Tag Archives: Filwood Knowle Windmill Hill NP

Victoria Park, a missed opportunity or is something better than nothing?

The latest stage of the saga of the Victoria Park section of the Filwood Quietway draws to a close. New proposals have been made as part of the Cycling Ambition Fund programme for the Filwood Quietway after the withdrawal of the previous properly ambitious and well balanced proposals in January 2017, after a vitriolic anti-cycling campaign playing on fear.

As we feared, the current proposals are watered down and compromised to such an extent that we feel unable to support them. The plans include:

  • A 3m wide shared use route on existing paths (hoping that pedestrians and congestion will keep speeds low);
  • The route to be across the middle of the park and include inclines (with all the problems they represent for speed, high and low);
  • Intelligent LED lighting on the existing north section path only (the remaining route will be uncomfortable and unlit);
  • Replacement of existing A-frame barriers with K-frame barriers.

Overall our view is neutral (BCyC.Consultation Response-WJH-Victoria Park – Aug 17-c):

The Campaign considers that the proposed development of a wider path with cycling permission in Victoria Park creates neither noticeable benefits nor problems for cycling. Consequently we neither oppose nor support the development, but are disappointed that an opportunity to improve cross town cycling has been lost, in particular that there is no useful contribution to the Filwood Quietway cycle route by creating a more direct route on adjacent streets. Our general view is that the Filwood Quietway is a disappointment and a lost opportunity.

The development may be beneficial for strictly local purposes but whether it has sufficient relevance to cycling to make a claim on the Cycling Ambition Fund or any other cycling infrastructure budgets is a matter on which we do not comment.

As is to be expected from such bland plans, there has been a much lower response to the consultation than previously. In January over 1,000 responses were recorded, with 56% objections and 44% in support. This consultation has received 97 responses taking a position with 50% objecting, 44% in support, and 5% neutral.

One of the most thoughtful responses captures things rather well:

So much has been compromised and sadly too little will be achieved as a result. I feel that concerns about cycling speeds/motorbikes/bats have been overstated by people who have an avenue to make their views heard most loudly. If there was an option at this stage to allow these scarce resources to go to a more a more ambitious project, even outside of our city, I would say do that instead. In the absence of that as an option, I support this on a “something is better than nothing basis”, but dearly wishing there was more courage to do what is right for the future of the city and its more vulnerable (i.e. our children) not just to compromise for those who have a voice to shout the loudest.

The revised proposal scores 2 out of 5 using the Cycling Environment Assessment Tool which is low-quality provision that needs improvement. The original proposals scored 4/5.

Filwood Quietway St John’s Lane & Wedmore Vale Consultation – our response

The Filwood Quietway is proposed to link the south of the city with the centre. It is one of the main elements of the £19m Cycling Ambition Fund to upgrade walking and cycling routes across the city. There are four sections, with different characteristics, and different processes for consultation and planning: Whitehouse Street, Victoria Park, St John’s Lane and Wedmore Vale, and the Northern Slopes. The Filwood Quietway section of the TravelWest website has a lot of background and detail. The Victoria Park proposals were withdrawn ‘for further consultation’ in January 2017. We have submitted a response to the proposal for Wedmore Vale and St John’s Lane.

Our full response is here: BCyC.Consults.Wed.Vale.ND.13.2.17

Our overall position on this consultation is: Support with qualifications

Bristol Cycling Campaign believes that every Bristolian, whatever their age or ability, deserves safe and inviting space for cycling on all Bristol’s streets. This should never be to the detriment of walking. We welcome the ambitious target in the council’s Bristol Cycle Strategy for 20% of trips to work by bike by 2020. We have the following general comments on this consultation drawing on the Bristol Cycling Manifesto, and the Making Space for Cycling guide for street renewals which set out how to achieve Space for Cycling:

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?

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 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 Green – overall benefit
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

Read more ...

Victoria Park – JIMBY’s and NIMBY’s

 Update: Planning application withdrawn for ‘further consultation’. We will continue to press for ‘triple A’ ambition to make cycling feel possible for All Ages and Abilities.


The consultation has now closed on the planning application for the Victoria Park section of the Filwood Quietway (however comments can still be made, use link here Victoria Park – say no to Project Fear). There are 1065 comments with a breakdown of about 56% objectors and 44% supporters (thanks to Kit Wallace for analysis).

