New Transport schemes for Wells Rd & Whiteladies Rd

Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) have a consultation on works on the no 2 bus route, including for cycling. This is a major north-south route taking in many of the most heavily used, and most hostile, cycling routes in the city. We’ve done an executive summary of our response which you can use. There are some good bits, but overall we’re not impressed:

We urge Bristol City Council to re-think the proposals, increase the level of ambition and enable people of all ages and abilities to make a safe, convenient and sustainable journey all the way from where they live to where they’re going. Do the good bits, fill the gaps and do much more.

Essentially the route starts in Stockwood and goes along Sturminster Rd, the A37 Wells Rd, through Knowle and Totterdown, via the Three Lamps, Victoria St and Park St, in the Centre, and the A4018 Whiteladies and Westbury Rds to the Downs and finally twists through Henleaze, Southmead and Brentry out towards Cribbs.

The route 2 online presentation isn’t very user-friendly, being spread across multiple documents. Our friends at Bristol Walking Alliance have collected them into one pdf file for each of the northcentral and south sections of the route (each 2-3MB in size). The consultation has an interactive map which you can click on to see the designs and put comments, although it’s clunky to use. Please wherever possible simply put; “segregated / protected cycle tracks” or similar.

Because of recent changes to Government Guidance for funding for transport projects, which WECA need, there is now a good chance some seriously worthwhile cycle route proposals will be included. The more we ask for the more we are likely to get. We ask all our members and supporters to complete this please and ask for safe cycling throughout.

There’s a real mish mash of proposals. Positively in the Central section there is an excellent segregated cycle track on Victoria St, Park St is closed to private cars but without cycle tracks. Why the gap when there is a new cycle track envisaged from the top of Park St to the Victoria Rooms, through the Clifton Triangle? Both Southern and Northern sections are full of gaps where nothing is proposed; will people on bikes fly at these points, get the bus? Almost nothing for cycling is proposed on the Wells Rd (no wonder cycling levels are low in South Bristol), just an inconvenient, hilly quietway. There is a useful new track on Sturminster Rd to provide a missing link on the Whitchurch Railpath. The Northern section is almost as bad. Nothing (nothing!) on Whiteladies Rd. And the proposals for the Downs and Blackboy Hill gyratory are contradictory and unclear, when providing a fully segregated cycle track should be straightforward and has been approved by the Downs Committee.

If you find the Consultation too difficult to use or, if you’re pushed for time and happy to trust us, please copy our executive summary and email it to [email protected]  We have a fully detailed response in preparation.

Anyone looking at the proposals might say; “Climate crisis, what climate crisis!”. Motoring is prioritised, sometimes buses, sometimes private cars, but not bikes, despite the previous survey having overwhelmingly asked for that!

Please do the consultation if you can!