Construction of the missing link in Bristol’s cycling network gets underway today as work starts on a 44m cycle and pedestrian bridge that will link the Northern Route with Bristol city centre.
Bristol is the UK’s first Cycling City, a title bestowed on it by Cycling England which has also provided the funding of £22.8 million to help establish it as a model for how cycling could be integrated into the fabric and culture of a major British metropolitan area.
The new bridge, which spans the Horfield Brook from Petherbridge Way to Dovercourt Road, is part of that broader vision and, in keeping with the inclusive spirit of the project, local residents were consulted about its design. Recently those residents decided to name the structure 'Brook Bridge' and to have it painted green in order to blend naturally into the open space.
This is the third phase of this development that envisages a mostly flat, traffic free, path that opens up the north east of the city for people walking and cycling.
Phase One saw the construction of a traffic-free cycle path between St Werburghs and Ashley Down. This incorporated a new community space at Station Road and solar lighting.
Phase Two saw the installation of a crossing in Muller Road, which helps cyclists and pedestrians to navigate a heavily trafficked road.
Councillor Dr Jon Rogers, Bristol City Council’s executive member for Cycling City, said: “Brook Bridge will make the Northern Route tick. When it opens in February next year, people will be able to enjoy walking and cycling a quiet, flat route right from the city centre, through Lockleaze and on to South Gloucestershire and vice versa.
"At present, cyclists travelling this route have to conquer hills or negotiate heavy traffic. The bridge should really make the north of the city easier to access and provide a more pleasurable cycling experience.”
Dovercourt Road resident Christian Inglis said: “Many local people are very excited about the prospect of being able to cycle safely to the centre of Bristol and out towards North Bristol via the bridge as it can be the quickest way to get around.
"We're really excited to watch this project develop as it will also provide a meeting point and green breathing space at the site of the bridge for families and friends to further enjoy.
“I use the developing cycle path network for my commute to work via trains at Bristol Parkway, and it is great to see the network of paths connecting up to get more people on their bikes in a safe and practical way. I can already see the difference the cycling city project is making by the amount of extra cyclists I see when travelling around the city and surrounding area."