Campaigns

Making Bristol better for cycling

Victoria Park and Filwood Quietway – good for everyone

South Bristol is poorly served for cycling. We’ve been advocating what is now the proposed Filwood Quiteway since our 2013 Bristol Cycling Manifesto (where it was called Q13 Knowle Quietway running all the way into the centre). A lot of work and consultation has been put into planning the details of this route by Sustrans and Bristol Council, including an innovative website for the whole route that we hope to see used again on other schemes.

The section through Victoria Park is particularly good and is now a planning application which we strongly support (closing 11th January 2017). It is one of those “win-win” situations. It passes a school and is perfect for encouraging children (and adults) to cycle and walk in safety. Full details are in the Victoria Park Design and Access Statement.

Here is our response to the consultation, also below BCyCResponsetoFilwoodQuietway-VictoriaPark.

Click here to support the Quietway 

More walking and cycling instead of car use means cleaner air. Bristol has the 4th most polluted air in the UK. Bristolians will be healthier, save money and have a better quality environment. All these benefits will be immediate and long term, for everyone.

Despite all these positive benefits  there are well organised objectors who are determined to stop this cycleway (here and here). Bristol needs this cycleway. Your support is very important to ensure this proposal proceeds and all the work to date is not wasted. Please show your support by making a comment to the planning application. You just need to give your details, say you support it, and then add a comment, if you wish. This can be as simple as ‘I support this and agree with the more detailed submission by Bristol Cycling Campaign’. There is a useful “You Said, We Did” section on lighting, route choice, segregation, width and barriers on the Filwood Quietway project page.

Click here to support the Quietway 

P.S. any number of people from the same household can support, and please ask others to support.

Local councillors for Windmill Hill and for Knowle have said they support Space for Cycling, and so has the Cabinet Member for Transport, Mark Bradshaw. You can be sure they are hearing a lot from those who don’t want the cycling improvements. Use this link to send them an email saying you’re in favour. We’ve don’t most of the work but you should include your name and address and personal comments before sending.

Email the Councillors [add your name and comment]


Bristol Cycling Campaign Response to Consultation

Filwood Quietway – Victoria Park

Ref: Planning Application 16/06497/F (Overview of Filwood Quietway)

Our overall position on this consultation is: SUPPORT

Bristol Cycling Campaign believes that every Bristolian, whatever their age or ability, deserves safe and inviting space for cycling on all Bristol’s streets. This should never be to the detriment of walking. We welcome the ambitious target in the council’s Bristol Cycle Strategy for 20% of trips to work by bike by 2020. We have the following general comments on this consultation drawing on the Bristol Cycling Manifesto, and the Making Space for Cycling guide for street renewals which set out how to achieve Space for Cycling:

Space for Cycling Does this measure provide for 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? Green – overall benefit
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? Amber – overall neutral
Triple A Quality (All Ages and Abilities) Will this measure be attractive to all ages and abilities using all kinds of cycles? Green – overall benefit
Strategic Cycling Network How does this measure contribute to the development of Bristol Council’s planned integrated and coherent strategic cycle network? Green – overall benefit
Cycle-proofing How far does this measure provide for Triple A Space for Cycling in the future? Green – overall benefit

Bristol Cycling Campaign has the following specific comments on this consultation:

  1. The cycle route through Victoria Park is an important element of the Filwood Quietway. This was one of the key Space For Cycling issues identified for Windmill Hill ward during the May 2016 elections. Politicians and planners need to be brave. Cycling schemes aren’t going to make everyone happy, but if they can improve life for the majority then they need to be pursued, no matter what.
  2. We are pleased that both Windmill Hill councillors gave strong supporting statements about Space for Cycling in Bristol and the BCyC councillor manifesto. The two ward councillors for Knowle, Gary Hopkins and Christopher Davies, are also S4C supporters. We hope they will be as good as their word in supporting this proposal.
    1. Jon Wellington: “I’m delighted to support the Space for Cycling campaign. As someone who cycles to work every day and uses my bike to get around the ward I’d be very keen to see improvements not just in the ward but on routes in an out of the city centre and to Temple Meads as well as to our neighbouring communities in Bedminster, Knowle, Filwood and further afield. If elected I will work with the Mayor of Bristol, other councillors, the Neighbourhood Partnership and other agencies to bring safer cycle routes to the ward and to the city.”
    2. Lucy Whittle: “This is an important campaign, as a cyclist myself and having children who regularly cycle, it is essential to me that we have a safe and welcoming city for cyclists. More cyclists is better for everyone, even those who can’t or don’t want to get on a bike. Let’s not make this an “us or them” issue, more cyclists is win:win for us all, it means less pollution, less congestion, less road rage, and fitter, healthier and happier communities.”
  3. Some objectors worry about the route between St Luke’s Road and St Mary Redcliffe junior school, used by schoolchildren.  Some objectors worry about the amount of park perimeter space taken up, which includes the length of Hill Avenue on the southern side of the park.  Some objectors are suggesting a route up Nutgrove Avenue, which is hillier and would cross pedestrian desire lines (as the proposed route does). These are all valid concerns, but the question is whether there is a better solution to what is proposed. We don’t think there is. An earlier proposal to take the cycle route under St Luke’s railway bridge was ruled out due to local opposition. This remains an issue that must be resolved, at a later date.
  4. We have some sympathy with the objections to the route along the edge of the park by Hill Avenue, which is a flat area of ground near a quiet road, hence good for picnics and recreation.  It is also the one part of the proposed route which differs from the current route.  A cycle route fully segregated from motor traffic along Hill Avenue might be an (less suitable) alternative, but could only be done by removing on street parking. Hill Ave isn’t pleasant with cars parked either side and single file traffic so people on bikes keep stopping to let cars through, and then there’s the ramps. Many currently prefer to use that over going through the park because it’s flat, there are no barriers to negotiate and there are fewer pedestrians.
  5. The scheme designers are proposing segregated cycle and pedestrian paths with substantial width (like the one in eg Castle Park), in line with consistent feedback that segregated paths are preferred.  The objectors are saying that a wide path has the feel of a road, and is a bad thing. This is a fundamental design question for cycle routes in parks. In the royal parks in London, they have done away with segregated paths, on the basis that they encourage higher cycle speeds. We do not think there is a ‘right’ design answer, but it is down to users being considerate and a design that enables this to happen.
  6. The consultation process on this project has been particularly strong and thorough. Any planning proposal involves balancing different interests. We are in agreement with most of the “You Said, We Did” section on lighting, route choice, segregation, width and barriers.  https://travelwest.info/projects/cycle-ambition-fund/bristol/filwood-quietway/victoria-park-proposals
  7. We believe the estimable Victoria Park Action Group have been co-opted by a fundamentally anti-cycling group whose true agenda is shown by their name, FOG (Filwood Quietway Opposition Group). Their purpose is to resist the whole Filwood Quietway route and they’ve quite rightly identified the Victoria Park section as the point where they can hide their true aims under a cloak of appearing to care about parks and pedestrians. These are indeed real issues, but an objective perspective will show they’ve been largely resolved by the thoughtful design and adaptations. FOG, under the guise of VPAG, have been effective at distributing selective information, which is designed to mislead and resulted in a disproportionate and unrepresentative number of negative comments on the application so far.
  8. The park group objectors may have been less angry about this if the scheme showed a better balance of benefits between cyclists and pedestrians across the whole park. Unfortunately, the remit of this government-funded project is for a cycling route only, so the improvements can not be spread across the park. We would like to see more benches and detailing on the route to encourage socialising and people making use of the park for ‘hanging out’ rather than just ‘passing through’. There are some worrying objections to this idea as ‘encouraging young people and anti-social behaviour’. We believe it will improve the park and slow speeds by increasing the presence of people enjoying themselves.
  9. It is important to remember that this scheme is NOT about those who currently cycle, nor is it for ‘cyclists’. The whole point must be that although Bristol has many people who feel able to do something as simple, affordable and quick as cycling, about 2 out of every three people will not even consider it, mostly due to fear of traffic. These are the people who will benefit from this kind of pleasant route through green spaces. This route will particularly attract children, older people, women and the less able bodied. The overriding factor that stops potential cyclists from starting is the fear of danger from motorized vehicles. The Victoria Park section of the Filwood Quietway will help reduce that fear. An integrated Filwood Quietway route will offer immediate & long term financial / health reward to the people of Bristol in many ways.
  10. The benefits to inclusivity have not been set out clearly enough. At the moment people in wheelchairs, double buggy users, mobility scooter users find it difficult or impossible to access the park and these plans will be a great improvement.  The park will become more open and welcoming to all.
  11. We support the innovative use of sensor-based lighting, and important element in opening access to more people.
  12. Enjoyment of parks and green spaces is not restricted to those on foot. Riding a bike on a traffic free route free from traffic danger, noise & pollutants is one of life’s great pleasures, enjoyed by tens of thousands of Bristolians, with more every year. The Council has a duty to enable the widest appreciation and enjoyment of our city’s green spaces.
  13. The scheme designers are proposing segregated cycle and pedestrian paths with substantial width (like the one in eg Castle Park), in line with consistent feedback that segregated paths are preferred.  The objectors are saying that a wide path has the feel of a road, and is a bad thing. This is a fundamental design question for cycle routes in parks. In the royal parks in London, they have done away with segregated paths, on the basis that they encourage higher cycle speeds. The general view, and experience, is that segregated and wider paths reduce conflict and narrower and shared ones produce conflict. The DfT study on Shared Use in 2012 sets out the evidence and specifically says of Bristol (section6):
    6.6.1 There is a relatively high level of compliance with segregation by both pedestrians and cyclists during weekday peak period, though typically, the level of compliance decreases at the weekend.
    6.6.2  There is a high level of on-road cycling adjacent to the shared use facility during commuting periods, supporting the view that the road network is the preferred choice for many commuter cyclists.
  14. It would be wholly unacceptable for there to be narrow paths that made no provision for the city aspirations for 20% of trips by cycle. The effect of narrow paths may indeed reduce the speed of some cyclists, but they do this by increasing perceived obstacles, congestion and conflict. They force other park users into a wholly unwelcome role as living ‘traffic calming’. Better by far to provide sufficient width for normal respectful sharing. Please see BCyC Policy – Shared Space Streets and Shared Use Pavements
  15. This will be a particularly important resource for children to cycle to school and cycle for recreation in a safe environment, families would be able to use it to teach children how to cycle.
  16. We feel the health facing us are still not being taken anywhere near sufficiently seriously. Bristol has the 4th most polluted air quality in the UK with an estimated 200 lives lost each year. Access to green space and active travel are essential to our wellbeing and future (see the Essential Evidence series) and this is exactly the kind of project that Local Authorities are being urged to undertake by national policies such as those set out by NICE.

