Category Archives: Environmental and Sustainability

Bristol’s Clean Air Zone launches in 3 months

The photo shows Bristol's clean air zone signs. The grey sign has a circle emblem at the top, with a half green half white cloud with the letter D. Red text boxes below read Bristol Clean Air Zone, Coming soon, charges will apply. CleanAirForBristol.org, underneath is a white sign showing there are cameras nearby.

This week we have reached an important milestone: three months to go until the launch of Bristol’s Clean Air Zone on 28 November. Its introduction will be another big step forward on our journey to creating a healthier city with cleaner air for all.

We’ve sought to introduce Bristol’s Clean Air Zone in a way that protects the most deprived households in our city as well as our trades and businesses. That is why we’ve secured over £42 million to support the switch to cleaner vehicles, alongside wider support with the national cost of living crisis.

I also know that many people will need more time to prepare for the zone which is why we’re offering temporary exemptions to help make this change easier. I’m pleased to announce that the government have agreed to our request to extend the temporary exemption period until the end of March 2023. Applications for exemptions will open in late September.

We’re helping Bristol’s businesses and residents prepare for the zone with our financial support schemes. Almost three-quarters of drivers won’t be charged because their vehicles already meet emissions standards, and many businesses have already upgraded their fleets to cleaner vehicles.

Grants and interest free loans are currently on offer to help you upgrade to a vehicle that won’t be charged in the zone. This doesn’t have to be a brand new or electric vehicle – it can be second hand as long as it meets the zone’s emissions standards.

If you are impacted, there is still time to apply for financial support. I would urge anyone affected to get in touch with our team today to find out how we can help you. You can find out more about financial support on our website.

As well as transitioning to cleaner vehicles, we want to encourage Bristol residents to switch to more sustainable modes of travel. We’ve secured over £5.9 million of support to help make this a reality.

Our free travel offers include bike and e-bike trials, cycle training, VOI e-Scooter credit, bus tickets, and planning sessions with travel experts to help people explore all their options for their regular journeys. These offers are a great opportunity for people in Bristol to try out new ways of travelling that are better for their health, wellbeing, and the environment too. Anyone who lives or works in Bristol is eligible to receive the free offers and can apply on our website now.

If you haven’t already, check whether your vehicle will be charged and visit the council website to find out how we can help you upgrade your vehicle or try a different way of travelling.

We know that Clean Air Zones are successful at tackling air pollution. One year after launching their zone, our neighbours in Bath have seen nitrogen dioxide concentrations reduced by 21 per cent inside the zone and a 22 per cent reduction in the urban area outside the zone. Bristol is introducing the same class of Clean Air Zone as Birmingham. In one year, nitrogen dioxide levels within their zone have dropped by an average of 13% compared to pre-covid levels.

Marvin Rees, the elected Mayor of Bristol, standing on College Green, Bristol.

Mass transit: Bristol’s underground studies

The mass transit plan, including going underground, is Bristol and our wider region’s only real option for a future transport system that works. Bristol has been left behind on transport while all other big British cities have built and modernised mass transit: our city has delivered nothing in recent decades. 

Those of us old enough can remember the endless announcements for tram lines, the announcements of transport systems of the future, and political promises that offered 21st century travel options. The reality is nothing was delivered and Bristol commuters continue to crawl. 

We have made real progress since first announcing our aspirational plans, and remain unapologetic about our ambition for Bristol. There is no time to fail and no time to delay.

Today, ahead of the Strategic Outline Business Case and a West of England Combined Authority consultation on options, we’re publishing the executive summaries of two major studies into the potential of mass transit for our city and region. The next stop on our journey to mass transit follows on from us securing further funding in February for more studies to continue building the detailed case for mass transit in Bristol.

The first study, by CH2M and Steer Davies Gleave, agreed that the idea was worth pursuing. It said that an underground system moving around 3,000 passengers per hour per direction would be deliverable. For a growing city of 472,000 people, with 1 million people here during the work and school day, this is not at all a big ask. We should rise to the scale of the challenges we face, not limit ourselves with the failed thinking of previous administrations.

The second study, by Jacobs and Steer, said that an underground is a reasonable prospect, which could deliver value for money and “transformational” economic benefits for the city and region. It emphasised that an underground, unlike un-deliverable above-ground trams which councillors forewent in the early 2000s, would avoid the disruption and destruction of having to knock down one side of buildings along key yet narrow arterial routes like Church Road or Gloucester Road.

