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Renewed speeding warning to cyclists on Bristol & Bath Railway Path

Less than six months after police deployed speed guns, "daft minority" accused of putting schoolchldren in danger...

Cyclists on the Bristol & Bath Railway Path are once again being urged to cut their speed amid concerns that some are travelling too fast and posing a risk to children crossing it on their way to and from school. The charity Sustrans blames a "daft" minority of people cycling too quickly.

BBC News reports that parents of children at Whitehall Primary School in Easton are calling for action to be taken against riders travelling at speeds that endanger other users of the popular commuting route.

The appeal comes less than six months after Avon & Somerset Constabulary deployed officers with speed guns at the Devon Road Bridge close to the school, with a number of cyclists found travelling at speeds in excess of £20 asked to cut their speed.

That operation followed petitions launched by local residents worried about the safety of their children, but it appears that some bike riders are still riding at excessive speeds, with the BBC citing witness accounts of several collisions.

While there is no speed limit on the off-road facility, which was developed by Sustrans, its code of conduct does remind people that it is a shared use facility “used by pedestrians, disabled people and cyclists with consideration for all,” and that “everyone has equal priority.”

There is also a specific issue relating to the area around Whitehall Primary School, which is that it is on a straight stretch and – for commuters riding towards Bristol city centre in the morning – a downhill one.

Bristol’s assistant mayor for transport, Mark Bardshaw, said: "We are working on plans to develop safety measures on the path using funding from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

"Both the cycling and pedestrian communities would have to be consulted before any plan was approved but we recognise that something needs to change."

Meanwhile, Jon Usher of Sustrans, who uses the path himself for his commute, told the BBC: “You do see some particularly daft behaviour by a minority of people. That's a fairly horrible thing to admit to.

"We're getting to a stage of having to treat the railway path in the same way, psychologically, as we do the roads," he added.

In the past, there were concerns that one of the reasons for some cyclists riding at high speed on the Bristol & Bath Railway Path and other shared use facilities on the National Cycling Network such as Ashton Court in Bristol was due to attempts to set KOMs on Strava.

However, many such routes have since been flagged to the ride-tracking website as unsuitable.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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