 

Comments

  1. Bunty Burt

    I’m a cyclist but I’m also someone who enjoys walking and calm space – what I can’t understand in this ‘quietway’ project is why the emphasis has turned from ‘cyclists’ rights on the road’ to ‘cyclists’ rights over the pedestrian’. God knows there are few enough places to escape the relentless pace of urban life in South Bristol, wihtout the cyclist revolutionaries taking what there is. Is the fight against motorists so difficult that you’re going for the easier target (little old walkers, hardly dynamic enough to protest)? Or did you just forget that one of the objectionable aspects to motor traffic is the pace, not just the pollution? Victoria Park is an oasis – en route to school or the shops, exercising or just for a little moment of peace. It’s a place where people (including cyclists) can relax and unwind, where the rush of people getting places happens on the edge and can be ignored. This ‘quietway’ will mean this oasis, that exists for everyone, stands to be destroyed by those championing the rights of a specialist group. If you want a real Quietway, don’t turn an already quiet and peaceful area into a highway, turn the dangerous St Lukes Road into a cycleway; it’s about the easiest possible change to this area there could be and potentially one of the most popular.

    I am 100% in favour of cycling reform, but reform to replace motorists, not pedestrians, BECAUSE CYCLISTS AND PEDESTRIANS ARE ON THE SAME SIDE!! At what point did winning become so important to the cycling lobby that you lost sight of the main objective? The main objective was to champion cycling as an alternative to the pollutant of cars, not as an alternative to walking, open spaces and a natural pace of life. As a supporter of Sustrans for 30 years (since well before the lottery funding) and of cycling rights in general, it is with disillusionment that I am vociferously opposing this initiative and encouraging all those I know to do the same.

