The Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust is bringing forward plans to replace the existing 1950s toll booths on the Clifton side of the Bridge and the 1970s additions to the original booths on the Leigh Woods side - as these are no longer fit for purpose.
Leading conservation architects Purcell have been appointed to start drawing up design proposals with a view to submitting planning and listed building applications in Spring/Summer next year. Subject to planning the new buildings could be in operation by late 2017.
The Trust and Purcell are keen to involve stakeholders and the public in the project. Over the coming months there will be a series of design workshops with key groups and organisations and the public will also be invited to view and comment on the proposals as the design work progresses.
The present toll booths are staffed by a team of 13 attendants who provide an important management and security role for the Bridge and its users 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The current buildings are unattractive, inefficient and in a poor state of repair with only very basic facilities for the staff.
Replacing the booths offers an opportunity to design new attractive buildings that respond better to the context of the listed bridge and also to provide up-to-date accommodation for the staff that meets modern operational requirements.
The consultation will get underway on 29 September with the launch of an exhibition at the Bridge Visitor Centre and on the Trust website (www.cliftonbridge.org.uk). This will set the scene explaining the history of the toll booths and the brief for their replacement. The exhibition will be updated and extended to show the emerging design proposals as the consultation continues.
David Anderson, Bridge Master said: “We have to try to provide good conditions and a workable layout for staff. The current buildings do not fit well with the character of the bridge and appear rather shabby, especially when compared to the two original 1864 toll booths at the Leigh Woods end. We intend to continue to preserve these buildings.”