Cycle-friendly improvements to Bristol railway bridge forecast to annoy drivers

£308,000 changes to railway bridge pinch-point ahead of council's summer cycle strategy announcement - local paper prophecies doom

by Elliot Johnston   April 17, 2014  

St Lukes railway bridge - digital preview

Plans for a new £380,000 cycling-friendly traffic system in Bristol have been released for public consultation, but the Bristol Post suggests the move will not be popular with drivers.

Meanwhile, a council spokeswoman has said that the council's wide-ranging cycling strategy for the next decade "will be ready for public consultation in the summer."

The new system, on St Luke’s Road, would see shuttle signals installed to save space and reduce traffic under a railway bridge making the road single-file and the traffic sequentially one directional.

The installation of the lights would separate the road traffic from cyclists and walkers through the creation of a raised route alongside the road.

The lights would also be connected to nearby traffic lights on York Street to help the traffic flow efficiently.

The Bristol newspaper speculated that drivers would be dismayed by the introduction of the shuttle lights, but also quoted the city’s mayor, George Ferguson, who said the project will be the “first step towards making this part of Bristol a more accessible, safer and pleasant place to walk and cycle".

These plans come alongside the release of council data which shows a 40 per cent drop from 2012 in cyclists killed or seriously injured on Bristol streets.

The public consultation leaflet - which was distributed around the city - also included plans for new cycle ramps on and off the nearby, pedestrian Banana Bridge over the Avon.

The ramps will connect cyclists from the south side of the river to the segregated cycle lanes on Clarence Road which are currently under development.

The proposed road traffic changes will stretch from Temple Meads train station, 700 metres along the bank of River Avon to Redcliffe.

The consultation leaflets which were released by the council highlight Bristol’s intimidating road environment, blaming the narrowness of the city’s traffic lanes and footpaths for that alongside a list of the infrastructure changes planned to the St Luke’s Road railway bridge and surrounding area.

These cycle-friendly improvements to the city’s roads - if the public consultation is successful - will come ahead the announcement of the city’s Cycling Strategy, which is expected to include a large network of cross-city cycle lanes.

Bristol Council were due to begin public consultation on plans for a Dutch-style network of cycle routes in the city earlier this year after the Bristol Cycling Campaign (BCC) proposed the idea within their Bristol Cycling Manifesto in October.

The manifesto called for an investment of £109 million over 12 years to quadruple the level of bike use in the city.

Council spokeswoman Julia Walton told the Bristol Post that the council is working on a wide-ranging cycling strategy for the city to set common goals for the next ten years in order to attract funding for infrastructure and community projects.

She said: “[The strategy] will set out the ways that the council with partners can help cycling become a normal, as opposed to specialised, way of getting around the city”.

“We anticipate it will be ready for public consultation in the summer."

The council's announcement of improvements to the city's road infrastructure for cyclists has coincided with the release of council data showing that serious injuries and deaths to cyclists have continued to fall in the city.

New council figures show there were 19 cyclists killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions in 2013 including one fatality and 18 seriously injured.

This represents a 40 per cent drop from 2012 which in turn was 35 per cent lower than in 2011.

15 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

We are never going to make progress if we don't accept that some changes will annoy drivers – or should I say some drivers?

posted by JonSP [52 posts]
17th April 2014 - 17:04

36 Likes

do we really want to be mixing walkers and cyclists?

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1180 posts]
17th April 2014 - 19:04

21 Likes

Just goes to prove some people will never be happy!!

posted by freespirit1 [175 posts]
17th April 2014 - 19:06

19 Likes

I work 500m away from here.. this is a staggeringly poor idea. Mr Ferguson truly is an unmatched idiot.

relaxing

PzychotropicMac's picture

posted by PzychotropicMac [82 posts]
17th April 2014 - 21:22

9 Likes

Where's the headline "Car friendly improvements forecast to terrify cyclists"? Saying that, mixing peds and cyclists is never a good idea. If the bridge is a bit narrow then take primary and PLF until you're through.

posted by SteppenHerring [221 posts]
17th April 2014 - 21:49

13 Likes

SteppenHerring wrote:
If the bridge is a bit narrow then take primary and PLF until you're through.

Press Legs Firmly?
Pray Like F*ck?
Practise Le French?

posted by chokofingrz [300 posts]
17th April 2014 - 22:49

11 Likes

chokofingrz wrote:
SteppenHerring wrote:
If the bridge is a bit narrow then take primary and PLF until you're through.

Press Legs Firmly?
Pray Like F*ck?
Practise Le French?


Press Legs Firmly will do as my new polite translation.

posted by SteppenHerring [221 posts]
17th April 2014 - 22:57

10 Likes

Pedal Like Froome shurely? Wink

posted by Nixster [86 posts]
17th April 2014 - 23:36

17 Likes

One of the most barking schemes I've ever seen, and likely to result in plenty of pedestrian/biker conflict, additional pollution, and a thousand punishment passes every day. Plus the loss of a staggering amount of public cash into the pockets of whichever contractor's turn it is to submit a bid just slightly lower than their mates.

Seriously, all you need is three bollards, two "no vehicular traffic" signs, and the job is done. This is one location where prohibition of traffic is extremely viable, and could so easily be used as an example of how selective road closures might well be the key to getting people on their bikes.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
18th April 2014 - 9:30

18 Likes

You've got to give the local rags a break, a lot of them have their print editions dying a death and need to whip up a froth online to try and make a bit of cash. By far the easiest way to do this is to invoke the universal "motorists as persecuted group" mentality and get the numbskulls out in force venting their spleens. Each locality has its own other hot-button topics (e.g. here in Edinburgh it's the trams) and there are other universal favourites like parking, or more than tuppence being spent on cycle-specific infrastructure... but they are all related to the great bogeyman of the poor, defenceless, hard-pressed motorist having his/her liberties curtailed yet again.

NB: This isn't a comment on the proposal in question; I don't know enough about it (although that seems little impediment to being allowed to pass judgement on things these days).

seven's picture

posted by seven [115 posts]
18th April 2014 - 9:38

10 Likes

SteppenHerring wrote:
Where's the headline "Car friendly improvements forecast to terrify cyclists"? Saying that, mixing peds and cyclists is never a good idea. If the bridge is a bit narrow then take primary and PLF until you're through.

Would you send single-digit-aged children through there?

posted by Peowpeowpeowlasers [88 posts]
18th April 2014 - 10:16

17 Likes

"if the bridge is narrow just take primary and PLF until you're through"

yup, that's why 99% of people in the UK won't cycle on our roads

posted by fluffy_mike [81 posts]
18th April 2014 - 22:15

10 Likes

I live here and more than anything, this seems like a waste of money.
Yes under the bridge is tight, same with the current walk way, but most people just slow down and take care.
The traffic in the morning is shocking and constricting it any more is pointless.
IMO, the council is adding bike facilities for the sake of it rather than to the benefit of cyclists.

posted by alexwheeler0 [4 posts]
19th April 2014 - 8:27

8 Likes

That looks tragic.

posted by faz. [24 posts]
19th April 2014 - 18:17

4 Likes

I sympathise with motorists. There should be a completely separate bridge built for a dedicated cycleway.

Andy

posted by jazzdude [60 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 18:05

2 Likes