Bristol City Council has replaced a bike lane that’s part of the National Cycle Network with five car parking spaces that are expected to earn the council £20,000 per year in charges. And then changed its mind - see the update at the foot of this story.
Blogger ‘wheelsonthebike’ reports that at a recent meeting of the Bristol Cycle Forum, Terry Bullock, Bristol City Council’s traffic manager said that a section of lane on Colston Street had been replaced with the five parking spaces in August.
Mr Bullock was speaking as part of a discussion of Bristol Cycling Campaigns ‘Stop Pinching Bikes’ campaign which is attempting to get the council to implement proper quality assurance on road schemes so they do not create pinch points that endanger cyclists.
The new parking spaces on Colston Street are opposite a bus stop and the combination of parked cars and a stopped bus creates a pinch point that forces cyclists riding uphill out into the traffic.
Mr Bullock said that mistakes had been made before the quality assurance process had been fully implemented but said that things were improving.
Wheelsonthebike claims that the council’s actions are not matching its words.
Responding to Bristol Cycling Campaign's concern about pinch points in the city, Alistair Cox, Bristol’s city transport service manager wrote to Martin McDonnell of the campaign in July to say:
“It is of course not council policy to narrow a road to the extent that it disadvantages cycling, neither to expect cycling to share roads with heavy and fast traffic nor to build facilities that are obstructed by parked vehicles. It is completely understood that such conditions are a serious barrier to cycling by all except the few swift and brave enough to ‘take the lane’. These features can never form part of a comprehensive network suitable for all 8-80 years and it is our intention to build such a network.”
Update: Bristol backtracks
In response to a reader drawing this story to his attention, Bristol deputy mayor Mark Bradshaw this afternoon tweeted "we got this wrong re Colston St & I've asked for the pay & display bays to be removed."
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.