Monday 19 August 2013

Suspension Bridge: objection #2

We've now got in our hands the response from the council to the suspension bridge anti-cycling proposal [1, 2], so we know what it is. Before spoiling the news for the audience, lets just show a few more of the responses from people who actually wrote in with the naive belief that their opinions were actually going to be listened to

Before that, here's a video of what it looks like on the far side of the bridge, in Ashton Court. Again, there are lots of people -even teenagers- on bicycles, showing that the council needs to do more to discourage people cycling over the bridge for their own safety

From: D.
I have just had a chance to look at the consultation leaflet relating to the Proposed improvement works Suspension Bridge Road area (RS 12088).

I am an office worker who ... cycles to work across town to ... Square every day (so, two journeys across the suspension bridge each day).

I am not convinced that this will create a safer, more friendly environment for people generally (although I am sure that the coach/tourist companies will think it is great!); the Bridge is a major route into the city for many people (both commuters and recreationally, and on bicycles as well as in cars), and I would ask the council to reconsider their proposals.

My initial comments are as follows:

1. I note the proposal to build "speed table / informal pedestrian crossings" at two points before the Bridge. In this case, surely the raised central reservation (which is itself an "informal pedestrian crossing") is unnecessary and should be removed? As a cyclist passing through this area, I find too many motor vehicles become frustrated at being unable to safely pass me because of the narrowing of the road created by the central reservation, and drive dangerously. If the reservation was removed, then the carriageway would be wide enough to either widen the (absolutely pointlessly narrow) cycle lane marked on the lane approaching the Bridge so it is fit for purpose, or to add another pointlessly narrow one on the carriageway leaving the Bridge.

2. I note the proposal to "build out" the footway at the junction with Observatory Road. Again, writing as a cyclist, I am very concerned that this will force bicycles out toward the right of the carriageway just at the point where motorists behind them are accelerating to get past them before the zebra crossing further along by the Mall.

Forgive me if I have mis-understood, but it seems to me that the whole proposal seems aimed to help the tourists who will walk the hundred metres or so from the new coach parking areas to the Bridge and back. The Clifton Suspension Bridge is not just a tourist destination but a major part of Bristol's transport minfrastructure (for bicycles as well as for cars), and I believe that if the work goes ahead as presented then this will be a missed opportunity to genuinely improve the area and infrastructure around the Bridge for *all* users

Finally, I am not sure that encouraging coaches to drive as close to the Bridge as they can before disgorging their parties of tourists, then picking them up again and driving to the next beauty spot is a particularly environmentally friendly aim, given Bristol's recent win as European Green City.

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