These expert studies demonstrate that delivering an underground transport system for Bristol isn’t some grand design. It’s us punching at, not above, our weight, in line with Newcastle, Liverpool, and Glasgow. We’re a core city, and a global city, not a village. We need a modern, low carbon transport system, yesterday.

159 years after London opened the world’s first underground, they’re still expanding its network through the £19 billion Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) across the capital. It’s more than time for Bristol and the West to get our fair share too.

We are part of the combined authority and are working with Metro Mayor Dan Norris and his team, as well as the leaders of South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset to deliver a genuine transformation of our transport.

We must keep this project on the rails and finally transform the way we travel in and around our city.

£95,000 for groups taking climate and nature action

Councillor Kye Dudd, stands in the foreground of the image smiling, with a blue suit and red tie. In the background are trees and grass with two blurred out people on his right wearing a red and blue coat.
Today’s blog is by Councillor Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Climate, Ecology, Energy, and Waste.

A total of 25 Bristol community groups and non-profit organisations have been offered grants of up to £5,000 towards their work reducing carbon emissions or supporting nature recovery in our city.

Some of the applicants that have been offered a grant include Ambition Lawrence Weston, Bristol Somali Youth Voice, WECIL, Filwood Residents Group, Horfield Methodist Church, and Easton Community Children’s Centre.

I’m delighted that so many community organisations, some which often don’t get access to this kind of funding, were able to apply for – and win – a grant to enable the brilliant work they’ve been doing across the city. The breadth of applications received demonstrates that the climate emergency is a city-wide concern, and communities all across Bristol are taking climate action.

The grants form part of the council’s overall programme in response to the climate and ecological emergencies; they sit alongside the council reducing its own climate footprint, improving its land for nature and big investments in infrastructure for the future of the city.

As part of our One City Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategies, we invited groups and not-for-profit organisations working to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 support the work they’re doing to either reduce emissions that cause climate change, or makes changes that benefit wildlife in Bristol.

We announced the grants earlier this year with an online Q&A session, which was followed up by an outreach programme of events across our city. The outreach work aimed to make the grants accessible to all communities and those often excluded from funding opportunities.

Applicants had to demonstrate that their activities from their grant would result in either:

  • a clear reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, for example by encouraging a switch to means of transport that don’t use fossil fuels, making community services less reliant on fossil fuels, or encouraging reuse or repair activities
  • physical changes that benefit wildlife in Bristol, for example through improving an area of land for wildlife or creating a new area of wildlife habitat
In the foreground of the image you can see 5 rows of black solar panels that are placed on a roof f a building on Temple Street. In the background you can see a row of building including St Mary Redcliffe church that pokes out above the rest of the buildings, with trees in-between. A blue sky with a few small clouds is at the top of the photo.
Solar panels on Temple Street

Since being the first city in the UK to declare both climate and ecological emergencies, we’ve worked tirelessly to bring the whole city on board to meet the challenges these crises bring. There’s already hugely impressive work going on in the city, but to meet our ambitious targets of being climate neutral by 2030, we need everyone in the city to play their part. From businesses signing up to the Bristol Climate Ask and declaring their net zero ambitions, to individuals making changes to their lifestyles, and community groups, such as the successful applicants to the grant.

I’m looking forward to visiting some of these projects and hearing how the funding has made a difference.

If you’re feeling inspired to start taking climate action and making space for nature, Bristol Climate Hub has ideas and suggestions for individuals, companies and communities.

Launching ‘Keep Bristol Cool’

Heatwaves

An overview image of Bristol Harbour, with building covering the centre and left side of the image. On the right of the image the harbour sits with the sun reflecting of the surface, with boats lining the dock and one boat going through the water. In the background the sun clears through the skies with a silhouette of the hills in the background
Bristol Harbour with the sun setting

This summer we have witnessed record-breaking hot weather in the UK. We saw the first red weather warning for extreme heat, with temperatures reaching record high of 36 degrees locally. Throughout the last week we had another official amber warning of extreme heat with temperatures consistently in the mid-30s.

Heatwaves are becoming more frequent and intense, creating unique challenges for cities such as Bristol. Urban heat risks affect everything from health to the environment, transport to telecommunications, as well as creating increased demand for cool places.

