Closures robbed us of a public transport system
THE next four years could signal major improvements in transport for Bristol. That is according to the bosses of the biggest transport providers in the city.
But are we going to move from a car dominated gridlocked road network to a better public transport system?
In my local area Wells Road, West Town Lane, Sturminster Road, Callington Road, Hungerford Road, Airport Road, Bath Road, the car is king and gridlock prevails with tailbacks everywhere. This shows that decision-makers in the past got it wrong.
The closure of the Bristol to North Somerset railway line in the 1960s and of Brislington station are further examples. What short-sighted decisions.
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Janice Sinclair, of Brislington-based Taste Tech Ltd, says her employees and lorries struggle to get to their Bath Road site.
The closure of railway lines 50 years ago robbed us of a public transport system that could and would have been in high demand if it still existed.
We are now paying the price of the decimation of the railways dating back to the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Double tracks were reduced to single lines creating bottle-necks and leading to late-running trains. Just look at the problems caused by reducing the four lines on the Filton Bank.
The existing two lines are full to capacity and any problems with late- running trains has a knock-on effect to all train services.
With two lines Filton Bank is a bottle neck, and the only solution is to go back to its original four-track formation. Nothing less will do.
The selling of railway yards, along with sidings and goods yards and knocking down railway bridges was further evidence of the damage to the railway system. In my opinion it was vandalism on a scale, out of control.
Just look at the building of Avonmeads retail park beside the Spine Road 20 years ago. It is flanked on two sides by St Phillips Marsh train depot and the Great Western main line. Why wasn't a station incorporated in the plans when Avonmeads was constructed?
It was an opportunity missed to bring the public into this shopping complex by public transport.
And just look at Cribbs Causeway. With the closing of Filton airfield a short railway connection from the Henbury Loop to The Mall could be built with its own dedicated station.
Rail, Maritime and Transport Union
Written in a personal capacity.