Greens call for halt to sell-off of Ashton Gate Station land.
Serious concerns expressed about failures of communication within Bristol City Council, as land for potential station is made ready to sell for housing despite budget approval for £50k business case study.
Despite Mayor Ferguson himself stating that, at the request of the Green and Conservative groups, his own budget will include provision for a business case to build a rail station at Ashton Gate (1), the Greens have discovered that plans are proceeding to sell off the only feasible site for the station regardless of any such business case being completed.
Campaigners have identified that a site close to Baron's Close is the only feasible site for a new Ashton Gate rail station. However, the footprint for the station, as identified in a 2014 consultant's report commissioned by one part of the council (2), is on land that is currently being brought to market for new housing (Alderman Moores, Former Allotments) by another part of the council. (3)
Glenn Vowles, Green Party candidate for Bedminster said: “Enquiries made by the Greens have revealed that the team bringing the land to market have received no instructions to reserve space for the station, and were, in fact, unaware that it had even been proposed as a potential site for a new Ashton Gate station. Their only instructions on public transport provision is in regard to the Ashton Vale metrobus stop. This is a shambolic state of affairs!”
Will Quick, who is also standing for the Green Party in Bedminster, added “We are calling for the site to be withdrawn from the council's Housing Land Prospectus – at least until the promised Ashton Gate Station business case has been completed. We are also asking for “passive provision” for the station to be included in any potential planning proposals for the land and that any development be expected to make some contribution towards the delivery of a future station, a station that will help ease traffic congestion and reduce air pollution.”
Tony Dyer, the Green Party candidate for Mayor of Bristol said “I am utterly astonished that the council's left hand does not appear to know what the right hand is doing. This is particularly surprising given the high profile campaign conducted by the Friends of Ashton Gate Station (4). They have received cross-party support as well as providing multiple submissions to several council meetings. Questions clearly need to be asked about the level of the council's commitment to a station at Ashton Gate, and why there appears to have been a breakdown in communications within the council. I remain committed to delivering a rail station on this site and support Glenn and Will's calls for “passive provision” to protect the station's footprint until we are finally able to deliver a station to serve the local community”
Agenda item 5, page 25
CH2MHill Bristol New Stations High Level Assessment Study – Ashton Gate
Housing Land Prospectus, Bristol City Council, September 2015
Friends of Ashton Gate Station website