Controversial neighbourhood scheme put on hold

Bristol City Centre

Plans for a controversial neighbourhood project in Bristol have been shelved by the city council.

Work was under way to create a “liveable neighbourhood” in East Bristol.

The decision to delay the implement of the schemes has been linked to the ongoing situation at the Barton House tower block.

Residents in the flats have been told to evacuate after it emerged the building was potentially unsafe.

Elsewhere in UK similar schemes, which are also known as Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, have triggered protests and public campaigns.

Don Alexander, cabinet minister for transport, has issued a statement announcing the delay of the scheme amid the ongoing issues facing Barton House.

He said: “It was originally our plan to run a statutory Traffic Regulation Order consultation before Christmas, as part of the co-design approach, to get further feedback on the proposals.

“However, while we – along with community groups, agencies, and volunteers in the area – continue to work to support Barton House residents through this difficult and unsettling time, we have pushed back consultation on the East Bristol Liveable Neighbourhood project until we have more clarity for a long-term decision on Barton House.”

Barton House is in a key area within the Liveable Neighbourhood’s proposed boundary. Residents would be affected by the proposals for trial measures on nearby streets, including two bus gates on Avonvale Road and Marsh Lane.

Alexander added: “We appreciate that this will be disappointing to many of the residents and organisations who have suggested changes and improvements to the area, but we know that they will be understanding given these unique circumstances. In the meantime, we will continue to work with residents across east Bristol to finalise where to install around 10 new cycle hangars. More details on the cycle hangars will follow in the new year.”

The councilor went on to talk about the initial work taking place for the South Bristol Liveable Neighbourhood pilot.

He said: “At the moment, we are in the evidence gathering phase and are collecting traffic, air quality and noise data, as well as analysing the ward profiles. This information will help us form initial proposals for wider discussion through plenty of local engagement, before local councillors make final decisions on the scope of the scheme.

“While our administration would not support the inclusion of Ashton Gate Stadium in the scheme area, we of course want to engage with the stadium and fans of its sports clubs to ensure the continued development of this world-class venue for entertainment and sport. This includes the new home that’s due to be built for the Bristol Flyers basketball team.

“Early in 2024 we will begin our programme of engagement with key stakeholders, including local community leaders and organisations, to find out what issues and challenges their communities face. We will use this information, along with our local data, to co-develop early proposals to further collaborate and consult on.  We will also ask people who live in or travel through south Bristol for their views and ideas.”