Thursday, 5 February 2009
Cycling City and Stockwood
'CYCLING CITY' chose the Royal Hotel on College Green to launch its programme this evening. I didn't risk using the bike on slippery roads and went by bus instead, so I never found if Marriotts' guests can park their bikes there. A surprising choice for a venue, though, given that the Council House is only a few yards away. I don't know who paid the hotel bill but I have a pretty good idea.
Of the 70% of the budget intended for 'infrastructure projects', to be in use within two or three years, there are three that could make a big difference for cyclists in this corner of the city.
One's the Callington Road Link (aka the Tesco to Sainsburys link), initially just a cycle-and-walk way but later a strategic road, along the trackbed of the railway under the Bath Road. By going under the A4 instead of across it, it's got to be better than the present NCN3 route. Well, for those not heading towards Temple Meads and town via the pedestrian bridge, anyway. It doesn't offer much for them.
North of that, they hope to provide a safe cycling route over the St Philips Causeway across to Lawrence Hill. It's a much more direct route than what we have now, and braver, more reckless, cyclists use it already. For much of its length there's a separate lane and some striking views - but it's prone to wind gusts and at each end the road narrows and you're competing for space with the boy racers and the juggernauts. Anyway, from south-east Bristol it would give better access to the Bristol-Bath path and new links to the northern fringe.
To the south, within Stockwood, a link is proposed from the present railway path to follow the brook valley south west under the Wells Road at Saltwell Viaduct (hmmm.....) and on into Whitchurch. That could be useful if an when the Hengrove developments become a destination. Wouldn't we all prefer to cycle to a hospital appointment?
Chris Hutt has a copy of the map, and a commentary, on his Green Bristol Blog