Campaigns

Making Bristol better for cycling

Proposals for Centre to Hicks Gate via St Philip’s Marsh & Bath Rd (LCWIP Bristol Route 1)

There are 12 radial cycle routes proposed for significant investment in the West of England Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, published in January 2020. This is the only game in town at the moment for cycling improvements, although there’s no funding or timescale as yet. We put in a detailed response to the 127 page document, but both plan and response are quite hefty.

We’re going to break it down into more digestible chunks over the next few weeks, focussing on one of the proposed routes at a time. It’s really important to add your comments and suggestions as we’ll need the best possible ideas before anything is actually built.

Overall our main critique is the lack of ambition and the exclusive focus on radial routes, ignoring low traffic neighbourhoods and a truly integrated cycle network. This is deeply frustrating considering the detail we’d already  set out in our concise cycling strategy.

Bristol Route 1 (Centre to Hicks Gate via St Philip’s Marsh & Bath Rd)

Overview

This is a 4 mile route to the south eastern edge of Bristol from the City Centre. A key commuter route passing the populous suburbs of Brislington and Totterdown. Arguably the gateway to Bristol.

Overall assessment of proposals

Potentially very good with proposals for a two way separated cycle path. Easily navigable as it follows the major Arterial, A4. The proposals are let down by being tentative (“where space permits”) and vague (“consider”). They need to result in a fully protected cycle route from Hicks Gate, certainly to Arnos Vale, and then along the river, but preferably also continuing along the A4/Bath Rd to Temple Meads. Shared use with pedestrians should be kept to a minimum as this route will be busy. This is an opportunity to establish a true ‘Triple A’ All Abilities and Ages cycle route restoring Bristol’s much damaged reputation as a cycling city but it has to deal with pinch points by road space reallocation not just give up.

Detailed assessment of proposals

LCWIP Proposal Bristol Cycling Campaign Assessment
Baldwin St We welcome these proposals
Victoria St We welcome a separated two way cycle route and narrowing of all junctions.
Temple Gate We welcome a separated two way cycle route and were surprised this wasn’t included in the recent Temple Quarter development. More generally, Temple Gate cries out for a major Healthy Streets development. The crossing to Cattle Market Rd needs to be single stage.
Riverside Path We welcome a new crossing from Cattle Market Rd which needs to be integrated with the University of Bristol’s development of the Old Sorting Office. We also welcome a separated route as part of the St Philips redevelopment, which needs to be separated from the Footway.
Sparke Evans bridge, Edwards Rd & Bath Rd (to Sandy Park Rd) We welcome the bridge and Edwards Rd proposals. We would urge a fully separated route on Bath Rd, even if that involved rationalisation or reallocation of road space (there are three wide lanes), rather than shared use as cycle volumes will be high.
Bath Rd (to Kensington Hill) We welcome the two way separated cycle path and the reallocation of road space. It is essential the route continues, fully protected, through the St Philips Causeway junction, as that is intimidating to cyclists. Please limit shared use as far as possible but the route must be kept continuous.
Bath Rd (to Bristol Hill) We welcome the two way separated cycle path and the reallocation of road space and parking (there is more space on Eagle Rd than Grove Park). Please limit shared use as far as possible but the route must be kept continuous.
Bath Rd (to Hicks Gate) We welcome the two way separated cycle path. Please limit shared use as far as possible but the route must be kept continuous. Widening the shared use path may be an interim compromise but is not a long term solution.

Notable omissions

  1. Bath Rd (Bath bridges to Edwards Rd)
    The cycle route proposed does not follow the A4 from Bath Bridges to Edwards Rd., although it is the direct desire line for travel and is mentioned as a variant. We appreciate there are constraints of space, although the Three Lamps to Totterdown bridge section is wide. Over the longer term, this variant should be provided. We welcome the proposals for a cantilever path.
  2. Brislington Greenway
    This option, or addition is not mentioned. It should be considered https://bristolcycling.org.uk/old-brislington-railway-relief-road-or-green-haven/
  3. Keynsham (link and bypass)
    Bristol route 1 needs to link into Keynsham, whether along Durley Hill/Bristol Rd, from the bypass, both or otherwise. And, in time, needs to continue, probably along Keynsham bypass, where there is space, to Saltford and Bath.

So, what’s missing and what’s needed to make this a really great route? Join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter or comment below.