New bridge threatens the future of rowing in Bristol docks!

The Finzels Reach development on the site of the former Courage brewery goes to planning committee on 18 March 2015. We are extremely concerned about the proposed bridge at the heart of the project.

The re-designed bridge causes an obstruction in the waterway that is an unnecessary hazard that we believe causes an unacceptable risk to navigation – i.e. we might have to crawl round the bend so slowly we might as well not use that half of the harbour, and even then with the obstruction and lights we are at additional risk of collision.

We are aligned with City of Bristol Rowing Club, Clevedon Pilot Gig Club and Bristol Channel Social Rowers on this. All our clubs use this stretch of waterway – we estimate c. 830 people row through this stretch on an average week. We believe that the design of the new bridge increases the risk of collisions between boats, and will limit our ability to train effectively.

Martin Downey of City of Bristol Rowing Club agrees with us:

“Where would Bristol harbour be without boats? We support development but not at the expense of damaging the city’s developing water-based attractions.

We’re extremely concerned that numerous objections raised by all water users – both commercial and recreational – are being dismissed without any formal risk assessment being undertaken.”

We will be asking the committee to vote NO to the proposed bridge design and want the developers to undertake a formal marine risk assessment, taking the needs and safety of all water users into consideration.

Whilst the planners have recommended rejection, it is on resolvable issues, and they have set aside marine safety issues despite the volume of objections, so we need your support.

Your club needs you!

This is a real threat to our existence as a competitive club and to the safety of our members. Please show your support to this objection:

  • Please come to Colston Hall this Weds 18th for 6pm, in club kit, to show that we represent Bristol, so we need Bristol to represent us.
  • Write to your local councilor on the issue.
  • Share this post with your friends on social media and let’s raise as much awareness as we can!
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