Agenda item

Bristol Temple Quarter

Minutes:

This meeting agenda item was coordinated with a site visit earlier in the day when Members of the Commission visited Temple Meads Station and the surrounding area with City Council officers and a representative from Network Rail.

 

The BCC Senior Project Manager for Temple Quarter introduced the item to Members and clarified the presentation provided information and an up-date on:

  • Progress on current Temple Quarter projects
  • Future proposals for Temple Meads station, Temple Quarter, and St Philips Marsh
  • Develop a scrutiny programme for next year

 

A study has been commissioned to develop long term proposals for the area by developing a high quality, deliverable, flexible and phased masterplan, focused on and around Bristol Temple Meads station. This study wouldn’t be completed until later in 2020 but in the meantime the station would be introducing some short-term solutions to help peak time travellers.  A summary of the key points were as follows:

 

·       Collaboration on the plans was working very well and has momentum.

·       There are 14 million passengers annually at Temple Meads (Paddington has 100m per year).

·       Passenger numbers are growing; forecast to 20m per year by the end of this decade.

·       The lay-out is not perfect and there are pinch-points at peak times, especially on platform 3.

·       65 - 70% of passengers currently use the Northern Entrance / Gateway.

·       It is not currently the experience that Network Rail want passengers to have.

·       The WH Smiths shop will be removed soon and an additional set of stairs will be installed in that location instead.  When asked why stairs and not an escalator it was stated that stairs have more capacity than escalators.

·       The lift on platform 3 will also be moved and will be replaced with a much improved facility.

·       The booking office area is not ideal where it is so it will be moved to the Northern Entrance at some point.

·       The space outside near the priory will be opened up for public realm instead of being a car park.

·       There will be interchanges for buses at Temple Way and The Friary.

·       The ramp has become very congested over time and is not a pleasant experience for passengers.  In future, only taxis will be able to continue to use it.

·       A recent opportunity has emerged for a potential Southern Gateway on the A4.

·       Delivery timescale for all station components will be up to 15 years.

 

The following points were discussed:

  • Members appreciated the opportunity to understand more and feed into the future plans for the site.
  • Members were interested to know more about the potential new south gateway.  A Member who’s Ward was very close to the area stated that local residents were concerned about access to and from the new University Campus.
  • Any potential for bus passengers on the A4 and A37 to have improved access the station was welcomed.
  • It was confirmed the plan was for a new cycle hub with 1000 spaces.
  • The new bus hub would be dispersed between 4 sites. Members thought a dispersed bus hub could be confusing, saying it would need to be made very simple for people to navigate, such as coloured lines on the road. Officers agreed with the point being made.
  • A Member said they very much appreciated the site visit.  When looking at the exits, bottle-necks and conflicts, in his view the journey to the station needed to be continuous one.  Officers said they are looking at the connectivity of the Enterprise Zone to the rest of city and how people use and access the sites. They said they did want to do a ‘design review’ of people’s needs, where they were going and how they’d get there and they needed to make sure they weren’t making the situation worse.
  • With the positive Government funding announcement that week about the Bristol East junction; would this have a bearing on this Master Plan?  It was said that Network Rail has plans in place and this was good opportunity for future developments.
  • Chair asked about the potential for bringing this back to Scrutiny in future.  Officers said they were cautious but hopeful the funding could be found to implement the plans.  This was initially likely to be a ‘cocktail’ of public sector funding. 
  • It was asked if there was to be a rapid transit system in Bristol, how that would interact with current plans. It was said it could either be at the lower end of the Friary or at the lower end of the ramp on the left; how transport links up is front-and-centre of the Master Plan.
  • It was suggested that the Commission could in future undertake a joint session or piece of work with the West of England (WoE) Joint Scrutiny Committee to look at the West of England Combined (WECA) transport plans that are in the pipeline.   
  • It was said that during some previous projects such as this, some of the existing infrastructure had been removed and the city had therefore lost some of its history.  It was asked if care will be taken this time to ensure that did not happen again.  Officers said they agreed with the point being made and they had already produced some information about how to avoid that happening again.

 

Supporting documents: