Tag Archives: Portishead Clevedon Pill Abbots Leigh

A Modest Proposal #8: Portishead to Bristol

The November 2017 meeting of North Somerset Cycle Forum considered proposals for cycling and walking improvements between Bristol and Portishead, as part of MetroWest phase 1. Note that these are not part of the current plans which are just about diversions during the 18 month closure of the Pill Path. They are a ‘modest proposal’ put forward by BCyC members in the hope of significant improvements to an increasingly important link, especially in given the explosive growth in use of e-bikes.

By way of comparison, if you cycle to work in Xi’an (pronounced ‘chang-an’) in China on a principal cycle lane you will be one of about 1075 cyclists/hour, of whom 750 will be riding e-bikes. The average speed of e-bikes in Xi’an is 23.6 km/h, which is 71.0% faster than that of bicycles. So, in Portishead an e-biker should anticipate a commute of no more than one hour.

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Closures to river Avon footpaths – for railway and new footbridge

Two sections of the path alongside the River Avon are due to be closed for extensive periods. The first is an 18 month closure of the Pill Path while the Portishead branch line is upgraded for passenger train services, but this doesn’t start until 2020. The second is a section of the River Avon Footpath Path by Cattle Market Road and the new Arena site. This is closed from now until Autumn 2018 while the new St Philips footbridge is built (see picture and visit BristolTempleQuarter for more information).

We got quite excited when opening the email about the Pill Path that this was going to include some long awaited upgrades to Pill Path (see Andy Price’s excellent video Avon Gorge Cyclepath – a neglected jewel). Sadly not (but see update below).

There will be some beneficial changes at either end associated with new stations, but no changes to the tow path itself. Full details are not yet available, but “closures are likely to be for a few hours of a day at a time, and a few days at a time where necessary”. During closures there will be a long detour up through Ashton Park Estate, along the A369 then down through Leigh Woods.

This is what Principal Transport Policy Officer for MetroWest Phase 1, Richard Matthews says:

Our proposals to make temporary and permanent changes to the cycle network, as a part of the MetroWest Phase 1 scheme.

Most of the changes are within North Somerset, but we are making some adjustments in Bristol in the Ashton Gate area.

The part of the MetroWest Phase 1 scheme that will require planning consent from the Secretary of State through a Development Consent Order (DCO), is the re-opening of the Portishead branch line to passenger train services.  This includes a new station at Portishead and the reopening of the station at Pill.

During the construction of the DCO scheme, it will be necessary to temporarily close and divert NCN 26, 41 and in other places to enable work to proceed safely and to create construction compounds and haul roads. These are set out in the attached map .

There will also be a number of permanent changes and enhancements to the cycle network including the diversion of a public rights of way on to the AVTM maintenance path and the creation of a new shared-use ramp at Ashton Vale industrial estate.  These changes are set out in Table 2 MetroWest Schedule of Cycle Network changes 17.08.23.

There is a formal consultation on these proposals from 23 October 2017.

Update  The Nov 2016 meeting of the North Somerset Cycle Forum heard that:

The proposed railway works will provide some potential opportunities to improve the path. It may be needed for access to repair the retaining wall in the woods section. The path may need to be improved to do this, or repaired after the works – either way a repaired / improved path should be provided in mitigation. Also, the railway itself will be used to bring in 100’s / 1000’s of tonnes of stone, so it may be a way to bring in materials. BS to speak with our MetroWest colleagues. This is perhaps a once in a lifetime opportunity to really improve it.

Avon Gorge Cyclepath – a neglected jewel

We strongly recommend watching the whole 14 minutes or so about the much loved Bristol to Pill path. Lots of separate issues are raised. As a one-person effort by Andy Price it’s pretty impressive and deserves a wide audience. We’ll be doing what we can to get the issues up the list of priorities of North Somerset Council, Bristol Council, and Sustrans.

Gordano Greenway linking Clevedon and Portishead

The Gordano Greenway initiative has been set up as a Weston-in-Gordano Parish Council community project to help the increasingly isolated residents who live in the villages of Walton-in-Gordano, Weston-in-Gordano and North Weston.

The aim of this project is to be able provide residents, and visitors alike, with an alternative transport route, other than having to negotiate the increasingly busy B3124. Walkers, cyclists and equestrians all have a right to safe passage to either Clevedon or Portishead without having to resort to using a motor vehicle.

You can register on the project website to keep in touch. Here’s a quote:

The Weston-in-Gordano Parish Council has grown concerned that the community is becoming increasingly isolated as a result of the huge increase of traffic on the B3124. As a result they held talks with John Grimshaw, the founder of the cycle charity Sustrans. John quickly put together a route plan that would provide an alternative cross valley route that would take walkers, cyclists and equestrians off of the busy road

North Somerset cycle infrastructure schemes delivered in 2014

Useful update from North Somerset of their 2014 schemes on Better By Bike. As well as schemes in Worle and Weston we are particularly interested in the route along the A369 to Portishead. This is part of Freeway F16 in our neighbourhood plans for that area.

Portishead A369

Provision of  a new shared-use path alongside the A369 between Pill Rd and Sandy Lane. This section (Phase 3) is part of  ongoing improvements linking Portishead and Bristol and is funded by the LSTF and JLTP. The scheme includes 600m of new path, and the re-designation of 450m of existing footway. A new refuge crossing point is being installed by Blackmoor Rd. The main beneficiaries include commuter cyclists heading towards Portbury and Portishead, and those heading from Portishead and Pill towards Bristol. Pupils attending St Katherine’s school will also benefit as will users of the bus stops by Blackmoor Rd who will be able to cross this busy road more easily and safely. The current works are due to be completed in January.

Update: see Sam Saunders set of photos of A369 Cycle Path under construction.


See more at Better By Bike.

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