King Street shows the way on pedestrianisation

One of Bristol’s most historic streets has been pedestrianised after a campaign by local businesses. Tom Swithinbank of Bristol Cycling Campaign finds out how the businesses of King Street helped to make it happen. It’s the home of the Old Vic and some of Bristol’s best-loved pubs, bars and restaurants. Now, after years of campaigning, cars no longer rumble over the cobbles of historic King Street in Bristol’s old town. It has taken six years of lobbying and considerable effort by local businesses to get to this point, not least by LDA Design who created the plans. But the…

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Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan Consultation

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…

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Update: City Centre Cycle Network

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…

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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…

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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 Oakfield Road Clifton Road Lower Clifton Hill Space for Cycling Does this measure provide for 1) Protected space on main roads; 2) Remove through motor traffic; 3) Safe routes…

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Bristol University Tyndall Avenue public realm changes – our response

Bristol University are proposing to ‘stop up’ Tyndall Place including the junctions at either end as part of their master plan. Here’s our view.

Response to Consultation (BCyCResponsetoTyndallAvenue)
Bristol Cycling Campaign
23 February 2017
Tyndall Avenue Public Realm Project

www.bristol.ac.uk/estates/projects/tyndallplace/

Our overall position on this consultation is: Support with strong qualification

Space for Cycling
Does this measure deliver 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?

Amber – overall neutral

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
Will this measure be attractive to all ages and abilities using all kinds of cycles? This means ‘Triple A’ quality for All Ages and Abilities

Amber – overall neutral

Strategic Cycling Network
How does this measure contribute to the development of a 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

The Bristol Cycling Campaign welcomes many aspects of the proposals to redesign Tyndall Avenue as a public space which is wider, greener, and free of cars and buses. These proposals could produce significant benefits for the University and the City, in terms of well-being, in providing a clear physical focus for the University, and in drawing the public to the Royal Fort Gardens.

However our approval is subject to a major caveat. It is important that cyclists retain the use of Tyndall Avenue as of right, a right which is not subject to possible future removal by the University.  It is not enough to have a broad statement that “Cyclists will still be allowed to pass through Tyndall Avenue after it is pedestrianised” (Tyndall Avenue Public Realm Project Consultation Document p.8).

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A Modest Proposal #5: The Bear Pit / St James Barton Roundabout

 St James Barton roundabout remains among the worst in Bristol for cyclists. This is despite the sterling work of The Bearpit Improvement Group and the recently completed £1million scheme to provde a route around the inner edge of the roundabout at street level for pedestrians and cyclists. We hope this already outdated scheme will be the last time huge budgets will be spent forcing cycles to share busy spaces with pedestrians (see BCyC Policy on Shared Space Streets and Shared Use Pavements). However the omens are not good in Temple Quay. Our modest proposal shows how proper Space…

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Roman Road on The Downs – It’s a bit better. Oh no it isn’t!

Guest Blog from Wheels On The Bike about traffic on The Downs. Plans to improve this very problematic and unpleasant route have been dropped. What does this say about making Space for Cycling in Bristol? Reposted with permission from https://wheelsonthebike.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/roman-road-its-a-bit-better-oh-no-it-isnt/ Roman Road is one of many car-sick roads in Bristol. It’s a odd one-way road, that cuts a corner of the Downs. It’s simultaneously a rat run that avoids traffic lights at the end of Stoke Road, a long thin car park, a bus route, and a cycling route, created against a backdrop of the green leisure filled Durdham Downs.  What’s wrong with Roman Road, and how could it be better? 

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