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
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.