Tag Archives: Protected Space

Bike lanes ‘one of the best investments into public health returns’

It’s not news in Bristol (or anywhere else) but here’s more evidence from New York about the astonishing returns on investment in cycling [4,5]. The really astonishing thing is that in spite of overwhelming evidence [1] and sound policies [2,3], the necessary transformation in approach still seems so far away.

We wonder if the new transport powers for the new ‘Metro Mayor’ can repeat lessons from London, or Leicester to get a step change in Bristol.

[1] NICE PH41 Walking and cycling: local measures to promote walking and cycling as forms of travel or recreation

[2] Bristol Cycle Strategy published

[3] Bike Life – Taking the pulse of bike life in Bristol

[4] 24: Economic Benefits of Cycling

[5] 30: Cost Benefit Analysis of walking and cycle track networks

Money spent on cycle infrastructure delivers longer, healthier lives

Source: Bike lanes ‘one of the best investments into public health returns’

South Bristol Link Road – May 2016 update

We are pleased that things are moving on the final detailed stage of designing the cycleway that will run alongside the new South Bristol Link Road. This has been a long running issue that we’ve worked on for many years. Overall the new road will cause more problems for Bristol and for cycling than it will cure but it’s going to happen so we want to make sure that provision for cycling is a good as it can be. Local members have been reviewing the plans and Bishopsworth Councillor Richard Eddy (‘a keen cyclist’ he says) has also been on the case. The issue is over how to thread the cycleway past the drives, businesses and side roads in the area.
Our view is:
1. We wouldn’t be starting from here. Of course.
2. The section in question is ‘Whitchurch Road’,  the stretch outside Cater Park. On this section 5.3.10 PLAN AND PROFILE 10 OF 10 from the planning application 13/P/1204/F2
3. The issues that Cllr Eddy highlights are real. But probably not significantly detrimental to cycling, and manageable by design detailing. They may well be inconvenient to some motor vehicle use if cycling volumes increase, but this can’t be avoided and is not likely to be significant. Proper Space for Cycling design would have the path set back from the junction to allow waiting space for a vehicle. A good example is Baldwin St / Queen Charlotte St in the centre, and in the guide  http://www.makingspaceforcycling.org/#primary. It doesn’t look like this is par of the plans, or if there would be space.
4. The argument about whether there should be a cycle track on the north or the south is spurious. There will and should be cycling on BOTH sides regardless of one being labelled as a footway. People will take the most direct and convenient routes. As evidenced by the numbers who still cycle on the east side of Hartcliffe Way despite the 2-way protected cycle path on the west. It is important that if there is only to be one properly designed path at this stage then it should be the one that provides best continuity. The design should include ‘cycle-proofing’ for a future upgrade.  For access to Cater Park the north side cycle path is most useful.
5. Attached is an extract from an email chain that includes a statement from Steve Riley on 16th Feb as follows. BCyC would have been among those ‘widely criticising’ additional crossings.

My understanding of the meeting is to discuss the shared-use path with the businesses in front of whom it will pass, and understand their loading and other requirements so as best to accommodate them.  The shared-use path being on the north side of SBL is a key part of the scheme that was given planning permission in 2013, and we are not intending to change this.  During the pre-app consultation in 2012, just before my involvement in the project, the plan at the time for the shared-use path to cross the road at one point was widely criticised and resulted in the decision we made to ensure this was changed.  Many cyclists may choose to use Whitland Road as a lighter trafficked route, but the SBL proposal to include a shared-use path on the north side will remain, ensuring a 4.5km segregated route all the way from Festival Way to Crox Bottom.

It should be borne in mind that there will be a 3m wide median strip between the two lanes of traffic along Whitchurch Lane, giving traffic turning right into businesses here time to pause before turning without blocking the road.  The purpose of this afternoon’s meeting is to understand whether any other minor amendments, for example to verge widths or locations, may be possible.

In conclusion, we don’t think BCyC would support Cllr Eddy’s assessment of the risks, or his proposal to change the route with requirement for additional crossings. We would support a review of the detailing of how to provide continuity for the cycle path across the side junctions and business frontages using best practice ‘Triple A’ design for All Ages and Abilities.

Manifesto for Council Candidates – May 2016

We have produced a BCyC Manifesto for 2016 Council Elections candidates setting out key questions for the elections on May 5th. This is part of our Space for Cycling campaign. You can add your voice to the campaign by signing the petition. See also our manifesto for candidates standing for the Mayor, and for the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Manifesto for Council Candidates

  • Cycling is good for Bristol – and more cycling is better
  • 8 in 10 people want Bristol to be better for cycling
  • Cycling in Bristol means sharing space with intimidating motor traffic, or with pedestrians. No-one is happy
  • Two thirds of people consider cycling too risky for them
  • Bristol has a target to achieve 20% cycling by 2020 with profound benefits to wellbeing, congestion, environment and prosperity
  • The only proven way to deliver this is to provide a continuous and dedicated cycling network, to Triple A standards – for All Ages and Abilities.

Our councillors must work to help create an environment whereby it is easier for us to make choices that are good for us, good for our neighbourhood, and good for our city. We are calling on candidates and councillors to support Space for Cycling, for the benefit of everyone.

Questions for Candidates on specific priorities

  1. Will you work to make your ward and neighbourhood a better place to cycle and walk, so that people can travel safely to work, to school, to shop, to play, and to green spaces?

  2. Will you do all you can to deliver the specific improvement in your ward identified at bristolcyclingcampaign.org.uk/wards?

