South Bristol, England

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South Bristol is the part of Bristol, England south of the Bristol Avon. It is almost entirely made up of the areas of the city historically in Somerset, and since the abolition of the county Avon, consists of the southern suburbs in the county of Bristol. Definitions sometimes also include areas of North Somerset, including Long Ashton, Nailsea and Backwell.


South Bristol originated from the area of Redcliffe, once a separate town. In 1373 Redcliffe became part of Bristol to form the city and county of Bristol. In the 19th century South Bristol expanded to absorb Bedminster and Brislington, although it has historically and continues to this day to be smaller than North Bristol. In the 20th century new housing estates such as Hengrove, Hartcliffe and Withywood significantly increased the size of South Bristol. The new estates were mainly built on former open farmland, similar to the later development of the North Fringe, rather than by infilling of already partially built up areas, as happened in North East Bristol.[1]


Some confusion may occur as to the boundary between North and South Bristol as many do not realise that the New Cut is a man made channel made in the early 1800s. The boundary lies along the original course of the Avon, now the Floating Harbour as far as Totterdown Basin.

The council wards located in the Bristol South parliamentary constituency are as follows, along with their population at the 2011 Census:

Some wards of Bristol East, including parts of Brislington, are often referred to as parts of South Bristol. Furthermore, some areas of the county of North Somerset including Long Ashton, Nailsea and Backwell are also included in definitions of South Bristol.


South Bristol has its own parliamentary constituency, Bristol South, and has traditionally been strongly represented by the Labour Party.


No motorways pass through South Bristol; primary roads servicing the area are the A370 to Long Ashton, the A38 to Bristol Airport and the A37 to Shepton Mallet and Dorset.

The only railway line to pass through the area is the Bristol–Exeter line, with stations at Bedminster and Parson Street. The former Bristol and North Somerset Railway passed through Whitchurch roughly following the A37 road into Bath and North East Somerset.

First West of England operates bus services in South Bristol, with routes 24, 75, 76, 90, 91, 92 and 96 serving the area. The A1 and A2 Bristol Flyer routes from the city centre to Bristol Airport serve the area, along with Bath Bus Company's A4 service from Bath to the airport. In 2018/19, the MetroBus bus rapid transit lines m1 and m2 opened. The West of England Combined Authority is also investigating a potential light rail or metro line between the city centre and airport via South Bristol.

Bristol's first main airport was Bristol (Whitchurch) Airport located in Whitchurch, and was in use until 1957.

Future development[edit]

Recent development of the Greater Bristol urban area has been primarily concentrated on the North Fringe of the city, along with the East Fringe - examples including Emersons Green; at the expense of the southern suburbs. In 2017 the South Bristol Link Road opened along the southern boundary of the city.

Housing developer Taylor Wimpey submitted a proposal to North Somerset council to develop greenfield land outside Ashton Vale, a project known as The Vale. The proposal outlined plans for 4,500 homes to be built as three separate villages,[12] but attracted criticism from the council due to it using land currently allocated to the Avon Green Belt.

The former Whitchurch Airport site has been partially developed, with a leisure centre and the South Bristol Community Hospital opening in 2012. In 2019, planning permission for 1,400 homes on the former airfield was given by Bristol City Council. [13]

The West of England Joint Spatial Plan outlined plans for 2,500 new homes in Whitchurch along with an orbital road to link the A4 with the A37. [14] These proposals are uncertain following the Planning Inspectorate's rejection of the plan in 2019.


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey map, 1885-1900
  2. ^ "Bedminster" (PDF). 2011 Census Ward Information Sheet. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Bishopsworth" (PDF). 2011 Census Ward Information Sheet. Retrieved 26 February 2015.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Filwood" (PDF). 2011 Census Ward Information Sheet. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Hartcliffe" (PDF). 2011 Census Ward Information Sheet. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Hengrove" (PDF). 2001 Census Ward Information Sheet. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Knowle" (PDF). 2011 Census Ward Information Sheet. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Southville" (PDF). 2011 Census Ward Information Sheet. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  9. ^ "Stockwood" (PDF). 2011 Census Ward Information Sheet. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Windmill Hill" (PDF). 2011 Census Ward Information Sheet. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  12. ^ "Council rejects plans for new villages in greenbelt". North Somerset Times. 27 September 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  13. ^ "Controversial 1,400-home development at Hengrove Park approved - despite objections". Bristol Post. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  14. ^ "South Bristol link road and housing plan 'insulting'". BBC News. 28 November 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2019.

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 51°25′N 2°34′W / 51.42°N 2.57°W / 51.42; -2.57