  2. ShaunHennessy

    Hi I’m Chairman of Victoria Park Action Group (VPAG) and feel the need to clear up some inaccuracies in this article. I would normally agree this text with the VPAG group first, but timescales do not permit me that luxury so apologies in advance if I have misrepresented any VPAG (or FOG’s) views.

    First I’d like to state that VPAG supports cycling in Victoria Park and welcomes responsible cyclists in the park. Indeed I’d like to thank the vast majority of cyclists that are very respectful to other park users that makes the current arrangements work well. There have been some recent regrettable incidents, but in the main there is little conflict.

    I’ll address your article point by point:

    1. The cycle route through Victoria Park is an important element of the Filwood Quietway. This was one of the key Space For Cycling issues identified for Windmill Hill ward during the May 2016 elections. Politicians and planners need to be brave. Cycling schemes aren’t going to make everyone happy, but if they can improve life for the majority then they need to be pursued, no matter what.

    A1) Cycling schemes are undoubtedly important and VPAG have been keen to get plans that work, but not at any cost. It’s your ‘no matter what’ statement I would take issue with and unfortunately this seems to be the overriding view from the project team behind these plans. I would argue that our green spaces are just as important as cycling schemes and within parks there should be a balanced approach to planned changes and certainly a ‘no matter what’ attitude.

    2.We are pleased that both Windmill Hill councillors gave strong supporting statements about Space for Cycling in Bristol and the BCyC councillor manifesto.

    A2)We too are pleased that Windmill Hill councillors are supporting Space for cycling in Bristol. We are also pleased that they have (to my knowledge) wisely not endorsed (or opposed) these specific plans as they recognise they are controversial.

    3 Some objectors worry about the route between St Luke’s Road and St Mary Redcliffe junior school, used by schoolchildren. Some objectors worry about the amount of park perimeter space taken up, which includes the length of Hill Avenue on the southern side of the park. Some objectors are suggesting a route up Nutgrove Avenue, which is hillier and would cross pedestrian desire lines (as the proposed route does). These are all valid concerns, but the question is whether there is a better solution to what is proposed. We don’t think there is. An earlier proposal to take the cycle route under St Luke’s railway bridge was ruled out due to local opposition. This remains an issue that must be resolved, at a later date.

    A3) Our information is that the route under St Luke’s railway bridge was ruled out mainly due to technical reasons and the listed nature of the banana bridge. Local opposition did come into it, but concerns about cyclist experience, traffic backing up onto York road and not being able to alter the bridge for cyclists were the main problems.
    There have also been a great number of alternative routes suggested including an alternative route in the park which VPAG have concerns with, but do not object to. The issue seems to be the alternative route in the park would not be wide enough for segregation. This is the preferred style and route for VPAG. It should be noted that this alternative route is used by most commuters through the park at present.
    As for wider routing options and I’m speaking for myself rather than VPAG on this point, converging the Malago Quietway with Filwood Quietway in front of a primary school on a hill is absolutely the worst place to converge these routes. I think it would make a great deal of sense to converge these earlier via Marksbury Road and Markbury road open space, which minimises hills, expense and disruption to all users. Cyclists living between Wedmore Vale and Victoria park will miss out on some provision here, but it works better for all other considerations including keeping the path away from other Victoria Park users. Incidentally, with this plan I would oppose a segregated path through Marksbury Road open space, but keep the existing shared use arrangement.
    Any route from the St Johns Lane either across the park or using quiet roads can be introduced when there is a viable route through St Luke’s Rd Bridge, which is where the majority of current park cycle traffic heads to in any case. Increasing cycle traffic to a route across the park without tackling St Lukes Road Bridge is going to cause much more congestion/conflict for St Lukes Road footpaths.

