Temple Circus plans revealed

Published on: 30 Dec 2016

Temple Circus junction planAnd that’s just one of the major road schemes planned for this year

SOUTH Bristol is bracing itself for a year of roadworks and traffic jams as more plans were unveiled of one of the major schemes which will change the face of the city’s road network.

The Temple Circus roundabout is to be removed next year and replaced by a traffic light-controlled junction with Redcliffe Way as part of an £11 million project to improve infrastructure around the Temple Quarter enterprise zone.

It comes before the Metrobus route is finished, which involves extensive works from the Centre out to Hartcliffe.

With Bristol roads liable to form a logjam due to any random incident – such as the burst water main on Bath Road, Brislington, which caused chaos in early December – motorists are worried at what the next year will bring.

One Knowle resident who is forced to use his car for business said it can already take him 45 minutes to get to the M32; what impact will next year’s works bring, he asked.

Mark Bradshaw, the council’s cabinet member for transport, promised that lane closures will be planned so that as far as possible they don’t happen at the same time.

“We have been very careful with the timing of this project,” he said. “Most of the more intensive work [for Metrobus] in the Centre is done, the piling is done. We cannot complete everything at once but we are very well aware of the impact of these things.”

Hartcliffe Way will be closed southbound from January while a Metrobus lane is built. But this won’t happen until the South Bristol Link – from Long Ashton to Hengrove Way – is open. Heavy rain in late November has delayed the Link opening until the first two weeks of January .

During the February half term, traffic will change direction around the Centre. The most disruptive works on Temple Circus will not start until April, after the Centre works are finished, and last to spring 2018.

Cllr Bradshaw said: “This will transform the Temple Gate area and the approach to Temple Meads, which is such an important gateway to the city and which we probably all agree doesn’t really do the city justice.”

The Temple Gate scheme aims to provide a more direct route for traffic travelling through the area, with a new plaza, new buildings and safer routes for the hundreds of pedestrians and cyclists that use it every day. Changes made after public consultation include improvements to the Bath Bridge junction and more segregated cycle and pedestrian routes.

There have been changes to the junction at Victoria Street, allowing the MetroBus stop to be closer to the station. There will also be a new northbound bus lane from the junction with Redcliffe Street to Victoria Street.

Gary Hopkins, the city’s Lib Dem leader and a Knowle councillor, is worried that the route from South Bristol to Temple Meads will mean driving to St Mary Redcliffe and back.

“When you put these schemes together, how are people going to be able to get from A to B? It’s going to be madness,” he said.

Cllr Bradshaw said Bristol has never seen such a big investment in its transport network. “I don’t deny that it’s going to be difficult but I think once it’s done, the city will look very different in terms of how people are going to move around it,” he said.

For information on roadworks:

• Travelwest.info

For the Temple Gate scheme:

• bristoltemplequarter.com/gate

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