The future road pattern proposed in the Bristol City Development plan prepared in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act envisaged a "spiders web" of radial routes linked by four ring roads bounded in the north east by the M4 Motorway, the north west by the M5 Motorway and the Southwest by the Tideway of the River Avon.
The M32, the Bristol Parkway, is the principal link between the National Motorways and the City network. The first stage of M32 (initially known as the Hambrook Spur), between M4 and the Bristol Outer Ring Road, was completed at the same time as the adjacent part of the M4 in September 1966. The second stage from Hambrook to Eastville Park was constructed as joint County of Gloucestershire and City of Bristol Principal Road with a 75% grant from the Ministry of Transport. The third stage from Muller Road, Eastville to Ashley Road/ Newfoundland Road which completed the Motorway part of the Parkway was opened to traffic in May 1975 also as principal road motorway.
The design of the part of stage 2 in Gloucestershire was prepared by the County Surveyor and the part in the City of Bristol by Freeman Fox and Partners. Sir Robert McAlpine were awarded the contract for the complete length of the second stage and construction commenced in June 1968. This section was opened to traffic by the Rt. Hon. John Peyton, Minister of Transport in July 1970. The first two and a half miles of stage 2 in the more rural landscape is a dual two lane rural motorway aligned for 70 miles per hour standards. On entry to the urban area near Eastville the road is elevated and the standards change to urban 50 mph standards with a reduced overall width.
The final section of the Motorway which joins the Bristol Outer Circuit Road at Ashley Road which was built by Reed and Malik was through a densely built up area of housing which necessitated extensive rehousing of residents. During the construction the work was delayed by the three day week and also by a building workers national strike. This section although initiated by the City was affected by Local Government Reorganisation when responsibility was transferred to the new County of Avon in 1974.
Cost information: the second stage was stated at the opening to be estimated as £3,000,000 and the third stage was reported in March 1976 to be a final cost of £10,400,000.