This important harbour crossing point has been closed since last August, with a temporary footbridge put in place to allow passage by pedestrians and cyclists.
Since that time, the refurbishment schedule has slipped due, apparently, to the discovery of unforeseen corrosion problems. As a result, this project is now expected to take twice as long, with a planned reopening in Autumn 2016.
However, only last month, when questioned by Cllr Morris, the Mayor was conspicuously reluctant to confirm that private vehicles would be able to use this route once again.
Now, the Tories have submitted a formal resolution on the subject which states that, failing such a commitment, then provision should be made in the capital programme for the construction of a new road bridge.
Cllr Morris (Con, Stockwood) said: “Let’s be clear from the start where we are coming from on this matter. We want the swing bridge restored to its formal glory and this includes its important continued service and contribution to the wider road network.
“This closure has led to tremendous problems in increased congestion and disrupted bus services for the travelling public.
“Obviously, if there are real structural reasons for excluding motorists from using the swing bridge moving forward, then traffic planners and engineers will have to come up with alternative proposals which will cater for all types of road user.
“Failing a promise on accessibility, we believe it is essential that the Mayor seriously consider including plans for a new road bridge in his capital programme.
“I know that there have been previous suggestions for more crossing points over the floating harbour – so the catastrophic loss of this historic bridge could be used positively as a catalyst to finally turn such an aspiration into reality.
“Put simply, commercially and economically, we simply cannot afford to see the kind of chronic congestion which has accompanied this temporary loss to become a permanent feature of travel in and around Bristol.”