Doubt over plans for South Bristol Link Road

Doubt over plans for South Bristol Link Road

THE South Bristol Link Road has missed out on Government funding after the Department for Transport announced it is supporting 24 new public transport schemes.

The Government department has released details of the schemes it has approved but states that a further analysis has to be carried out on the South Bristol Link Road before a decision is made.

The �57million scheme, which would stretch from the A38 to the A370 at Long Ashton, has been designed to ease traffic congestion in villages such as Barrow Gurney and Backwell, but councillors are now concerned the project may not go ahead.

District councillor Tom Collinson said: “I have just got the Department for Transport’s report on its priorities for highways in relation to the spending review and the South Bristol Link Road has not yet been included in the list of schemes being given funding.

“Councillor Elfan Ap Rees has been talking about concentrating on the South Bristol Link Road, when in fact it is still pie in the sky.”

Councillor Ap Rees made the comments about focusing efforts on the link road after a scheme to install traffic lights and a footpath in Barrow Street, Barrow Gurney, were thrown out due to public opposition.

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Cllr Collinson added: “We desperately need a link between the A370 and the A38. Tinkering with Barrow Street is not a strategic solution.”

Councillors believe the South Bristol Link Road could be thrown out by the Government due to its cost and Cllr Tom Collinson, along with parish councils, has been appealing for the Government to consider a less expensive Barrow Gurney Bypass which would cost around �6.6million.

Bristol Airport has allocated �4million towards the South Bristol Link Road and councillors have asked the Government if the money could be put towards the bypass scheme if the link road does not go ahead.

Cllr Collinson said: “The Government has recognised a need for an A370 and A38 link and if the red route (South Bristol Link Road) is in doubt there’s no reason why the Government shouldn’t say it will promote the orange route (bypass) instead. We are desperately trying to get it to do this.”

The Department for Transport has indicated that it expects to have fully evaluated the South Bristol Link Road scheme by January 2011.