Tag Archives: Central Clifton Harbourside NP

Update: City Centre Cycle Network

Prince Street cycle track at night

Bristol Cycling (BCyc) have recently been engaging with Bristol City Council (BCC) officers about the city centre cycle network. A lot has happened in the last few years so now is a good time for an update on some recent and upcoming schemes:

The Prince Street cycle track has been fully open for a few months, is very well used and is functioning pretty well. BCyc raised a few queries about some elements of the design and we hope that action will be taken on these where possible as well as lessons learned for future schemes. Minor snags aside, overall it’s a good example of high-quality, segregated infrastructure and demonstrates that if you ’build it and they will come’.

Wapping Road cycle track looking towards Prince Street bridge from the Louisiana pub

Prince Street now links to a new segment of track on Wapping Road. Unfortunately the ongoing development of Wapping Wharf means that the track is currently not continuous over the junctions. We have been assured by officers that, on completion of the next phase, the gaps in the track will be filled in to creat a continuous segregated route from the Louisiana pub to the Centre. We will be keeping an eye on this and definitely holding BCC to their word.

Redcliffe Bascule Bridge Bristol cycle track looking towards Saint Mary Redcliffe church

A scheme for redesigning Redcliffe Way is currently being developed by officers at BCC. Cycling officers, backed by us, are pushing for a fully segregated cycle track to link to the existing one on the Redcliffe Bascule Bridge.  This would be a much-improved connection between Bristol Temple Meads and the Centre at Broad Quay.

Officers have also been proceeding with developing proposals for a segregated cycle track over the Old Market underpass that will link into the Castle Park-Baldwin Street route and we hope to see action on this in 2019.

Victoria Street group of cyclists at Temple Gate

We also discussed the potential for a segregated cycle track along Victoria Street. This is part of BCC’s Draft City Centre Framework and there is certainly adequate width to achieve this. Victoria Street is an important link between the city centre and the Temple Meads transport hub and could be a really useful cycle route.

There is still a lot to do and there are still major barriers to cycling into the city centre and these will require extensive and expensive work to remedy. However things are certainly on the up for cycling in Bristol city centre and we are now at a stage where some of the investment in segregated tracks is starting to pay off as sections become whole routes and therefore the beginnings of a usable cycle network.

Road Rage on Nelson Street

If you’ve had problems riding this road please let us know

If you’re cycling along Nelson Street perhaps you should wear a flak jacket or, at least, a GoPro camera. In the last couple of months two of our members have reported road rage incidents involving buses and bikes.

A bit of an uneven battle you might think 15 tons against 15 kilos. Double decker buses pick on someone your own size!

But this is serious; someone might get hurt. Observations by our members suggest that these incidents are the tip of the iceberg, with many other cyclists suffering similar intimidation. As usual most cyclists, accept their second class status, just give way, get off the bike, get on the pavement, inconvenience pedestrians etc.

Legally, of course, we don’t have to do that. The cycle contraflow on Nelson Street heading towards the Centre is in force. The paint has worn thin (we suggested repainting to the Council) but the signs are clearly there and drivers must obey them; even FirstBus drivers are not above the law! Please don’t try to run cyclists off the road!

Our members have complained to FirstBus and reported the incidents to the Police but, of course, nothing was done. We have suggested bus drivers should receive instruction and training and have made our fears known to the Council. Really all we want is that buses keep to their side of the road give way to cyclists on the contraflow before overtaking and don’t overtake bikes heading to Broadmead, given the lack of space.

We sympathise with bus drivers; it’s not their fault; they should not be put in this position. Nelson Street is far too narrow a road to be used as a main bus route and, in fact, dual carriageway. The fault lies with the road design and use.

The Council have plans for Nelson Street and are well aware of our views as to their inadequacy. https://bristolcycling.org.uk/nelson-street-a-messy-chaotic-street/ If you’ve been the victim of, or witnessed, an incident on Nelson Street please let us know at infrastructure@bristolcycling.org.uk or come to one of our meet ups https://bristolcycling.org.uk/diary/ The next is 6pm Thursday 12 July at King William Ale House, 20 King St, Bristol BS1 4EF.

Something should be done before someone is seriously hurt or worse.

