FALFIELD could become home to South Gloucestershire's first park and ride scheme.

The village is being considered as a potential site by the new Conservative-led cabinet on South Gloucestershire Council, which is pressing ahead with plans for several small park and rides after a major scheme at Nibley, near Yate, was put on the backburner.

The proposal has been welcomed by community leaders and residents in the village, eager to put an end to years of traffic chaos around Falfield.

Parish council chairman Cllr Mike Pirie said a park and ride would stop commuters parking on the B4059 at Tortworth Hill to car share into Bristol.

"People leave their cars outside the church and in the layby all day," he said. "There are between 20 and 40 cars there and frankly it is dangerous.

"A park and ride is really needed in Falfield but finding a site is a problem as it would need access to the A38."

Cllr Sandra O'Neill, current chairman of South Gloucestershire Council and ward member for Falfield, said she thought it would be a "good thing".

She said: "I know people in Falfield would like a park and ride and it has been discussed for a long, long time."

The Tory administration announced on Friday that it has launched a study to identify several potential park and ride sites in the region.

Cabinet member for planning, transport and the strategic environment Cllr Brian Allinson said: "We are undertaking fresh research into potential park and ride sites as we need a comprehensive strategy for where we can develop sites which will have the maximum transport benefit and the minimum cost for our residents."

He said a number of small schemes would help more residents across South Gloucestershire and do more to cut congestion and accidents across the region.

However, Northavon MP Steve Webb warned a Falfield park and ride site could end up empty.

"Any park and ride near a motorway junction where a bus can run people into the city is worth looking at," he said.

"But many people would have to drive a considerable distance to get to Falfield.

"It would be fine for people coming from Thornbury but the roads coming from Tortworth are not brilliant and I have spoken to bus company bosses, who would much prefer park and ride sites nearer to Bristol so they can run a shuttle service.

"The worry for Falfield is that they would end up running infrequent buses and people would end up back in their cars."

Cllr O'Neill added: "There are no plans for a park and ride in the Local Plan, which is set until 2011, so nothing would happen before then."

Reports that another site in Almondsbury was being considered for a park and ride have, however, been quashed.

Ward member Cllr Sheila Cook said: "There are no plans of putting anything in Almondsbury. It is simply not true."