Could crossing issues be solved by airport?

Congresbury, view of the road outside the Plough Inn, where High Street becomes Brinsea Road.

Congresbury, view of the road outside the Plough Inn, where High Street becomes Brinsea Road. - Credit: Archant

A NORTH Somerset district councillor has suggested a parish council should apply to Bristol Airport for funding to build a signal-controlled crossing on a busy road.

Congresbury councillor Tom Leimdorfer made the suggestion at a meeting of Congresbury Parish Council, where members were discussing the reasons why a zebra crossing, as opposed to a puffin crossing, is being built in Brinsea Road by the unitary authority.

The debate over the crossing first arose after planning permission for a 29-home development at Mill Lane, close to the site, was granted and it was agreed a crossing should be installed as part of the development’s section 106 agreement, which allocates money to the council to mitigate a development’s effect.

However, the district authority has said it does not have the money to fund a signal-controlled crossing and stated additional funding must be identified before one could be installed.

Cllr Leimdorfer said: “I have been researching the crossing (on the A370) at Backwell and the funding for it came from the parish council and the airport.

“This is something the parish council may wish to consider. Unfortunately we are not one of the parishes which are one of the targets of the airport’s community funding – but they will consider some grants from outside of these designated parishes.”

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The scheme referred to by Cllr Leimdorfer is the airport’s Local Community Fund, which usually covers the parishes of Wrington, Cleeve, Backwell, Barrow Gurney, Brockley and Winford and offers grants to reduce the impact of noise, traffic and pollution.

A Bristol Airport spokesman said: “The fund’s main purpose is to mitigate the environmental and social impacts of the airport’s operations and give something back to surrounding communities which are affected by being situated in close proximity to an international airport.

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“When considering applications from outside the (specified) parishes priority will be given to projects that benefit the communities within the named parishes. We would encourage applications from other villages as long as they meet the specific criteria.”

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