Bristol South is crying out for better bus, rail and cycle provision, to link commuters and businesses with the rest of the city quickly, safely and reliably. I will work to get a new rail station at Ashton Gate, new rail and bus services, and new infrastructure to bring manufacturing back to where people need jobs.
The big issue
Some areas of Bristol South have higher than average levels of car commuting and others closer to the city centre much lower. Its two rail stations are Parson Street and Bedminster. Both need more stopping trains, particularly heading to north Bristol. Possible stations for reopening are Ashton Gate and St Annes Park, in Bristol East.
Cycling is relatively high (more than 10% journey to work) in parts of high-density housing areas like Windmill Hill and Southville, but far less (1%) in lower density areas such as Hartcliffe and Hengrove. Walking to work is high (20-35%) in areas closer to the city centre.
Bristol South is served by 12 bus services. Four have a 10-minute daytime and 30-minute evening frequency (24,75,76,90). The others have much lower frequencies. Overall bus use for commuting in Bristol as a whole is lower than in other major cities. Hartcliffe and Filwood are the only areas of Bristol South where bus commuting to work is 10% or more.
What South Bristol needs
Real regional transport action Greens supported the establishment of a combined authority in part because this is the nearest we can get to a transport authority. It has specific bus powers, and should be able to co-ordinate transport schemes across the area. It remains to be seen how the three Tory and one Labour leaders/mayors get on. One suspects they aren’t environmentalists, but we can but hope.
Taking walking seriously Walking is the most neglected means of transport, yet is possibly the most important, especially in the inner city areas. And yet our footpaths are poorly maintained, and are frequently blocked be it by cars, wheelie bins, A boards or other. This is a particularly important issue for those in wheelchairs or with buggies. We need a ‘new deal’ for walkers – with the aim to maintain pavements to a high level and address these access issues.
New station A new railway station at Ashton Gate on the Portishead branch line.
Tony has been campaigning for the re-opening of Ashton Gate station for some years now.
New services More stopping trains at Parson St and Bedminster rail stations to ensure a metro-style, half-hourly service and more through trains to north Bristol. Plus, introduction of a disabled access/lift at Parson Street and better signage for both stations.
New infrastructure The electrification of the Weston and Portishead rail lines, and a bus/rail/cycle interchange at Temple Meads.
Better buses A review of the South Bristol bus network with improvements in bus access from Bristol South to Temple Meads station. A reinstatement of the 25 bus service by First. New trial express/more direct buses on new routes operated initially with start-up subsidy by one of the local bus operators, but not on current Metrobus routes.
Better cycling provision Development of more cycle routes linking Bristol South to the city centre and to Bedminster. To look again at the resurfacing of roads in Bristol – which seem to make it harder for cyclists, and can be of very poor quality.
Transport for business We also need to be aware that transport is not just about transferring people but also goods and services. If we are to encourage manufacturing jobs back to Bristol South, we need to develop a freight strategy for the south of the city – including the potential for expansion of existing rail freight operations.