Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

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


SteveL said...

-didnt know you were at the bash, you should have made your presence known to some of the other known-cycling-people and I'd have said hello.

1. The spine route will be an improvement.

2. not sure about the rest.

3. worried about the way labour excluded jon rogers from the stakeholder's meet; doesn't set things up well for a graceful transition if there is a change in local government come May.

Chris Hutt said...

It's hard to imagine how the Spine road could be made an attractive cycle route. We'll see but my prediction is that it will remain a hostile and unsafe environment for cyclists, albeit with slightly wider 'cycle' lanes, perhaps extended to the junctions at each end.

Pete Goodwin said...

Yes, agree about Jon Rogers' exclusion by Labour. It seems so typical of the whole culture at the Council House - party first, Bristol second.

As for the spine road, your remarks reminded me of an alternative route I occasionally use, crossing the Feeder and heading up Marsh Lane toward the railway path and Easton (where the Sweet Mart does the cheapest organic eggs in Bristol, unless you know better!)

There SHOULD be a route from the southern end of the causeway, along the north bank of the Avon, under the railway and up to the bridge over the Feeder at Marsh Lane. Although it's very overgrown, it's defined as a footpath - part of the Forest of Avon's 'River Avon Trail'. Perhaps that has potential as an alternative cycle route, if the Causeway isn't viable or safe enough.