Tag Archives: Filwood Knowle Windmill Hill NP

Bedminster Green Placemaking Framework – BCyC response

This is a very significant and complex development in particular due the density of the proposals and the use of high-rise blocks. These are of course also cycling issues. We’ve put forward the following response to the proposed Bedminster Green Placemaking Framework

Bedminster Green Placemaking Framework Response Jan 2019

Bristol Cycling

7th January 2019


Bedminster Green is a scheme of size and density that will place significant demand on transport infrastructure in south Bristol. The development will bring an influx of residents who are expected not to own a private car, so the volume of cyclists in the area will increase and investment in new cycling infrastructure is strongly justified.

If the Bedminster Green development is to realize the potential for cycling and walking trips then significant improvements to existing infrastructure within the site and in the surrounding area beyond the extents of the framework site are needed.

Cycle network – wider context

Firstly, improvements to cycle routes should be identified with reference to key trip generators and connections to routes of city wide importance within the transport assessment that is currently being undertaken by Peter Brett Associates. This should be supported by the work currently being undertaken to create the Bristol Cycling and Walking Infrastructure plan, but should also include connections to North Street, Redcliffe, the city centre and local schools.

Bristol Cycling Campaign recommends the provision of segregated cycle routes along the A38 corridor. It has been indicated to us that Malago Road/Dalby Avenue have been identified for bus priority measures, and that there is insufficient width to provide protected space for both buses and cycles. If this is the case an alternative all ages and abilities (AAA) high quality segregated route must be implemented covering the A38 corridor. Provision of a high quality route via Bedminster Bridge should be provided for trips into the city centre. We urge BCC to identify East Street as a location for future cycle improvements in the event of bus re-routing onto Malago Road.

Cycle network- improvements to existing signed routes

Bristol City Council should also acknowledge that existing signed cycle routes through the area are inadequate and are not currently at an acceptable standard to enable the cycle mode share that Bristol should aspire to. Bristol City Council should also consider improvements beyond the scope of the framework itself such as improvements to the Malago Greenway and the Filwood Quietway, and also connections to the nearby shopping area on North Street.

We believe that the five principles applied in Dutch cycling guidance should form a guide for new cycling infrastructure in Bristol. These are – Coherence, Directness, Attractiveness, Safety and Comfort. The Malago Greenway suffers from a number of problems and fails to adhere to any of these principles. It is a mix of off road paths and signed on road routes. All of the off road paths are shared space with pedestrians, many of which have a poor and deteriorating surface of inadequate width. Most of the points at which off road sections cross roads are lacking in safe crossings and wayfinding signage is missing or inadequate.

The Filwood Quietway has some sections which have been recently been improved to a good standard, such as the section of segregated cycle track on Whitehouse Street and there are some other recent improvements in Victoria Park. Other parts are inadequate sections of shared footway and poorly signed on-road sections.

Cycle network – within framework area

Within the boundary of the framework itself, motor traffic should be filtered on Whitehouse Lane so that through traffic is restricted to the A38/Malago Road, creating a network of low traffic streets safe for cycling and pedestrians, with high quality cycle and pedestrian crossings to connect across the A38, in addition to high quality segregated cycle tracks linking to city wide routes.

Page 67 of the draft framework identifies improved routes on Hereford Street/Church Lane. We support this route in principle but we note that the connection at the edge of St John’s churchyard is very narrow and would need to be widened. If this is not possible we would suggest that improvements to the existing route of the Malago Greenway on Little Paradise would be more suitable.

Page 67 of the framework also identifies routes on Clarke Street and Whitehouse Lane. We would recommend that Whitehouse Lane is provided with a fully segregated cycle track continuing to the existing track on Whitehouse Street and onto Bedminster Bridge. Bedminster Bridge is a significant barrier to cycling in the area and a development of this scale will need substantial investment in improvements to Bedminster Bridge gyratory system to provide safe cycling routes to the city centre and north Bristol. The existing cycle river crossing at Gaol Ferry Bridge is inadequate, at capacity at peak times and inconvenient for many journeys from this direction.

We are not opposed to improved cycling provision on Clarke Street and support its inclusion in the framework but it would also require improvements to cycle provision on Bedminster Parade to provide a safe, continuous cycle route. In addition to this Stillhouse Lane is cobbled and would not be a comfortable route for cyclists.  We recommend the provision of a fully segregated AAA route along Whitehouse Lane connecting to the existing track on Whitehouse Street, forming the main arterial cycle route from Bedminster Green to the city centre.

Cycle parking and storage

Given that the development would be predominantly car free, we would also want Bristol City Council to ensure that developers should make provision for a high standard of off road cycle storage and additional on road cycle racks.We note that there is not much space around the proposed buildings and it needs to be clear where the cycles can be stored and that the storage must be conveniently accessible.  Secure cycle storage at the station needs to be provided.

Delivery bays and routes to the buildings must be identified.  There is a risk that delivery and waste collection vehicles obstruct cycle routes.  These points need to be tackled at the masterplan level, not just in planning applications on individual development sites.


We support many of the proposed cycling and walking improvements identified in the Placemaking Framework document, and encourage Bristol City Council to adopt the suggestions made above. However greater attention must be placed on connecting the improved infrastructure within the boundary of the site to a city wide network of routes. This may come in the form of the transport assessment currently being undertaken by Peter Brett Associates.

Please note this response relates to the framework insofar as it concerns cycling and transport infrastructure, and should not be considered an endorsement of other elements of the scheme, some of which have been controversial.


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:

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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 ...

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