Making Bristol better for cycling

All change in the centre – MetroBus and Temple Greenways


The Government has now approved the North Fringe to Hengrove Package, the third and final section of the MetroBus network. This means all three MetroBus schemes now have funding approval and planning permissions.

We remain concerned that these major schemes will prove very expensive for the city and will not deliver the promised improvement to public transport that people are crying out for. Further, we feel the plans marginalise cycling and will not contribute to achieving the 20% level of cycling that the Mayor has committed to in the Bristol Cycle Strategy.

We do welcome the publication (in a rather dark corner of the Travelwest site) of a list of the ‘new and improved facilities for cyclist that will be provided across the MetroBus network, making it easier and safer to travel by bike’. MetroBus cycling_short version. These include:

  • Cycle stands at all stops
  • 4.5km shared path along the South Bristol Link
  • 2.5km shared path alongside the guided busway from Long Ashton to Cumberland Road
  • Shared path on the new Bathurst Basin bridge and Redcliffe Hill
  • Significantly redesigned city centre ‘to give greater priority to pedestrians and cyclists’.

Temple Quarter

Further changes will come through the Temple Quarter Greenways around the station. We’re not impressed by what we’ve seen so far. The one ray of hope is that they are now asking for views before final proposals are set. We’ve really tried to be positive but it’s hard when all the big decisions are made before trying to squeeze cycling in around the margins.

We’re still working on a formal response to the informal consultation (!), and there’s still a lot to play for, but at present our assessment is that this is just not good enough. It may actually be worse than nothing as it will set back getting a proper Triple A (All Ages and Abilities) network by a generation.

Do chip in on the consultation, in particular making the point that there is almost no ‘Space for Cycling’ – it’s yet more of the highly problematic shared use and shared conflict. (Note, we generally like shared use where volumes and speeds are low but that just won’t be the case here.)

Space for Cycling

Does this measure advance the six themes of 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?

Red – overall disbenefit


How far does this measure provide for Triple A Space for Cycling in the future?

Amber – overall neutral