The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) – remember them, Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles? – have shown scant interest in active travel. But they have now put out a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) for a consultation which closed on 15 March 2020. This is important as the LCWIP is the only game in town for cycling improvements in Bristol and the surrounding area. It’s a mixed bag – quite a few protected cycleways proposed, but many shared paths etc. Also lots of “explore” this and “consider” that; very tentative. We expected this plan to set…
Every cyclist in Bristol will have their own strategy for coping with the James Barton roundabout, one of the worst in Bristol and the subject of our Modest Proposal #5: The Bear Pit / St James Barton Roundabout. Particularly as the Gloucester Road is one of the busiest cycling routes in the city, with its own Modest Proposal #6; Eight to Eighty cycling on Gloucester Road. Most of us make use of Jamaica Street, but it can’t be called pleasant. It also boast some of the oldest and most idiosycratic ‘cycling facilities’ in Bristol. How about this ‘Modest Proposal’…
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 Redland, Stoke 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.
Did you know that Gloucester Road was one of Bristol’s busiest cycle routes (Building on success – lessons from Gloucester Road)? What’s more, the number of people cycling has doubled in the last ten years whereas motor vehicle numbers have dropped by a fifth. These facts can be seen from Department for Transport Traffic Counts.
So what does this tell us? Bristol’s Cycling City money has been well spent? Not quite. Significant Cycling City money was not spent on Gloucester Road infrastructure as the end of project report makes clear. In fact people on bikes are using this route despite, not because of, its facilities for them.
As anyone who has cycled into, or out of, the City on Gloucester Road knows the only “cycling infrastructure” is, essentially, paint and bus lanes. And bus lanes are for both a human on a bike (100 kilos) and a double decker (15 tons) – hardly fair or equal!
Gloucester Road is popular because it goes where people on bikes want to go; travelling, often commuting, in and out of the City Centre from the