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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
2m park-and-ride opens
The park and ride site at Long Ashton
The council says park-and-ride sites are highly popular
A 2m pound project to take more cars off the roads around Bristol began on Monday with the opening of the city's latest park-and-ride site.

The Shirehampton-based site offers 300 car spaces and will provide a vital link from the M5 motorway network into the centre of the city.

The city council is delighted with the scheme although many people living beside the location, on the A4 Portway route into Bristol, have expressed severe reservations about the project.

The Transport Minister, John Speller, joined Councillor Helen Holland at the official opening on Monday morning.

It will draw people who use this important corridor along the A4 Portway into Bristol.

Councillor Helen Holland
The site's location has been controversial, with many nearby residents expressing reservations about the scheme.

One said: "The council has taken no notice of the wishes of local people over this site.

"We've had nothing but noise and dust since the work started.

"There have been times when we haven't even been able to get our cars out to go to work, yet we have received no notification of the work from the council.

"As well as which, what used to be a wildlife corridor has been decimated."

Councillor Helen Holland said: "I think it's an ideal site - it's just off the motorway.

"It will draw people who use this important corridor along the A4 Portway into Bristol.

"We know that we've already got over a million people who use our other two park-and-rides and our plans are to build a further site over the next five years.

Additional services

Ms Holland denied there had been a lack of consultation over the site's location.

"I came to a number of public meetings in the area.

"We acknowledge that there's been a lot of inconvenience for people during the construction stage.

"However, we know that quite a lot of the residents certainly welcome the additional bus services."

The buses will run in peak times every 10 minutes, then at quarter-hour intervals throughout the day and on Saturdays.

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