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LSTF and CAF (Cycling Ambition Fund) Cycling Schemes Workshop

The first workshop of 2014 is planned for Tuesday 4th February at 1800 in Brunel House. This is an opportunity to consider the LSTF 2014/15 schemes and Cycle Ambition Grant Schemes at an early stage. The workshop will be run by Nick Pates and Jon Usher, the project managers. Please let Nick ( know if you are attending so that he can let you into the building.
The other meeting dates for your diary are:
8th April
3rd June
5th August
7th October

How are the £19m Cycle City Ambition Grant projects are going?

Well, although there have been fairly regular meetings with project officers for some schemes, overall we don’t know much. We’ve only been shown the bid documents and some work in progress designs which are purposefully vague so that the council can change the plans according to pressure.

We are sceptical of the quiet routes. As the bid requires that schemes don’t impact motor traffic the amount of work that can be done is questionable. We don’t want to see what we’ve seen in London, where routes are only labeled as routes with no interventions made other than paint and signage, (although there is progress being made with the use of cheap and quick bollards for filtered permeability).

Overall we’re concerned about the ‘Triple A’ quality of some schemes (All Ages and Abilities). While Bristol Council can do high quality stuff this mostly comes from the limited number of council officers with ‘knowledge’.

One exciting bit is being done by a knowledgeable officer who is implementing Dutch traffic cells (Safer Street Places) in Easton. This is an idea that we think will form the next big transport change in our neighbourhoods we hope it will form part of the next Mayoral manifestos, perhaps under the name of ‘Democratising Streets’ or ‘reducing rat-running and through traffic’.

South Gloucestershire was allocated £5.8m of phase 2 Cycle City Ambition Grant funding spread over 3 years. Of this, they have allocated the vast majority (£4.9m) to the construction of a light-weight add-on bridge to the existing Ring Road bridge across the Frome river near Bromley Heath. Although the shared-use path on the existing bridge is uncomfortably narrow, we feel that the proposed solution is too expensive and that more benefit could have been provided to more cyclists by spreading the funding more widely across other schemes elsewhere in South Gloucestershire.

Of the remaining South Glos grant, £0.3m is to be spent on providing a cycleway alongside Hayes Way which is a new dual carriageway built about 5 years ago by the developer of the large adjoining housing estate. Many of us think that this cycleway should be funded by the developer, not from scarce grant funding.

Meanwhile we are watching with dismay as the shockingly poor value for money Metrobus schemes degrade the existing cycle network. The Winterstoke Road cycle/pedestrian path which is used by 100s of students travelling to Ashton Park School, was closed by BRT2 people with a ‘footway closed’ sign with no recognition that it is a cycletrack and no indication of where people are supposed to make their journeys. BRT thoughtless disruption to cycle and pedestrian routes will get worse. It is as if CAF and the everyday management of the road system live in parallel universes as far as walking and cycling as concerned.

The document attached lists the schemes in the original bid scheme WoE Cycle City Ambition Grant projects 2015. We will continue to try to ensure the best outcome from these schemes, limited though they are.

Of real significance however are things like the North Fringe to Hengrove MetroBus project which has now appointed a contractor for the city centre works which are due to begin on 1 October 2015. Part of these plans involve a new segregated cycle route across the city centre – from Quay Street to the Harbourside. We’ll get a chance to discuss and understand proposal at a meeting on Tuesday August 11th. More information at

£19m Cycle City Ambition Grant awarded to West of England – now confirmed

(Article updated 8th March 2015)

The Deputy Prime Minister outlined on 2nd March 2015 how a £114 million investment in cycling will be divided up between 8 major UK cities

We learnt in the last couple of days that the West of England (Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset and North Somerset) has been successful in it’s bid for £19 of funding from the £114m extension to the Cycling City Ambition Fund programme announced in Bristol last Novemeber

The news was announced locally at the Joint Local Access Forum and an article has been published on the BaNES website along with a link to this from the TravelWest website.

We have an article published on 4th February about the project.

We need to ensure that our local authorities are able to deliver this massive project (although still a long way short of delivering a comprehensive and safe Cycle Network) with matched funding, “Triple A” standards, innovation, people-friendly zones and continuous routes with cycling priority. You can help by joining Bristol Cycling Campaign and helping with our Action Groups and getting involved with cycling in your local area.

We’ll do our best to keep you up to date on developments.

Who’s got Green Capital funding?

UPDATE: Proposals ratified 24/12/2014

News comes of how the larger funding pots available through Bristol Green Capital will be allocated. Final decisions will be announced on 24th December but recommendations to the Bristol Council Cabinet for decision give some early notice. There were 184 applications for the £1.5 million fund, representing 136 different organisations, with bids totalling £8.1 million. Funding from the Small Grants Fund has also been announced, including a number for cycling. 
The table below sets out what the transport ‘theme’ is intended to deliver, and how the awarded funding is expected to achieve that. Other themes are Energy, Food, Nature, Resources.
Congratulations to the projects (didn’t Sustrans do well!).  However, we remain concerned by the lack of ambition around transport in the Green Capital programme which we consider mainly comes from a lack of engagement by council officers who are stretched thin delivering even what’s currently planned.

