South Bristol link road 'waste of money'

Campaigners opposing the proposed south Bristol link road say it is a "poison chalice" and a "staggering" waste of public money.

They say the cost of the 3.1 mile (5km) road is £43.1m and works out as more than £8,600 per metre.

Bristol City and North Somerset Councils are contributing some £15m towards the cost of the road.

But Bristol City Council said the road would help "unlock" south Bristol and provide an economic boost to the area.

Transport spokesman for the Liberal Democrat-controlled Bristol City Council, Tim Kent, said the road was one of five roads in the greater Bristol area which would form part of the bus "rapid transit" network.

'Smart ticketing'

He said the council hoped the improvements would mean more people would use buses and help reduce CO2 emissions.

"We've spent £70m on improving the bus network, £25m on cycle routes and £5m on smart ticketing.

"We need bus routes and must remember not everyone living in the area [south Bristol] has a car."

But Sian Berry from the Campaign for Better Transport said most road schemes did not have the benefits councils claimed - even in good economic times.

"Roads at £8,000 per metre are hugely expensive and unproven. This is a waste of money and there are better ways of sorting public transport - especially when council budgets are tight," she said.

"We think the road is the worst part of the proposals and we should wait and see how the public transport information scheme works and re-assess the options before building the link road," she added.

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