They've listened at last! Campaigners welcome U-turn on Stoke Lane closure

December 05 2016

THE energetic campaign to stop the closure of a vital link between Fishponds and Bristol’s north fringe has paid off: Stoke Lane is to be reopened to northbound traffic from December 12.

THE energetic campaign to stop the closure of a vital link between Fishponds and Bristol’s north fringe has paid off: Stoke Lane is to be reopened to northbound traffic from December 12.

The route from Frenchay Park Road to UWE has been shut to traffic since the end of June, causing lengthy delays for drivers, just as protesters had predicted.

Now the one-way system is to be reversed for seven weeks and should then become a two-way route with traffic lights until the road works are completed. Amanda Vinall, one of the leading campaigners, said the Stoke Lane Action Group members recognised that their victory would mean people wanting to travel towards Fishponds would be disadvantaged in the short term. She said the group would keep up the pressure to ensure the traffic lights were installed as soon as possible and would continue to monitor the impact of the changes, particularly for bus users.

The road works are part of the preparations for the £216m MetroBus transport system aimed at shortening journey times. Further public meetings will be arranged in January to review the changes and gain feedback from local residents and community groups.

Councillor Colin Hunt, leader of the Joint Transport Board, said: “We have listened to what residents and commuters have been telling us.Traffic officers at both South Gloucestershire and Bristol councils have been working together to find an alternative that would address concerns of both commuters and local residents without causing more congestion on the wider road network.

“We have taken into consideration the correspondence that we have received on this matter and held a number of public consultation meetings before reaching this decision. It is our belief that this option will provide the greatest benefit to the largest number of residents and commuters. MetroBus will be a great asset when completed, providing a smarter way of travelling that will speed up journey times, relieve congestion and reduce pollution levels. It will provide direct routes to key destinations around the area, enabling thousands of people to access employment, education and leisure opportunities from densely populated areas without using their cars."

Mrs Vinall said: “We are very pleased that we've been listened to, but sorry that people have suffered for so long.”

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: “I promised residents we would investigate their concerns about Stoke Lane and that’s what we have done in conjunction with South Gloucestershire and the contractors. We listened carefully to the community and we’re hopeful these changes will reduce traffic disruption in this area.

"I’d like to thank everyone affected by these works for their patience whilst we have agreed the most suitable revised programme. We’ll review how the new changes are operating. I remain optimistic MetroBus improvements will improve journeys for all road users in Bristol and our neighbouring authority areas."