Tag Archives: Protected Space

A Modest Proposal #6; Eight to Eighty cycling on Gloucester Road

Did you know that Gloucester Road was one of Bristol’s busiest cycle routes (Building on success – lessons from Gloucester Road)? What’s more, the number of people cycling has doubled in the last ten years whereas motor vehicle numbers have dropped by a fifth. These facts can be seen from Department for Transport Traffic Counts.

So what does this tell us? Bristol’s Cycling City money has been well spent? Not quite. Significant Cycling City money was not spent on Gloucester Road infrastructure as the end of project report makes clear. In fact people on bikes are using this route despite, not because of, its facilities for them.

As anyone who has cycled into, or out of, the City on Gloucester Road knows the only “cycling infrastructure” is, essentially, paint and bus lanes. And bus lanes are for both a human on a bike (100 kilos) and a double decker (15 tons) – hardly fair or equal!

Gloucester Road is popular because it goes where people on bikes want to go; travelling, often commuting, in and out of the City Centre from the

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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.


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