When developers build in our local areas, they have to pay the council some money towards “community infrastructure”. Most of this is managed by the council and goes into big projects, but some is reserved for spending in the vicinity of the development. The council has created a new way of making decisions on this funding, using committees of councillors meeting annually to take decisions. The committee for our area met recently, and three decisions for spending the money were made that are of relevance to our ward:
The first of these was to spend £40k on resurfacing the northern play area on Horfield Common (by the Leisure Centre). This has suffered from drainage and surface issues since it was installed, and so resurfacing will improve the playing environment for the children and help avoid accidents.
Secondly, we will be using over £5k of money to plant new street trees across the ward, helping to green the local environment and replace trees that have been lost to disease or age.
Finally, we agreed £21k for road safety improvements around Ashley Down, with a special concentration on Ashley Down Road and routes to Brunel Field school.
This is in addition to the £16k being spent on the double yellow lines that local residents will be aware of.
I’ve agreed with officers that the improvements should be a package of safety measures on Ashley Down Road including:
- Bollards on the corners of Arthur Milton St and College Road
- Flashing school signs on Ashley Down Road
- An additional interactive 20mph sign (that lights up when drivers are going too fast)
- An extra no through road sign for Arthur Milton St
- Any remaining money will be used to improve safety around the Grace Gate entrance to the Cricket Ground on Nevil Road, which children use to get to Brunel Field school.
I also know that it would be good to upgrade the road signs pointing to the Cricket Ground, in order to improve safety, avoid visitors going to the wrong entrance, avoid lorries getting stuck on narrow streets, etc. This is being taken forward separately by the council, working with the Cricket Club and Destination Bristol.
The new process to decide on spending the money was quite rushed, and next year I’m hoping to have more community involvement in suggesting improvements and making the decisions. So look out for more details in the coming months!