From the Council
The Bristol Cycle Forum, held on Thu 16 Jan at City Hall, began by collectively wishing Councillor Mark Bradshaw the very best wishes for a quick recovery after being diagnosed with cancer. We hope to see him back at work at the earliest opportunity. Meanwhile the Mayor and Councillor Daniella Radice will be picking up Mark’s responsibilities.
Leading the 20mph rollout is Helen Wiggington who gave us an update on progress in advance of the first post-pilot rollout on 20 January. There will be a launch event with the Mayor at Colston’s Primary Junior School on Tuesday 21st, to which anyone is invited.
The rollout will be in six phases, starting in the Centre/North area, progressively working northward, eastward and southward until completion in March 2015. In the pilot areas they found 82% of residents supported the scheme, there were significant increases in rates of walking and cycling and a 65% reduction in mean average speed of motor vehicles. This bodes well for future rollouts, though as Helen commented getting buy-in from drivers will be more challenging the further out they go. We can only hope that the arguments around the public health benefits of more people walking and cycling will help.
The scheme is designed to be self-enforcing helped by changes in places to the ‘look and feel’ of the roads. Along with a social marketing campaign, driver education and community speed watch (organised via local neighbourhood forums) they hope that very little police enforcement will be required (though we at BCyC are working with the police to take enforcement seriously, amongst other measures as part of our Road Justice campaign).
Consultations for areas 2-6 are taking place in the next few months, details on the Bristol’s Better at 20 website.
Cycle Eye has been developed by Fusion Processing, a Bristol based company, with some testing having already taken place on London’s buses. Jim Hutchinson of Fusion described this as an intelligent radar based device for drivers of large vehicles to detect nearby cyclists. Whenever someone on a bike gets close to the vehicle, a warning is sounded so the driver has a chance of spotting them before making a manoeuvre.
Fusion are planning to test the device in March on four buses with routes along the Gloucester Road and are in discussions with First and Wessex. Whether this device will change driver or cyclist behaviour for the better or worse and make any difference to safety will only be known once the results of the trials are in. Being cyclists themselves, the inventors are well aware that this one measure will not solve all safety problems but are confident that it can make a contribution. They have agreed to involve the Cycle Forum in the trial and Jim will return with feedback at the next Forum.
From the Council
Matt Barrett announced that the draft Cycle Strategy document (including the Strategic Bristol Cycling Network developed in conjunction with us at BCyC) has been completed and will be put out to public consultation in the spring once Mark Bradshaw has been briefed. BCyC is meeting this week with the responsible officer in order to get our involvement at the earliest opportunity and to get the document published asap.
Officers continue to work on the cycle infrastructure Design Guide which makes much reference to the Dutch CROW Manual. As standards are changing (hopefully improving) all the time this is proving quite a challenge. The Bristol manual will make reference to bad as well as good design and the Council are collating photographs to illustrate this.
City Centre Workshops, which are open to all Forum members, are being set up in order for us to get an overview of the various projects affecting and to ensure that the schemes are “joined up” and to appropriate design standards. to bring council officers together for some ‘joined up thinking’ on various infrastructure schemes. ‘8-80’ conceptions and modelling for the area around Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone are being worked on and feedback will be sought on these in February. It’s unlikely these will be to full Dutch standards, given time, money and political constraints, as well as dependencies on more major schemes.
Meanwhile the Gloucester Road safety scheme has been reduced in scope as the current funding is not sufficient to deliver the original proposals (involving an alternative cycling route along back streets and dividing the area into traffic cells but allowing ‘filtered permeability’ for cycling), however the proposed junctions safety schemes will be going ahead.
Bristol Cycling Partnership
As discussed on our Campaign pages, we have been meeting with the Council and Avon & Somerset Police to push for greater road justice. Eric Booth outlined our aim with these meetings is to come up with a cycling concordat for Bristol where we share values such as recognising that cycling is good for Bristol, safety is as much about danger reduction, that all road users are not equal. The Chief Constable has recognised that things need to change on the ground in terms of supporting cycling victims of road traffic incidents and we need to work at this.
More on the Bristol Cycle Forum here.