Tag Archives: Walking

Campaign to keep Prince St Bridge for people walking and cycling

Prince Street Bridge is possible the most important single point in the city for walking and cycling. It is very heavily used and already a point of significant congestion. This will get worse as ever more people choose to walk and cycle.

It is clear that it can no longer continue to function safely and comfortably while meeting the needs of walking, cycling and motor traffic. Something has to give.

We’ve launched a petition for a one year trial of a proper design for walking and cycling. It’s been closed to motor traffic for six months so we know the city can cope.

There is a consultation on Prince Street out now to create a proper All Ages and Abilities (Triple A) route from Cumberland Road to the Centre, but it gives up at Prince St Bridge (and also doesn’t link to Gaol Ferry Bridge).

There’s a ‘plotting’ meeting for everyone who wants to make this happen on Weds 20th July, 5.45pm at Roll for the Soul. Come along!

Here’s the text of the petition

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Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy Announced (sigh)

When the government wants to announce something quietly, it has several weasely methods for ensuring that the media is looking the other way. It can issue the announcement on the Friday just as Parliament is closing, it can issue it when the Prime Minister is out of the country and unable to be questioned, or it can wait for an opportune moment like a terrorist attack to distract attention. What news could possibly be so bad that it uses all three, but even worse than issuing the news when Parliament is rising, it issues it on a bank holiday weekend?

The answer is the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) which was finally issued over the Easter weekend (background). The first three words of the title, cycling and walking, are accurate, but the final two words, investment and strategy, are so economical with the truth as to make austerity look like a generous uncle handing out tenners to all and sundry.

The case for investing in walking and cycling is inarguable, and many studies, including that of the Parliamentary All Party Cycling Group, called Get Britain Cycling, show that it is many times better value for money than any other transport spending, with staggeringly high payback of at least ten to one. Compare that to road schemes which are regarded as good value with a payback of 1.5 to one, but only if you make some dodgy assumptions about the value of drivers’ time. More cycling means better health, reduced obesity, less congestion, less pollution, less danger, improved environment and sustainability, and according to NICE, getting more people cycling would be the best way of achieving the government’s health targets. The same is likely to be true for walking. There is no better transport investment than active travel, walking and cycling, so, being acutely aware of their fiscal responsibilities to the nation, the government has decided on this strategy, and the Prime Minister himself has said that he will be starting a “cycling revolution”.

They are “investing” £42bn into HS2 and £15bn on the roads strategy, neither of which have an economic case, with the latter increasing congestion, pollution and danger, so the investment into cycling and walking must be more than both of those put together surely? The answer of course, is no. Over a five year period, the government will be kickstarting the cycling revolution with £300m, which might sound a lot, but is, compared to other transport investment, not even a single peanut. The Get Britain Cycling report called for initial spending of £10 per person, rising to £20 per person, to achieve the target of 25% of journeys by bicycle by 2050. The amount proposed in the CWIS is £1.38 per person outside London, and it will take until the 23rd century to achieve its targets, according to CTC’s Policy Director Roger Geffen. This is kickstarting by a man with no legs.

If getting more people cycling and walking was anathema to government policy, then the failure to invest in them might be understandable, but the government is fully committed to increasing them, with any number of supportive statements, like that of Mr Cameron, but the investment still goes to schemes with vastly inferior returns on every conceivable criteria. To show their confidence that this strategy is so overwhelmingly, inarguably, impeccably correct, they issued it on a Bank Holiday weekend, when the Prime Minister is on holiday and when there have been big terrorist attacks. There can be no clearer demonstration that this government doesn’t care about the nation’s health, global warming, death and injury on our roads, congestion or basically anything apart from pandering to the car lobby and big business which gets the contracts for road and rail infrastructure.

Manifesto for Mayoral Candidates – May 2016

We have produced a Manifesto for 2016 Mayoral Elections 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 Council, and for the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Manifesto for Mayoral Candidates

  • Cycling is good for Bristol – and more cycling is better

  • 8 in 10 people want Bristol to be better for cycling

  • Two thirds of people consider cycling too risky for them

  • People want protection from intimidating motor traffic

  • Sharing with pedestrians can be uncomfortable for both

  • Bristol aims to achieve 20% cycling by 2020 with huge benefits for all

  • 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 Mayor and council must have a transforming vision for cycling, and the political will to make it easy for our choices to be good for us and good for our city. We are calling on candidates to create Space for Cycling, for the benefit of everyone.

Questions for Candidates on specific priorities

  1. Will you create protected Space for Cycling on the Gloucester Rd?

  2. Will you support a Living Heart for Bristol by removing through motor traffic from Anchor Rd, Park St, Haymarket, Baldwin St and Prince St?

