Page last updated at 17:50 GMT, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 18:50 UK

Park and ride for ancient meadow

Bathampton Meadows
Sheep are currently grazing on the Bathampton Meadows site

An ancient meadow in Bath has been approved at a council meeting for a new park and ride site.

The land at Bathampton Meadows is part of the council's £60m proposals for a new transport scheme aimed at cutting congestion and pollution.

An extra room with a screen was provided for the Guildhall meeting on the controversial plans.

Expansion of park and ride sites at Odd Down and Lansdown were also approved during the meeting.

Angry protests

Bath and North East Somerset Council (Banes) began the meeting at 1400 BST on Wednesday and the debate is expected to continue late into the evening.

Councillors are discussing plans, which include a Rapid Bus Transit Road through the western edge of the city, and have met with opposition from some residents and commuters.

Protestors at the meeting angrily denounced the plan to concrete over Bathampton Meadows, where sheep now graze.

Lib Dem Councillor Caroline Roberts told BBC News: "We oppose it because of the impact it's going to have on nearby houses.

"It's going to plough through the middle of two sets of houses, either side of the green space.

"There is sufficient space we believe and the capacity to use the existing roads for a rapid transport system."

The council have not yet decided whether to go ahead and expand the park and ride site at Newbridge.



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