Bristol is responding to these challenges through innovation. After becoming the first city in the UK to declare climate and ecological emergencies, we are leading the way in decarbonising our city, reducing Bristol’s emissions by over 40% since 2005. Keep Bristol Cool is the next pioneering tool to help our city become more climate resilient.

Keep Bristol Cool

Keep Bristol Cool is our new mapping tool that highlights which areas of our city are most vulnerable to extreme heat.

The mapping tool was made possible by the UK Climate Resilience Programme and Met Office Urban Climate Service team.

We are the first city in the UK to develop an online tool of this kind, using data on current heat vulnerability and climate change to explore where heatwaves could have the biggest impact on people’s health and wellbeing.

The tool allows users to explore how heat vulnerability varies from neighbourhood to neighbourhood by bringing together information on population, homes, and local environment. Climate maps explore how the number of warm nights and hot days are predicted to change over the next twenty years and beyond.

We’ve worked to refine this tool to see how it could help protect vulnerable people during heatwaves, support the development of green infrastructure strategies, make homes less likely to overheat, and aid the longer-term growth and regeneration of the city.

The image shows the Keep Bristol Cool Mapping Tool, the image on the left shows the wards of Bristol with different shades of red used as the key for the different figures. On the right the text reads Heat Vulnerability Index, A combination of Age, Deprivation, Indoor and Outdoor heat vulnerability factors. Dark red very high risk for Bristol 211-263, less dark red High risk for Bristol 158-210, lesser red, low risk for Bristol 53-105, very low risk for Bristol 1-52.
The new Keep Bristol Cool mapping tool

Innovating resilience

The mapping tool is a key step in Bristol’s resilience journey. A framework will follow that builds on the commitments set out in the One City Climate Strategy to become a climate resilient city by 2030: Setting out a programme of work that builds our resilience to higher temperatures and heatwaves across key areas including city planning, emergency planning, housing and the natural environment.

Working together

To reach our climate goals by 2030 and to safeguard the city against extreme heat, our city needs to work together. The Keep Bristol Cool mapping tool will offer service-providers, businesses and organisations across the city the opportunity to use this tool to help with their future planning.

We want to share this work and approach with other cities in the UK, we will work with closely with colleagues at the Local Government Association City and Regions board, improving the resilience of the UK to deal with extreme weather events and long-term trends in our city planning.

Bristol Climate Action

This year’s record-breaking temperatures have made many of us feel more anxious about the climate and ecological emergencies that we face. There are examples of Bristol residents who are making changes to their lives On Bristol Climate Hub, take a look and learn about their inspiring stories.

You can also donate to the Tree Crowd Funder – to help us double Bristol’s tree canopy – which will provide valuable shade in years to come.

Cost of living crisis: reducing rising household bills 

Councillor Kye Dudd smiles at the front of the picture, with trees and grass blurred in the background.
Today’s blog is by Cllr Kye Dudd, Cabinet
Member for Climate, Ecology, Waste and Energy
and Labour Councillor for Southmead

The cost of living crisis is affecting us all. As we look to the colder months, I know many people are deeply concerned about the cost of heating their homes and rising energy bills.

Projections that energy bills could continue to rocket into early 2023 have sent shockwaves throughout our city, where around 30,000 households live in fuel poverty. We support calls for immediate national action to freeze bills to save families on average £1,000, by taxing record oil and gas profits.

In the medium and longer term, Bristol City Council is glad to have secured even more funding through the government’s Home Upgrade Grant, to help even more eligible households in Bristol, Bath, North East and North Somerset to install energy saving measures in their homes, through the Bright Green Homes project. Eligible residents who do not use gas central heating are now invited to apply for grant funding, to help reduce their household energy bills and help make their homes more energy efficient.

Eligible households may be entitled to receive up to £25,000 of funding for a huge range of energy saving and low carbon technologies, which will be incredibly important as we look ahead to the colder winter months. This includes external and cavity wall insulation, double glazing, energy efficient doors, as well as air source heat pump installation and solar panel systems. 

Over 200 households have already benefitted from the first phase of the Bright Green Homes scheme, with more families set to have help to keep their energy costs low and reduce carbon emissions.

To be eligible for this £2.7 million round of funding, you must:

  • not use gas central heating. The scheme is only open to households who use oil, coal, LPG, or electric heating systems;
  • have a combined gross annual household income under £30,000 per year;
  • have a valid Energy Performance Certificate with a rating of D, E, F, or G;
  • live in Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset or North Somerset Council areas;
  • be the owner, landlord or private rented tenant of the property.

