New vision for Bristol city centre - your views
Consultation is still open on plans to transform Bristol city centre as part of an £8 million overhaul to make way for a new network of rapid transit buses.
Last week we reported that the makeover would pedestrianise large areas of the centre – the oval expanse which stretches from the docks, past Baldwin Street to beyond the Cenotaph.
It will see the axing of the existing controversial figure-of- eight road layout, with through- traffic reduced to a two-way system running between Anchor Road, past the Bristol Hippodrome and on to Lewins Mead.
Traffic will still be able to use Baldwin Street, which will remain two-way, but drivers will only be able to turn left onto the Centre and travel towards Anchor Road. They will also be able to turn right from the Centre into Baldwin Street.
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It will mean the area that was once a massive terminus for the city's trams will once again become a major transport hub for the next generation of bus travel.
ThisisBristol held a poll last week to find out what you thought of the plans.
In total, 1,052 of you voted – with more than half of voters saying they’d rather leave the city centre as it is.
A total of 29 per cent of people said they thought changes needed to be made – but not as the council is suggesting; 15 per cent liked the plans; and 56 per cent wanted the centre left alone.
There were also plenty of comments on the previous story we ran .
We put some of them to a city council spokeswoman.
Max31268 said: “I'm all for a complete tram system (not a bus) around Bristol but would really like to see the centre opened up as it was with the river running through… not more concrete.”
Bristol City Council’s spokeswoman said: “The council explored opening the culvert, but sadly there is no longer a harbour underneath the city centre - just a very dirty trickle of water.
“The engineering costs to restore the harbour were far to high for the council to gain funding, and the pavement outside the Hippodrome would cease to exist. It was a wonderful idea, but sadly unachievable. Maybe in a Golden Age ...”
Bristolreded said: “Cost of living is going up and they want to waste tax payers moneys on changing something for no good reason. If it ain't broke don't fix it.”
The spokeswoman said: “It does need fixing. There are already many more buses on the road than when the Centre Promenade was first designed. Rapid transit will bring even more.
“There needs to be a good quality transport hub where they can all meet and wait. Buses keep at least 76,000 cars off the road every day, making the motorists' journey smoother.
“Public transport companies in Bristol do charge more than in other cities, but buying an annual bus pass is still cheaper than running a car, and many people are switching for this reason. Bus travel has recently rocketed by an estimated 15 per cent on some routes.”
Torysarecool said: “Hang on, I'm no town planner but... Am I correct in thinking that there will be a total bottleneck of single-lane traffic heading west of the city at St Augustines Parade?
"Also, If you're approaching from the west, there's no way of heading south. Likewise, if you're approaching from the south, there's no way of heading west. What hopeless fool designed this bizarre layout??!”
The council came back with: “It is traditional for roads to point in only two directions and motorists are obliged to turn into a different road to go another way.
“From any side of central Bristol Torysarecool can easily access alternative roads, which point variously North, South, East and West, so I hope he or she is reassured. Motorists are required to park a short distance away if they want to access shops and businesses on the centre. This has been the case for many years.
“The long delays at Anchor Road are due to the complex traffic movements around the centre. It's not lack of road space that causes delays - one lane of traffic often moves faster than two lanes.
“More delays are caused by the number of sequences at traffic lights. Cut out the number of changes at the signals by simplifying movements at Baldwin Street and the wait at Anchor Road is less, not more.”
Sheppas had a lot to say: “What a royally stupid idea! Make the already overly congested centre worse by removing more lanes and dictating further where you can and can't turn right, left, up down... What causes traffic is STOPPING people going where they actually want to go!
“This is blatantly apparent already every evening when hundrend of cars have to go around the cenotaph toward Baldwin street or through the bottleneck at Hotel du Vin because they aren't allowed down Nelson street as its reserved for the "holy bus"!!! But how many buses actually go down it! When are these idiots going to release that forcing people onto buses IS NOT THE ANSWER! All it does is infuriate the motorist stuck in the new bottleneck, whilst entire streets are barely used.
“Don't believe me...watch the angry motorist ignoring the signs and going down nelson street anyway on a night of bad traffic!
“Getting out of Canons Way / @ Bristol / Anchor Road is bad enough past the Marriot etc EVERYNIGHT as it is, so....how to fix that.....cut one of the lanes out!!! Fantastic idea! Idealistic idiots dreaming that this will all just dissapear as "surely all those cars will now be using a BENDY BUS!" WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE! IT AINT GONNA HAPPEN! Until there is a genuinely FASTER / CHEAPER and BETTER OPTION ie a tram...PEOPLE WONT USE IT..they'll continue to sit in there cars, cursing because they can't turn right at the end of Baldwin Street.
“People use the tube, because its quick and there's a train every minute or two, so you don't have to worry about timetables etc..THIS ISN'T THAT! And as the final nail in the coffin....If the councils ideas are so fantasic, WHY ARE THEY PROPOSING TO BULLDOZE WHAT THEY OBVIOUSLY THOUGHT WAS THE ANSWER ONLY A DECADE AGO! CLUELESS DOESN't COME CLOSE!”
And here is the response that came back: “How many buses there are isn't the point. How many people are on them is the point. Over 76,000 people travel into the city by bus every day. At peak times, for every bus, there are 100 less cars - that's the cars in front of you as far as you can see, even on a clear day. These people don’t sit in their cars cursing that they can’t turn left or right. They sit on the bus and read the newspaper.
“76,000 is an impressive number of people for the council to get to work in the morning, and they deserve a smooth journey, so we make no apology for bus lanes. Furthermore, an angry motorist who ignores the signs and drives down Nelson Street is liable to a fixed fine of £70.
“A tram isn't faster, and as Edinburgh will testify, it certainly isn't cheaper. It's more than double the cost of BRT and requires on-going track maintenance.
“The delays at Anchor Road are due to the complex traffic movements around the centre. It's not lack of road space that causes delays - one lane of traffic often moves faster than two lanes of conflicting traffic. Delays are caused by the number of sequences at traffic lights. Cut out the number of changes at the signals, by simplifying movements at Baldwin Street, and the wait at Anchor Road is less, not more.”