Success for transport scheme funding

BARROW Gurney and Backwell residents could soon enjoy quieter village roads after the Government announced it will support a scheme to take heavy traffic away from the area.

As part of the Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, it was revealed the Government will support and help fund the creation of a South Bristol Link road.

This will run from the A370 at Long Ashton to the A38 at Hartcliffe and should relieve the nearby villages of heavy traffic. This includes many vehicles travelling to and from Bristol Airport, which regularly use the roads and lanes in Backwell and Barrow Gurney.

North Somerset Councillor for Backwell and Barrow Gurney, Geoff Coombs, said: “It is excellent news for Barrow Gurney residents and indeed people living in Downside who are affected by airport traffic.

“Hopefully this will make the route to the airport much more sensible and we will be able to get unnecessary traffic out of our village.

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“This scheme has been on the cards for almost 50 years so it is good to see some movement on it.

“The team at North Somerset Council who worked on the bid did a very good job.”

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Bruce Stewart, secretary of Backwell Residents’ Association, said: “It should relieve the village of some of the airport traffic providing that it is supported with proper signing.”

The South Bristol Link was one of 20 schemes chosen for funding by the Department for Transport out of a pool of 45.

Work on the �45million scheme is due to start in May 2014 with the aim of completing it in May 2016. Consultation will start in March ready for a planning application to be submitted in September.

The Government will give �27.6million to the project, North Somerset Council will give �17million and the rest will come from third parties.

Another successful scheme was the Bus Rapid Transit scheme for Ashton Vale to Temple Meads, which will provide a fast and frequent public transport service into Bristol from Long Ashton Park and Ride. A range of existing bus services from Nailsea and Clevedon will also feed into it.

The Government decided to put �34.5million toward the �41.5million cost. Work will start in June 2013 for completion in February 2015.

Bristol Airport will put �5.4million toward the two projects.

The airport’s chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said: “Approval of these two major transport schemes is great news for the West of England.

“Both the Bus Rapid Transport scheme and the South Bristol Link will improve access to and from Bristol Airport, help alleviate congestion on local roads and unlock the potential of South Bristol.”

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