Bristol must bite bullet and extend Link Road to Hicks Gate

Paul Williams, head of agency at Bruton Knowles' Bristol office

The new South Bristol Link Road is on target to be completed this Winter – but Bristol property specialists Bruton Knowles say the 4.5km route does not go far enough.

Paul Williams, head of agency at the firm’s Bristol office, would like to see the road extended to the key Hicks Gate roundabout junction of the Avon Ring Road in order to open up effective traffic routes in both directions.

He said: “While we would certainly not advocate new roads as a ‘one-size fits all’ solution to all of Bristol’s transport problems, the new route will undoubtedly improve the route choice for drivers travelling from South Bristol out toward the A38 and A361.

“The same cannot be said for traffic heading the other way, and this is potentially going to cause new bottlenecks to form as traffic seeking to circulate in an Easterly direction literally reaches the end of the road.”

Traffic heading east on the new link will arrive at the Cater Road roundabout and proceed on to the bypass which leads to the Hartcliffe Way roundabout. This has four possible exits – to Ashton, Knowle and Hengrove, Whitchurch and Hartcliffe.

“The main trunk route along Airport Road eventually links to the A4 at Brislington, generally regarded as the worst junction in South Bristol.

“We believe the city will have to bite the bullet and extend the route all the way out to the Hicks Gate roundabout – effectively completing the southern section of the Avon Ring Road.”

Bruton Knowles has continued to argue for improved infrastructure on behalf of commercial property owners, occupiers and commuters across the area.

Paul Williams said: “As it stands, the new route will provide a useful link for the fast developing business communities in South Bristol, such as the Bottle Yard Studios and city council sponsored Filwood Green Business Park.

“But drivers using the new Link Road to travel east will still have to negotiate the already congested Hartcliffe Way, Whitchurch Lane and Wells Road junctions before they get out onto the A37 or the A4 at Brislington.

“The right turn from Airport Road/West Town Lane onto the A4 Bath Road is one of our most problematical junctions with substantial traffic queues building up in every direction at peak times.

“We believe the junction should be enlarged to provide direct access on to Hicks Gate and the Ring Road, to give business and commuters an effective two-way link.

“The lack of infrastructure to rival the northern districts has held South Bristol back for decades – possibly since the last war. Although the new link road is a big step forward and will provide a vastly improved route for commuters, it still lacks the final piece in the puzzle to accelerate connectivity to the eastward facing routes.”