Bristol arena plans submitted to City Council as residents fear parking chaos

Plans for a new 12,000 capacity arena in the centre of Bristol have been submitted to the City Council for approval.

The arena will be built on wasteland beside Bristol Temple Meads station and will cost around £90 million.

The revised plans include changes to the original design after the public raised concerns including where visitors to the new arena would park and how traffic would affect local roads.

Residents say they are particularly worried about access to the arena site, the quality of pedestrian and cycle routes, traffic congestion and parking on residential streets.

Bristol City Council says they have tried to address the issues raised by the public consultation by adding:

  • A new widened cycle path and walkway from Three Lamps Junction on the A4 via a new bridge over the railway line to link with the Arena Terrace

  • Park and Ride services for events of over 9,000 capacity (instead of 10,000, proposed in the consultation)

  • Additional ‘shuttle’ trains to run between Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway station for the largest 12,000 capacity events to reduce the number of cars driving into the city

  • Cycle parking increased from 200 to just over 250 spaces

  • Temporary road closures of Cattle Market Road and Albert Road between Stanhope St and Feeder Road for large events on weekday and weekend evenings to ease pedestrian and cycle access.

The Council also says plans have been developed to make the front of the arena a space for performances, outdoor cinema screenings, festivals and markets.

The mayor of Bristol George Ferguson said:

"There has been 86% support for the arena with a handful of people expressing real doubts about it which we are addressing. The vast majority of people in Bristol want this, it's vital for the city-regional economy and for our cultural scene. We are the last major city without a venue of this scale and this will be the best one yet."

The proposals for the inside of the arena Credit: Bristol City Council

Solar panels have also been added to the plans for the roof of the arena and the Council says it is working with the operator to make sure sustainable methods of transport are promoted to visitors.

Work is due to start on-site in 2016 and the arena is due to open in 2018.