The scheme has funding for a limited number of homes across Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset. If your household meets the eligibility criteria, please complete the online questionnaire.

A photo of the inside of a attic ceiling, at the front of the image you can see the rafting lining the ceiling, with home insulation installed to keep in heat.
Installed Home Insulation

The Bright Green Homes scheme will not only help to reduce energy costs for individual households, helping more households become more energy efficient is also an essential part of Bristol’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030.

If you have any questions about the project, please contact the Energy Service Bristol team on 0117 352 1180 or email domestic@energyservicebristol.co.uk.

More information about the Bright Green Homes project can be found on the Bristol Energy Service website.

For those who are not eligible for the scheme, you can find energy saving tips on the Energy Service Bristol website.

Love Parks Week

Cllr Ellie King smiles in front of City Hall,  text below reads 'This weeks blog is by Cllr Ellie King, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities'
This weeks blog is by Cllr Ellie King, Cabinet member for Public Health and Communities

Love Parks Week is a chance to again celebrate Bristol’s fantastically diverse range of parks and green spaces. All of which are so important to our health and wellbeing, and which in recent times have drawn in even more visitors than ever before.

Parks are a glorious mix of the public and the private: public when we walk the dog, catch up with friends, and encourage our children to play and explore; and private when used for picnics, exercise, relaxation, or even quiet contemplation. Our parks provide us with all this and so much more, and during COVID-19 restrictions local parks were a crucially important lifeline for many too.

We’re very lucky to be home to an array of beautiful green spaces. We have formal parks, nature reserves and recreation grounds across Bristol, including large estate parklands such as Ashton Court and Stoke Park. Stoke Park is also undergoing some important work to make it accessible to all. Improvements to an existing historic path aim to be completed this summer.

A photo of Ashton Court with a field in the foreground of the photo, infront of a line of trees in the back of the photo
Ashton Court

We have wooded areas such as those at Badock’s Wood and Manor Woods Valley, district parks such as Eastville Park and Redcatch Park and vital local community green spaces such as Riverside Park or Withywood Park. Big or small, local to you, or further afield, these parks provide a welcome respite of big open-air space and greenery in an urban landscape. 


Let’s not forget how important playparks are to families also! From inner city playparks such as St Paul’s Park to larger play areas like Blaise Estate, these areas provide somewhere for children and young people to explore, make connections and engage in physical activity. Many a friendship has started in a playpark – adults and children alike.

There are therapeutic benefits to being outdoors in our parks with much research showing how being in or amongst green spaces can increase our physical health, mental wellbeing and quality of life. Trials of ‘green prescriptions’ are underway around the UK with GPs encouraging patients to take exercise in nature, with Roots to Wellbeing therapy in nature sessions available for free in Bristol.  Due to open this August at Blaise Nursery is a new Community and Therapeutic Glasshouse, where community groups will be able to book for horticulturally based therapeutic events.

A photo of Oldbury Court Estate, with a waterfall at the front of the image and Trees in the background. Text below reads Oldbury Court Estate
Oldbury Court Estate

Love Parks Week is the perfect opportunity to say a huge thank you to the many volunteers, park groups and workers who care for, maintain and protect our parks, making sure that citizens, visitors, and wildlife can all enjoy these spaces for generations to come.

Projects to enhance our green spaces such as the £400,000  St George lake improvement project make sure that parks are looked-after and preserved for people, but also that we create a safe and diverse habitat where wildlife can flourish and biodiversity is promoted. The work we’ve done at St George lake should within months start to benefit birds, bees, amphibians, and pond micro-beasts too. In the longer-term hopefully, dragonflies, damselflies, newts, and bats, will come to enjoy the new mini-wetland habitat also. Parks and green spaces form a very important part of our commitment to protecting and reversing the decline of wildlife in the UK.

An image of St Georges Park Lake, The lake is in the foreground of the image with Trees in the background surrounding the lake. Text beneath reads St George Park Lake being re-filled.
St George Park Lake being re-filled

This Love Parks week, join me in celebrating our shared love of our parks and green spaces by getting out and about and perhaps by exploring a park you have never been to before!  To find out more about the parks and green spaces in Bristol visit our Parks webpages.

