The Society supports this Metrobus scheme. The route through East Street and Bedminster Parade is bus led and does not strike the right balance between the needs of buses and motor traffic and cyclist and pedestrians. The Council has a once in a lifetime opportunity to fund a big place-making development. East Street and Bedminster Parade are as important to south Bristol as the Centre Promenade is to the city. The Bedminster section would fall short of the standards that the Council has achieved in the Whiteladies Road and will achieve in the Centre Promenade section of the route.
An example of the Society’s objections is the proposal to remove the pavement outside the Imperial Arcade. The loss of the pavement is unacceptable; it would probably increase road accidents. This pavement should be a feature in the East Street road development. The traditional approach of traffic engineers, to widen and straighten a road to increase capacity without introducing traffic calming measures, is now unacceptable in an area with so many cyclists and pedestrians. The modern approach to traffic management is essential to Bristol’s image as a ‘Green Capital’. The Council must improve the city’s heritage, create attractive places, and meet the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. The Society invites the Council to ask its Urban Design Team, who have redesigned the Centre Promenade, to redesign the route along East Street and Bedminster Parade. A more imaginative approach is required. The city does not want another Old Market bus scheme.
Bristol Civic Society’s full statement [PDF, 1,323KB]