Police raise concerns over M5 airport park and ride plans

Highways England and the police have voiced concerns about plans which for a huge airport park and ride facility built off junction 21 of the M5.

Proposals submitted to North Somerset Council by Mead Realisations would convert agricultural land in Haybow Hewish into a 24-hour park and ride facility, with 3,000 overnight car parking spaces and a further 591 arrival and departure spaces.

In a statement, Mead Realisation said: "We can provide car parking spaces the airport are seeking to put in the greenbelt.

"It will take thousands of cars off already busy local routes and replace them with quiet, eco-friendly buses.

"We can enjoy the benefits of expanded airport services without the traffic headaches, or encroaching on the greenbelt."

Avon and Somerset Constabulary's response though said: "A development such as this has the potential to increase recorded crime and further detailed design and layout plans should be submitted to ensure crime prevention measures have been included to deliver a safe, secure and sustainable facility."

Highways England has stated approval of the plans should be delayed for three months to allow the applicant time to provide accurate traffic data to better assess the impact the site could have on the area.

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A spokesman for Bristol Airport said: "As part of plans to increase capacity to handle 12 million passengers a year we have focused on providing a mix of on-site options, including multi-storey and surface car parks.

"Beyond this, we will continue to monitor the availability and suitability of potential park and ride locations which could help to accommodate demand for travel from Bristol Airport."

A spokesman from Stop Bristol Airport Expansion said: "One or more park and ride sites outside the greenbelt would solve many of the current traffic and parking problems caused by the number of private vehicles sucked into the locality of the airport.

"These problems include heavy traffic and gridlock on the A38, pollution from cars, and illegal parking in fields and villages which creates further hazards and vast amounts of litter.

"It would also annul any need to extend the airport's Silver Zone parking into the greenbelt and reduce the market for unauthorised and illegal off-site parking."