Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Tired of waiting Bristol cyclists ignore warnings and start using Avon towpath again - year after it shut for repair

Stretch of path has been closed for over a year awaiting repair

A stretch of canal towpath alongside the River Avon is being used by cyclists despite the threat of falling masonry. The Bristol Post reports that the popular commuter route near Netham Lock in St George has been shut since January last year and it seems people have grown tired of waiting for it to be reopened.

A Bristol City Council spokeswoman explained the situation:

“The path closed in January 2014 when a dangerous, unstable wall along the footpath was identified. Temporary fencing was then erected and it was established that the wall belongs to the land owner of an adjoining industrial estate.

“They identified and removed a tall tree above the wall, which was identified as destabilising it, and they erected a structural scaffold to support the wall as an interim measure. The wall has yet to be repaired by the land owner, and although there is a commitment from them to carry out this work, they have yet to provide timescales for it being complete.”

Although the pathway will remain closed until the wall is repaired and the pathway is considered safe, a number of people are using it anyway.

Chris Percival, who rode to work in central Bristol along this stretch of towpath until it was closed, said other routes simply weren’t as good.

“Alternate routes are up the steep Blackswarth Road, or on the muddy path the other side of the river after going over the steel bridge that is covered in ice if the temperature is anywhere near zero, and is never gritted.

"As it has been shored up with scaffolding, people are choosing to use the path anyway. The council are falling very short of fully supporting pedestrians and cyclists and in Green Capital year this is surely very embarrassing."

Donald Lake of Welding Industries Ltd, the owners of the offending wall, said that finding a suitable contractor had taken longer than expected, but that the wall would shortly be taken down and rebuilt so that the towpath can be reopened.

Last month we reported how a planned eight week closure of part of the Bristol & Bath Railway Path – Britain’s busiest dedicated traffic-free cycle route – had stretched to six months. The local council carrying out the work said that the overrun was due to safety reasons, but Sustrans, who built the route, expressed disappointment at the prolonged closure.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

Latest Comments

  • ktache 1 sec ago

    They have everything you need for the rohloff, and lots of weird stuff that others don't stock.  And they will try hard to get it too....

  • Orbeaman 12 min 2 sec ago

    Put this in the wrong place, but what else did you expect from me?  

  • RoubaixCube 27 min 40 sec ago

    So all in all 10/10 unless youre a funny one that likes eating sunglasses rather than wearing them on your face.    

  • eburtthebike 1 hour 23 min ago

    Your account has been hacked by Socrati or NZ cucumber rider.  I fail to understand how anyone could not see the clear hazard caused by a dangerous...

  • fukawitribe 2 hours 8 min ago

    "predictable virtue signalling".... interesting - i'm open to the 'predictable' bit but 'virtue signalling' ? They're were talking about fucking...

  • Pilot Pete 2 hours 10 min ago

    Yes, many shoe manufacturers put very basic insoles in their shoes, especially top end shoes such as Sidi, as they assume people will have/ get...

  • Pilot Pete 2 hours 14 min ago

    Oh, and final idea, get a flexibility exercise regime so you can slam your stem if it's not already. Cut off the excess steerer and this means the...

  • hirsute 2 hours 20 min ago

    "Also they should pay a road tax, that’ll pay for these cycle lanes and cost of road repairs, 70% of damage on roads is in the 1m closest to the...

  • OldRidgeback 2 hours 57 min ago

    A life ban for driving would be suitable. She needs psychiatric help.

  • Secret_squirrel 3 hours 8 min ago

    Triban all the way.   Firstly the only bike on the Sigma site is a xxs.   Secondly its rim brake.  Thirdly its Tiagra which is v decent but no 105....