News

Cycling news from Bristol and beyond

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?…

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Threat to walking and cycling on Prince Street Bridge

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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Two rail surveys, one local, the other a national bike-rail survey

We are strong supporters of Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways (FOSBR) and they have just launched an online rail travel survey to feed into the WEP Joint Transport Plan and inform their campaign strategy – see the FOSBR website or follow the link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LWQBS7T The national Association of Train Operating Companies is interested in learning more about travel by cycle-rail. Here’s what they’re after: The number of cycle-rail users is growing each year and so it’s important that the Association of Train Operating Companies, understand how best to provide you with helpful information when you’re planning a rail journey…

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Cycling probably isn’t in decline in Bristol, but the city still has complacency issues

Guest Blog from the excellent At War With The Motorist. Reposted with permission (original) This popped up in my Tweetdeck saved searches column: Cycling steadily falling in #Bristol, DFT figures show  It caught my eye because I’m quite ready to be critical of Bristol. And I will be. But first, some reassurance. These numbers are (a) just a levelling off after years of growth, (b) probably not representative of the real situation in Bristol, and (c) probably a load of rubbish. The numbers come from the Department for Transport. Here’s how they look when plotted as an index relative to 2000, alongside motor vehicles (beware, truncated y axis): So this “decline” should be seen in the context of cycling journeys still being higher in number than in the last decade. But actually this probably isn’t the right data to even tell you whether there has been a levelling off. You might get a clue from the fact that this data puts cycling’s mode share at 1-2% in a city that claims several times that much cycling.

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Achievable or Ambitious: What should BCyC campaign for?

We had this interesting response to the article A Modest Proposal #4: Clanage Road Roundabout and the Festival Way. It goes to the heart of the main dilemma of cycle campaigning.

Do we press for what’s achievable and encourage/enforce use of less desirable routes and facilities?

Or should we always insist on full Triple A standards (All Ages and Abiltities) providing proper Space for Cycling?

Come along to the monthly meetup, or join one of our actions groups to be part of the debate.
I have read the proposals for the proposed improvements around Clanage Road and Ashton Park School and thought I would give my opinion on this.

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Roman Road on The Downs – It’s a bit better. Oh no it isn’t!

Guest Blog from Wheels On The Bike about traffic on The Downs. Plans to improve this very problematic and unpleasant route have been dropped. What does this say about making Space for Cycling in Bristol? Reposted with permission from https://wheelsonthebike.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/roman-road-its-a-bit-better-oh-no-it-isnt/ Roman Road is one of many car-sick roads in Bristol. It’s a odd one-way road, that cuts a corner of the Downs. It’s simultaneously a rat run that avoids traffic lights at the end of Stoke Road, a long thin car park, a bus route, and a cycling route, created against a backdrop of the green leisure filled Durdham Downs.  What’s wrong with Roman Road, and how could it be better? 

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Consultation Storm! Arena, South Glos Cycle Strategy, Windmill Hill, Airport Rd, Joint Spatial Plan,

Brace yourselves!  A absolute blizzard of major consultations is here. This is a big shout out for your help! If you have views to share, or want to be part of the discussions, you need to get stuck in right now. Here’s the plan: You help tell everyone what’s going on and ask them to comment We put comment together into a pithy response, using our famous Red/Amber/Green rating We publish the response with a call out to our thousands of supporters to send responses supporting us 

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Planning permission granted to plug the ‘Conham Gap’ at Crews Hole

It’s very good news that the planning application for a cycle route along the Avon Valley through Crews Hole at the ‘Conham Gap’ has now been approved. We were strongly supportive of the proposal as it received a rare ‘five green’ score against our five criteria. It’s been two years since the last proposal was rejected following angry, misinformed and disappointingly managed meetings where BCyC members felt intimidated for advocating that walking and cycling should be enabled on this important link.  This now leaves the small problem of funding the…

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Cycling on the Downs – ‘a once in a generation change’?

At the Bristol Cycle Forum on 19th Nov we heard about proposals for finally starting to open up the Downs for better access by people walking and cycling. At the moment due to the dominance of cars there is limited space and inadequate provision for the growing numbers wishing to travel to and use the downs by walking and cycling. Vicki Cracknell (of Cycle Sunday fame) spoke to urgently ask that we comment on on the Place and Movement Framework for the Downs (10.6MB PDF! Full of pictures and ideas but takes a while to download). This is being presented at the AGM of the Downs Committee for ‘consideration’ although detailed proposals are a way off yet.

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Proposed new routes discussed at Nov’15 Bristol Cycle Forum

At the Bristol Cycle Forum on 19th November there was news of two big and important topics. Firstly, finally, there seems to be some movement on opening up The Downs for more walking and cycling. Secondly, James Coleman of Bristol City Council took us through proposals spending the next round of Cycling City Ambition Fund (CCAF2). This is the main source of government funding for the next couple of years. It is now proposed to be spent on:

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