We say No! to removal of cycle lanes on Whiteladies Road

In May 2022, Bristol City Council (BCC) surprised us with a new consultation in which they are proposing that it is necessary to remove the cycle lanes in both directions at the bottom of Whiteladies Road, in order to alleviate the flooding that occurs on that section and to allow them to move and widen the pavements. They had previously committed to provide us with prior notice of such plans that impact cyclists, but in this case that did not happen!

Whiteladies Road is a heavily cycled route connecting the City, BRI hospital & University of Bristol to residential neighbourhoods to the North-West. It is a designated route in the region’s Local Walking & Cycling Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), as well as one of the sustainable transport corridors, increasing our incredulity at the plan to remove the bike lanes, particularly without any proposals to provide alternative protection for cyclists.

The consultation closes on 8th June and you can find the consultation & survey using this LINK.

Removing the bike lanes & narrowing the road as is proposed it will undoubtably make cycling this section (between Queens Road & traffic lights at Tyndall Park Road) more dangerous, but it will also make the creation of a continuous safe cycling route along the road in the future more difficult.

Furthermore, it completely flies in the face of Bristol’s declared climate emergency & net zero 2030 goal to be discouraging cycling & e-scooting in this way.

We have asked Bristol’s Cabinet member for Transport (Don Alexander) to withdraw the consultation in its current form to allow time for a meeting to discuss alternative design solutions, but this has been refused. We have also been speaking with Bristol Walking Alliance & Bristol Tree Forum about the proposal and both of these organisations have concerns about the plan and object to it in its current form.

To summarise our objections are:

  1. The consultation fails to recognise that removing the bike lanes will increase the danger to cyclists using the road, and does not propose any ways to reduce that risk.
  2. That the flood alleviation & pavement improvement can both be achieved without removing the cycle lanes.
  3. The “principle” of proposing to remove bike lanes having declared a climate emergency & net zero 2030 goal which requires more cycling not less.

We ask that this plan is rejected, and the designers go back to the drawing board. we say:

  1. Fully agree that the pavement by the trees is very uneven and needs to be made safe, this can be done by raising the level of the existing path above the tree roots & resurfacing.
  2. That the flood risk can be alleviated by upgrading the drains in the area to properly cope with extreme rainfall events and to maintain them regularly going forward.
  3. That the road is wide enough to retain the cycle lanes and that there is the potential to make them better protected and continuously connected along the road.

The consultation closes on 8th June, and we ask if you would be willing to spend a few minutes to express your dissatisfaction with this proposal via the Council’s online survey (LINK). Feel free to use our words, but also please do describe how removing the bike lanes will affect you.