Tag Archives: Quietways

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.

Hooray!

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.”

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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Brislington Greenway Public Meeting

A number of BCyC members attended a public meeting on Tuesday 30 January 2018 to promote the Brislington Greenway. This is the old Brislington Railway line, which runs from Sainsburys on Whitby Road to Tesco on Callington Road (see Railway path, not relief road and Old Brislington Railway – Relief Road or Green Haven?). Local residents think it would be a great idea to turn it into a cycle route! They’ve shot a video illustrating this:  

The meeting was addressed by two Bristol Cabinet Members, Cllrs Nicola Beech and Mhairi Threlfall, responsible for Place and Transport respectively. It was unclear exactly what they were proposing but Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority want to use the old rail line for the Callington Relief Road, a bad old fashioned polluting and congesting motor road. This is design for the late Twentieth Century not the mid Twenty-First!

Rupert Crosbee of Sustrans spoke in favour of the Greenway as did our Space4Cycling Officer, Nick Davies. Almost all speakers in the Hall supported them and all the applause was for this view. The evidence is that a road would make congestion worse as it would “induce demand” for people to use drive more (see Induced Traffic and Traffic Evaporation).

Cllr Beech commended our aspirations but considered them unrealistic. She appeared to consider the road was a “done deal”. We doubt that. There has been no consultation as that is not a statutory requirement for a road scheme. But it is considered best practice and generally advised. https://www.ice.org.uk/knowledge-and-resources/briefing-sheet/road-improvement-scheme-consultation-good-practice

We would be very surprised if the Council risk not consulting, increasing the prospect of a judicial review. This administration or a subsequent one, or WECA, could change their minds. The homes (presently quiet and adjoining a greenspace) of some local residents are yards from the new road. Good luck to them in opposing it. If you support them please sign their petition: https://brislingtonrailwaypath.weebly.com/

Railway path, not relief road

A public meeting is to be held on Tue 30 Jan to talk about making a new green route through Brislington instead of a polluting new road (6pm, St. Peter’s Methodist Church Hall, Allison Road, Brislington).

The Greater Brislington local councillors will be voicing their united opposition to the Callington Relief Road (as proposed under the WECA Joint Spatial Plan and recently reported by us here) and proposing a Railway Path instead. The associated petition is now pushing 500 signatures.

Our Space4Cycling team will be at the meeting to talk about the benefits of improved cycling infrastructure as opposed to the building of more roads.

Also at the meeting will be two Bristol Cabinet Members, Nicola Beech and Mhairi Threlfall. They will be promoting the road scheme, which many locals, including local Councillors from all parties, are vehemently opposed to.

So it is imperative that we have a strong voice to speak up for active travel and the more of us that can make it to the meeting the more likely we are to persuade Cllrs Beech and Threlfal that yet another road scheme is not what Bristol needs.

 

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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