Why close the same roads every time?
AS we get ready to admire and cheer on the runners in the Bristol Half Marathon, I realise I will seem curmudgeonly to point out the inconvenience of road closures to those of us who live along the route. I have to decide whether to leave home before 6.30am on Sunday or take the car out on Saturday evening to search for a parking space in Clifton Wood. I know our Mayor thinks we should just get on our bikes but I am not cycling to York to see my grandchildren for anyone.
Events requiring closure of Hotwell Road and the Portway used to be about once a year but they are becoming more and more frequent. They are great for Bristol and for the participants and I have two suggestions of how the inconvenience for those whose roads are closed could be minimised. Firstly, does the route always have to go along Hotwell Road and the Portway? Roads across the Downs are fairly flat; no-one lives on Lady's Mile and not many on Circular Road. Perhaps those roads could be used. If we cannot avoid the pain, perhaps we can share it. Secondly the roads should not be closed for such a long time. The race this Sunday starts at 9.30 but some roads are closed from 3.00am! Obviously there is work to be done preparing the route and erecting barriers and signs. The fact that the roads are closed from different times suggests that a team of people do whatever is necessary in one road and then move on to the next. If there were more of them, it would not take so long and our roads could be closed later and re-opened earlier.
I wish all Sunday's runners the best of luck. I now just have to work out, when I leave home at 6.25am and get out onto Hotwell Road, where can I go? Anchor Road is closed from 3.00am; the Portway, Cumberland Basin Road and Bridge Valley Road from 6.00am, Avon Crescent and Cumberland Road from 5.30am.
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