An update on plans to build a park and ride on the M32 has been shared by the council. The proposals were first unveiled in March – just three years after the mayor promised a community farm by the motorway would not be bulldozed to make way for the car park.
Back in 2019, Sims Hill shared harvest site was earmarked as the only viable option for the project in a report by the West of England Combined Authority (Weca). But Marvin Rees then confirmed the land would not be turned into a car park.
These latest proposals come after a £500,00 grant from the Department for Transport to to carry out a series of feasibility studies examining how the city can accelerate plans to decarbonise Bristol’s transport network.
In an update on the Bristol Mayor’s blog, the cabinet member for transport Cllr Don Alexander wrote that feasibility studies will be carried out over the next six to nine months. He said: “Our feasibility studies will focus on where we can add value to existing plans, trial and innovate new approaches, and ramp up current initiatives, demonstrating practical and effective ways to reduce carbon emissions.
“Some of the options we will be exploring are:
- reducing emissions from transport in the city centre, focusing on locations such as the Old City, Broadmead, Cabot Circus and Queen Square
- working with operators on the electrification of 250 city buses
- installing 1,000 on-street cycle hangers across the city
- greater use of freight consolidation centres
- investing in last mile solutions, such as e-cargo bikes, for the city centre as well as local neighbourhoods.
“More projects that will be investigated include installing charging points at council-run car parks and popular destinations, speeding up the rollout of mobility hubs that pool shared transport providers at a single location, developing a new Bristol Cycling Centre in Lawrence Weston, and progressing a new park and ride for the M32.
“Work will take place over the next six to nine months on the feasibility studies so that business cases can be created for these ambitious projects.”
Council documents showed consultants had been commissioned to identify the preferred sites for the M32 park and ride and that they are expected to deliver an outline business case in 2022/2023. It also states that £48m have been allocated for the project.
In April, the leader of South Gloucestershire Council said the M32 will have to be downgraded to an A-road if a long-awaited park and ride is going to happen.