Keen to do more to make space for nature in Bristol? Get inspired and find tips and support at Actions – Bristol Climate Hub 

Food Justice Week

Today’s blog is by Ped Asgarian,
Director of Feeding Bristol

The One City Food Equality Strategy is ambitious in its aims and scope to provide Bristol with a more equitable food system. Designed with input from across the city, it reflects the desire to ensure that food is a right and not a privilege. It has been launched this week as part of Bristol’s first Food Justice Week – a week that highlights some of the great work happening across the city, and invites citizens to come and join in the conversation about our food system.

Over the past decade, the gap in household income between the richest fifth and the poorest fifth in our society has become  larger than ever. According to the Office for National Statistics, almost a fifth of the country are now living in relative poverty – many of whom will likely be experiencing food insecurity.

If you take the recommended weekly spend on food, and the average spend on energy and rent, the average household needs to be earning approximately £20,000 per year. But families and households living below the poverty line in the UK struggle to make ends meet with much less. Bristol is no exception – in the most disadvantaged wards in the city, the average household income (adjusted for size and make-up of household to allow for relative comparison) for a family of four is only £17,000. As a consequence, the reality is that the poorest in our society – in our city – spend on average, around £55 per week on food to feed a family of four. This is about a third of the recommended spend required to achieve the necessary calorie and nutritional intake.

Food equality exists when all people, at all times, have access to nutritious, affordable and appropriate food according to their social, cultural and dietary needs. They are equipped with the resources, skills and knowledge to use and benefit from food, which is sourced from a resilient, fair and environmentally sustainable food system.”

One City Food Equality – Bristol Food Equality Stakeholder Group, 2021

Inequality exists on our doorstep in Bristol. Where the poorest family of four may earn £17,000, the average income can be up to £60,000 is the wealthier wards of our city. However, household poverty is not the only struggle we’re up against, as this disparity is also felt in the distribution of shops, restaurants, support organisations, access to public transport, and opportunities for cooking and eating with others. COVID-19 in particular has shone a spotlight on the vast inequalities that exist in how we access nutritious, affordable, and sustainably sourced produce –   both nationally and locally. Coupled with the impact of Brexit on both our national food system and economy, if we do not act to ensure an equitable local food system is established, these inequalities will not only continue to exist but will intensify.

The strategy was co-produced with over 70 groups and organisations from across Bristol, including 91 Ways; Bristol Food Union; Lawrence Weston Community Farm; Square Food Foundation; and Wellspring Settlement. It has been informed by community conversations with people who have lived experience of food inequality, the Food Equality Strategy identifies and tackles the issue of rising food inequality in our city. It is a legacy of the ‘Going for Gold’ Sustainable Food Places campaign, and builds on work and research that has been carried out over the last two decades in Bristol. Working alongside the Bristol Good Food Plan 2030, and other One City initiatives that tackle poverty and inequality, its ambitious aim is for a food system that is just and fair. Its scope is far reaching to ensure that food is placed in the heart of communities; looking at issues of access to nutritious, affordable and appropriate food, to our relationship with the land and food production, through to the need to ensure that food is considered as part of city planning and decision making.

This strategy represents an opportunity for Bristol to take a national lead on tackling issues of food insecurity and food inequality more broadly, and with the help of everyone in the city, we have no doubt that this can be made a reality.


Open tomorrow! Hartcliffe Way recycling centre

Councillor Kye Dudd at the new Hartcliffe Way Reuse and Recycling Centre

Instead of “Out with the old and in with the new”, tomorrow our brand-new Reuse and Recycling Centre on Hartcliffe Way will be taking in old items for reuse and recycling.

It has been a commitment of my administration to deliver this important facility, and I am really pleased to deliver this promise. The relocation of the street cleansing services that the depot previously hosted on the site is also something we will be sharing more information about very soon.

The centre brings much needed additional recycling capacity to Bristol, helping to meet growing demand and providing residents with a modern, accessible, facility in the south of our city.

This will help reduce congestion at our existing two sites too, meaning everyone can clear up their DIY projects, clear out old household items, or remove other waste in a more efficient way.

The new site has a covered unloading area and one-way traffic system so residents can safely sort their items into easily accessible, dedicated bins. Hartcliffe Way also accepts visitors arriving by foot and bicycle, who do not need to book.

