Bristol Bridge will close to general traffic next month as part of work to improve air quality and make it easier for people to catch the bus, walk and cycle in the city centre.
The changes that go live on Sunday 2 August will stop through traffic using the bridge as well as Baldwin Street and Union Street, to prevent these roads being used as an alternative route.
Priority will be given to buses, taxis, cyclists and pedestrians travelling through the central area of Bristol in order to ease congestion and pollution.
The measures are being done alongside the pedestrianisation of the Old City, and are part of a package of major transport improvements being accelerated to help Bristolians safely navigate the city during the pandemic.
We are taking bold action to create a better, more connected future for everyone in and around Bristol. By restricting general through traffic from our central areas we will protect public health and unlock barriers to inclusive economic growth with cleaner air, safer and better public transport, and improved walking and cycling routes for everyone.
These major transport improvements were already in the pipeline, but the coronavirus means we now need to accelerate the plans and help Bristol emerge from this crisis as a more inclusive and sustainable city.
The pandemic has had huge impacts on our usual travel habits and while it has presented many challenges, we saw air pollution levels drop by almost half during the months of lockdown with big increases in walking and cycling. We want to capture those benefits and protect the long-term public health of the city as well as the viability of our public transport services that provide real value to our communities.
Camera monitored bus gates with signs and road markings to prohibit general traffic will be installed on Bristol Bridge, either end of Baldwin Street and at the bottom of Union Street.
Access to the city centre for loading and car parks will still remain using alternative routes.
Other sustainable transport improvements include new cycling routes through the city centre that will reduce space for through traffic on Lewins Mead and Park Row/Upper Maudlin St.
The closure of Bristol Bridge to through traffic will transform the way we travel in the city centre.
It will inevitably result in a period of adjustment as we all adapt to these important changes that are crucial to creating more efficient travel and reliable bus services in and around the city in the long-term.
Right across Bristol we have been widening pavements and we are creating new bike lanes to make walking and cycling more attractive, so we’d encourage people to get out and explore the new dedicated routes we are providing.
We are working with businesses and residents to minimise disruption and we are keen to engage with communities as we monitor the impacts caused by these changes.
A six month consultation period will start when the changes go live.