Transport theme: Our ambition is to make Bristol a world leading city in active travel, where 4 out of 5 journeys under five miles are made by foot, bike and public transport

2020 Aspiration

2015 Desired Outcomes


Deliver improvements to both the price and quality of our public transport networks, making it quick, cost effective and easy to go by bus or by train


To increase the use of public transport throughout the city, better connecting outlying residential neighbourhoods to Bristol’s Centre and growth areas



GC116 – Sustrans (Promoting Healthier Transport Choices)



Make road layout and other improvements in the city to open our streets to people, removing the blight of heavy traffic and improving flows for public transport and those who need to drive



To trial road layout and other improvements that open the city’s streets to people and reduce the negative impacts of traffic on health, environment and social connectivity



GC111 – Sustrans (Southmead)
GC115 – Sustrans (Streetpockets) 



Support the ongoing and successful expansion in Bristol of cycling through investment in cycle lanes and other cycling infrastructure, and more cycle training for those who need it




To improve walking and cycling networks throughout the city to enable more people to undertake everyday journeys to work, schools and other destinations on foot and by bike


GC066 – APE Project CIC

GC116 – Sustrans (Promoting Healthier Transport Choices)



Reduce emissions in the city to help protect people from the harmful gases produced by streets clogged with traffic



To reduce emissions in the city through support for the transition to ultra low emission vehicles, including accelerated provision of charging/fuelling infrastructure and changes to corporate fleets and public transport


GC116 – Sustrans (Promoting Healthier Transport Choices) 



Promote active travel choices – walking and cycling – as safe and pleasant alternatives to the car



To support people to change ingrained travel habits by providing and promoting opportunities to walk, cycle and use public transport for everyday journeys, including travel to work and schools 
To provide international leadership in exploring how changes to urban streets and transport systems can benefit a city’s environment, health, social connectivity and prosperity


GC066 – APE Project CIC
GC007 – Greater Bedminster Community Partnership (Walking)

GC116 – Sustrans (Promoting Healthier Transport Choices)


Here’s the project descriptions.
 Organisaation  Reference  Project  Description  Recommended Grant
APE Project CIC  GC066  Children’s Bike Exchange Scheme  The main focus is on recycling bikes and making them cheaply available to underprivileged children.  £49,342 
Sustrans  GC111  Southmead Flood Prevention  Implementation of flood prevention measures in Southmead.  £44,100



Promoting Healthier Transport Choices

Engaging people in debating and developing a sustainable transport vision for Bristol.



Sustrans GC115  Street Pockets Develop a modular, freestanding and moveable toolkit to be used by communities to instantly change the feel and use of any street in the city. Projects and designs will be trialled by communities with kit which can then be made permanent.  £44,100 
Greater Bedminster Community Partnership GC007  Let’s Walk Bedminster Promoting walking and bringing the community together in Bedminster with series of events.  £40,000 

Southmead Quietway – Cairns Road & Wellington Hill West Crossings

The Southmead Quietway is part of the £19m Cycling Ambition Fund to upgrade walking and cycling routes across the city. It links one of the busiest cycle routes in the city, Gloucester Road, through residential areas with high levels of cycle use, to the Southmead Hospital and north Bristol. It is identified as important ‘local link’ in the neighbourhood plans of Bishopston, Cotham and RedlandStoke Bishop, Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze, and Horfield and Lockleaze.  Here’s our view on the two consultations for crossings on this route BCyCResponsetoSouthmeadQuietway-CairnsRoad.

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Our overall position on this consultation is: Support

Space for Cycling Does this measure provide for 1) Protected space on main roads; 2) Remove through motor traffic; 3) Safe routes to school; 4) Cycle friendly town centres; 5) Cycle routes in green spaces; 6) 20mph speed limits? Amber – overall neutral
Road Danger Reduction Does this measure seek a genuine reduction in danger for all road users by identifying and controlling the principal sources of threat? Amber – overall neutral
Triple A Quality (All Ages and Abilities) Will this measure be attractive to all ages and abilities using all kinds of cycles? Amber – overall neutral
Strategic Cycling Network How does this measure contribute to the development of Bristol Council’s planned integrated and coherent strategic cycle network? Green – overall benefit
Cycle-proofing How far does this measure provide for Triple A Space for Cycling in the future? Amber – overall neutral

Bristol Cycling Campaign has the following specific comments on this consultation, in three areas: Route; Cairns Road crossing; Wellington Hill West crossing:

Route and General Points

  1. The Southmead Quietway is a useful route linking one of the busiest cycle routes in the city, Gloucester Road, through residential areas with high levels of cycle use, to the Southmead Hospital and north Bristol. It is identified as important ‘local link’ in the neighbourhood plans of Bishopston, Cotham and Redland, Stoke Bishop, Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze, and Horfield and Lockleaze.
  2. We are however concerned that the entire quietway concept of using quiet roads in built-up areas will only make a marginal contribution to encouraging large numbers of people to cycle in Bristol. We feel that they demonstrate little real ambition for cycling in the way that must surely be intended for Cycle Ambition Fund projects.
  3. Parallel zebras are a new concept and a number of concerns were raised in national discussion of the concept (, These included possible enhanced risk for mounted as opposed to dismounted cyclists, continental models for vertical give way signing, and using stripes for the whole width ( and as used at Wade Street on the Frome Greenway). The design inserted in circular TSGRD 2016 does not appear to include either the vertical signing or the overall stripe concept ( The enhanced risk arises from the greater approach speed for cyclists compared to pedestrians, combined with driver unfamiliarity. The parallel crossing is basically an attempt to create a crossroads without marking it as such.The underlying, existing, contradiction in all this comes from the divergence between the law (on zebra crossings, ‘Every pedestrian, …., before any part of a vehicle has entered those limits, shall have precedence’, and practical official advice: ‘cyclists will be urged to slow down’ (Hackney) ‘Zebra crossings. Give traffic plenty of time to see you and to stop before you start to cross.’ (Highway Code, rule 19). The contradiction will become worse in situations where drivers will see someone who is not a pedestrian, acting as though they will be treated as a pedestrian, but moving much faster, and unlike a pedestrian, not able to jump backwards if they misjudge drivers’ intentions.
  4. The crossing designs are particularly inconvenient. The parallel zebra concept is designed for parallel dual foot-cycle crossings. It becomes complicated and difficult to design when the crossing is actually triple: foot-cycle-car. This is the case at both the Southmead Quietway crossings. In contrast the first in the country, in Hackney, provides a straight foot and cycle crossing only, for both directions. ( improvements/supporting_documents/Richmond%20Road%20pedestrian%20cycle%20improvements.pdf, and and-cyclists)
  5. Entrance to Southmead Hospital grounds from Kendon Drive. This is a most unwelcoming entrance for pedestrians and cyclists.There is a locked dilapidated gate, and a driveway normally occupied by two parked cars, leaving a narrow way in through a side gate. This is the responsibility of Southmead Hospital,  The Sustainable Travel Co-ordinator at Southmead Hospital tells us that “With regards to Kendon Way, the Trust are aware of the issue with this entrance and have development plans to improve it once funding becomes available (in the new financial year at the earliest). This entrance is part of our Path to Wellbeing walks at the hospital so we are really keen to make it more accessible, as well as look a lot nicer.”   The highway immediately outside could be improved as well.  Is the CAF team liaising with Southmead Hospital about a joint approach to improving the entrance?

Cairns Road Crossing

  1. We welcome measures to control motor vehicle speed on Kellaway Avenue / Coldharbour Road. We are however concerned that this measure does nothing to improve the situation for those cycling on this well used route. In fact the narrowing may make the situation worse in the short term and do little to ‘cycle proof’ for future measures. Note that this is a key part of the proposed ‘Universities Link’ as set out on the Stoke Bishop, Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze page of our website (“Linking Bristol’s Universities through the heart of residential student-land. From Bristol Uni Queens Road to the Railway Path in Fishponds via the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Downs and UWE Frenchay, Glenside and St Matts”).
  2. The proposals are likely to be confusing for cyclists to use due to the complex layout and interaction with pedestrians when hopping on and off pavements. We also have concerns about ambiguity and conflict with pedestrians.
  3. There should be cycle exemptions on the right turn bans into Cairns Road, and onto Coldharbour Road.
  4. We wonder whether the real need would be best served by a simple arrangement placing a conventional zebra so that its boundary lines up with the Cairns Road kerb, with a contraflow allowing straight across cycle movement, and the zebra available for walking across by less experienced cyclists, or at very busy times. There are similar situations at two crossings of Falcondale Road (Great Brockeridge – Westbury Road, and Abbey Road – Lampeter Road).
  5. In order to have a clearer and more direct cycleway, which is more welcoming and useable by all ages and abilities, then there is a case for a parallel crossing, but it should be moved NE to have the cycle part on the desire line, straight across from Cairns Road. For comparison, Lambeth Council claim to have installed the first parallel zebra, across what appears to be a road with less traffic, and this crossing carries the cycle route straight from one side to the other, for both directions. See links above and

Wellington Hill West Crossing

  1. It is unclear how as a cyclist you get from the pavement on to the road after crossing Wellington Hill West.  In particular, going north, parked cars will block the view of motorists travelling south down Kendon Drive of a cyclist crossing on to the road.
  2. The nature of the route signing will be important as many cyclists may prefer the direct Cherington Road crossing
  3. The parallel zebra is intended to serve low usage situations, with unanswered questions about safety. The range between usage too low to justify a crossing and too high for the crossing to be safe is probably small.
  4. It is not clear who the target users are. The natural gently curving cycle routes are blocked by build-outs creating dog legs, and the dog legs may also hinder sightlines by making part of the SE approach to the crossing oblique.
  5. The pavement routing for cycles, which does not appear to be marked as such, will produce conflict with pedestrians that would not raise from a road routing.

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