  3. Will you set up a Space for Cycling Inner Loop connecting Clifton Triangle, St James Barton, Temple Circus, Redcliffe roundabout, new Arnolfini Bridge and Jacob’s Wells roundabout?

General Questions for Candidates

  1. Will you plan to Get Bristol Moving by making the best use of the limited capacity of our streets and roads so that 80% of trips can be healthy and sustainable (40% walking, 20% public transport, and 20% cycling)?

  2. Will you prioritise Funding for Cycling with sustained investment of £16 per head, and an aspiration for £25 per head? Also ensure that 10% of the council transport budget delivers clear benefits for cycling.

  3. Will you open up our Streets for All through a ‘good transport plan’ in every neighbourhood? Residential areas should have low speeds, continuous pavements across side streets, no rat running and all streets open for cycling.

  4. Will you take every opportunity to create Space for Cycling on busy or fast roads and junctions, with ‘Triple A’ standards for All Ages and Abilities, so that there are safe routes to school, to work, to shop, and to green spaces?

  5. Will you plan for Living Hearts for the centre and our neighbourhoods? This means public spaces at the centres of our neighbourhoods where people are the priority, and are not dominated by through motor traffic.

Manifesto for Police & Crime Commissioner Candidates – May 2016

We have produced a BCyC Manifesto for 2016 PCC Election 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 as Bristol councillors.

Manifesto for Police and Crime Commissioner Candidates

  • Every week two people walking or cycling in Bristol are seriously injured or killed by motor vehicles

  • Fear of road danger is the major factor trapping children and older people into unhealthy and more limited lives

  • Effective policing sets standards of behaviour, safety and mutual respect on our roads, to the benefit of vulnerable road users, the main victims of road danger

  • Deep seated problems in enforcement, investigation and prosecutions are acknowledged to be failing vulnerable road users

  • The Bristol Road Justice Group has been working with the police on strategies to make our roads free from fear and harm.

The Police and Crime Commissioner must direct policies and resources to where they will be most effective at improving the safety of vulnerable road users. We are calling on candidates to support our Road Justice manifesto, for the benefit of everyone. We also commend the RoadPeace manifesto for London.

Questions for Candidates

  1. Will you make it a police priority to work with councils towards a ‘Vision Zero’ approach to road danger reduction? This will involve an integrated approach based on A Safe System Approach to Road Safety in Bristol.  A senior officer should be responsible and meet regularly with walking and cycling groups.

  2. Lower speeds are the most significant factor in reducing road danger and have widespread community support. Will you make enforcement of speed limits a police priority?

  3. Low level intimidation from motor vehicles is an everyday experience for most people cycling and for many pedestrians. Two thirds of people say they consider the roads too dangerous to consider cycling due to the behaviour of traffic. In any other area of life this fear of crime and anti-social behaviour would not be tolerated. Will you ensure that policing the roads is prioritised according to its impact on the lives of most people?

  4. Poor outcomes of investigations and prosecutions are failing to support and protect the victims of collisions; this is a national and local problem. Will you set targets that require the police to report regularly on progress in how collisions are handled?

  5. Will you ensure that policing priorities should follow an evidence based approach to identify the underlying issues and sources of danger and threat? This means a road danger reduction approach at local and district level.



Threat to walking and cycling on Prince Street Bridge

BCyC image

Worrying news from cabinet papers published yesterday that Prince Street Bridge, and the streets on either side, may become as congested and hostile for walking and cycling as before (which is to say ‘business as usual’ and a missed opportunity).

It is our view that this should be closed to motor vehicles so that two new iconic ‘plazas’, one at each end, can be established at the heart of the Harbouride (A Modest Proposal #3: Inner Loop Proposal). It’s plain to see that the level of use for walking and cycling, and the importance of the public space, mean that through traffic can no longer be accommodated.

The bridge has been closed for repairs since August 2015 and it’s been found the condition is worse than thought. An option was considered to “refurbish the existing bridge with a lighter deck only suitable for pedestrians and cyclists, [although] the potential cost saving is small as a percentage of the overall estimated cost of the work and [it] represents a good investment in network resilience”.

The decision has been made to return the bridge to its previous carrying capacity although the report says “this does not preclude a future policy decision on what traffic the bridge may carry if overall traffic conditions in the City were to change”.

The report says that “Prince Street Bridge forms a vital link enabling pedestrians and cyclists to cross the City Docks.”

No argument about that.

It goes on to say “It is also an important route for light vehicular traffic and the consequences of the bridge not being available for such traffic can be felt in several locations on the highway network”.  The level of use is apparently “6,000 pedestrians and 2,500 cyclists wishing to cross the City Docks at this location, along with well over 4,000 vehicles each day”.

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