South Bristol link road’s damage to commons and paths

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We have objected to the proposed South Bristol Link Road, because of the damage it will cause to Highridge Common, south-west of Bristol, and to the public-path network.  Our local correspondent for Bristol, Chris Bloor, has submitted a robust objection to Bristol and North Somerset Councils who are promoting the scheme.

Highridge Common

Highridge Common

Says Chris: ‘We are concerned with the threat to Highridge Common, where the increase in traffic is likely to stop parents allowing their children to play on the common, something they have enjoyed for ever.  The Link Road is bound to drive more children indoors, thus contributing to the obesity crisis.  The proposed new common to replace the common taken up by the proposed Link Road cannot compensate for the loss of amenity caused by the intrusion to the peace and quiet for older users and the reduction in safety for younger users.

The line of the Link Road will also have a grievous impact on the Community Forest Path (CFP), a 45-mile path around the Bristol conurbation (on public rights of way).  This is popular with long distance walkers and ultra-marathon (ie further than the traditional 26-mile marathon) runners.  It is a recognised path featured on Ordnance Survey maps.  The CFP is used for the standing Green Man Challenge, which begins at the statue of the Green Man in the Ashton Court Red Deer Park and the Green Man Ultra Race that begins at Redwood Lodge Country Club.  This is an increasingly popular event that has begun to attract international runners as well as local and national competitors.

‘The proposed Link Road also cuts across the South Bristol Circular Walk promoted by Bristol City Council and the Bristol Ramblers.  The markings for this route have only just been replaced and the trail is shown by an excellent pamphlet produced by Bristol City Council and the Ramblers.

‘The idea that a shared cycle-path alongside the road is an adequate substitute for rural paths is laughable.  Local cycling groups do not favour the proposal and it will not suit cyclists, runners or walkers to have local public rights of way funnelled alongside the proposed Link Road.

‘As well as damaging the Community Forest Path and the South Bristol Circular, the proposed Link Road will also make it harder for local walkers and runners to gain access to the countryside.  It will set up a barrier, particularly between the open countryside and urban areas such as Ashton Vale, Southville and Bedminster.

‘So we urge the councils to rethink their plans and abandon the Link Road,’ Chris concludes.

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