Planning application for former Filton Airfield

This is a huge development on 143.13 hectares with up to 2,675 dwellings and apartments, employment hub, rail station, a secondary school and 2 primary schools, retail, health centres and all that goes with it. It has now been approved in outline by South Glos Council.

You might hope that the planning application would be an exemplary development worthy of celebrating in a European Green Capital. You would be disappointed.

There is some good stuff here but it will clearly be another car dominated development with cycling and walking at the margins. In particular there is little provision for delivering the strategic cycle routes to integrate with the rest of the city.

As always, we will be insisting that every resident of South Gloucestershire, whatever their age or ability, deserves safe and inviting space for cycling, which should never be to the detriment of walking. We expect developments to deliver the main elements of the Bristol Cycling Manifesto, and specifically the strategic cycle network. We expect Triple A provision (for All Ages and Abilities) as outlined in Making Space for Cycling.

Here is our response: BristolCyclingCampaignResponsetoConsultationFiltonAirfield

Space for Cycling

Does this measure advance the six themes of 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?

Amber – overall neutral
While some benefits, detail is lacking

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
Not enough detail

Triple A Quality (All Ages and Abilities)

Will this measure be attractive to all ages and abilities using all kinds of cycles?

Amber – overall neutral

Strategic Cycling Network

How does this measure contribute to the development of Bristol Council’s planned integrated and coherent strategic cycle network?

Red – overall disbenefit
Key cycle routes need to be specified


How far does this measure provide for Triple A Space for Cycling in the future?

Amber – overall neutral


Bristol Cycling Campaign makes the following comments on the “Revised Pedestrian and Cycle Strategy” section of $5.6 Access and Movement in the Design & Access Statement Addendum:


  1. A direct cycling route should be provided to connect Charlton Road with Highwood Road. This route would need to go directly through any development in the middle. The siting and layout of the proposed secondary school must not preclude this. This is an ancient public right of way, which would have been regarded as sacrosanct if access rights had not been extinguished to create the airfield. This link offers the most direct and flattest cycle route between much of north-west Bristol (e.g. Westbury on Trim, Henleaze and Southmead, including the hospital) and key destinations such as Patchway and Aztec West, so would be highly desirable and worth negotiation. If the opportunity to create a high quality cycle route on this alignment is wasted, then fewer journeys will made by bicycle and more by private car, and many local roads will become gridlocked.
  2. The proposed “Cycle Trunk route” offers a reasonably good east-west route, although the proposed alignment seems to include a few unnecessary twists and turns, including a couple of inconvenient right-angle turns. Every effort should be made to eliminate these.
  3. However shared use by cyclists and pedestrians is not suitable for high volumes of walking and cycling. Fully segregated facilities should be provided on principal cycle routes such as the Cycle Trunk route.
  4. We would expect priority to be given to cycle routes across junctions.
  5. A more comprehensive neighbourhood cycle network should be specified, to ensure that all local journeys really are more convenient by bicycle than by car.
  6. We urge that 20 mph speed limits be specified throughout the development.
  7. We would like to see the design standards that are being used. This could be demonstrated with cross sections of proposed cycle routes. The standards should be high enough to reflect the expected traffic levels.
  8. We would like to see traffic cells used that are permeable to cycling and walking.
  9. At this stage planning space for cycling parking would be prudent, particularly at key locations such as schools, transport hubs, and shops.
  10. The application needs to be much more specific about key cycle routes which need to be provided, in particular direct & efficient routes as set out in the Bristol Strategic Cycle Network in this area.
  11. Cycle routes should be made available before buildings are occupied, to ensure that cycling is a viable travel option for new occupants as soon as they move in, and to prevent a repeat of the unfortunate situation which arose with Hayes Way.