Bus rapid transit scheme under fire from campaigners
BRISTOL's bus rapid transit scheme has come in for criticism from allotment holders and one of the founders of a sustainable transport group.
Stapleton Allotments Association members say some of their land will be concreted over to build a new bridge serving a bus route to the city centre. The city council wants to build on the allotments at Stapleton to link the new bus route to the nearby M32.
But the allotment holders have warned they will take legal action to try to stop it.
In a statement, the group said of the land: "It has been cultivated for decades, providing leisure, healthy activity and locally produced food for more than 50 years. It is also a haven for wildlife and a valued green space. For a city aspiring to be European Green capital and where there are long waiting lists for allotments, the proposal to cover the site in concrete turns common sense and logic on its head."
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A city council spokeswoman said: "Approximately 60 per cent of the allotments would remain in their existing place with 40 per cent to be relocated immediately adjacent to the existing Stapleton Allotments site. We would pay for all the work required to relocate any affected allotments."
She also said detailed ecological surveys are being done for the overall scheme.
Meanwhile John Grimshaw, a founder of green transport charity Sustrans, believes Bristol should lose its status as the UK's only "Cycling City" if the rapid transit scheme goes ahead in its current planned form.
He said he feared that the current vision would fragment the city's network of cycle routes and make cycleways too narrow.
But Tim Kent, the council's cabinet member for transport, insisted: "The scheme will bring back in substantial additional cycling provision, including extra bridges and extra cycle ways. It's a real boost for cycling in this city."