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'Black ice' accident hotspot on Bristol Bath Railway Path

Slippery fallen leaves are causing multiple accidents, commuter claims

Cyclists on the Bristol-Bath cyclepath have been warned about a slippery bend in the way that has been causing an ‘accident blackspot’.

One commuter cyclist approached the Bristol Evening Post to complain that the council had not taken his concerns seriously.

He said the bend in the path, the first left hander going out of Bristol from the start of the cyclepath in St Philip's and about 200 yards before it goes under a low-lying metal railway bridge, is slippery with wet leaves and has caused a number of accidents.

The newspaper discovered that temporary signs have been put up around the area, but the cyclist, Anthony Harper, 52, said he hoped something more permanent could be provided.

Anthony said the path at this spot was like "black ice” and that the trees should be trimmed.

He said: "I would say that 80 per cent of the accidents I have seen in 30 years of commuting to and from work along the path have happened here.

"A few months ago, I witnessed a concussion. I helped the cyclist as a few of us waited for an ambulance. Two weeks ago, same spot, a cyclist came off and cut his knees open so badly, a further ambulance was needed to take him to hospital.

"At this point I contacted Bristol City Council, explained the whole story, and the urgency in putting up a warning sign before this bend, to warn people. I was told it would take up to 12 working days to get sorted."

He said: "I have seen another two accidents at the same spot. One a work colleague witnessed, the other I passed after the event. Again another young girl sat down with both knees cut wide open, no doubt waiting for another ambulance to take her to hospital.

"Nobody wants to see any more accidents at this spot, especially when a sign can warn and almost eradicate this from happening in the future."

A council spokesman said that the Sustainable Transport team had been asked to deal with the matter.

Last year we reported how cyclists on the Bristol & Bath Railway Path were once again being urged to cut their speed amid concerns that some were 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.

Parents of children at Whitehall Primary School in Easton called for action to be taken against riders travelling at speeds that endanger other users of the popular commuting route.

The appeal came 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 20mph asked to cut their speed.

That operation followed petitions launched by local residents worried about the safety of their children.

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.”

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