John Grimshaw gave an interesting talk on European cycleways at our February meeting at Roll for the Soul. After a quick scurry through some mighty impressive Spanish railway path with extraordinary bridges and tunnels, via some equally spectacular routes in the Italian alps, we spent the rest of the meeting ambling through Dutch towns and countryside. There was much that he shared that was familiar from our Dutch Study Tour.

Interesting points include:

  • Italian levels of cycling in the Po valley cities can be up around 30%. It’s just part of the culture there.
  • In Spain the heaviest time of use of cycle paths is early evening when everyone comes out to cruise around to see and be seen.
  • Don’t go anywhere in the Netherlands without the ANWB maps
  • There’s a great system of numbering for moving through the rural Dutch LF cycle paths. It’s possible to ride for a couple of days with just a set of numbers written on an A4 sheet.
  • Aiming for route from Bristol Temple Meads to Keynsham to be a 3m wide tarmac path the whole length. Coming in stages but will happen over next few years.
  • JG is applying for planning permission on behalf of BCyC for a route through the bottom of Ashton Park in order to try again after this was rejected during Cycling City in 2010.  See our Greater Bedminster neighbourhood plan.

Finally, this year The Portway is being opened for the whole Sunday on the following five days, from Cumberland Basin to Sylvan Way and including Bridge Valley Road. We’ll get these listed on our Diary page.

  • 31st May – Bristol 10k
  • 14 June – Bristol Triathlon
  • 21 June – Biggest Bike Ride
  • 13 Sept – Half Marathon
  • 25 Oct – new Bristol – Bath Marathon

The 21st June is usually the date for Bristol’s Biggest Bike ride when the Portway is usually opened for cycling and walking, but this year it’s been sold to Sky and there are rumours that this will involve only a potter round some of the central streets. Watch this space.

Brean to Weston super Mare scheme has got planning consent.