The booking system we have at all sites for residents arriving by vehicle is designed to eliminate queues at all recycling centres and replaces the odd and even number plate system, enabling access for all residents, every day.

I am excited that the centre is also home to one of the largest reuse shops and workshops in the region which we be selling and repairing good quality, pre-loved items that might otherwise have gone to waste. Redirecting reusable items from disposal, saves valuable resources, reduces costs and helps Bristol reach our ambitious recycling targets. Popular items for sale include televisions, paint, furniture and other electricals.

A specially commissioned, large-scale bug hotel in the shape of a recycling logo has been installed on the site, helping to encourage native wildlife and flowers to repopulate the banks surrounding the centre. The muddy banks will become wildflower meadows, supporting local insect populations.

The new site will be open seven days a week, 8am – 6:45pm (summer hours). Booking a visit to the site is quick, simple and removes the need to queue. Residents can book up to two weeks in advance, or as little as one hour before their visit. To book online simply visit www.bristol.gov.uk/bookrecycling. Those without access to the internet can call 0117 922 2100, Mon – Fri between 08:30 – 18:00 (closed 12:00 – 13:30 on Weds).

£95 million for Temple Meads & Temple Quarter

Bristol Temple Meads station main entrance is pictured in black and white, against a light blue background. White texts sits to its left, reading: “£95m for Temple Meads & Temple Quarter”, with the Mayor of Bristol’s logo below.

Waiting for your train to arrive is something all too familiar to many of us. Waiting for the money to reinvigorate Bristol Temple Meads and Temple Quarter, and kickstart the development of the surrounding area, is something all of Bristol has been eagerly waiting on for more than a decade.

I remember the first Temple Quarter Strategic Board meeting way back in September 2017, where I, along with colleagues from Network Rail, Bristol University, the Homes and Communities Agency (now Homes England) and the West of England Combined Authority met to outline our vision for Bristol, its relationship with Temple Meads and the potential to create a world class gateway to the city and region.

Plans outline the key projects for the transformation of the Temple Meads gateway. Marked, clockwise: The Friary – new bus interchange area and enhanced streetscape; Midland Shed and Northern Entrances – improved passenger facilities including shops; Friary North – mixed use development incorporating public space and cycling facilities; Temple Meads – investment in railway station including increased capacity and enhanced platform access, making Temple Meads the hub of MetroWest and regional mass transit; Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus – University of Bristol campus due for completion in 2023/24; Temple Island – residential, business and commercial development plus hotel and conference centre; Eastern Entrance – proposed new railway station entrance; Southern Gateway – new station entrance with cycle hub and level access to platforms (subject to funding); Station Square – significant public space framing the historic clock tower and main railway station entrance; Mead Street – residential development including new public open space and cycle link; Temple Gate – residential, business and commercial development; Goods yard – new public space with retail and hospitality

It’s thanks to the success of this partnership and the hard work of all those involved from the beginning, who have represented Bristol at the highest level and presented a clear vision for the city and Temple Quarter, that we are now at this exciting moment where I am delighted to say that the long-anticipated £94.7 million investment from government in Bristol has arrived, as announced today by Neil O’Brien MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, on his visit to Bristol.

This will represent a new phase for Brunel’s historic station. Opened in 1840, and expanded in the 1870s and 1930s, Bristol Temple Meads is set to double its capacity to 22 million passengers per year. It will support three new or significantly improved station entrances planned to the north, south, and east of Temple Meads and crucially, a new public transport interchange on the Friary on the northern side of the station, becoming a new transport hub with easy connections for pedestrians, cycling and the bus network.

Plans show Temple Meads' new northern entrance, left, with passengers in the centre, and trees to the right.
Plans for Temple Meads’ new northern entrance

Although we are improving suburban rail in Bristol, with the first new station in almost a century, we know that these other public transport connections are essential to link everyone with the jobs and homes at this transport interchange. This will improve connectivity for people across the city region and reduce carbon emissions, particularly as we bring forward the mass transit system Bristol needs to manage this growth in the most sustainable way.

Importantly, it will further unlock the area around Bristol Temple Meads as a new residential quarter, with up to 22,000 new jobs and 10,000 new homes in 130 hectares (equivalent to about 182 football pitches) in a sustainable location. The first phase alone looks to build 2,500 homes and provide at least two thousand jobs. This combines with the investment the University of Bristol are making in the area, with its Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus programme, and the council’s plans with Legal & General to invest in the mixed-use site at Temple Island, with a conference centre, new affordable homes, and retail space. 

