Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Bristol's Other Railway Path - 2
'Cycling City' has turned its attention to the Whitchurch Railway Path. In the next few months we should see improvements on the section between Craydon Road and Manston Close.
The sharp inclines along the route will be brought down to 1 in 20 or better
There'll be more bins (for litter and for dog waste).
The bordering vegetation will be cut back and maintained to provide more light and better sight lines along the route
The surface, where damaged, will be replaced.
The Craydon Road entrance will be revamped and improved.
Solar powered inset lights (acting as 'cats eyes) will be installed
Benches and picnic tables will be provided where the path borders open space, above the Saltwell valley and at the Craydon Grove entry point.
So far so promising. But isn't something missing?
All this may be great for those of us with easy access from the east side - but what about people living in that strip of the ward to the west, up to the Wells Road? There's only one surfaced level access point along the whole route (at the north end, from Hazelbury Road).
At Longreach Grove there's an underpass taking a footway from one side of the railway path to the other. There are 'slip' paths provided too. It's well used by people on the Wells Road side to get to the frequent buses (7 an hour) that go down Sturminster Road to the city centre. It's the obvious preferred choice if you're using public transport. Here you can get the cheap 57 ABus service, or you can check the online realtime indicators before you come out, to see exactly when First's next 54A will get there. Compare that with the Wells Road, which offers 2 buses an hour at best, and no realtime checks.
But whether you're headed for the cycle path, the buses, the Sturminster Social Club, or whatever - if you've got wheels, you've got problems. The steps on the west side make it impossible for mobility scooters and bikes with trailers, very difficult for buggies, and a nuisance for basic pushbikes.
It wouldn't be too difficult to iron these out. Isn't that the sort of thing that Cycling City could include in the cycle path project?
They have, of course, been asked.