General Questions for Candidates

  1. Will you support and help produce a good transport plan for your ward and neighbourhood which puts people first, and particularly the young, the old and the disadvantaged? Streets for All in residential areas means low speeds, continuous pavements across side streets, no rat running or through traffic, and all streets open for cycling, including one-way contraflows.

  2. Will you press for Space for Cycling in your ward generally? This means protected space on high volume and 30mph roads and at busy junctions. It means accepting no less than ‘Triple A’ standards of design, construction & maintenance, for All Ages and Abilities. It means having safe routes to school, to work, to shops, and to green spaces.

  3. Will you work towards a Living Heart for your neighbourhood? This means public spaces that are not dominated by through motor traffic, that have plenty of cycle parking and where people are the priority, not traffic.

  4. Do you recognise that some changes will be controversial and will you stand up for those with most to gain but whose voices are often not heard – the young, the old and the disadvantaged?

A Modest Proposal #5: The Bear Pit / St James Barton Roundabout

 St James Barton roundabout remains among the worst in Bristol for cyclists. This is despite the sterling work of The Bearpit Improvement Group and the recently completed £1million scheme to provde a route around the inner edge of the roundabout at street level for pedestrians and cyclists.

We hope this already outdated scheme will be the last time huge budgets will be spent forcing cycles to share busy spaces with pedestrians (see BCyC Policy on Shared Space Streets and Shared Use Pavements). However the omens are not good in Temple Quay.

Our modest proposal shows how proper Space for Cycling can be provided on this key roundabout that sits at the centre of the most heavily used routes in the city.

Taken with our A Modest Proposal #1: Pedestrianise Clifton Triangle, we can begin to get a sense of how the Inner Loop (A Modest Proposal #3) can be done.


Huge response to Space for Cycling survey

We have had over 600 responses to our survey on what people think about cycling in Bristol.

Most responses were from those who cycle regularly, 73% cycle more than 3 times a week, and the main motivations were for excecise and pleasure, commuting, and concern for environment

There is strong support for removing motor traffic from shopping areas to create ‘Living Hearts’. and 3 out of 4 saya there’s not enough secure cycle parking. People want police to priortise cycle theft.

in 20mph local areas half support further traffic slowing measures, but others feel these don’t help cycling and cause other problems. Removing though traffic and favouring residents is popular.

In 30mph areas a whopping 85%+ want PROTECTED cycle lanes and separate cyclelanes around roundabouts and major junctions, with over 70% wanting priority to pedestrians and cyclists at junctions.

In general there is strong support for the 6 main asks behind our Space for Cycling campaign. We’re launching the 2016 phase in March ready for the May elections.

Details of what needs doing is clearly set out in these Three guides to Space for Cycling.

Here are some of the things people said:

  • “We need plenty of cycle parking. On a wet autumn day I struggled to find a free stand in Broadmead. There is only designated cycle parking space at the top and the bottom of Park Street.”
  • “I’m all for reduuction in cars and through traffic. I also drive, but I have no need to travel at high speeds unless I’m on a motor way”
  • “I honestly have no idea how to make it safer other than giving cyclist a safer route that avoids it entirely. I’m looking at you Lawrence Hill Roundabout! You scary son of a bitch.”
  • “Separate cycle ways will only work if they are joined up – you have to be able to get on and off in the right places easily, or they just won’t be used.”
  • “A white line on a pavement is not cycle infrastructure. Cannot stand this cop out cheap solution as it is dangerous, hated by cyclists and pedestrians alike. The only group who win are car drivers.”
  • “Bristol is still confusing in the way cycle lanes integrate with the rest of the world… Turning on and off sometimes and disappearing. This is very noticeable when I have taken my children cycling and have tried to enable them in use of cycle lanes for safe cycling but it’s hard to communicate the elaborate thought processes I can do as an adult cyclist around the more confusing streets of Bristol! But I love that it’s always improving and that cyclists have more space and there is more awareness of our needs we just need more to enable people who are too scared of the roads to join us.”
  • “Cycle infrastructure in Bristol is poor quality and disjointed. Most are just footpaths, many are unsafe to ride on and cyclists are always lowest priority at junctions. Signage for cycle paths are unclear and lead to confusion and conflict.”
  • “I am a keen cyclist..but never really fancy cycling in Bristol.. it’s far too congestred and shared space with cars is so dangerous. I really don’t quite understand the reason Bristol got to be a Green capital!”
  • “I do not approve entirely of segregation between cars & bikes. I took some free cycling lessons with my local council and know it’s possible to cycle safely in traffic if you position yourself properly, especially when making turns. More awareness and education for cyclists & drivers rather than giving anyone preferences to fuel animosity would be an ideal solution.”
  • “In the UK/Bristol, I find that both people on bicycles (I don’t call myself a cyclist as it implies lycra, a hi-vis-vest, a helmet and annoying flashy lights) and people in cars have quite a misunderstanding about their responsibility to general road safety. As long as there is not an established road design including separated lanes the roads have to be shared in a sensible way. Education from young age is the key in this. I’d say to take countries like The Netherlands and Denmark as a proper example on bicycle friendly road design. It’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel in the UK.”
  • “Lack of continuous cycle lanes is awful. I lived in Holland, and the separated cycle lanes were amazing. I felt incredibly safe and cycled EVERYWHERE to the point where when I moved to Bristol I had to relearn how to walk!”
  • “Where routes popular with cyclists are too narrow to accommodate cycle lanes, I feel we should start removing parking places as a possible solution. We need to stop being so precious about parking spaces.”

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

Login Form