    4.We have some sympathy with the objections to the route along the edge of the park by Hill Avenue, which is a flat area of ground near a quiet road, hence good for picnics and recreation. It is also the one part of the proposed route which differs from the current route. A cycle route fully segregated from motor traffic along Hill Avenue might be an (less suitable) alternative, but could only be done by removing on street parking. Hill Ave isn’t pleasant with cars parked either side and single file traffic so people on bikes keep stopping to let cars through, and then there’s the ramps. Many currently prefer to use that over going through the park because it’s flat, there are no barriers to negotiate and there are fewer pedestrians.

    A4) I appreciate the recognition that there is some loss to park users and just not improvement to the park from this scheme as some literature would have you believe. I would like to add that there is very little flat space in Victoria Park due to the hill. The area where this path is planned is one of the few picnic and informal ‘run around’ areas of the park. Gazebos, rounders, BBQs, local business\chuch fundays, cub groups, bootcamp groups, cricket etc all tend to take place here as it is a flat area with no main thoroughfare. There is very little alternative space for this activity in the park. The current plan is akin in impact to building path with width of a road through a football field or a small village green. On maps the path may look like it is to the outside of the park, but that is not the case in terms of impact.

    5. The scheme designers are proposing segregated cycle and pedestrian paths with substantial width (like the one in eg Castle Park), in line with consistent feedback that segregated paths are preferred. The objectors are saying that a wide path has the feel of a road, and is a bad thing. This is a fundamental design question for cycle routes in parks. In the royal parks in London, they have done away with segregated paths, on the basis that they encourage higher cycle speeds. We do not think there is a ‘right’ design answer, but it is down to users being considerate and a design that enables this to happen.

    A5) VPAG also believes that segregation will introduce excessive speed as has been seen in other parks. Redland green is such an example. VPAG believe that there has been inadequate consultation, however, there was one absolutely clear message in VPAG’s limited consultation that the designed path was too wide. VPAG can support a width of upto 3m, which is ample width for existing shared use paths in the park. We believe this is the best fit design answer for Victoria Park to enable considerate use from both pedestrians and cyclists.

    6. The consultation process on this project has been particularly strong and thorough. Any planning proposal involves balancing different interests. We are in agreement with most of the “You Said, We Did” section on lighting, route choice, segregation, width and barriers. https://travelwest.info/projects/cycle-ambition-fund/bristol/filwood-quietway/victoria-park-proposals

    A6) I cannot disagree more strongly on this point. The consultation process has been completely inadequate for a change of this significance to a public park. I cannot speak for the route as a whole, but for these specific changes to Victoria Park , this is BY FAR the worst effort I have seen. VPAG itself has been involved in numerous consultations and most council led consultations have been of a good standard with good publicity and information, however this one with a discreet, detail-light leaflet to a few houses and one popup event for an afternoon in August is not an adequate consultation. Specific groups like ourselves have been approached too, but the wider public have not been included sufficiently at all.

    Whenever VPAG has held consultations we ensure we consult over a wide number of days and locations to ensure we cover as wide a cross section of park users as possible. This process usually takes weeks/months, particularly for a change as large as this. VPAG itself held a very quick consultation when we were given only a few days to get a formal response to the project team. We believe our own consultation was inadequate for this reason too. VPAG do not believe that anyone has adequately measured the opinion of the public in and around Victoria Park regarding route options or style of path.

    7. We believe the estimable Victoria Park Action Group have been co-opted by a fundamentally anti-cycling group whose true agenda is shown by their name, FOG (Filwood Quietway Opposition Group). Their purpose is to resist the whole Filwood Quietway route and they’ve quite rightly identified the Victoria Park section as the point where they can hide their true aims under a cloak of appearing to care about parks and pedestrians. These are indeed real issues, but an objective perspective will show they’ve been largely resolved by the thoughtful design and adaptations. FOG, under the guise of VPAG, have been effective at distributing selective information, which is designed to mislead and resulted in a disproportionate and unrepresentative number of negative comments on the application so far.

