Bristol

Bristol Arena: Council denies car park U-turn

Bristol Arena Image copyright Populous
Image caption The proposed site for the car park is on Bath Road, near the arena

A decision not to build a car park for Bristol's new £92.5m city centre arena will be reconsidered by the council.

Mayor George Ferguson has said it would be "mad" to build one but proposals for a 480-space, eight-storey car park are due to go before the council next week.

The council's Alistair Reid said it was a "marginal" increase on plans for 200 spaces for the 12,000 capacity venue.

Cabinet members will also be told that it will cost an extra £28m to develop the surrounding "Arena Island" site.

A report, seeking approval to borrow money for the project, will go to Bristol City Council's cabinet on 1 March.

Mr Reid, services director for economy, said the planned 200 spaces for disabled people and the arena's operators would always have had to be relocated, as land was being redeveloped.

He has proposed an additional 280 spaces and said the "marginal" increase would "pay for itself over the lifetime of the arena project".

"This is not about changing the whole transport policy or transport approach to the arena," he said.

The report notes that a new city centre car park "is contrary to council policy", but notes other car parking spaces may have to be reduced in the centre.

In September, Mr Ferguson said he had been told "it would be mad to put a car park on the site" - the council favours encouraging public transport and cycling.

If cabinet approves the idea it would still need planning permission.

Paul Breeden, editor of South Bristol Voice, told the BBC his readers were "a bit baffled" at the news which he said was coming out "rather late", the week before councillors will be asked to grant planning permission for the arena.

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