Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Cycling City's land ambitions

Item 10 on the Cabinet's agenda on Thursday: to authorise compulsory purchase of land for Cycling City projects.

Two are for 'awkward bits' on the Bristol - Bath path. One (Berkely Place) is to widen the very narrow - and slightly threatening - stretch as you emerge from the Lawrence Hill overbridge. The other is to provide a short cut alongside the original Midland line just north of the waste transfer station, so that walkers and cyclists coming up from Temple Meads don't have to make the tortuous diversion around the Days Road amenity site. Both look pretty good to me.

The big one, though, is the 'Two Supermarkets' route, on National Route 3. Also known as the Callington Road Link, which now looks like it won't be turned into a motor road for years. It will take the cycle route directly along the old railway trackbed between Tesco Brislington and Sainsburys at Arnos Vale, passing under the Bath Road instead of that laborious crossing at Arnos Vale. Hooray! I hope they'll find intermediate access points, though.

All the CPOs are conditional on getting planning permission for the new route alignments first, so expect some delays there.

Maps in the appendices here (pdf)


Chris Hutt said...

I have to admit that these proposals sound promising.

The narrow section of the Railway Path just north of Lawrence Hill is crying out for widening (and has been for 25 years!) and it looks as if they're seeking to acquire a decent width so some landscaping to soften that section might be possible.

However since the land required is mostly in the ownership of the Dept for Transport (via VOSA) who are paymasters of Cycling City, one wonders why a CPO is necessary. Surely the DfT would agree to the land transfer without the need for a CPO?

The link behind the Waste Transfer Station will presumably also take some of the existing railway siding land since the CPO strip is very narrow in places. To make it work the western approach to the Barrow road subway needs re-engineering so that a well graded link can be made with St Philips Road (and thence to the new link). These sort of details can make or break a scheme so I hope they have someone competent to work on that.

The Callington Road link doesn't excite me that much since NCN 3 will still have major 'continuity' issues which will continue to militate against it ever being a popular route. West town Lane is one and the Spine Road river bridges gyratory is another. I would much prefer that the route could use the delightful suspension bridge that connects to Sparke Evans Park but access to that from the south involves negotiating the Bath Road. It might be possible to forge a new link from Arnos Court Park to the suspension bridge but I suspect the most achievable link might be along the riverbank to Castle Court and thence across St Philips Causeway to Bloomfield Road.

Most of these continuity problems could have been avoided in the first place if planners and highway engineers had been willing to work with cycling advocates back in the 1980s and 90s when things like the Spine Road were created.

Anonymous said...

The Callington Link proposal will be good, I take the point that there are still issues with some of the connections along it, but its a step in the right direction.

These connections could be improved an an article in the EP tonight says that walking and cycling from Bris and Knowle has increased in the last year:

Personally I dont think it will ever become a road for its entire length. The Council are clearly considering this route for BRT, especially since the ring road proposal now contains orbital BRT to Hengrove with defined purpose

Hopefully its finally starting to dawn on the Council that if you can't or shouldn't attract vast tracts of employment to South Bristol, then regeneration is about communities with good access to employment, e.g the Centre and North fringe

My reasons to believe the callington Road will be BRT/cycle

1) Start of the orbital south Bristol route already proposed
2) Enable access for the eastern half of south Bristol
3) One of the few options for direct South Bristol North Fringe services, via Easton way.
4) Dependant on the centre layout, Direct services via the city centre may not be that fast, if they serve TM, Broadmead and the centre.
5) Links to the Core strategies proposed redevelopment of St Philips, north of the Feeder and back into Temple Meads.
5) Congestion relief for west town lane, could potentially still be provided if car access could be provided from Tesco to MFI adjacent to the prospect school.