Cumberland Road bus gate

Major structural work on Cumberland Road has closed the road to eastbound traffic, except the M2 Metrobus. This temporary closure will soon be permanent if Bristol City Council succeeds in introducing a ‘bus gate’ to the east of Gas Ferry Road. To the many residents of Cumberland Road, Spike Island, Merchants Landing and the General, this will involve a lengthy diversion along Coronation Road, as shown in the diversion map above – the red dot indicates the bus gate location. The Council offers two main reasons in support of this disruptive bus gate:

  1. To bring air quality levels into legal limits in the shortest possible time.
  2. To improve journey times and reliability of the M2 Metrobus service, between the Long Ashton Park and Ride and the City Centre.

Objections to the proposals, together with the grounds on which they are made, can be emailed to by 23rd December 2022 and many residents have already questioned the need for a bus gate in this position.

  1. The bus gate will not reduce traffic into the city but divert it along Coronation Road, just a stone’s throw away over the New Cut. As a result, air quality will deteriorate as the diverted traffic will worsen congestion on the already congested Coronation Road and Bedminster Bridge. The greater density of housing along Coronation Road will mean that many residents south of the river will find their air quality damaged by the proposal. And the diversion is lengthy: longer journeys mean more pollution. Far from helping to bring air quality into legal limits, the bus gate will worsen it.
  2. The reduction in east-bound traffic using the Wapping Road roundabout may possibly reduce M2 journey times but the gain will be small. The Council is seriously inconveniencing a large number of city residents and damaging their health for second-order reductions in the M2 journey time.

Bristol Civic Society’s transport and place-making group has reviewed the Council’s case for this bus gate and concludes that a convincing case has not been made. On the air quality argument the Society concludes: ‘the evidence that air pollution will improve as a result of the proposed scheme is not clear.’ And on the M2 Metrobus argument the Society argues that in ‘this location, unless evidence of bus delays can be provided, it feels difficult to argue for a bus gate at this time.’  More details on the Civic Society website.

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