Emergency closure on key 'A' road in Bristol city centre begins now for 12 weeks

Road closure on York Road in Bristol for 12 weeks, Monday 8  July 2024, as work starts to re enforce The New Cut retaining walls
-Credit: (Image: PAUL GILLIS / Reach PLC)


One of the key ‘A’ roads in Bristol has closed now for the next 12 weeks - to allow work to begin to stop it collapsing into the river.

York Road, the A370 that connects Temple Meads with Bedminster, is closed from today next to the Langton Street Bridge, as work gets underway to place one-ton bags of ballast are put in place in front of the south embankment of the New Cut River Avon.

The road closure is an emergency measure after contractors discovered late last month that the embankment on either side of the Langton Street Bridge - better known as the Banana Bridge - was moving and at risk of collapsing.

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Workers are already in the early stages of two years of work repairing and restoring the Banana Bridge, and it was their monitoring equipment which discovered the embankment was at risk of collapse - which is what happened further down the New Cut at Cumberland Road back in early 2020.

Back then, nothing was done about an earlier sign of movement in 2017, and in January 2020 the entire embankment gave way, taking with it the Chocolate Path, the heritage railway line and half the road.

This time, council bosses have acted early, shoring up the embankment ahead of a much bigger programme to rebuild the embankment. That work is expected to take two years, but for now there will be a 12-week closure while the emergency work is undertaken.

Road closure on York Road in Bristol for 12 weeks, Monday 8  July 2024, as work starts to re enforce The New Cut retaining walls
Road closure on York Road in Bristol for 12 weeks, Monday 8 July 2024, as work starts to re enforce The New Cut retaining walls -Credit:PAUL GILLIS / Reach PLC

The road is now closed for vehicular traffic - but cyclists and pedestrians can still get through. It’s closed both ways for a stretch from the east of the St Luke’s Road junction, on the Totterdown side, and will be closed for six weeks.

Then, a stretch on the Bedminster side of the St Luke’s Road junction will be closed for another six weeks after that. For drivers heading between Bedminster and Temple Meads or Bath Road, the diversion is a simple one to go along the New Cut on the north side at Clarence Road in Redcliffe. The closure more directly affects residents in Windmill Hill and Totterdown, who will face a longer diversion either through Bedminster, or onto the Wells Road.