Airport car park plans spark safety concerns

PLANS for a proposed airport parking site near Clevedon are facing mounting opposition.

Nailsea Town Council has formally disapproved of plans for a car park at The Hand Equestrian Centre in Davis Lane, Kenn, and campaign groups have started up.

The 15-acre site, consisting of around 500 spaces, would be used to house vehicles belonging to passengers who would be ferried to Bristol Airport on regular buses.

The idea proposed by the centre’s owner, Nick Davies, first came to light last month but no planning application has been made to North Somerset Council.

He said he currently subsidises the equestrian centre at the rate of �12,000 per month and without the money gained from a new airport parking facility, it could close.

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A proposed shuttle route from Kenn through Yatton, Claverham and Brockley Combe would be ‘unenforceable’ according to Nailsea Town Council clerk Ian Morrell.

He said a car park would lead to extra traffic through Nailsea’s West End and only exacerbate existing problems on the region’s narrow country roads.

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He added: “The town council is very concerned. Vehicles going to the equestrian centre will use the lanes, then park up, and go back through the lanes to go to the airport. We will get a double hit.

“It is going to have a really negative impact on the lanes where there’s already evidence of speeding and damage to the walls.”

Julia Miners, who lives in Nailsea’s West End, said farmers had contacted her to express their concerns.

She said: “It is a lane and not suitable for a cut-through. There have been several incidents in the past along there.

“Bristol Airport’s website instructs drivers to get off at junctions 18 or 22 in order to get to the car park and use major roads and I’m not aware it wants other junctions used.”

James Russell, who has helped set up Kenn Action Group to fight the plans, said villagers have grave concerns.

He said: “Farmers will need to move livestock. Of course people who live in a rural area don’t want a huge car park on the front door, but the main issue is the roads.

“These roads are unsafe already. I moved down here three years ago and I was struck by how poor they were. They are known to be accident blackspots and, personally, I have seen three cars in ditches since living here.”

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