Plans are already underway in Temple Quarter, with a development brief for Mead St, part of Temple Quarter which could provide 1500 new homes and 500 jobs, out to public consultation. You can read the proposals for Mead St and complete the survey online by 4 July.

The Government’s own Levelling Up agenda emphasises that “Mayors have already shown how strong local leadership can enhance economic and other opportunities in urban areas”. By unlocking homes and public service infrastructure, Temple Quarter exemplifies this vision, transforming a vast area of Bristol into a thriving, new urban quarter which will contribute an estimate £1.6 billion annual boost to the local economy.

This long-awaited green light can help support our recovery from the pandemic and lay the foundations for Bristol for the next century; a city which has a world class transport network, quality, affordable homes and accessible jobs at the heart of the city. We will continue to work with partners, businesses and communities already in the area to manage this huge change in a way that will benefit as many people as possible. It is great to finally get this development in train.

Plans show the elements of Bristol's transformation plan for the Temple Meads gateway. The column of images to the right are captioned as follows (top to bottom). Northern Entrance illustration before development of the Friary and Goods Yard (1); Midland Shed pedestrian concourse (3); Southern Gateway (6); Goods Yard public space (12). Captions beneath the main image read as follows. Station and station access: 1. Northern Entrances | Enhanced entrances including new public route through Midland Shed; 2. Eastern Entrance | New entrance; 3. Midland Shed  New retail and ticket office facilities; 4. Proposed access | New access to platforms; 5. Temple Meads Roof | Renovation of historic structure has commenced, funded by Network Rail settlement and Station remodelling | increase rail and platform capacity. Transport interchanges: 6. Southern Gateway | New multi-storey car park, pick-up drop off area, disabled parking, taxi access and step free route to station entrance; 7. Eastern Gateway | New pick-up drop off area and cycle access; 8. The Friary | New bus interchange area and traffic free cycle route; 9. Cycle Hub | New enclosed cycle parking; 10. Station Approach | Reconfigured vehicle access, taxi rank cabs, and blue badge parking. Improved public spaces: 11. Station Square | New public square framing the station’s historic clock tower; 12. Goods Yard and Friary North | New pedestrian spaces enhancing routes into the station; 13. Enterprise Campus public space | Created as part of University of Bristol development; 14. Brunel Mile | Extension of route that connects to Bristol centre. A key indicates sites marked in pink are proposed development sites, and that a number of these projects are subject to funding approval.
Wider plans for the area around Temple Meads

LEDs: keeping the lights on and bills down

Today’s blog is by Councillor Don Alexander, Cabinet Member for Transport

Street lighting is something that some of us take for granted, but it’s critically important for our safety and quality of life. Technology moves on and an exciting new opportunity has now presented itself.

We will be replacing 27,000 of our now outdated street lights with Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and will operate them through a new Central Management System (CMS). The LED and CMS combination will reduce electricity consumption by 45 to 50%, saving taxpayers around £1.8 million each year and reducing Bristol’s carbon emissions by a stunning 17,741 tonnes over a decade. In addition, this system requires less maintenance so it will reduce the number of vehicle trips around the city with their associated costs and pollution.

I am really excited about this project, as given the climate emergency and with energy bills rising across the UK, it has never been more important to find ways to reduce our energy consumption across the city. 

The Central Management System provides remote control monitoring and energy measurement over a wireless interface, giving it the ability to dim or brighten individual areas of the city. Examples of the possible benefits of this could be improved women’s safety, more appropriate lighting for wildlife and reduced light pollution.

The variety of lamp posts, which are a welcome feature of our historic streetscape, has required some technical work to allow the LEDs to be used on the more traditional models. As LEDs use less energy, this creates new possibilities for our ongoing work on devising approaches to on-street charging models for electric vehicles, more of which will be announced soon.

Making an upfront investment to speed up our switch over to LED street lighting is a simple way to make energy savings. This is good news for the environment and will dramatically reduce our energy bills, freeing up future resources to be invested in other frontline services. Using smart city technology, this project which will make sure our street lighting network is responsive, reliable and fit for purpose for years to come.

The street lighting replacement programme will be completed over three years at a cost of £12 million, which will soon be recovered at current energy prices.