WECA’s wrong road in Brislington

On the A4 from Bristol towards Bath there is a pub named after a type of bus produced by the Bristol Commercial Vehicles company, the Lodekka. Once a recognisable part of public transport in England, they are a symbol of a bygone time of publicly owned buses in the city. We know that public transport in Bristol needs ambitious plans if it is to reduce congestion and accommodate the continued population growth expected both here and in the wider city region.  

The Lodekka pub stands where the factory used to be, in Brislington. We know this is one of the most congested routes in Bristol, and the junction with Callington Road is massively over capacity, causing huge delays for people travelling into the city for work, and local people trying to get around.  

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is now consulting on new options for a transport corridor along the A4 Bath Road. This includes options which my administration has already rejected. WECA were tasked to find a mass transit solution that does not use Bath Road apart from where there is space for fully segregated mass transit options. That has yet to happen. 

We will not support the Combined Authority’s proposals to convert any part of the old railway path in Brislington into a busy road. This is consistent with the position that I set out with party colleagues in 2021.  

Further, we do not support options that do not resolve the issues of the pressure on the Bath Road/Callington Road/West Town Lane junction. Nor can we back closing the A4 between Three Lamps Junction and Callington Road, and/or Brislington Village, to through traffic.

We are however wholly committed to giving people an affordable, reliable alternative to their cars where possible and our plans for a fully segregated mass transit form a vital part of this. This consultation shows just how hard it is to find fully segregated routes, without a commitment to exploring underground sections where necessary for mass transit. 

I would encourage residents to respond to WECA’s six-week consultation, which runs until 1 October: A4 Bath to Bristol (haveyoursaywest.co.uk)