Outcry over bus lanes plan

PLANS for new bus lanes and wider pavements along the Portway could increase congestion and pollution, opponents fear.

Bristol City Council is consulting the public on possible changes to the road to allow buses to drive more quickly through traffic, as well as making walking and cycling safer. The plans include 24-hour bus lanes on both sides of the road along most of the route between the M5 and the city centre.

But opposition councillors say less road space for drivers could mean lengthy queues and longer journey times.

Councillor Mark Weston, leader of the Conservative group, said: “The prerequisite for any capital investment in transport must be to improve travel around the city. As things stand, these proposals will result in vehicular movements simply being made even more difficult.

“This redesign is an appalling waste of public money. There are some elements, like the resurfacing of the shared footway, which we could support. But the idea that widening these areas, at the expense of road capacity, to encourage large numbers of people to choose active travel is fanciful and wishful thinking.

“As in all such exercises, silence will be taken as consent. So as many people as possible must air opposing views, if we are to have any chance of avoiding the dire consequences of this poorly conceived plan.”

The council has not yet responded to a request for comment on the concerns.

Comment at www.bristol.gov.uk/A4Portway23by Nov 12.

By Adam Postans, LDRS