Stop Zoo car parking on the Downs

by Roger Yates
on Tuesday 26 Jan 2010

type: Announcement
topic: The Environment
region: Bristol
The Downs were designated in the nineteenth century for the people of Bristol and surrounding areas to enjoy. Since 1969 the Zoo has been given a series of temporary permissions to use one of the best parts for parking on the busiest days of the year. The number of days and the number of cars have increased. In recent years the Zoo has used the Downs to park up to 660 cars on up to 60 days. This interferes with people’s enjoyment of this wonderful green space. Use of the Downs is bad for Zoo visitors too, who have to negotiate a steep stony path and cross a busy main road. The days on which the car park will be open are unpredictable, causing congestion and confusion. And the Zoo's parking is bad for wildlife: surveys have shown damage to the attractive and interesting grassland.

The Zoo's use of the Downs is contrary to all the national and local planning policies put in place to protect this precious part of Bristol's heritage. Successive planning committees have made it clear to the Zoo that permanent use would be unacceptable. In Oct 2008 committee gave the Zoo a year 'To allow the Zoo sufficient time to investigate alternative parking and transport solutions'. Instead the Zoo is seeking permission for a further five years' 'temporary' use, bringing the total to 46 years.

The Zoo should provide proper, safe parking for its visitors and return the Downs to the people of Bristol.

Please sign the e-petition below.