Bristol businessman: "Build underground car park in Clifton"
By The Bristol Post | Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 07:30
BRISTOL businessman Tony Miles has unveiled an ambitious plan to build a huge underground car park in the heart of Clifton Village.
Tony Miles near the site where he suggests building an underground car park
Looking across the site
It is one of the first projects to have been put forward in a competition which has been launched to try to tackle Bristol's chronic traffic problems.
As has been reported in The Post, the Federation of Small Businesses is offering a £5,000 prize to the best idea for tackling the problems of Bristol's clogged streets.
Mr Miles, a radio personality turned business campaigner, came up with a scheme to build a car park under open land between the Suspension Bridge and The Mall pub in Clifton.
Mr Miles, who is best known as Radio 1's Smiley Miley, is chairman of the Clifton Village Traders' Association and has long campaigned to help shops and businesses prosper in the village.
He said: "One of the biggest problems facing Clifton is the parking and every year it seems to get worse.
"It is one of the city's major attractions and tourist areas but it is impossible for visitors to find anywhere to park in the village.
"We are talking about losing out on money and investment because visitors to the city cannot find anywhere to park."
Mr Miles added: "Building an underground car park may seem like an extreme step to take but if you think about it most major cities on the continent have gone down that route.
"I already have a major investor on board and I am convinced that this would make a massive difference to the city.
"The whole idea of the competition is to evoke the spirit of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
"He had the vision to come up with the Suspension Bridge – which is now a world famous symbol for the city."
Guy Kingston, from the Federation of Small Businesses, came up with the idea for the competition.
He said: "Small businesses are a vital part of Bristol's economy.
"Some are shops, some are in the service industries but we all need to be able to get around the city easily if we are to keep the economy going."
He added: "I ride a bicycle when I can, I walk if it is possible but I also need to be in my car for some meetings in Bristol.
"We hope that this competition will help people to realise that transport is vital for everyone and that every mode of transport needs to be supported in a modern, successful city."
Mr Kingston added: "Actually, I'm a bit surprised no one has done this before.
"There are a lot of really brainy people in Bristol and together I'm sure we can come up with some truly fantastic ideas."