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Damage caused by drivers crashing into and mounting bollards means heavier-duty solution needed

Bristol City Council was forced to install temporary barriers on a new bike lane to protect cyclists after a series of drivers crashing into and mounting "innovative" concrete bollards caused significant damage, which resulted in two injuries, according to the council.

The Toby bollards, used on the new "Dutch-style" Clarence Road bike lane alongside the River Avon in Bristol, are commonly seen in Europe, but appear not to be strong enough to withstand life on a busy British A road.

Although the bollards were only installed this month, work will start in early November to replace them with more expensive but sturdier kerbs, a move criticised locally, but defended by campaigners who say councils have a duty to trial cheaper options that haven't yet been used in the UK.

Bristol bike lane bollards: "If they're stopping cars they're doing their job"

Peter Mann, Service Director for Transport, told road.cc the work will fall within the project's original budget.

“The cycle lane on Clarence Road was the first of its kind in the city with an innovative type of bollard which we hoped would provide a facility to separate cyclists from traffic and pedestrians at a low cost," he said.

“We often use methods from other countries, particularly the Netherlands, and this method has been done successfully overseas, but unfortunately the new bollards are more vulnerable to impact from vehicles than expected.

Mann said the temporary barriers will allow cyclists to continue to use the route, and work will start in early November to replace the bollards with "robust kerbs".

 “The area is safe but of course has risks and there have been two incidents where people have been injured, which officers are currently investigating," said Mann.

He said the protected cycle lane is still an attractive alternative to sharing the road with a high volume of motorised vehicles.

Bristol plans £35 million spend on cycleway network

Mann pointed to Bristol's history of cycling innovation, including its being the first UK city to trial advanced stop lines at traffic light junctions, as helping Bristol achieve one of the highest cycling rates of a major UK city, with 18 million bike trips made per year.

A recent survey by Sustrans found 89 per cent of people who do not cycle supported an increase in protected bike lanes, with 83 per cent of occasional riders and 86 per cent of regular riders also in support. Around two thirds of those living in Bristol (68 per cent) think the city would be better if people in general cycled more.

In 2013 Bristol was awarded funds from the Government's Cycle City Ambition Fund, as well as cycle funding from a number of other schemes. Mann says the council will continue to trial new cycling measures as part of their £4m cycling investment.

“It is important for us to continue that commitment to reduce congestion and pollution," he said.

Additional delays to completion of the Clarence Road route were caused by replacement of a water main by Bristol Water, and the collapse of the river wall as a result of flooding.

9 comments

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skull-collector... [144 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Concreate planters would be nice!

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zanf [920 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Quote:

The Toby bollards, used on the new "Dutch-style" Clarence Road bike lane alongside the River Avon in Bristol, are commonly seen in Europe, but appear not to be strong enough to withstand life on a busy British A road.

Quite the opposite in fact. They do their job to perfection but there are other factors that havent been answered:

How widely spaced are the bollards? Is the council being cheap and placing them every 10 - 20 metres rather than every 5?

How visible are they to vehicles? How aware are drivers made of their existence other than crashing into them?

 

Also one for the roadcc team: HowTF do I comment without subscribing to every poxy thread? Its really annoying having my inbox being filled with thread subscription emails?

 

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skull-collector... [144 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes
zanf wrote:

Also one for the roadcc team: HowTF do I comment without subscribing to every poxy thread? Its really annoying having my inbox being filled with thread subscription emails?

 

 

THIS ^

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mrmo [2093 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

to disable, after the event, go to account, subscriptions. I say after, because you must have posted something first. 

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brooksby [2295 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I still say that if a car manages to get grounded on a bollard, that doesn't mean there's any problems with the infrastructure; just means that the driver is a bit rubbish.

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chokofingrz [407 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Those bollards are lethal - to cyclists. I always give them a very wide berth when cycling on that road. Have yet to use the "Dutch-style bike lane" because I'm too scared of the bollards.

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hawkinspeter [721 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
chokofingrz wrote:

Those bollards are lethal - to cyclists. I always give them a very wide berth when cycling on that road. Have yet to use the "Dutch-style bike lane" because I'm too scared of the bollards.

I know what you mean. Whenever I've used that lane, I've been very conscious about going between the bollards. They could really do with being a more contrasting colour to make them stand out more. They're especially awkward when cycling on the road by the side of them when the path is blocked by the continual building work they seem to be doing there.

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mbrads72 [211 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

"Around two thirds of those living in Bristol (68 per cent) think the city would be better if people in general cycled more."

Shame the other 32% are so vocal.

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cdamian [144 posts] 1 year ago
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I cycled past a new section of cycle paths in Barcelona yesterday.

https://instagram.com/p/9RBMjPJtYP/

These separations make the whole street look very messy, but it sure did feel a lot safer and faster. Previously you had to turn right, cross the street with pedestrians four times until you were able to continue the road that is straight ahead.

Cycle lanes here are not very good by European standards, but the ones I see in the UK are just a joke.