The Rising Up Green Capital Protection vs Destruction campaign was launched outside the Victoria Rooms on Friday 23rd Jan 2015 – coinciding with the launch ceremony of Bristol Green Capital 2015.
Concerned residents and campaign groups wanted to highlight the fact that whilst Bristol is being celebrated as the Green Capital of Europe 2015 our real green capital is about to be destroyed to make way for a “MetroBus road
MetroBus is a transport scheme of only 3 bus routes, which would damage 28 green spaces across the city. It includes highly contentious tree felling and major soil works set to begin any day now on a lush wildlife haven and food-growing paradise to make way for a bus only road saving minutes off a commuter journey.
Bristol’s Green Capital status is mainly due to its grassroots community projects. Feed Bristol, highlighted in Bristol’s Green Capital bid as one of Bristol’s most ‘inspiring projects’ is located on this land, along with longstanding much loved allotments. The CEO of Avon Wildlife Trust sang the praises of Feed Bristol during the ceremony, whilst protesters outside told other side of the story. Mayor George Ferguson in his opening address referred to tough decision regarding transport and told protesters that there was “No choice” in his decision to back the MetroBus scheme, including advancing over £800,000 of community funds so that works could begin before full government funding has been approved.
The Spokesperson for the Group – Rising Up a collective of residents and campaign groups working in partnership to protect the land stated “There is still time to make a change to this non-sense road design. The adverse impacts of this MetroBus road development far outweigh any supposed benefits. With destruction of valuable green spaces, low passenger figures, capped government funding and spiralling costs MetroBus is not sustainable transport solution by any means. This is a clear example of time and money being chosen over our critically important “real” green capital. Decision makers must choose development that enhances our natural environment, food security and community resilience in a changing economic and ecological climate. We urge Bristol City and South Glos Council, the West of England Partnership and the Department of Transport to demonstrate their commitment to truly sustainable development and not allow this unjustified and unnecessary destruction of our green capital to take place in Bristol Green Capital 2015.”