There’s a consultation out on behalf of the Department for Transport to compile a set of Case Studies that exemplify high quality, high performing cycle infrastructure in the UK. The short list of 35 schemes provide variety of scheme types (in both urban and rural areas), and illustrate cycle designs for different situations. There is an online survey until 16th August to narrow this to a final selection by commenting on chemes with which people are familiar.
The next stage of the project will involve collecting more detailed data on the final selection from their promoters, with DfT planning to publish a selection of case studies on its website in Autumn 2015. The three local schemes are
– South West England: Bristol – Baldwin Street Two Way Segregated Cycle Track
– South West England: Bristol – Redcliffe Bridge and Welsh Back
– South West England: South Gloucestershire – Hambrook Junction on A4174, parallel signalled cycle crossing
South Gloucestershire – Hambrook Junction on A4174, parallel signalled cycle crossing
Compared to much of the other provision through South Gloucestershire this is not bad. It does help get across a major obstacle to cycling but it can hardly be called welcoming and is not going to make those who don’t cycle feel they are safe and welcome particularly on the approaches.
Bristol – Baldwin Street Two Way Segregated Cycle Track
This is a short length of really quite attractive provision, including a well thought out priority crossing of a fairly busy side street. The question is where it comes from and is going. The junction at the top by Castle Park is congested, confusing and unable to cope with existing demand. At the other end you are dumped into bewildering routes around the centre. Net effect is marginal at best. Then there is the issue that the long term strategy for the city centre must be for a ‘Living Heart’ free of motor traffic, in which case Baldwin Street may well not need special provision at all. Looks like tokenism in the absence of strategy, but if you think that all that’s needed is a few metres of good stuff then you might be pleased with this.
Bristol – Redcliffe Bridge and Welsh Back
This was done as a quick and cheap scheme during the Cycling City project and it was the only example where a short stretch of road was reallocated as Space for Cycling. It’s not pretty and already feel congested and it does little to clarify the heavily used shared use paths and pavements through to Queens Square and beyond or on through to Temple Meads Station. Is it better than what was there before? Yes. It is a example of Triple A cycling provision (All Ages and Abilities) that will encourage more people to cycle feeling safe and comfortable? Only if your standards are low and you’re feeling charitable.