A4174 road

The A4174 is a major ring road in England which runs around the northern and eastern edge of Bristol, mainly in South Gloucestershire, and through the southern suburbs of the city. When it was first conceived it was planned to circle the whole of Bristol, and is commonly referred to as the "Avon Ring Road",[1][2][3] or less accurately the "Bristol Ring Road", on road signs. The road does not circle the whole city, instead covering roughly half of the route. It is broken in part where it is concurrent with the A4.

UK road A4174

Major junctions
Road network
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Signalised roundabout with the A4175 at Siston Common


The road was conceived in the 1980s by Avon County Council, and the route of the initial section, east of Bristol, was selected by 1986.[4] The road was built progressively in a number of sections, over an extended period of time.[1]

The completed section of the northern and eastern route runs from the A38 at Filton, under the M32 motorway, through to Frenchay, Bromley Heath, Emersons Green, Kingswood, Warmley, and Longwell Green before joining the A4 at Hicks Gate junction near Keynsham. This section of the road is entirely dual carriageway and runs through several roundabouts with local routes. Many of these roundabouts formerly experienced long queues, but since 2005, most have been signalised, resulting in reduced congestion.[5][6] The junction with the M32 motorway still experiences long delays despite the introduction of traffic lights.

The road reappears 1.3 miles (2.1 km) along the A4 at Brislington, where it follows a valley, crosses the A37, and reaches a large roundabout in Hengrove Park some 2 12 miles (4.0 km) south of the city centre. Here the road turns north, terminating at the A38 in Bedminster. A further section of the southern ring, the South Bristol Link Road, was opened in January 2017 and connects Hartcliffe (west of Hengrove Park) with the A370 near Long Ashton.[7]

Future plans

There have been several proposals to extend the ring road from the junction with the A4 at Hicks Gate, Keynsham, along the southern edge of Bristol as far as the A370 at Long Ashton. From there a complete loop could be achieved by following the A4 then the M5 and M4.

The 2005 Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Study, commissioned by the regional government office, recommended construction of the new southern route to tackle congestion. The proposals follow the route set aside west from Hengrove Park roundabout to the A38 at Castle Farm (phase 1), and from there to the A370 near Long Ashton Park and Ride (phase 2). There are additional recommendations (phase 3) for a new Whitchurch bypass from Hengrove Park roundabout, along the base of Dundry Hill, around Stockwood and joining the existing A4174 at Hicks Gate roundabout on the A4.[8] Phase one and two of the ring road are the only major road building schemes adopted by the Joint Local Transport Plan, which claimed they would reduce delays across the Greater Bristol area by 6%, and lead to a 9% increase in public transport use.[9] Bristol City Council has endorsed all three phases, and was hoping to begin construction of the first two phases in 2010 and 2011, and the third phase some time after 2016.[10]

In December 2015, construction began on widening sections of the ring road between the junction with the M32 and Wick Wick Roundabout, to create new bus lanes for MetroBus as part of its North Fringe to Hengrove route package. The works included replacement of the Church Lane foot/horse bridge.[11]

In July 2016, outline plans to build a direct road from the A4 Hicks Gate roundabout to the large roundabout in Hengrove Park, obviating the use of the A4 to bridge this "missing link", were scrapped. This outline plan had blighted homes on the possible route for a number of years.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Avon Ring Road". Hansard. UK Parliament. 6 March 1997. HC Deb 06 March 1997 vol 291 cc1126-32. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Accident on Avon Ring Road". Bristol Post. 7 January 2014. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b Ian Onions (9 July 2016). "Plans for "missing link" for Avon Ring Road in south Bristol are scrapped". Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  4. ^ "The New Avon Ring Road". BBC Domesday Project. BBC. 1986. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Hicks Gate, Keynsham Evaluation" (PDF). Bath and North East Somerset Council. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Transport News December 2007". West of England Partnership. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  7. ^ "South Bristol Link Road opens to users". BBC News: Bristol. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  8. ^ Atkins (13 June 2006). "Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Study" (PDF). South Gloucestershire Council. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  9. ^ B&NES, Bristol City, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils, 2006. "Joint Local Transport Plan Archived 28 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine." Chapter 6. (PDF)
  10. ^ "South Bristol Ring Road" (PDF). Bristol City Council. February 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  11. ^ "East Fringe". TravelWest. Retrieved 18 July 2016.

