Hopes that road nightmare over
RESIDENTS in Clifton Village say they hope the nightmare they have endured for the past 18 months has come to an end after Bridge Valley Road reopened yesterday.
The road – one of Bristol's busiest commuter routes – was shut last March due to concerns about safety.
Instead of costing around £500,000 and being shut for several weeks, the road has reopened 18 months later at a cost of £2.7 million.
The problem developed as a disused railway tunnel had begun to cave in due to movement in the Avon Thrust Fault – a geological phenomenon unique to the gorge.
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Worst affected by the prolonged closure was Granby Hill, which became a congested rat-run.
Residents complained of damage to their vehicles, regular road rage incidents and selfish motorists – all of which have blighted their otherwise peaceful neighbourhood.
Colin Mann, 32, lived on the hill and now rents out a property there.
He said: "My tenant parks his car here and it has been hit three times.
"This road is just used as a commuter rat-run. I have seen drivers get very frustrated and there has been some argy-bargy.
"It definitely got worse when Bridge Valley Road closed.
"Fingers crossed, now the road has opened again it should get better."
A man living on the hill who asked not to be named said: "Granby Hill became a rat-run and I have witnessed road rage on several occasions.
"I was disgusted and have reported motorists on occasion. I have even had my car damaged through no fault of my own. I'm not sure now the road has opened things will get better because some people think it's quicker."
Jackie Noel, the administrator for Hope Community Church on Hope Chapel Hill, off Granby Hill, said: "The gridlock on Granby Hill is very bad and the traffic has been a lot heavier over the past 18 months.
"The really dangerous thing is that everybody seems to make a bolt for it – it's like a race track."
Other roads badly affected include Joy Hill and Clifton Vale.
Not everybody is happy the road has re-opened. Commenting on our website thisisbristol.co.uk Chicken Jo said: "My journey time was doubled this morning with the queue back to Sea Mills. We managed perfectly well without it for 18 months – is this road really necessary?"
Kris Litchfield wrote: "Whilst I fully understand the need to re-open the road, please look to get the traffic light timing correct to try to give motorists in the main flow of traffic down the Portway a fighting chance of getting to work on time."
Spigget simply commented: "Congestion Hell – close it!"