|From:||Flax Bourton (ST513699)|
|To:||Clifton, Bristol (ST578734)|
|Via:||Clifton Suspension Bridge|
|Distance:||5.3 miles (8.5 km)|
|Meets:||B3130, B3128, A369, B4467, A4018|
|Former Number(s):||B3128, B3124|
|Route outline (key)|
The one thing that makes the B3129 special is Brunel's Bridge. It is one of the best known landmarks in the British Isles, and is THE symbol of Bristol. However, this road is about much more than the bridge!
We start several miles away at a crossroads with the B3130. A few tight bends take us up the hill to the east of the Tyntesfield Estate and on to the strange triangular village of Lower Failand. The B3129 takes the village's south eastern side, meeting the B3128 at the north east corner. The other route takes priority at this crossroads, but the road isn't that busy and soon we can be on our way again. This junction also marks the original end of the B3129.
Heading north east now, we follow the edge of the Ashton Court Estate for about a mile before we reach the T-junction with the A369. Here, we have to turn right at traffic lights, and multiplex with the A369 for about 500 m as far as Leigh Woods before bearing left at another set of traffic lights. So far the route has been pretty rural, passing through fields, villages and past tree-lined parks. However, Leigh Woods is a little bit of Bristol's leafier suburbs that has slipped across the bridge.
It is that bridge, the Clifton Suspension Bridge that we reach now, paying our £1 for the privilege to cross, and it is a privilege. From the car you don't get the full drama of crossing the Avon Gorge - you may not from the pavements either - but when seen from below it is an awe-inspiring structure. At the far side, we are immediately hit with the graceful suburb of Clifton, albeit with the Clifton Downs on the left at first. From here until the road's terminus on the A4018 we pass some of Bristol's more exclusive addresses, as we wind through tree lined residential streets and onto Queens Road.
The B3129 only originally ran as far as Failand. It took over the route of part of the B3128 as far as Leigh Woods in 1935. Later, around 1955, the B3124 between Bristol and Portishead was upgraded to Class I status, becoming the A369. The section over the Clifton Suspension Bridge was deemed unsuitable for Class I status so the B3129 was extended into Bristol in favour of having two separate sections of B3124.
At the other end, the B3129 started on the A370 in Flax Bourton before heading north across the railway line to cross the B3130. This short section was declassified in the 2000s, presumably to encourage traffic to use the more suitable junction at Cambridge Batch.