External links

Coordinates: 51°30′11″N 2°30′54″W / 51.50308°N 2.51497°W

Avon Valley Railway

The Avon Valley Railway (AVR) is a three-mile-long heritage railway based at Bitton station in South Gloucestershire, England, not far from Bristol and is run by a local group: The Avon Valley Railway Company Ltd. The railway follows the Avon Valley south-east from Oldland Common, through Bitton and alongside the River Avon towards Kelston and Bath. The railway shares its route with the Sustrans cycleway and footpath, the Bristol & Bath Railway Path.

Avon and Gloucestershire Railway

The Avon and Gloucestershire Railway was an early mineral railway, built to bring coal from pits in the Coalpit Heath area, north-east of Bristol, to the River Avon opposite Keynsham. It was dependent on another line for access to the majority of the pits, and after early success, bad relations and falling traffic potential dogged most of its existence.

It was five and a half miles long, and single track, and 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge. It opened in part in December 1830 and carried its last traffic in January 1904, having been near-dormant since 1844. It used horses to pull wagons. Part of its route is accessible today as a footpath, and signs of much of the route are still visible.

Brislington Brook

Brislington Brook is a short, 5 miles (8.0 km) long tributary of the Bristol Avon, rising on the northern slopes of Maes Knoll on the southern boundary of the city of Bristol, England. The stream has been badly affected by pollution but improvements have been made in the latter part of the twentieth century, and some wildlife is supported. St Anne's Well near the northern end of the brook was a major pilgrimage site for Christians in the Middle Ages.

Mangotsfield and Bath branch line

The Mangotsfield and Bath branch line was a railway line opened by the Midland Railway Company in 1869 to connect Bath to its network at Mangotsfield, on its line between Bristol and Birmingham. It was usually referred to as "the Bath branch" of the Midland Railway.

The line never achieved great importance, but for many years it carried heavy summer holiday traffic from Midlands cities to Bournemouth over the Somerset and Dorset line, which connected to it at Bath. In the 1960s these trains, and the daily "Pines Express", became famous among railway enthusiasts, as did the station at Bath, by then named "Green Park".

The line closed in 1966 except for a minimal coal delivery to Bath which continued until 1971.

Much of the route now forms the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, and the Avon Valley Railway operates a heritage steam railway activity at Bitton.

Netham Lock

Netham Lock (grid reference ST616727) is the point at Netham in Bristol at which boats from the River Avon, acting as part of the Kennet and Avon Canal, gain access to Bristol's Floating Harbour.

Construction started in 1804 to build the tidal New Cut and divert the River Avon along the Feeder Canal to the harbour; a system designed and built by William Jessop and later improved by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.A weir carries the river into the New Cut and boats use the adjacent lock. High tides often pass over the weir, and the river is effectively tidal to the next lock upstream at Hanham. Some spring tides can also pass over the weir at Hanham, making the river tidal as far as Keynsham Lock.Access to the harbour is only possible during the day when the lock keeper will open the gates unless the water level in the river between Netham and Hanham is above or below the level of the harbour.The maximum dimensions of a vessel which can pass through Netham Lock are:

Length: 24.4 metres (80 ft)

Beam: 5.4 metres (18 ft)

Draught: 1.9 metres (6.2 ft)

Headroom: 3.1 metres (10 ft)The lock-keeper's cottage, built in the early nineteenth century, is a grade II listed building and has a plaque listing it as Bristol Docks building number 1. The floral displays around the cottage and on the banking have attracted praise.Netham Lock and the weir form part of Bristol's flood defence mechanisms and it was announced in December 2008 that they would be upgraded as part of the £11 million City Docks Capital Project.

Proposed transport developments in Bristol

This article lists proposed developments to transport in Bristol, England.

River Malago

The Malago is a tributary of the Bristol Avon in southwestern England, some 5 miles (8.0 km) long. The river rises in springs on the north side of Dundry Hill on the borders of Somerset and Bristol. The main tributary is the Pigeonhouse stream which also rises on Dundry. Much of the river has been culverted as it flows through built-up South Bristol.

The river's course has been much altered in the past; presently it joins the New Cut opposite the former entrance lock to the Bathurst Basin. The river supports some wildlife in its upper reaches and pollution is relatively low.

A roads in Zone 4 of the Great Britain road numbering scheme
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