fugging ridiculous state of affairs, even by Bristol standards. 👿Posted 4 years ago
I thought the chocolate block path was going to remain intact?
It will, as per the revised plans (and is likely to be upgraded with the new cycling-specific funding – so that’s a plus). But the intersection at the Bridge end is likely to be pretty busy.
It really is a duff scheme, and is getting plenty of hate in the comments under the Post article. 😈Posted 4 years ago
Excellent article on Bristol 24/7 – ”Bristol transport: Another depressing sense of deja vu”.Posted 4 years ago
ha, next stop Mumsnet! 😉
Although I can’t actually view FB on this NHS library computer….
Unfortunately, BCC’s decision to wave through the SBL makes it much more likely that buses will be running over Ashton Avenue Bridge. Regardless of what one thinks of the actual road (& I remain sceptical about the WEP hype), the proposed AVTM guided bus route is still utterly daft. But it rolls on… 😕Posted 4 years ago
StopBRT2 have issued a statement to Bristol City Council, so as to put on record their opposition to BRT2/Metrobust.
Apologies for the gurt cut n’ paste….
StopBRT2 statement to full Council 17 December 2013
StopBRT2 wishes to put on record the following:
There is a democratic deficit in local transport planning
Currently key transport investment decisions are led by the West of England Partnership which is unelected, unaccountable, is not even a legal entity according to its Chief Executive, and has no complaints procedure. Bristol City Council has one vote out of six, despite more than a third of people in the West of England residing in Bristol. It is clear from information on their website that the West of England Partnership wants to promote a programme of road schemes that belong to another era. As currently structured, the Partnership is able to impose its will on the people of Bristol without being answerable for it. The detailed work is being undertaken by consultants who are not accountable to the public for what they do, but who have cost us at least £12m.
There are huge financial, environmental and transport risks associated with BRT2
• a financial agreement with North Somerset which means that Bristol pays 80% of the capital funding gap-currently standing at around £14m
• the likelihood that BRT services will have to be subsidised as admitted by the project’s own consultants. This can only be achieved by reducing other services. The Inspector for the BRT2 Public Inquiry also identified this as a risk (para 7.3.50).
• uncertainly over the feasibility of the Ashton Fields section due to flooding risk and its potential status as town green
• uncertainly over Network Rail’s agreement to the flyover at Winterstoke Road
• very low impact on passenger numbers. The report to Cabinet on 27 June had figures buried in it that showed that passenger levels in the am peak hour are only 50 higher compared with the ‘do minimum’ in 2016. This typifies the Partnership approach: to go for soft options while failing to address the fundamental citywide problems of congestion; air pollution and safety. The Inspector for the BRT2 Public Inquiry said ‘ The scheme would unlikely therefore to have much impact on congestion levels in the City’ (para 7.3.31).
• Unacceptable (to local people) impacts on local open spaces. When work is underway in the year of Green Capital, there is likely to be enormous public anger. This will challenge the credibility of Green Capital status for Bristol and potentially undermine the good work of other sectors that have helped win this award
• The stop-go short section of guideway is laughable and the accident history of the Cambridge system raises further issues about this part of BRT2
StopBRT2 and other groups will hold politicians to account when things go wrong
We issue this statement to warn of the dangers ahead, and it is made in the spirit of wishing to protect the City Council. We are well aware of who the lead politicians in Bristol are on BRT. When the public reacts and the projects start to unravel, we will call those politicians to account.
December 2013Posted 4 years ago
So we’re spending millions on a pointless and destructive bus route, and now the swing bridge ist kaput which will cost millions to repair. I’ve been saying from the start that what’s needed is an upgrade to the Cumberland basin road layout – this is the perfect opportunity. Put the Metrotoss money toward something useful.Posted 4 years ago
Every time the Post prints the latest Metrobust gubbins*, there are never any supportive comments. Nobody – apart from BCC, the (unaccountable) WEP and the gravy-train consultants – wants this dumbass scheme. And we will be paying thru the nose for it, even as other services are cut.
*I do like the fact that the muddy bank of the New Cut now looks like a beach… 😆Posted 4 years ago
The topic ‘Bristol BRT2 route – Ashton Avenue Bridge’ is closed to new replies.