Monday, 29 June 2009

For locals only

Lib Dems in Bristol are proposing to close the A4 Portway to motorists throughout the summer. (See my website,, for my current poll on this issue). I'm not sure this is sensible. I'd rather see some of the small roads, particularly the cobbled streets, in the city centre closed off, making a pedestrian only space, for example around St Nicholas market, or in Broadmead, or in Clifton village. What do people think?

Also, while we're on local issues, what do people think about the proposal to increase fares from the Park and Ride on the A4 (other side of the city) into the centre? Keeping fares low means that Bristol council tax payers end up subsidising the service, but higher fares is inevitably going to mean an increase in the number of cars in Bristol city centre, and then we'll all pay the price of increased congestion and virtual gridlock at peak times.

Final point on transport issues. I'm hoping for a decision on electrification of the Great Western line before summer recess. Will be chasing after Chris Mole, the new Rail Minister, when I see him in the division lobby (but not in a John Gummer/ Douglas Hogg way).*

*Slightly obscure reference to their mole-killing proclivities.


Chris Paul said...

For a couple of years as a sixth former and on returns home for years afterwards I lived on Horseshoe Drive. This was 1974-76 and then onwards. The Portway was closed at that time - because rocks were pinging off all the time - and it was great. The same alt. route was used and it coped even on week days. There will have been some rat running. But even as a temporary thing it would be OK on Sundays I think. Very little traffic anyway. Closing down (more) cobbled streets in centre is a great idea also, so long as businesses there e.g. pubs and cafes can cope with wait for modal change to kick in.

Bristol Dave said...

Closing the portway is completely pointless. The pavement that people can walk/run/cycle on is almost as wide as a road anyway. Plus the affect it'd have on traffic would be ludicrous for very little gain.

As you say, far better to close a cobbled street in the centre.

dreamingspire said...

Chris Mole seems somewhat invisible, particularly with Lord Adonis honouring previously booked appointments in the rail area (e.g. the Rail Innovation Awards last Friday). CM's background, I see, is technical, which is good news.
But we need to be wary about the electrifying of FGW. Mandelson said on Radio 4 that money for the two year programme to build more council and affordable homes will come from HO budget (where the costs of the ID card project have just dropped) and DfT (oops!).

Pointer2null said...

I agree with Bristol Dave. Closing the Portway is pointless. The cycle path is more than enough and mostly empty.

This sounds like just another one of the loonie ideas that just ends up costing us a lot of money as does nothing useful at all.