A new consultation has been published by the Council Transport team with a large number of proposed changes to Muller Road and the surrounding road network.
Residents, users, local businesses, schools & community spaces such as the Old Library, are being asked to provide their feedback to the plans in place. The South Lockleaze & Purdown Neighbourhood Group, both on behalf of the Old Library and local residents, have looked at the proposals in detail, both together with the Council Transport team, and would like to present this information, our thoughts & any further information to you here.
SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSAL
- 24 HOUR BUS LANE – approximately 1/2 of Muller Road(in sections) 24 hours, southbound only. 1-st section beginning at Horfield United Reformed Church to new Lidl..
- All parking fully removed on BOTH SIDES of road down the bus route, ONE SIDE at north end of road
- Widened pedestrian path on one side of road (opposite to bus lane) for shared use pedestrian/cycle route, approximately 1/2 of Muller Road (in sections)
- Traffic light system at bottom of Ralph Road.
- No changes to Concorde Way crossing area/Aldi (this isn’t in remit of this scheme).
- From Railway bridge to Shaldon Road – Bus lane, widening of path, removal of parking on one side of road by Europcar. Widening of path/cycle lane.
- Addition of Bus Lane to Shaldon Road & remove bus stop from bottom of Shaldon Road hill. Analysis of signals to take place to see if improvements on timing can be made.
- New pelican crossing added by steps/Path to Purdown. Bus lane continues to past Tackley Road. All parking on both sides of road removed by Old Library.
- Right turn removed for traffic turning right OUT of Glenfrome Road FROM school to go NORTH up Muller Road, giving an extra 15 seconds shared across the other turnings every 2 minutes.
- No bus lane for remainder of Muller Road from Glenfrome Junction.
- NO CHANGES to Eastville Roundabout as this is not within remit of the council – it is managed by Highways Agency.
You can see all the plans at the bottom of the consultation page, linked below.
THOUGHTS, CHALLENGES, REJECTIONS & SUPPORT
Following updates from the council on the plans, we discussed our thoughts and looked at the challenges for the neighbourhood, residents, schools & the Old Library, and looked at the options available from the council to help address these.
We have tried to look at all options, go in with a positive mindset and make compromises – we all want to see Bristol less congested & less polluted – however some serious concerns & challenges have been found, & are highly concerned about the ill-thought out plans being presented which will have little positive and huge negatives, after our thorough research.
Our final report on the current plans are as follows.
EFFECTS ON THE OLD LIBRARY
The Old Library is heavily reliant upon private hires to raise enough money to keep the doors open. We currently have 8 parking spaces, and this already means many groups are unable to run, however it is just enough for us to have enough hires (alongside the cafe) to fund the space with little extra for improvements (which we then raise through events/donations etc). If these plans were to go ahead:
- We would lose all parking
- Mobility impaired groups, groups for the elderly, those who require assistance from carers etc. require parking and would be hugely impacted
- The Old Library does not have “passing trade”
- Individuals would be expected to walk in the dark in evenings & winter months – elderly people & volunteers would not do this at cafe closing time & attendance of evening activities would drop
- Removal of on street parking would hugely effect our strive to be fully accessible, meaning plans for our new accessible toilet & improved outdoor access would be somewhat pointless.
- Hires are calculated to be approximated 40% reduced if parking was not available, resulting us to fundraise an additional £300-400 per month – not currently feasible.
We however do recognise the need for improved public transport across Bristol and do support attempts to improve this so we made some suggestions to try and enable compromise between different parties:
- Lose the grass verge on the left of the Old Library building to provide pull in spaces – up to 6.
RESPONSE – Pull in parking like this would not be in the remit of the scheme and therefore wouldn’t be possible
- Bus lane does not need to be 24 hours
RESPONSE – Stats show the 24 bus is late throughout the day, and its also important to have consistency down the entire road. Ralph Road junction requires it to be 24 hours, so the rest should be too
- Layby parking along the front – would lose a deal of our frontage but be able to gain approximately 4 spaces of min 5m per space required by planning.
RESPONSE – Possible, but would require the removal of 2 large mature roadside trees, and would still only create up to 4 spaces
- Overgrown nearby side lane could be utilised to create some layby parking, alongside for its current access
RESPONSE – This is private owned and so would be very difficult and time consuming.
Therefore, THE OLD LIBRARY NEEDS TO REJECT THE PROPOSAL UNDER THE FOLLOWING TERMS:
- The Old Library requires 8 parking spaces for accessibility, elderly & children due to its position & focus on equality
- Carers are often unable to “drop off” and move vehicles elsewhere due to the nature of some disabilities who use the space
- The Old Library is run by residents and is unfunded by the council or external bodies, raising majority of funds through private hires, and is already affected by the low amount of parking available. Removal of more parking would have a dramatic negative effect & could result in the closure of the Community Space.
EFFECTS ON LOCAL RESIDENTS
We must stress that we, amongst most of the residents and individuals we speak to do support improvements to public transport, reduction in congestion and improvements to air pollution across the city. We really would like to see ideas come forwards and are pleased that the council teams are coming forwards with proposals for discussion.
The effects we see on local residents are as follows:
Many Muller Road residents & businesses would lose parking
These residents would be required to use side streets, of which many are already difficult to park in most days.
