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Over the last eight hundred or so years, the Bristol Bridge connected the two sides of River Avon and allowed people to freely cross over to travel across the city. However, as of mid-2020 the bridge has been closed to private vehicles, but the effects haven’t been felt until recently…
While this has affected many people in and around the city; those on buses, taxis, 2 wheels, and on foot were able to carry on as normal. Although this is all being done in the hopes of easing congestion and lowering levels of pollution, it is an inconvenience for drivers who used the central area of Bristol as an alternative route.
Nonetheless, as a former European Green Capital, it is rather embarrassing to now be one of the most polluted cities in the UK. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise when drastic measures such as these are taken in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – the only surprise came in the shape of coronavirus, which required any plans for a more sustainable city to be accelerated.
Is it as simple as restricting access to an old bridge and expecting everything to get better with the flick of a switch?
No, there’s a lot more to it and it requires the cooperation of the local public. It began with the closure of Bristol Bridge to private motorised vehicles and was followed by a large number of cycle lane implementations around the centre. It seems as though Bristol is gearing up to become more connected for public transport as well as for walking and cycling.
With a number of new cycle schemes coming into effect during lockdown, such as the Loan Bike Scheme that came into play near the end of last year, there is more and more reason to get away from cars. So instead of looking for a new car, people have been turning their heads towards electric bikes, mopeds, and more recently scooters. It goes without saying that electric vehicles are inherently safer for the environment, and you mustn’t forget about the savings you can make as opposed to commuting by car. However, while this is all well and good, the main thing to note is that these modes of transport are more than welcome to cross the Bristol Bridge!
It’s understandable that this is not ideal for many people around the city, but for the greater good of the planet, it is worth some minor inconveniences. In order to adjust to this change, luckily there are many affordable solutions and government-backed schemes to take advantage of. Utilising cycle-to-work schemes, as well as monthly payment plans, are the more cost effective means that people are opting for, as they allow for comfortable repayment while still making the most of greener travel.
The city saw air pollution levels drastically drop by almost half, during lockdown
and most of this is due to the huge increase in the use of bicycles. In order to maintain a steady reduction of greenhouse emissions, it’s vital that more people become aware of the negative effects of driving through a busy city centre. The easiest way to counteract this is by going electric, whether you park & ride with a foldable eBike, switch to a new way of travel with NIU or simply scoot over with an eScooter!
BRISTOL BRIDGE TO BE CLOSED PERMANENTLY TO CARS
This 18-month trial will now be made permanent, with the council saying that after “careful consideration” of objections and comments, the closure of Bristol Bridge to general traffic will be made permanent from July 17.
This means that it will remain open for the likes of buses, taxis, cyclists, e-scooters and pedestrians, but it will be closed for cars, vans and lorries – with fines for any of these vehicles crossing the historic span.