Southville Bridge approved (and objections to South Glos plans)

Southville Bridge

The first new bridge over the New Cut in over 100 years was approved on Weds. 

The £3.2million Southville Bridge (pdf) will run across the New Cut to reflect the natural flow of walkers and cyclists and has been designed to be both functional and in keeping with other bridges in the city.

It will be the first crossing of the New Cut to be designed with both cycling and walking in mind and serving an area with high rates of active travel. It will run from Camden Road, which will not have motor vehicle access, to Chocolate Path and link through to the M-Shed.

Sustrans Area Manager Jon Usher is project managing the new Bridge. The Sustrans press release says, “Bristol is making significant investment in cycling infrastructure and initiatives to make it a viable travel option, reduce congestion, improve air quality and the health of residents. £11m will be invested through the Cycling Ambition Fund over the next five years building on the £23.6m Cycling City programme between 2008-11.”

Objection to Cribbs Causeway plans for 1000 houses without adequate cycling provision

At that same meeting there was also discussion of the impact of plans for 1000 new houses on land at Cribbs Causeway by Haws Wood (map here). This is in South Gloucestershire but the recommendation was to lodge an objection from Bristol due to inadequate transport infrastructure and in particular failure to provide for integrated cycling in to Bristol.  This should deliver the separated and protected part of our cycling Freeway F14 Outer Orbital as it passes through Henbury and Southmead, and the Cribbs area of South Gloucestershire.

The report says, “Walking and cycling – the A4018 does not currently offer an attractive or convenient route for non-motorised forms of transport due to its nature in this location. Whilst a number of alternative quieter routes suitable for cycling will be delivered by the CPNN, namely along Fishpool Hill, Charlton Road and towards Station Road in Henbury, this needs to correlate with improved infrastructure within Bristol to improve facilities and address safety considerations as above.”

Objection to Stoke Gifford plans for 550 houses without adequate cycling provision

Also being discussed were plan for 550 new houses behind the Dower House and Stoke Park (map here). Again the recommendation was to object due to failure to provide adequate transport infrastructure and in particular for cycling. Is there a theme here in South Gloucestershire planning controls?

Major developments like these must deliver the elements of the Strategic Bristol Cycling network they will rely on. In this case it’s F13 Northern Loop, and the Q3 Frome Quietway (see here).

The report says, ‘A scheme was submitted on behalf of Taylor Wimpey to address BCC’s concerns consisting of some coloured surfacing and an illuminated bollard in the vicinity of the Duchess Gate with the intention of alerting motorists to cyclists.

“However, this would fail for three reasons. Firstly, its minor nature will not mitigate the impacts of a 12.5% increase in traffic along Frenchay Park Road; secondly it would fail to encourage cycling along what is the last remaining unsegregated section of cycle route between Bristol City Centre and Stoke Park; and thirdly, its piecemeal nature bears no relationship to the more comprehensive strategy needed to mitigate major housing growth at this junction. Indeed the provision of coloured surfacing is irrelevant to such a busy and congested environment to sufficiently alert motorists to the presence of the cyclists, especially outside of daylight conditions, which is the case during both peak periods for five months of the year.

“The submitted scheme also requires that all cyclists are to use the road in this location. Officers find this suggestion deeply flawed and concerning in that it fails to recognise: a) the nature and characteristics of the road as has been demonstrated b) personal injury accident data specifically affecting cyclists at this location and c) the policy requirement to encourage cycling as a safe and viable alternative to car use. Some roads are conducive to cycling, however this junction is certainly is not, handling over 2,000 vehicular movements during each peak hour.”

We think these objections are fully justified and we’re very pleased that Bristol is putting the pressure on South Gloucestershire to get serious about cycling.