Tag Archives: Protected Space

The start of cycle campaigning in Bristol, lessons for today?

It’s well worth settling down with the hot beverage of your choice and letting the estimable John Grimshaw tell you about the start of cycle campaigning in Bristol, and we venture, in the UK.

He describes the striking series of demonstrations and actions that started in 1974 and lead to the Bristol Bath Railway Path in 1978, spawning Sustrans (1983) and the predecessor of Bristol Cycling Campaign, CycleBag (1977), on the way.

While you’re listening you might wish to browse the first Bristol cycling strategy, 1974 Cycling in Bristol from John Grimshaw. The maps are hard to make out but the links to our 2013 Bristol Cycling Strategy are clear.

Safe Cycling in NW Bristol ? Yes please

Want to cycle from Clifton to Henbury along a safe segregated cycle route? No we’re not joking; we don’t mean messy, sub standard national cycle route 4 but a new route along Westbury Rd, Falcondale Rd and Passage Rd, protected from motors. There is currently a consultation on new bus lanes on the A4018, which don’t seem popular locally. It’s not ambitious on cycling either; a new route on the Downs and, perhaps, traffic reduction in Westbury Village. Our meetings with Council Officers suggest, however, they’re seriously interested in a AAA (all ages and abilities) cycle route so may be something good can come of it.

 

But it’s early days. You can help; we have to get support. If you want your kids to cycle to school in North West Bristol or just fewer monster SUVs on the school run. Or you want some of the thousands of people who’ll live in the new homes to be built on Filton Airfield to travel to work in Bristol by bike, not by car. Or you just want to cycle around Westbury safely. Or you think, like most Bristolians, more cycling is good for our city, our health and the air we breath. In all these cases please complete the A4018 Consultation

Most of the questions concern buses and cars, people will have their own views on those, but three are important for cycling so feel free to adopt our answers;

Qu 4 (Cycle path on Downs beside Westbury Road ) Strongly agree – Comment “Please ensure the Path is segregated rather than shared use”

Qu 6 (Westbury Village) Please strongly support the reductions in rat running and restrictions on motor traffic.

Qu 8 (Cycling Improvements) – Comment “Please install a continuous cycle route, along Passage Road, Falcondale Road and Westbury Road. The route should be segregated, from cars, buses, and pedestrians wherever possible and shared use otherwise. Please also improve Parrys Lane.”

Our full response for those interested in the detail.

Update: City Centre Cycle Network

Prince Street cycle track at night

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 it’s a good example of high-quality, segregated infrastructure and demonstrates that if you ’build it and they will come’.

Wapping Road cycle track looking towards Prince Street bridge from the Louisiana pub

Prince Street now links to a new segment of track on Wapping Road. Unfortunately the ongoing development of Wapping Wharf means that the track is currently not continuous over the junctions. We have been assured by officers that, on completion of the next phase, the gaps in the track will be filled in to creat a continuous segregated route from the Louisiana pub to the Centre. We will be keeping an eye on this and definitely holding BCC to their word.

Redcliffe Bascule Bridge Bristol cycle track looking towards Saint Mary Redcliffe church

A scheme for redesigning Redcliffe Way is currently being developed by officers at BCC. Cycling officers, backed by us, are pushing for a fully segregated cycle track to link to the existing one on the Redcliffe Bascule Bridge.  This would be a much-improved connection between Bristol Temple Meads and the Centre at Broad Quay.

Officers have also been proceeding with developing proposals for a segregated cycle track over the Old Market underpass that will link into the Castle Park-Baldwin Street route and we hope to see action on this in 2019.

Victoria Street group of cyclists at Temple Gate

We also discussed the potential for a segregated cycle track along Victoria Street. This is part of BCC’s Draft City Centre Framework and there is certainly adequate width to achieve this. Victoria Street is an important link between the city centre and the Temple Meads transport hub and could be a really useful cycle route.

There is still a lot to do and there are still major barriers to cycling into the city centre and these will require extensive and expensive work to remedy. However things are certainly on the up for cycling in Bristol city centre and we are now at a stage where some of the investment in segregated tracks is starting to pay off as sections become whole routes and therefore the beginnings of a usable cycle network.

Why it matters that Bristol is preparing a ‘Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan’

After intensive lobbying by cycling and walking groups the Government set up a legally binding Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) in 2017.  The aim is “to deliver better safety, better mobility, and better streets”. All local authorities are supposed to produce a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), setting out their long-term approach to developing local cycling and walking networks, ideally over a 10 year period. In particular this means:

  • a network plan for walking and cycling which identifies preferred routes and core zones for further development
  • a prioritised programme of infrastructure improvements for future investment
  • a report which sets out the underlying analysis carried out and provides a narrative which supports the identified improvements and network

Here in Bristol we’re a long way ahead of many areas, and BCyC has blazed a trail with our Bristol Cycling Manifesto with its highly influential ‘tube map’. It will be no surprise that we’ve got a long list of priorities based on our detailed network plan, so we’ve had to work hard to distill these down to some specific routes that we want Bristol and South Gloucestershire to include in their first LCWIP (yes, Gloucester Rd is #1). [Cycle Bath have been doing the same with BaNES, see here, and we don’t think North Somerset are ready yet].

Here’s the BCyC submission, also copied below, LCWIP BCyC final13.8.18. Our Space for Cycling Forum of BCyC members will be closely involved in working with council officers as plans develop. We’ll see how far we get a meaningful plan with prioritised actions. Note that the LCWIP will form an action plan appendix to the Bristol Transport Strategy that is out for public consultation on 24th September 2018, watch this space for updates.

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Call for inclusive infrastructure

Fantastic article by Zoe Banks Gross on why we need to continue campaigning for a better environment for cycling, if we want to see greater quantities and diversity of people cycling in Bristol: https://betterbybike.info/news/seeing-women-cycling-bristol-theres-still-long-way-go.

Cycling is for everyone, and even though we are seeing more women cycling in Bristol, and more than in the other Bike Life cities, we still have a long way to go for cycling to be an easy choice for everyone. Bristol urgently needs better infrastructure to make it simpler and safer for all types of people on cycles, whether they are passengers in a cargo bike, parents with panniers full of groceries, or those on specially adapted tricycles.

Can we also encourage everyone to pause, read and share this important article by @Sandi_Dheensa What it’s like cycling as a woman of colour. This explains why the key issue for cycle campaigning in Bristol is enabling everyday cycle use for women, BAME, children and all abilities. A city that works for these groups works for everyone.

BAME people are a disproportionately small percentage of those who cycle. […] But what happens when we do venture into the cycling world? From my own (albeit novice and still wobbly) experience, I worry that as well as the ubiquitous hazards of careless drivers and meagre cycle lanes, women of colour are vulnerable to verbal abuse, beyond levels that white people, men, and of course, white men, are likely to experience.

It goes without saying that changing prejudiced attitudes to women of colour and cyclists, never mind women of colour who cycle, is a difficult feat. So what can we do?

For one, we can put pressure on authority figures to improve infrastructure. About women of colour, Zoe says, “if you build it, they will come”. But in his State of the City address this month, Bristol mayor Marvin Rees made no mention of cycling infrastructure, instead talking about his controversial £2.5 billion mass-transit system project. I hope that he pays attention to voices like Zoe’s, who argues that “giving space back to people would help make getting around the city easier and friendlier.”  She continued, “if we’re walking or cycling, it’s so much easier to engage and interact with people. That’s what we need more of right now in these difficult times we’re living in.” I wholeheartedly agree.

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