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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 September 2005, 06:58 GMT 07:58 UK
City motorway 'could cut traffic'
Traffic jam
The strategic transport plan is published shortly
A new motorway in the south of Bristol could solve the city's traffic problems, developers claim.

Councillors in Bristol have spent years trying to cut congestion on the city's roads, suggesting everything from trams to car-share lanes.

Property consultants Alder King have put forward the idea of a toll road, which could form part of the Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Plan.

Friends of the Earth and Transport 2000 are strongly opposed to the idea.

The strategic transport plan, which outlines proposals to improve travel in the greater Bristol area, is due to be published in the next few weeks.

The problem is that people are driving too much. We need to encourage them to drive less
Pip Sheard , Friends of the Earth
Alder King believed the new motorway would not only relieve peak-time jams on the M4 and M5, but also bring much-needed economic regeneration to the area.

Grant Watson, the company's chairman, said: "It is not about being able to build more homes in the south of the city - it is more important to create jobs for people who live there already.

"It is an area of great difficulty and motorways do create jobs - that is proven nationally."

But Pip Sheard, of Friends of the Earth, said: "It would not cut congestion. Building new roads just encourages people to drive more which adds to the overall congestion.

"The problem is that people are driving too much. We need to encourage them to drive less.

"The motorways are commuter routes and they were supposed to be long-distance routes."

A spokesman for The National Alliance Against Tolls said: "Most people avoid tolls if they can, and a Bristol toll road would be almost deserted like the existing M6 Toll.

"If a new road is needed it should be built from the 50bn of taxes on roads use."


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