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Plan to permanently pedestrianise heart of Bristol city centre to be put to council for approval

Bristol City Council is to request funding for the project, with a senior transport planner saying it will encourage cycling and walking, reduce air pollution and make more street space available for commercial and cultural events

Bristol City Council is set to request funding for a £2 million plan to fully pedestrianise parts of the city centre.

Changes to King Street and the Old City have been mooted, to make the temporary traffic ban introduced during the summer of 2020 to help hospitality outlets during the first easing of coronavirus restrictions, and would see increased accessibility for those cycling or on foot.

The BBC reports that transport planners will ask council chiefs to make the Old City's historic streets and King Street permanently pedestrianised at next week's cabinet meeting on Tuesday 7 June.

Transport planner Sam Green has already stated in a cabinet report that the aim is to "make the Old City and King Street area pedestrian-friendly by restricting vehicle movements", which will, he says, encourage walking and cycling, reduce air pollution and open up the area for more on-street commercial and cultural use.

"The project will improve space for people, routes for walking and segregation for cyclists away from vehicles," he said.

"Other benefits include improving air quality, combating climate change, improving health and wellbeing, addressing inequalities and tackling congestion."

The entire scheme is estimated to cost in the region of £2.17 million, with a funding bid to be submitted to the West of England Combined Authority expected in October if the cabinet approves the plan.

Other improvement works mentioned in the proposal include: installation of dropped kerbs in the Old City, upgraded puffin crossings on Baldwin Street to give pedestrians priority, and installation of new benches.

Estimated start dates for the project, and information on how long it may take, have not yet been announced but it would see the temporary changes of 2020 made permanent.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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hawkinspeter | 1 year ago

It makes sense to pedestrianise that area as it's mainly pubs and restaurants. However, it's not necessarily going to be bike friendly as most of those roads are cobbled - it's ridable, but a bit bumpy on a road bike.

brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago

King Street in particular is pedestrianised but not at all cycle friendly. Those bike racks halfway along have been moved up to the far end of the street. You can't walk on the pavement on the left there until well beyond that point because all the bars have put tables out and fencing to cordon off their own bits of space.  You can't walk on the pavement on the right at all, for the same reason.  All there is is a ten foot (at most) alleyway down the middle of the road for pedestrians to go through; there's certainly no room for a cyclist. The changes there were nothing to do with cyclists or pedestrians and everything to do with the bars landgrabbing public space and then enclosing it for their private use.

Awavey | 1 year ago

maybe an obvious point to make but if you "pedestrianise" an area, you arent making it cycling route friendly, it becomes a pedestrian zone, not simply car free.

And youll make it like all those similar areas in Windsor, Reading, Peterborough, where youll be expected to hop off to walk your bike through the "pedestrianised" area and after a while of anectdotes about near misses and something must be done, inevitably leads to one of those PSPOs that bans riding bicycles between certain times in the area, which certain groups always ignore, that then creates more anti cycling feeling towards cycling in general around the place.

pedestrian areas are a good thing for active travel walking, but dont promote them as some kind of cycling scheme or benefit to cyclists on the whole.


ktache replied to Awavey | 1 year ago

Weird thing about Reading is, some of the pedestrian areas have cycle routes going through them, some don't, with no perceptible differences.

mdavidford replied to Awavey | 1 year ago

Although it's not clear whose word 'pedestrianise' is - it may have been introduced by the LDRS or the BBC. The quote from the councillor refers to making them 'pedestrian-friendly', which doesn't necessarily imply no provision for cycling.

chrisonabike replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
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Maybe they'd be better if the pedestrians arrived by bike?


The terrible hell-on-earth end-of-the-high-street that was the case over 10 years ago:

There are these debates everywhere though (I believe the "ban cycling" plan described below quickly failed):

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