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, 85% of those living within 1km object. Those further away, and therefore more likely to consider cycling, are 82% in favour [updated 15/1/17].

We believe the proposals will improve Victoria Park overall and benefit everyone, walking or cycling, local or enjoying passing through, a real win-win. It will now be down to local councillors on the planning committee to decide how much weight to give local opposition when it goes against the wider interests of the City.

If you think this is contentious, wait until the proposals for Space for Cycling on Gloucester Road are put forward…

On a curious side note, in the review of 20mph areas in Bristol, the issue is ‘Just in My Back Yard’ or JIMBYism. Drivers are willing to curtail their speed where it matters personally, but revert to a habitual, faster speed where the benefits to themselves are less tangible.  People want 20mph on their street so that it is safe for their children, their cats, their grannies but they don’t want to have to comply with 20mph limits in other people’s streets! Similarly, really good ‘Triple A’ cycling provision (All Ages and Abilities) that will attract and encourage more cycling is popular across the city, but changes are often vigorously opposed locally.

If you have a moment there are some very high quality and thoughtful comments. We’ve picked out a selection:

Read more ...

Victoria Park – say no to Project Fear

The planning application for the Victoria Park walking and cycling improvements closes tonight, Weds 11th Jan, but comments are still being accepted. We state again, this is good scheme utterly in keeping with everything that Victoria Park, and all other Bristol parks needs to have in a Cycling City (here’s a summary).

Click here to support the Quietway  

Thanks to all who’ve voiced their support we’ve now got a more balanced position to the fear of change being pushed by objectors. But objectors still outnumber supporters. It’s not a referendum or vote but the numbers do matter. The application has been ‘called in’ by councillors for consideration by a planning committee. This will be real test for how far Bristol can be said to be ambitious for cycling. Use this link to send them an email saying you’re in favour. We’ve done most of the work but you should include your name and address and personal comments before sending.

Email the Councillors & MP [add your name and comment]

The issue seems to come down to whether you consider the status quo to be acceptable, or even pleasant. Our position is that the current position in Bristol is intolerable. People are suffering degraded lives through inactivity, poor air quality, traffic dangers and lack of access to green spaces. The hugely positive role that can can be played by cycling is impossible when two thirds of people won’t even consider riding a bike due to fear of traffic. To say ‘I cycle and it’s no problem for me’ is just not good enough.

Read more ...

Victoria Park and Filwood Quietway – good for everyone

South Bristol is poorly served for cycling. We’ve been advocating what is now the proposed Filwood Quiteway since our 2013 Bristol Cycling Manifesto (where it was called Q13 Knowle Quietway running all the way into the centre). A lot of work and consultation has been put into planning the details of this route by Sustrans and Bristol Council, including an innovative website for the whole route that we hope to see used again on other schemes.

The section through Victoria Park is particularly good and is now a planning application which we strongly support (closing 11th January 2017). It is one of those “win-win” situations. It passes a school and is perfect for encouraging children (and adults) to cycle and walk in safety. Full details are in the Victoria Park Design and Access Statement.

Here is our response to the consultation, also below BCyCResponsetoFilwoodQuietway-VictoriaPark.

Click here to support the Quietway  

More walking and cycling instead of car use means cleaner air. Bristol has the 4th most polluted air in the UK. Bristolians will be healthier, save money and have a better quality environment. All these benefits will be immediate and long term, for everyone.

Despite all these positive benefits  there are well organised objectors who are determined to stop this cycleway (here and here). Bristol needs this cycleway. Your support is very important to ensure this proposal proceeds and all the work to date is not wasted. Please show your support by making a comment to the planning application. You just need to give your details, say you support it, and then add a comment, if you wish. This can be as simple as ‘I support this and agree with the more detailed submission by Bristol Cycling Campaign’. There is a useful “You Said, We Did” section on lighting, route choice, segregation, width and barriers on the Filwood Quietway project page.

Click here to support the Quietway  

P.S. any number of people from the same household can support, and please ask others to support.

Local councillors for Windmill Hill and for Knowle have said they support Space for Cycling, and so has the Cabinet Member for Transport, Mark Bradshaw. You can be sure they are hearing a lot from those who don’t want the cycling improvements. Use this link to send them an email saying you’re in favour. We’ve don’t most of the work but you should include your name and address and personal comments before sending.

Email the Councillors [add your name and comment]

Read more ...

Want Space for Cycling in Bristol? Support Bristol Cycling Sign me up!

Login Form