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Darren hosts third meeting to discuss changes to A4018

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones, has continued to listen the views of his constituents by hosting a third public meeting in response to the council’s proposed changes to the A4018. This latest meeting was attended by over 300 residents, taking the total number of attendees to the MP’s series of meeting to well over 600.

The packed meeting was held on Saturday 9th March in Westbury village centre and started with a video from the MP which offered an overview of North Bristol’s transport and how this will be impacted by developments taking place across the North Bristol arc, including thousands of new homes in South Gloucestershire.

The MP chose to host a series of his own meetings after hearing feedback that council-organised events were insufficient, hugely oversubscribed and poorly managed alongside many of the affected residents having not been aware of the proposals until he sent a leaflet to 10,000 homes with details of the consultation.

As part of the plans, the city council is seeking to put more shared bus and cycle lanes along the A4018 from Henbury to Durdham Downs – whilst this would help to improve the speed of bus journeys it would create ten junctions with turning restrictions on or off the main route. Highways chiefs have said this could help reduce congestion from queuing and improve traffic flow, but the MP fears the volume of restrictions will severely impact resident’s ability to get and from their homes and/or Westbury village without significant detours – therefore creating rat running and worsening congestion on residential roads. The MP also fears that the number of restricted turns into Brentry would force more traffic through already-congested routes in Southmead and only add to the poor quality of air in the area. The most controversial aspect of the plans includes restrictions into Westbury village by car.

Darren said:

“Local businesses and residents have been vocal that they fear this will have widespread impact on their livelihoods as well as the vibrancy of the village itself, and many struggling businesses will not be able to take another hit on trade. I know the council fear that without any restrictions there could be increased traffic through the village, but my constituents have told me they acknowledge this but given most of the traffic is concentrated during rush hour, often before many shops open, keeping the village as is would have less of an impact than unnecessarily closing large parts to traffic 24/7.

Over 3,500 constituents have signed my petition calling on the Mayor to scrap these changes – I’ll continue to make sure my constituents views are heard loud and clear on this issue”.

Darren continues to urge constituents to sign his petition calling on the Mayor to scrap the plans to the village, complete his A4018 survey and formally respond to the council’s consultation before it closes on 17th March.

Darren will now be pulling together the comments and concerns of the thousands of residents who have attended events or contacted his office and submitting a formal response to the consultation. The submission will be available on the MP’s website later this week.

The MP also took the opportunity remind constituents that regional transport is the responsibility of the West of England Regional Mayor, Tim Bowles and these proposals must be reflected by integration between the local authorities rather than in isolation.

Darren also continued to call upon the Regional Mayor to review and support his North Bristol Transport Plan, published in January 2019, which calls:

1-  for three new Transport Hubs bringing rail, bus, cycle hire, cycle lock-up, car parking and electric vehicle charging points together on one site. These Transport Hubs should be at the Portway Park & Ride in Shirehampton, at Henbury (next to the Rugby Club) and North of Lockleaze. The locations were chosen by darren to offset the additional traffic created by new housing and development across North Bristol.

2- The Plans also called for the new Transport Hubs to have non-stop bus and cycle lanes into and out of Bristol City Centre and Cribbs Causeway, with a review of travel to work routes in Avonmouth alongside

3- restricted access to the proposed Bristol YTL Arena from residential single roads in Henbury, Brentry, Southmead and Lockleaze. The MP has long said these roads should not be used as access routes to the proposed Bristol YTL Arena for fear it will create rat running, exceptional congestion and poor air quality.

Darren expects to see significant transport upgrades using major routes to move people into and out of developments across the North Bristol Arc and hope this plan will focus national, regional and local government on where funding should be spent.