Muller Road scheme wins £3 million funding
A SCHEME to reduce congestion on Muller Road, which includes chopping down more than 20 trees to make way for a new path, has been given more than £3 million in funding.
The West of England Combined Authority has agreed to pay almost half of the project’s total cost after approving the city council proposals for new bus lanes and a shared path and cycleway.
The trees which would be lost under the plan, pictured above, currently stand at the roadside next to Fairfield High School’s playing fields, on a 1,742m2 strip of land which will be turned into a new cycleway and footpath.
The city council says any trees lost to the scheme will be replaced according to the Bristol Tree Replacement Standard, with larger trees requiring up to seven trees to be planted to compensate for their loss.
As reported in last month’s Voice, a consultation was ordered because the land includes part of the playing fields. It was due to end on March 1 and, subject to Department for Education approval of the change of use, the entire project is expected to be completed in two years’ time.
A council spokesperson said: “Making the strip of land available will mean we can make bus, walking and cycling improvements in the nearby area. The improvements will provide a safe route to the school for the children, as well as an improved route for all other users of Muller Road. There will also be a new bus lane opposite Fairfield High School near the Old Library, improving journeys for all bus users.
“If permission is granted, there will be exactly the same amount of space for the existing tennis courts and other pitches – and as part of the proposal we will be resurfacing the tennis courts, which will improve their condition.”
Voice readers were divided over the plans in a discussion on our Facebook page, with one describing the loss of trees as a “disaster” due to their role in absorbing pollution, while another said if the move “makes the area safer for children walking to school, children cycling to school and cuts traffic, with the bus stop being in a lay-by rather than buses stopping in the road, it is a great idea”.
Weca agreed to pay £3.3million towards the Muller Road scheme and a new footpath through the Stoke Park estate at the end of January.
Bristol mayor Marvin Rees told a meeting of the authority’s ruling committee that the scheme would help stop Lockleaze from being “almost an isolated community”.
Further statutory consultation will be carried out after detailed designs and technical approvals for the Muller Road scheme are finished next month.