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Bristol Cycling Campaign response to the Bristol & Bath Railway Path concept designs

Bristol Cycling Campaign response to Bristol & Bath Railway Path concept designs

Update: 23 January 2019

Sustrans is holding a drop-in session ‘to explore the latest designs and to help us balance the different ideas as we develop the details together’ for the railway path. Details for the session are:

Monday 24 February
Easton Community Centre, Kilburn Street, Easton, Bristol BS5 6AW (next to the BBRP)

Bristol Cycling Campaign response

The Bristol & Bath Railway Path is an important asset for local cycling. Increasing use of the Railway Path (by cyclists and pedestrians) has led to calls for a reduction in conflict between pedestrians and cyclists. Sustrans is using Department for Transport funding for ‘a community-led re-design to improve the quality of the existing Bristol and Bath railway path’.

The work is to be undertaken at the Bristol end of the Railway Path between Clay Bottom and Trinity Street.

Bristol Cycling Campaign has significant concerns over some of the proposals contained in the concept designs created by Sustrans. We have submitted a comprehensive document to Sustrans which provides our feedback on the proposals.

We regard the east Bristol section of the Railway Path as the most important cycling infrastructure in the City and welcome steps to improve the Railway Path for all users. Bristol Cycling Campaign believes the route should be widened throughout the busy section of the park to facilitate the separation of cycles and pedestrians. However the concept designs created to date do not propose this.

We are objecting to a series of proposed obstacles that will hinder, rather than help, cycling on the Railway Path, and we regret that many opportunities to improve the Railway Path were not included in the proposals, such as reinstating the footbridge next to Whitehall Primary connecting Johnsons Rd and Bruce Rd.

We are hopeful that our concerns about the proposals for the Railway Path are taken into consideration rather than the proposed anti-cycling measures implemented.

You can read about the Sustrans Concept Designs and our response in the PDFs:



Workshops on changes to the Railway Path – have your say!

Sustrans have funding to improve the Bristol end of the Railway Path between Trinity Road and Clay Bottom. The £1.2m project is being called the One Path: BS5 project and “aims to encourage positive behaviour and tackle issues such as conflict between path users”. It is funded by the Department for Transport and will be delivered by Sustrans in partnership with Bristol City Council.


But hold on there. There’s a line of thought that what’s needed are speed bumps, bollards, and chicanes. What do you think needs to be done?

There are four events coming up to find out what the local community and path users think about the path. We would like lots of BCyC supporters to have your say, so please get stuck in. There’s also an email list and facebook group.

  • Thursday 17 October, 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Hannah Moore’s School, St. Philips
  • Friday 18 October, 3:30 – 6:30 pm at Easton Community Centre
  • Monday 21 October, 3:30 – 7:00 pm at Rose Green Centre

There will also be a community inception meeting on Friday 18 October, 7:00 pm at Easton Community Centre

There appears to be under representation of the cycling users voice because engaging with bike riders on the path, who are often heading to work etc, reluctant to stop, is more difficult than pedestrians.

We want segregation of people on bikes and on foot, but that will mean a determined effort to secure sufficient width. That is better for both categories of user in accordance with the policies of both walking and cycling advocacy groups. Following discussion on our members’ Space for Cycling forum, we concluded that we do NOT want bollards, chicanes etc or anything which will reduce cycling leading to more motoring etc and discriminates against the disabled including disabled cyclists.

Sustrans say the project will be guided by the community’s vision:

“We are committed to a Bristol and Bath Railway Path that is a safe space: a park, path and place for all users, by foot or by wheel, enabling healthy lifestyles in a green and biodiverse corridor linking the two Cities and communities across the West of England Combined Authority.”

“We will work with all of the communities who use the Bristol and Bath Railway Path to redesign and reshape it so that its value to people, wildlife, its localities and the region as a whole is enhanced and protected for generations to come.”

“To help guide the project, and ensure a healthy balance between the interests and needs of all users, we will be setting up a stakeholder group. During the workshops, we will be inviting attendees to put their name forward to be part of the project stakeholder group. Please consider this carefully in advance of the meeting, and let us know if you feel this is something you would be happy to do.”

Stoke Park future plans consultation – our response

We responded to the consultation on future plans for Stoke Park. That’s the iconic parkland below the yellow Dower House overlooking the M32. BCyC Response to Stoke Park

Stoke Park

Ref: https://bristol.citizenspace.com/neighbourhoods/stoke-park-future-plans/

Our overall position on this consultation is: Support with qualifications

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? 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? Amber – overall neutral
Triple A Quality (All Ages and Abilities) Will this measure be attractive to all ages and abilities using all kinds of cycles? Amber – overall neutral
Strategic Cycling Network How does this measure contribute to the development of Bristol Council’s planned integrated and coherent strategic cycle network? Amber – overall neutral
Cycle-proofing How far does this measure provide for Triple A Space for Cycling in the future? Amber – overall neutral

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 be taken to improve conditions for cycling throughout Bristol, so that people cycling feel safe and welcome.
  2. The opportunity should be taken to make cycling much more convenient to, through and around Stoke Park.
  3. In particular, Bristol City Council’s adopted Cycling Strategy proposes the creation of the “Purdown Quietway”, a traffic-free cycle route linking St Werburghs with UWE through Stoke Park via Sir John’s Lane and Hermitage Wood. This should form a key part of the improvement plans for Stoke Park.
  4. The Purdown Quietway should be built to a high standard, segregated from pedestrians and follow as flat a route as possible with a smooth firm surface different in appearance from nearby pedestrian walkways. Some lighting should be provided; probably low-level stud lighting (similar to that on the Concorde Way between Muller Road and St Werburgh’s) would be sufficient on a route like this. If the cycleway is designed to be comfortable and convenient to cycle on, it will significantly increase the number of park users. The relatively large size of the park makes the bicycle a particularly suitable way to explore it.
  5. It is important to ensure good access to the Purdown Quietway from Muller Road to the south. Probably the best route would be a zig-zag path up the steep slope near to Allot Gardens Recreation Ground, in order to connect with the path leading up from the top of Boiling Wells Lane.
  6. Cycleable links should also be provided to the Purdown Quietway and Frome Greenway from other park entry points in Lockleaze and Stapleton and also between those two main cycleways. In particular good cycle access should be provided onto Stoke Lane and Heath House Lane in order to maximise the possibilities for accessing the park from the east side of the M32. The Stoke Lane access should take account of UWE’s and Bristol City Council’s aspiration to provide a future cycle route between UWE’s Glenside and Frenchay campuses, which would probably utilise the new Metrobus bridge over the M32.
  7. We are sceptical about the desirability of new car-parks, which will tend to encourage the use of non-sustainable transport to access the park. Far more emphasis should be placed on improving access on foot and by bicycle.
  8. Access to Stoke Park is currently difficult by bicycle (and also by wheelchair, and for mothers with pushchairs) due to restrictive barriers at many entry points including the one on Sir John’s Lane, and the one at the bottom (Stapleton Road end) of the existing Frome Greenway cycle path. These barriers should be removed.
  9. We have no objection in principle to the grazing of livestock in parts of the park, but this should be organised in such a way as to avoid the need to gate the principal Frome Greenway and Purdown Quietway cycle routes. If gates are needed on more minor cycle links, these gates should be designed to  enable easy access by bicycle and wheelchair, i.e. kissing gates are not suitable.

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