Arena: Traffic worries persist

January 29 2016
Arena: Traffic worries persist

WITH 85 comments submitted on the arena planning applications as the Voice went to press, strong objections continue to emerge. Only 20 of the submissions are logged as objections. But many more – even some which declare they support the scheme – voiced serious concern about parking and traffic.

One resident of County Street, Totterdown, logged himself as supporting the arena plan. But his letter also said:  “I am concerned about the increase in traffic ... around the Three Lamps junction for example, and the need for parking. Since the arena will only have a limited amount of parking this will have an impact on local estates.”

This view is echoed time and again in the public comments, and shows that council promises to consult on residents’ parking schemes, and boost park and ride and public transport, have not reassured South Bristol residents. 

Tresa, the Totterdown residents group, registered as an objector – though it also gives support to the arena in general.

The group criticised the omission of congested St Luke’s Road from the arena transport plan. It asks for remedial work – as do many residents.

Tresa asks where parents can pick up and drop off arena-
going youngsters. Cattle Market Road and part of Albert Road will be closed on busy arena nights.

“This problem needs to be addressed with concrete proposals,” said Tresa. 

Air pollution limits for nitrogen dioxide are already breached on Bath and Wells roads, Tresa added. “If traffic flow is increased around Three Lamps, how is it possible to conclude that predicted impacts from [the arena] are ‘negligible’ and no further mitigation measures are required?” the residents group asks.

Tresa also suggested that a parking scheme would need to operate until 8pm or 9pm, not 7pm as the council proposes.

It calls for a wider path the whole way from Three Lamps to Temple Meads to tackle the narrow pavements and cycleway.

Other comments voice fears over traffic levels. “Traffic flow is highly sensitive to what might appear to be minor interruptions caused by vehicle breakdowns, traffic light failure, accidents or lane closures. All of these have happened within the last two months, and the result has been near gridlock. If there was an arena event taking place, there would have been total gridlock,” says a resident of Rookery Road.

Tresa calls for a park and ride at Whitchurch to reduce traffic down Wells Road.

But there is considerable support for the idea of an arena.  A Totterdown man commented: “I’m very much in favour of this, which I think will bring money into the area, not to mention enhancing its cultural life.” 

Public comments have now closed on the planning application, which is likely to be considered by councillors in early March.