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The Ecological Emergency and Bristol's Brislington Greenway

November 25, 2020 9:29 AM
By Andrew Varney Local Candidate, Brislington West

Bristol's Brislington Railway / Greenway (Andrew Varney)This article is about a long-abandoned railway line, which the local Lib Dems want to turn into an active travel corridor, wildlife corridor and community space, but which the Labour administration plan to turn into a road!

The Ecological Emergency and the Brislington Greenway

At the beginning of the year, Bristol City Council declared an Ecological Emergency in response to escalating threats to local wildlife and ecosystems. The Labour Mayor, Marvin Rees, said, "It is not too late to start the recovery of our wildlife. We must work together to grasp this last chance and put things right for nature and wildlife in our city."
Now the Council has published its strategy document, which outlines its key targets, one of which is to have at least 30% of land in Bristol managed for the benefit of wildlife by 2030. This is potentially good news for our campaign opposing the plan to construct a new main road through the heart of Brislington West, namely the Callington Road Link, along the route of the former Brislington Railway Line.
Over the last 60 years, the disused railway line has become a haven for an enormous variety of flora and fauna, including dozens of bird species, mammals such as badgers, foxes, hedgehogs and bats, and reptiles and amphibians such as slow worms, which have protected status. If the road scheme were to go ahead, all of this biodiversity would be lost forever.
However, our proposal for an active travel corridor, the Brislington Greenway, would protect the wildlife that has become established here, and help the Council meet its new Ecological Emergency target.
Together with our changing working and travel habits, with more people working from home and record numbers of people taking up walking and cycling, the case for the road, which was never strong, grows ever weaker.
Jos said, "Unfortunately, the Labour-run Council remains determined to build another main road, which is completely contrary to their self-declared Ecological Emergency". Andrew added, "I hope this won't be yet another example of empty words from a Mayor who promises so much but delivers so little".
You can find out more about our Brislington Greenway proposals and sign the petition here: https://www.bristollibdems.org/brislingtonrailwaypath
Bristol's Brislington Railway / Greenway (Andrew Varney)