TfGB statement on Temple Meads

Temple Meads Station and surrounding area.
The city council is on record that “it is creating a transport hub that the city deserves”.
We have recently reviewed the latest reports about:

  • restrictions on entering Friary from Temple Gate,
  • more permanent buildings planned for Plot 6, which might impede public transport connectivity if not carefully allowed for,
  • the removal of well placed bus stops from outside The Sidings pub (formerly The Reckless Engineer) on the west side of Temple Gate,
  • and inadequate facilities for buses that might serve the new University campus, and a possible site for the Arena.

This leads us to fear that many of the hoped for benefits of a good bus/rail interchange may never materialise.
Whilst it is pleasing to see more consideration being given to good cycling routes, this needs to be balanced with a thorough strategic overview and revision of bus routes and bus stops. There is a lot of enthusiasm for the University’s new campus and their unconfirmed development on the Arena site. The site off Feeder Road, near the ‘back’ of Temple Meads also remains an
option for the Bristol Arena, adding to the the vibrancy of the central area of Bristol and its southeastern approaches. Unfortunately, due to low bridges, access by double decker such as those used on university services is severely restricted. Single decker too will have difficulty getting back to the Inner Circuit Road (Temple Way).

  • A proposal (now also shown on the University’s new campus plan) is for a new pedestrian access, known as Station Street to be opened up in the understory beneath the Temple Meads platforms which would link the Cattle Market Road/Feeder Road area and buses on Friary adjacent to a proposed new station entrance giving onto it.
  • New bus stops located on Friary, with the new ‘Station Street’ leading to them, would solve both the bus and rail connectivity of the new University development and a possible new Arena on the island site.
  • The development of Station Street and bus stops along Friary would also go some way to giving the effective bus rail interchange that Temple Meads requires.
  • Friary is in the ownership of Homes England who oppose buses on this site. Powers should now be considered by the Council to establish bus access on Friary or designate it as a public highway.

Reports suggest that WECA may have over £70M of government money at their disposal for such vital infrastructure. An application needs to be made to them now to start a feasibility and costing study.