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Holey metal surface putting cyclists in hospital say cycling groups

A Bristol cyclist has set up a petition calling for a grippier surface to be applied to an award-winning bridge in the city that has been blamed for sending dozens of cyclists to A&E.

Meads Reach bridge by Bristol Temple Meads station has a metal surface, according to the Bristol Post, which cycling groups say has caused riders to fall off their bikes, sustaining injuries that have required stitches, dental work and treatment for whiplash.

Since being set up on Friday October 17, the petition has already garnered over 300 signatures. It calls on Bristol City Council to force the management company responsible for the bridge, GVA Facilities Management to improve the surface that has earned it the nickname "Cheese Grater Bridge - for both its aesthetic and skin grating qualities".

The bridge links the station and the Temple Quay Central area, and is part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network.

The cyclist who set the petition, Toby Bridgeman, said: “I’d really like to stop the injuries and have a sensible surface for a bridge on an official Sustrans cycling route in an official cycling city. Seems like a lot of other people feel the same way because the petition has had 200 signatures.

“I have seen a number cyclists have accidents whilst travelling relatively slowly across it and i myself had a nasty accident in January which resulted in a trip to A&E.

“An additional surface should be laid down to give extra grip to avoid future slipping and accidents.”

In his petition, Bridgeman writes: "The metal, cheese grater-like surface of the pedestrian and cycle path bridge next to Bristol Temple Meads station is extremely slippery and very hazardous when wet. People are consistently falling of their bikes, as is being documented here: https://www.fixmystreet.com/report/314334. Several incidents have required trips to A&E.

"The bridge is at the very beginning of one of the most popular cycling routes in the country and used by thousands of commuters and tourists every week. However, its surface is wholly unsuitable for bikes when wet - it becomes extremely slippery and results in nasty (grating) injuries when people fall. This is not a good introduction to the cycle path for anyone, and not a good introduction to visitors to Bristol.

"Requests to GVA for improvements have not resulted in any action. So we hereby call on Bristol City Council to force GVA and the Temple Quay Management Company to make the bridge safe for both cyclists and pedestrians immediately."

A spokesman for GVA told the Bristol Post that safety on the bridge is of paramount importance, and said the company had already looked at ways to improve the surface.

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.