Making Bristol better for cycling

Temple Gate (Temple Meads)

Informal consultation on current plans for Temple Gate were presented at the January 2015 Bristol Bike Forum. Subsequently the leaflet was published at with requests for responses (deadline passed 18 Feb 2015). We’ve attached it here Temple Gate Consultation_Version_January_2015

The proposals for Temple Gate remove the Temple Circus roundabout and one of its spurs to create “a more direct road layout, changes to access, more direct pedestrian and cycle routes, better public transport facilities and space for new buildings and a public square.” As an important gateway to the City Centre, this scheme is long overdue!

While an improvement to walking and cycling these proposals do not reach the high standards mandated in the Bristol Cycle Strategy.


1. No attempt to reduce or mitigate the large volume of motor traffic.

If the high levels of motor traffic are not to be reduced and moved to alternative routes I would have expected to see grade separation, e.g. a tunnel, built for motor traffic.

2. Not enough segregation for people cycling.

Several parts of the plan simply show an intent to legalise pavement cycling. This is completely insufficient and introduces conflict. As with other flaws in the plans this does not meet the standards put forward in the Bristol Cycle Strategy.

Segregation must be provided between all modes of transport, including along the Brunel mile. This must be made physically, e.g. with a kerb, not paint. Any cycle facility must be at least 2m wide per direction of travel (i.e. a two-way track should be 4m wide). This is the Dutch recommended minimum.

There must also be physical separation between the cycle track and motor traffic. This is recommended to be at least 0.5m of physical space.

3. Cycling in bus lanes

This is completely unsuitable for a cycle network suitable for everyone aged 8-80. It shows a prioritisation of bus movement over people cycling. This contradicts council policy and should not be implemented.

4. Dual network cycling provision

A segregated cycling network should be of sufficient quality to suit everyone, All Ages and Abilities (Triple A provision). As the plans show on-road Advanced Stop Lines the plans appear to have a ‘dual network’ cycling provision – one on-road for those who want convenience and direct routes, and one off-road for those who want safety away from motor traffic. As a result the plans show two flawed networks, as both qualities are necessary for all who cycle.

5. Does not connect to existing segregated network

Does not connect continuously, smoothly, or directly to important routes, existing network, or important destinations. I will accept that the plans are an improvement, but this deserves little recognition as it would be difficult to make Temple Circus worse.

The new segregated facility on Clarence Road only connects to Temple Circus via some multi stage crossings and legalising pavement cycling which are very narrow, whether clutter is removed or not. I would expect a cycling network on to be continuous and direct – this is neither.

A new cycling route along Feeder/Cattle Market Road will have an even worse connection, as the direct route to Bristol Temple Meads does not even have legalised pavement cycling. I have been told that the space behind the bus stop may be able to reclaimed to provide a cycle lane later. This shows a reversal of priorities. The multi-lane road here is very wide and should be reduced in width to provide a segregated cycling facility. If the space is reclaimed then the cycling lane and bus stop can be moved to increase the road width.

6. No bus-stop bypasses

These are a common feature in high quality cycling networks, eliminating conflict between pedestrians, cyclists, and buses. None are shown on the plans.

7. Continuous pavements across junction

Again a common feature across side streets in high quality networks. There are a number of side roads that this improvement could be implemented.

8. There is only one ‘one-phase’ crossing

This should not be exceptional and should exist on the arms of all junctions. A number of junctions retain the slow and frustrating multi-stage crossings. Notably the only access to the station by bike is shown to use a multi-stage crossing, legalising pavement cycling.

9. Speed reduction through design

The area is a 20mph in writing only. This is insufficient and 20mph should be a natural limit based on the construction of the road. The plans show wide open roads with sweeping corners that encourage high speeds.

Suggested Improvements

A network of segregated cycling facilities is provided

The key point here is that it must be a network, which is defined as a continuous grid of high quality cycle paths. Not, as the plans suggest, where space is available as this is contrary to the council hierarchy of prioritising pedestrians over cyclists, cyclists over public transport, and public transport over private motor traffic.

We drew up an example of how a cycle network should look in and around Temple Circus, as attached.

Simultaneous green

The opportunity should be grabbed to make the new crossroad a simultaneous green junction for people cycling.

A simultaneous green crossing is a special type of crossing used on junctions of all shapes and sizes in the Netherlands. Such a junction would be a groundbreaking first for the UK. Cyclists from all directions have a dedicated green light that allows them to cross at the same time indepently of motor traffic. The new Temple Circus crossroad is the perfect opportunity to create a simultaneous green junction for Bristol Green Capital.



Using our normal five assessment categories we think these proposals have much potential, but need to show more ambition.

Space for Cycling

Does this measure advance the six themes of 1) Protected space on main roads; 2) Remove through motor traffic; 3) Safe routes to school; 4) Cycle friendly town centres; 5) Cycle routes in green spaces; 6) 20mph speed limits?

Amber – overall neutral

Road Danger Reduction

Does this measure seek a genuine reduction in danger for all road users by identifying and controlling the principal sources of threat?

Green – overall benefit

Triple A Quality (All Ages and Abilities)

Will this measure be attractive to all ages and abilities using all kinds of cycles?

Amber – overall neutral

Strategic Cycling Network

How does this measure contribute to the development of Bristol Council’s planned integrated and coherent strategic cycle network?

Amber – overall neutral


How far does this measure provide for Triple A Space for Cycling in the future?

Green – overall benefit