Tuesday 20 August 2013

Suspension Bridge, objection #3

Another objection we saw, an other naive fool expecting that their input would actually be read, let along act on it. For now, cherish the effort they put in with the expectation that someone would actually read it.

Again, a video of the strangely green and wooded land over the bridge, in the Elf-Kingdom of North Somerset. Many important people live there, and people on bicycles interfere with their lives, both here at the weekend and on the weekday commutes. Discouraging cycling is necessary -no doubt they shall be grateful to BCC for what they are promising

(This is Stella Nova trail; Strava notes that this tax-dodger is only just in top 25% of riders, so they lack both skill and fitness.

And now, the letter:

Dear Mr Sarson,

Consultation Response: RS12088 : Proposed Improvement works Suspension Bridge Road area

I am an occasional user of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, mostly by bicycle, mostly in an inbound direction.

There appears to be significant cycle traffic across the bridge, and it is important that cycling aspects should be taken into account in any modifications. Cycle traffic is generated by the Ashton Court park, general access to the countryside, and possibly by local commuting. Additionally I am aware of long distance commuting from Pill.

1. It is not clear whether the works have been formally assessed with regard to cycling. This should be done.

2. Although the proposals correctly identify the area as one needing a treatment based on the considerable pedestrian traffic generated by the bridge, gorge and surroundings, and that pedestrian movement should be facilitated this has not been carried to the correct conclusion of adopting a much lower speed limit throughout the entire area from the Sion Hill junction to a similar point beyond the bridge on the other side. For road safety and structural reasons a limit of 10 or 15 mph would be appropriate.

3. (a) The narrowness of the road means that particular attention should be given to the safety of cyclists. Paradoxically the safest part of the road is probably the exit section where the carriageway divider means that it is obvious that overtaking is impossible and where it is almost impossible for a cyclist to ride in a position that suggests that overtaking is desirable. This fact should be considered with regard to the whole area, in particular the dangers of the existing narrow cycle lane on the Leigh Woods side should be reviewed, with particular regard to its tendency to suggest that cyclists can be overtaken in the bridge approach.

(b) I agree with the retention of the central carriageway dividing strip, and suggest that this could be extended onto the bridge, with other measures to discourage overtaking, in particular the speed limit suggested above.

(c) Appropriate signing to draw drivers attention to the need to take care of cyclists would be useful.

4. The proposed safety tables give rise to some concern. Safety tables tend to be too sharp for cyclists and suffer structural deterioration fairly quickly, creating a dangerous surface. I suggest that the existing safety table design, covering half the road and therefore being completely bypassed by cyclists is the best concept.

5. (a) The provision of a short term coach drop off point in Observatory Road could be done at minimal expense and disruption simply by painting a box on the road. The net loss of land on the Downs is bad in principle and in practice, since it pushes the greensward further back. The expense of the proposed works to construct a coach drop off is entirely unnecessary.

(b) Since the buildouts are presumably intended to discourage traffic from entering Observatory Road it would be logical to close this road completely except to cycles and coaches, facilitating use of the road by cyclists and as a coach drop off point. Without this the buildouts themselves become an additional hazard for cyclists. There is no obvious reason why Observatory Road is needed as a route for through traffic. Closing it to most motor traffic would unify a green area extending a considerable further distance towards Christ Church.

6. The review of the Sion Hill junction should extend back over the whole length of Suspension Bridge Road, which is not an attractive road to cycle on.

Yours sincerely,


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