Bristol’s City Centre Framework – we’ve responded

Earlier in the year Bristolians were invited to help shape the future of the city centre by responding to a consultation on the City Centre Framework (CCF) document https://bristol.citizenspace.com/growth-regeneration/city-centre-framework
The deadline for responses passed on 14 May. We hope you agree with our response:
We welcome the CCF document and agree that our City Centre should provide a high quality walking and cycling environment for all ages, abilities and genders.
People are already choosing to walk and cycle into the City Centre for everyday journeys in high numbers, often despite a poorly connected network of routes and facilities, and an environment which is dominated by motor traffic.
If we want to build a successful Bristol for the 21st Century we need to move away from machine dominance and to an environment built around people. The CCF, in our view, is overly influenced by urban planning and travel ideas from the mid 20th Century (eg motor cars, multi storey car parks and slow, stopping diesel buses on narrow streets).
Cities which prosper in the coming years, will in our view, be those which people find pleasant and enjoyable to visit and work in; in part because they have an attractive appearance and environment. Access by motor car will, in the next 50 years, not be anything like as important as it has been in the last 50.
The CCF movement framework should be based on the following key principles:
  • the objective must be movement of people, not movement of vehicles.
  • motor traffic volumes in city centres need to be reduced to improve air quality and encourage more walking and cycling, and this requires some physical restraint, with permeability for cyclists.
  • road space should not only be re-allocated from motoring to cycling, but also cyclists should be segregated from motor vehicles (including buses) on all busy roads.
  • people on bicycles should be segregated from people on foot where volumes of walkers and cyclists are high.  This avoids conflict and allows quicker cycling.
  • car-dependent travellers going to the city centre should be encouraged to transfer to a more sustainable mode (public transport, cycle hire, secure cycle storage, walking) as early as reasonably possible in their trips. 
Further detail can can be found on our full consultation response here: BCyC.Consultations.City.Centre..ND.4.5.18

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Callowhill Court – large development, carpark and change to routes around Broadmead – our response

‘Callowhill Court’ is the name given to a huge redevelopment of a large part of Broadmead, including changes to traffic and bus routes in the whole area. We’ve been paying close attention since the initial proposals in December 2016, and there have been significant changes, however as members and strong supporters of Living Heart for Bristol, we are very much in agreement with the points they raised 1000 Space New Car Park and 4-Lane Road in Bristol City Centre Would be Madness! Many of these issues remain despite the revised plans of July 2017 reducing parking to 500, with improvements to cycle routes and permeability and 670 cycle parking spaces. There’s even a new route proposed from Gloucester Road to Broadmead avoiding St James Barton roundabout and two small ‘cycle hubs’ one on the corner of Lower Castle Street, the other on the NE corner of the new development.

The key document is “16_06594_P-APPENDIX_A13.1_TRANSPORT_ASSESSMENT_-_VOLUME_2_PART_2-1686425.pdf”, we’ve extracted out Figure TAA4 showing the bus, pedestrian and cycle routes.

Despite some promising changes there’s only going to be one chance to get this right, and overall we still feel the proposals will be negative for cycling.  Here’s our full response and the pdf version BCyC Response Callowhill Court Aug17 FINAL-4

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Clifton contraflows – Oakfield Road – Clifton Road – Lower Clifton Hill


We are pleased to see three proposals for cycling contraflows in Clifton. These low volume, low speed roads are suitable for contraflows by signage alone. All three streets are used in practice by cyclists against the one-way, demonstrating the need for two way flow for cycles.  All are within 20 mph limit.

We support this proposal. Here’s the pdf BCyC.Consultations.Clifton.ND.2.8.17
Space for Cycling Does this measure provide for 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? Green – overall benefit
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? Green – overall benefit
Triple A Quality (All Ages and Abilities) Will this measure be attractive to all ages and abilities using all kinds of cycles? Green – overall benefit
Strategic Cycling Network How does this measure contribute to the development of Bristol Council’s planned integrated and coherent strategic cycle network? Green – overall benefit
Cycle-proofing How far does this measure provide for Triple A Space for Cycling in the future? Green – overall benefit

Bristol Cycling Campaign has the following specific comments on this consultation:

  1. In order to achieve the council’s object of 20% cycling it is essential that every opportunity is taken to improve conditions for cycling where there are changes in road layout for whatever reason, so that people cycling feel safe and welcome.
  2. All three streets are used in practice by cyclists against the one-way flow, demonstrating the need for two way flow for cycles.
  3. Traffic speeds and volumes appear to be low in all cases, and adequate width exists for passing at low speeds. All are within 20 mph limit. These are safe streets for cycle contraflows indicated by signage alone.
  4. We support these modest measures. We do, however, make the point that whilst such incremental improvements are useful transformative changes (eg shifting traffic motor movements to cycles improving congestion, air quality and public health immediately) will require more ambitious, radical interventions such as fully protected cycle routes.

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