Or they would be required to use garages. Most of the garages are no longer big enough for today’s vehicles. Many homes that are rented do not have access to garages – pressure would be required to be put onto private landlords, but this is unlikely to happen. Multi-occupancy homes often have 2-4 cars – one off street parking space isn’t enough for this.
Businesses such as Europcar would struggle heavily without roadside parking, similarly the Premier, Gio’s barbershop and Thousand Leaves Chinese takeaway, who would lose parking on the front. 3-4 spaces are proposed on the side road for them to share – this would not be enough.
No Right hand turn from Glenfrome Road & school
No right hand turn from Glenfrome Road (& school) to head North up Muller Road will mean all Stapleton traffic & school traffic would be required to go around Eastville Roundabout. (NO CHANGES TO EASTVILLE ROUNDABOUT ARE BEING PROPOSED.)
To bypass the traffic problems at Eastville Roundabout, it is likely that people will cut through the side roads and try to join Muller Road at Tackley Road (which is currently left hand turn only), resulting in cars cutting through the U-Turning at Dormer Road junction. Dangerous & making the plans pointless.
Removal of Large Mature Maple Trees
All trees along Muller Road would need to be pollarded, however we have been informed by the council teams that Maple Trees do not like pollarding and therefore would need to be removed for this scheme. These would be replaced by small saplings elsewhere, perhaps on Purdown open space, however would mean no road trees would be replaced, and saplings would take decades to regrow into the size of these trees.
Removal of Bus Stop at the bottom of Shaldon Road
This would mean anyone at the bottom of the hill on Muller Road, Shaldon Road etc. would be required to walk up quite challenging hills to access public transport – elderly, those with mobility issues & those with children & buggies would be effected by the removal of this stop.
The shared use path isn’t consistent along Muller Road
Cyclists have said this is more dangerous as they are required to pull in and out into traffic along the length of the road.
Is there a real need for a broken bus lane?
Buses will be required to pull in and out, and there are only 4 buses that use the road – none 24 hour. Much of the part of Muller Road that becomes congested at rush hour does not have a bus lane proposed.
Buses are costly – many can no longer afford to use these as their daily transport, meaning that we are unlikely to see a huge uprise in the number of bus users – especially with the amount of congestion across the rest of the city.
The 24 bus is late throughout the day, at most stops along Muller Road. However it only joins at Shaldon Road, and is already late by that point.
WE DO NOT BELIEVE MULLER ROAD CONGESTION IS THE MAIN CAUSE OF THE DELAY OF THE 24 BUS.
Not solving any issues residents have raised in council forums in the past 3 years.
The plans do not take into consideration the main challenges residents see in the area for transport issues.
- Concorde Way crossing Muller Road improvements for cyclists is NOT BEING CONSIDERED in the scheme.
- Eastville Roundabout is NOT BEING CONSIDERED in the scheme – this is Highways agency
- Rat runs are not aimed to be solved:
- Lockleaze is used for through traffic from Filton/Southmead/Horfield, using Branwyn Grove, Shaldon Road etc. to bypass Station Road/UWE/M32 traffic
- Alleyways & cut throughs such as Shaldon Road to Elmcroft Crescent, Dormer Road & Bridge Road, Stottbury Road & Rousham Road etc. are not included
We do support…
Prevention of cars parking on corners at the bottom of tight roads such as Elmcroft Crescent, which would be a good improvement for safety.
Analysis of Shaldon Road junction to improve car movements through the lights would hopefully improve traffic flow on Muller Road. This junction however is busy generally due to the Lockleaze rat run.
Addition of new pedestrian crossings between Fairfield School and Purdown steps at the brow of the hill would improve crossing safety, especially for school children.
Improvements to bus stops to make them more accessible for those with reduced mobility.
Overall, unfortunately we are not in favour of the majority of the plans for the residents, school & the Old Library. We also see this as “sticking a plaster on a broken leg” in terms of solving the wider transport issues for Bristol.
It’s important you take a look at the plans, find out more about the proposals & fill in the consultation online with your thoughts, concerns & suppport. The Old Library has a number of sessions taking place where you can speak with the transport team in more detail:
- WEDNESDAY 6TH MARCH, 4PM – 8PM
- SATURDAY 23RD MARCH 11AM – 2PM
- FRIDAY 29TH MARCH 11:30AM – 4:30PM
We will be putting forward our case within the consultation based upon the points above. It is likely that this consultation will be seen and filled in by a huge number of users from elsewhere around the city, so we must also ensure that local people, residents, groups, businesses & schools do fill in the consultation to ensure we are heard loud and clear. Please encourage your neighbours, friends & local people to get involved, share our thoughts on the plans & get your voices heard.
PLEASE SHARE THIS BLOG ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, EMAIL, NEWSLETTERS, PRINT & POP THROUGH NEIGHBOURS LETTERBOXES… ANYTHING YOU CAN DO TO GET THE WORD OUT!
We need our neighbourhood to have a voice together on what will undoubtedly be a hugely widespread consultation receiving response from individuals from across Bristol, who will not be effected in the same ways we will be. The more of us that say the same thing together, the more we will be heard.
For any other information, get in touch with us on Facebook, or pop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have your own thoughts we haven’t considered here and think people need to be aware of!
Finally, you can access the online council consultation here. Please take a look at the attached documents & details to make a considered response (but please show your support for the Old Library too!).