    A7) Again this could not be further from the truth. Some members from VPAG facilitated the formation of FOG specifically to act an umbrella group to oppose these specific proposals for Victoria Park as they went to planning. It is not an anti-cycling group. It is not an anti-path group. It is an anti ‘this proposal’ group. It was recognised that there was a huge local opposition to these proposals that transcended VPAG so some facilitated a new group that could form its own voice and diverge from VPAG’s official response if required. Currently I believe FOG’s message is identical to VPAG’s. The aim is certainly not to mislead or to hide any true wider aims. That’s preposterous!

    The number of negative comments on the application so far has not been whipped up or due to selective information. It is genuinely the view of many people who see these plans as detrimental to the park that they love. The first comment to this article by Bunty Burt expresses these feelings very eloquently.

    8. The park group objectors may have been less angry about this if the scheme showed a better balance of benefits between cyclists and pedestrians across the whole park. Unfortunately, the remit of this government-funded project is for a cycling route only, so the improvements can not be spread across the park. We would like to see more benches and detailing on the route to encourage socialising and people making use of the park for ‘hanging out’ rather than just ‘passing through’. There are some worrying objections to this idea as ‘encouraging young people and anti-social behaviour’. We believe it will improve the park and slow speeds by increasing the presence of people enjoying themselves.

    A8) There are already a great number of people ‘hanging out’ and not ‘passing through’. Unfortunately a lot of these people ‘hang out’ in places where people are now planned to ‘pass through’. Spending money elsewhere would not change these core objections. The key for this project is to find a balance between the needs of the cyclist and other park users. VPAG have considered these options extensively and believe this balance lies in a shared path no more than 3m in width in a different location.

    9, It is important to remember that this scheme is NOT about those who currently cycle, nor is it for ‘cyclists’. The whole point must be that although Bristol has many people who feel able to do something as simple, affordable and quick as cycling, about 2 out of every three people will not even consider it, mostly due to fear of traffic. These are the people who will benefit from this kind of pleasant route through green spaces. This route will particularly attract children, older people, women and the less able bodied. The overriding factor that stops potential cyclists from starting is the fear of danger from motorized vehicles. The Victoria Park section of the Filwood Quietway will help reduce that fear. An integrated Filwood Quietway route will offer immediate & long term financial / health reward to the people of Bristol in many ways.

    A9) Other than the odd park keeper in a van and the odd rouge motorcyclist, there is no vehicle traffic in the park. This is an argument for a different planning application not the one currently submitted which is completely within the park. It is my experience that the vast majority of people support cycling routes through the city, the objections are just for these specific proposals in the park.

    10 The benefits to inclusivity have not been set out clearly enough. At the moment people in wheelchairs, double buggy users, mobility scooter users find it difficult or impossible to access the park and these plans will be a great improvement. The park will become more open and welcoming to all.

    A10) The community as already been through this process of agreeing the entrances a number of years ago. It is recognised that the barriers are a hindrance to buggies and mobility scooters, but not impossible. Since their introduction we have had double buggies (myself included) and mobility scooters in the park every day.
    The decision was made a number of years ago that the motorbike issue and associated antisocial behaviour was blighting the lives of park users and people of living next to the park so much that the inconvenience of hindered entrances was one we had to bear.

    In order to change this view VPAG would need to see evidence that the situation has changed. We are not specifically against a trial period, but the terms and judgement framework would need to be carefully agreed.

    It should be noted that the motor cycle issue has receded in the last few years due to a combination of the entrances and the police enforcement. Motorbikes can still enter the park via some entrances, but they cannot escape easily with the barriers. This enabled the police to catch and confiscate the offenders’ bikes. Unfortunately we have seen a return of this issue in the last six months so it is still a live problem and may require another enforcement push by the police.

    VPAG do support any entrances that improves the accessibility but maintains inaccessible to motorbikes. ‘K’ barriers have been suggested and may be a better choice.

    11 We support the innovative use of sensor-based lighting, and important element in opening access to more people.

    A11) Lighting has always been a controversial issue in Victoria Park with our previous consultations showing a 50/50 split in support/objections. VPAG position regarding this proposal is that we can support unobtrusive lighting in the park that has considered wildlife and dark sky implications. We don’t believe the current lamppost solution is unobtrusive.
    Ground level lighting is considered preferable in the areas across the park.

