Environmental group opposes ring road plans

AN ENVIRONMENTAL group has criticised plans for a new ring road which would take traffic away from Barrow Gurney but be built on green belt land.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), says building the South Bristol Link road from the A370 at Long Ashton to the A38 at Hartcliffe, will pave the way for developers to move in.

The Avonside branch will voice its concerns during an open day on June 23 in Long Ashton, when it hopes to encourage members to make their feelings known as part of the public consultation process.

Director of CPRE Avonside, Joe Evans, said: “The proposal includes a new road and bus route through green belt land, which could easily be used to promote and service subsequent development within the green belt, especially considering the pressure that planners have faced from developers for urban extensions in South Bristol.”

He feels the new road will encourage commuting into South Bristol from North Somerset villages, putting their delicate infrastructure under more strain.

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Instead the group would like to see investment in rail services, including re-opening Portishead station, and other public transport from Temple Meads to the city centre.

The open day, at Long Ashton Community Centre, in Keedwell Hill, starts with the CPRE North Somerset district group’s annual general meeting at 11am, followed by a display of the organisation’s campaigns from 1pm- 4.30pm.

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More details are available by logging onto www.cpreavonside.org.uk

Barrow Gurney, which has welcomed the proposals, is busy making plans for 2014, when it hopes to become commuter-traffic free.

Barrow Gurney Parish Council recently heard a presentation by transport, traffic and urban design company, Hamilton-Baillie Associates, who talked about managing the centre of the village by using its idea of ‘shared space’.

The concept involves regulating traffic flow by removing road signs, meaning everyone has to use common sense, better awareness and consideration.

Company director Ben Hamilton-Baillie said: “We have been working with scores of other villages in a similar situation who are beset by traffic running through them and have set out a whole new future in alternative management for them.

“It is all about a better degree of dominance and it has worked elsewhere and could here.

“But it is a long process which is why the parish council has approached us this far in advance.”

He said despite some inevitable sceptics the majority of residents were enthusiastic and supportive of the idea.

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