Whilst Covid-19 is clearly a global tragedy, it is fantastic to see children cycling on the roads in Bristol as a result of the national lockdown. Anyone that has cycled around Clifton Downs recently will have seen families enjoying the reduced traffic on the Downs. However, it is clear to see by the numbers cycling on the grass that cycling on the road is still a concern for many parents.
We asked Vicki Cracknell of Cycle Sunday for an update on her plans for a ‘leisure loop’ on the Downs.
“Since we set up Cycle Sunday in 2015, our objective has been to push for permanent infrastructure that would allow people of all ages and abilities to access the Downs. We have developed a proposal for a loop that includes accessible paths along Downleaze/Rockleaze and also Ladies Mile. We have proposed that Circular Road is made into a proper 20 mph zone with physical speed calming measures.
Although this may seem unnecessary to any able-bodied adult who uses the roads on the Downs as a warm-up for a long cycle ride, we know from our events and our own experiences of riding with children that fully protected space is needed.
We are planning to go for planning permission later this year. If you would like to support this proposal, please email me on [email protected]”
Detailed plans were presented to a special meeting of the Downs Committee on the 20th January when the committee revisited the 2015 Downs Place and Movement Framework (The Downs. No Cycling? Or a car-free leisure route?).
These plans have been developed for Cycle Sunday by John Grimshaw and Caroline Levett of Greenways and Cycleroutes. An alternative route for part of the section from Stoke Road to the Sea Walls is at the end of the plans. This shows which stretches of the loop would be entirely new and those that would be created from existing paths.
The proposal has been agreed to in principle by the Downs Committee and the planning permission for the loop should be put forward later in the year. The project is yet to be signed off the Downs Committee though so any support via an email to your councillor would be appreciated.
This loop will enable people of all ages and abilities to enjoy this beautiful area of our city, all year round, so please back the proposal at every opportunity.