    12 Enjoyment of parks and green spaces is not restricted to those on foot. Riding a bike on a traffic free route free from traffic danger, noise & pollutants is one of life’s great pleasures, enjoyed by tens of thousands of Bristolians, with more every year. The Council has a duty to enable the widest appreciation and enjoyment of our city’s green spaces.

    A12) VPAG wholeheartedly agrees this with statement with the caveat that any change to a green space should not benefit only one group to the detriment of others, but be balanced between all park users.

    13. The scheme designers are proposing segregated cycle and pedestrian paths with substantial width (like the one in eg Castle Park), in line with consistent feedback that segregated paths are preferred. The objectors are saying that a wide path has the feel of a road, and is a bad thing. This is a fundamental design question for cycle routes in parks. In the royal parks in London, they have done away with segregated paths, on the basis that they encourage higher cycle speeds. The general view, and experience, is that segregated and wider paths reduce conflict and narrower and shared ones produce conflict. The DfT study on Shared Use in 2012 sets out the evidence and specifically says of Bristol (section6):
    6.6.1 There is a relatively high level of compliance with segregation by both pedestrians and cyclists during weekday peak period, though typically, the level of compliance decreases at the weekend.
    6.6.2 There is a high level of on-road cycling adjacent to the shared use facility during commuting periods, supporting the view that the road network is the preferred choice for many commuter cyclists.

    A13) VPAG agree with the royal parks in London. The DfT study on Shared Use does not have any study areas in parks. The study cases used were for pavements and shared commuter routes. A public park is a completely different space and this study is not applicable to a park setting. We have taken the evidence from other similar parks such as Redland Green to formulate our choices.

    In a park people should able to let their children and dogs roam with less supervision than a normal pavement. The ‘road like’ quality we object to is not only due to the width for aesthetic and loss of green space amenity reasons. It is also due to the change in ‘perceived ownership’ of that space\path. Currently outside of playgrounds all areas of the park are shared by all. Balls, children, dogs, games sometimes traverse paths and there is a shared space feeling about the park. Everyone needs to lookout and respect everyone else. Indeed, VPAG do to object to cyclists carefully using paths not designated as shared cycle/pedestrian paths under the same basis.

    VPAG believe that the segregation, appearance and width of the planned path will shift this balance in favour of a ‘thoroughfare’ feeling. This prevents the activities I’ve just described near the planned path and encourages excessive speed through a large area of the park. This is the road-like quality that is objected to – in essence it changes pedestrians and cyclists from path users into ‘traffic’ with a greater sense of ownership on who or what should or shouldn’t be in their way.

    14. It would be wholly unacceptable for there to be narrow paths that made no provision for the city aspirations for 20% of trips by cycle. The effect of narrow paths may indeed reduce the speed of some cyclists, but they do this by increasing perceived obstacles, congestion and conflict. They force other park users into a wholly unwelcome role as living ‘traffic calming’. Better by far to provide sufficient width for normal respectful sharing. Please see BCyC Policy – Shared Space Streets and Shared Use Pavements

    A14) VPAG do not want a narrow shared path. We believe 3m is ample width for pedestrians and cyclists to pass each other without conflict as it currently the case in other parts of the park.

    15. This will be a particularly important resource for children to cycle to school and cycle for recreation in a safe environment, families would be able to use it to teach children how to cycle.

    15A) This already happens happily in the park. This planning application will not change this facility. This may be true for the wider plans for the quietway, but this does not apply to this planning application. Indeed if anything the lampposts hazard and extra cycle traffic would make this harder for children to learn to ride on one of the few flat spaces in the park.

    16. We feel the health facing us are still not being taken anywhere near sufficiently seriously. Bristol has the 4th most polluted air quality in the UK with an estimated 200 lives lost each year. Access to green space and active travel are essential to our wellbeing and future (see the Essential Evidence series) and this is exactly the kind of project that Local Authorities are being urged to undertake by national policies such as those set out by NICE.

    16 A) VPAG agrees with this statement. The issue here is how much do you compromise the green space to facilitate active travel? According to the overwhelming majority of local resident responses to this application, this proposal exceeds the compromises local residents (including many cyclists) are willing to take.

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