Valentine Bridge Barriers

February 2003


In January the Council rejected planning permission for the barriers. The landowners have 6 months to appeal however.


January 2003

Submission to the Council

<<Submission made to the Council>> against the post-hoc planning application for the barriers giving our detailed reasons for objecting.

<<Various letters and an article>> about Valentine’s Bridge in the Bristol Evening Post.

November 2002

There have been items on this site before (in <<April>> and <<November>> 2001) about BCyC’s campaign to get the ‘Cyclists Dismount’ signs removed from Valentine’s Bridge, the curvy structure that connects the back of Temple Meads Station with Avon Street.

That was a success, but now there’s another problem.

A BCyC member has reported that on Wednesday 13 November some permanent metal barriers were erected at both ends of Valentine’s Bridge. At best, these barriers are cycle-unfriendly; at worst, they are potentially dangerous. Have a look for yourself if you get the chance. We were told that the bridge is privately owned, and that the barriers probably don’t have planning permission.

   photo  photo

Further research has uncovered some more interesting things. The situation is this: the developers got WS Atkins to do a risk analysis of the bridge, which said that there was a risk of cyclists falling off on the bridge, because of its surface. There do not appear to have been any such incidents, but the developers claim that they have received a number of letters from cyclists threatening to sue them for damages caused in such incidents.

Barriers were proposed at each end to slow down cyclists, and the council was asked whether they would need planning permission. The council told them that not only would they need permission, but that it would probably be refused. The council suggested resurfacing the bridge and offered to help financially. The developers went ahead and put the barriers in anyway.

The barriers themselves will create annoyance, irritation, delay and danger, a clear case of the cure being worse than the disease. If any cyclist/pedestrian should be injured at these barriers, they would have a very good case for suing for damages (not that we are suggesting that anyone should do such a thing!).

The council are just as perturbed by the barriers as we are, and are seeking to take action against the developers for planning breaches, but it is not clear whether this will be successful, as there are some arcane rules about height of constructions which apply.