The historic (grade II) crossing is currently closed to traffic since work began to refurbish it last summer. A temporary walkway has been constructed at the site to enable cyclists and pedestrians’ safe passage during this time.
Conservative councillors have tried to extract a promise from the Mayor that once this structure has been repaired, it will resume catering for cars in the Autumn. However, no such guarantee has been forthcoming.
This ambiguity as led many to suspect there are plans to ban motorists from using the restored bridge once the repair project has been completed.
Now, Cllr Lucas is petitioning the Mayor directly (via the Council’s e-petitions website) by calling for its reinstatement as part of the road network and emphasising its importance in serving all types of road user.
Cllr Lucas said: “I understand there is to be a Cabinet report in March on this issue.
“My concern at this juncture is that the Mayor will try to use this repairs programme to try to hide behind some ‘engineered’ excuse for banning vehicles.
“To date, he has been very cagey in his replies over future accessibility.
“My petition seeks to bring pressure to bear on traffic planners and decision-makers to realise the importance of this bridge and the role it plays in helping to keep Bristol moving.
“As Mayor, I would certainly ensure that once this maintenance work was complete, the swing bridge would fit for purpose and capable of resuming its proper function of conveying all types of road user.
“Anything less should simply be regarded as a further ploy designed to make driving around the city a misery.
“Anyone who agrees with me that this is wrong is most welcome to register their support and interest by using the following link: http://epetitions.bristol.gov.uk/epetition_core/view/PrinceStreetBridge
“Together, I hope we can finally put this controversy to bed and persuade a recalcitrant Mayor that it is time to start listening and acting in the interests of the great majority of people who live, work in or travel around our city.”