Road closed over fears river wall could fail

Langton Street Bridge, commonly known as the Banana Bridge, is in the centre of the image. It is a bright yellow curved bridge, with lots of graffiti visible. The wall beneath the bridge, made up of bricks, is shown at high tide, and appears to be very uneven with bricks missing.
Electronic sensors have found the movement of the masonry wall is speeding up [Bristol City Council]

Emergency works are to close a busy city road over fears a river wall could fail.

Bristol City Council said a 395ft (120m) stretch of York Road either side of Langton Street Bridge - commonly known as the Banana Bridge - would close next Monday.

It added that electronic sensors had shown movement of a masonry wall along the New Cut of the River Avon was speeding up and could fail "if urgent action is not taken".

With work to be carried out in two stages, York Road will be closed for up to 12 weeks.

Councillor Ed Plowden, chair of the transport and connectivity committee, said the works were "vital", adding: "If left any longer, there is a risk that this section could fail, leading to severe consequences."

He also drew a parallel with the "very serious" collapse on Cumberland Road in January 2020, which led to years of repairs.

Langton Street Bridge itself is seven weeks into an 18-month restoration programme, which it will remain completely closed throughout.

Reducing tidal pressure

The emergency works on the wall along York Road would include placing one-tonne bags along the riverbank to "reduce the tidal pressure on the wall", the council said.

This was designed to secure the wall until long-term works could be carried out, it said.

To allow heavy lifting machinery to work in the area, York Road will be closed in two phases.

The first will see St Luke’s Road towards Bath Bridges roundabout closed for six weeks, while the second will see the section between St Luke’s Road and Spring Street shut for another six weeks.

The council said it would signpost diversionary routes, but added people should factor the closures into their journeys and avoid surrounding streets.

Residents along the road will still have access, and the closures are not set to impact the businesses near Bath Bridge roundabout.

Pedestrians and cyclists would also still be able to use the route, officials said.

Four trees face felling

In order to carry out the works, the council said four plane trees would need to be felled or pruned back "under the guidance of ecologists".

These were set to be replaced with new trees as part of the long-term permanent repairs planned, the authority said.

Mr Plowden said it was "always a last resort to remove any trees".

"I have asked the team to make every effort to work around the valuable street trees," he said.

Follow BBC Bristol on Facebook, X and Instagram. Send your story ideas to us on email or via WhatsApp on 0800 313 4630.

More on this story

Related internet links