Cumberland Road and Chocolate Path: The Bristol traffic changes planned as key route to reopen

The Chocolate Path Credit: Bristol City Council

Traffic restrictions will be put in place on a key route into Bristol when roadworks are complete.

The Chocolate Path and Harbour Railway have been closed since 2017, and a section of Cumberland Road was later closed at the start of 2020 after a large part of the riverbank collapsed.

Bristol City Council has spent £11million repairing the area and revealed this week that the footpath will reopen on 4 September.

However, a new bus gate will be put in place halfway along Cumberland Road - meaning only buses, taxis, cycles, e-scooters and emergency vehicles can use it to travel into the city centre.

Cabinet member for transport Councillor Don Alexander said: “I am really pleased we have a definitive date to reopen the Chocolate Path.

"The work to stabilise Cumberland Road and reinstate the historic pathway and a section of the Harbour Railway has been a massive and complex engineering project, which has uncovered lots of unknowns along the way.

"I appreciate this is a very important route for bus users to the Park and Ride, and also for many pedestrians and cyclists.

“These works have safeguarded the future of the popular Chocolate Path for many pedestrians and cyclists who use it."

The Chocolate Path, Harbour railway line and part of Cumberland Road collapsed in 2020

All you need to know about the new Cumberland Road bus gate

The bus gate will be installed to the east of Gas Ferry Road, meaning cars can travel into the city centre on Cumberland Road up to this point. Access by road to the SS Great Britain will be retained from both directions.

All vehicles will still be able to drive out of the city along Cumberland Road.

If any unauthorised vehicle goes through the bus gate, the owner will receive a penalty charge.

Construction work to install the bus gate will start on 7 August and is due to be completed by 4 September.

It will include removing the existing traffic signals, installing new signs, a traffic island, a stretch of red road surfacing, road markings and a camera.

To allow it to be resurfaced, Cumberland Road will be closed overnight in both directions from 7pm to 5.30am on 16, 17 and 18 August between Avon Crescent and Gas Ferry Road.

During the overnight road closure the M2 Metrobus will continue to run, but will divert via Coronation Road, and will not serve the following bus stops:

  • Wapping Wharf

  • SS Great Britain

  • Cumberland Basin

  • Ashton Gate

  • Ashton Vale

The nearest bus stops for accessing the M2 service between 7pm and 5.30am will be Metrobus stops at Redcliffe Hill.

Councillor Alexander added: “No traffic, other than buses and cycles, have been able to travel the full length of Cumberland Road into the city centre since 2020 because of the stabilisation works.

“Having a bus gate on this route will help towards meeting vital goals to reduce air pollution in Bristol, while improving bus journey times and reliability. It will also benefit residents and people walking and cycling on Spike Island.

“I would like to thank everyone for bearing with us while these important construction works are completed, helping to safeguard our harbour infrastructure.”