As construction work starts on the various Metrobus routes we can expect considerable disruption to some key cycling routes through the city. In some areas this is a worthwhile inconvenience to get some valuable improvements. In others the outcome is less clear. There’s a useful website with all the various projects at metrobusbuild.info.
Key points at present include:
Ashton Avenue Bridge by Cumberland Basin will be closed for a year (a full 12 months!). We are told that “The diversion does not use the road. Cyclists and pedestrians will be segregated and protected from the traffic by safety barriers. Temporary cycling improvements to both Ashmead Way and McAdam Way will be provided to complement the main diversion whilst the bridge is closed.” Further information on betterbybike.info
Work on the Centre will start mid-September and will include segregated cycle routes.
Redcliffe Roundabout has been resurfaced and widened, with barely a nod to helping cyclists across this difficult, and now faster, roundabout. Nor any improvement to the congested and overused shared use Brunel Mile, already a point of unnecessary conflict between pedestrians and cyclists.
South Goucestershire has works at Stoke Gifford and Bradley Stoke way. Hambrook Lane will be closed to motor vehicles for 38 weeks from Wednesday 2nd September which could be very pleasant while it lasts. In other areas there’s little evidence of benefit for cycling.
South Bristol Link road is also underway. This will improve some cycle trips, but the new road and the new traffic it generates is likely to make cycling in South Bristol even more challenging.
As an example of the kind of problems likely to arise the section of cycletrack/footway along Winterstoke Road was closed for several days for ground tests recently with no provision for those unfortunate enough to try to cycle there. This is a main route to Ashton Park School and will probably be closed again but for a longer when the main works begin. The working assumption seemed to be that it is not a cycle route at all, perhaps as anyone trying to use it now would be quite lost without pretty detailed local knowledge due to existing poor signing. As all the works are being lead by different contractors it’s as if the everyday management of the road system live in parallel universes as far as walking and cycling as concerned.
We’ll be doing our best to press for proper provision and alternatives for those cycling while these works are going on. Do get in touch if you spot something that can be improved or if you can help make things better for others.