Saturday 24 January 2009

Cyclists, pedestrians and passengers can co-exist on shared path

It is now a year since it became public that the local councils wanted to run buses down the Bristol-Bath railway path. Today is the first anniversary of their press release, rushed out after someone discovered that the West of England Partnership had actually handed over all the plans in response to a Freedom of Information Request. The WoEP are now briefed in how to deny such requests; nobody will ever be so lucky again

We replicate it here, so its irony can be celebrated, especially the bit marked in bold.

The West of England Partnership is developing a proposal to create a 16 km rapid Bus Rapid Transit route from Emersons Green in South Gloucestershire to Ashton Vale in Bristol.
The aim is to cut congestion on the highway network by offering a high quality public transport alternative to the private car for commuters and visitors. Now the idea is to be developed into a full proposal for consultation.
Part of the proposal involves running alongside the Bristol to Bath railway path. New high quality, low emission vehicles would run on a dedicated guideway alongside the cycle track, which would itself be widened and improved as part of the scheme.
Councillor Mark Bradshaw, Bristol City Council's Executive Member for Access and Environment, said:"I understand the concerns expressed by many people concerning the Bristol to Bath railway path and the proposals for a rapid transit link. The cycle path is a strategic route in its own right and a powerful symbol of our city's need to find alternatives to the car.
“We will continue to work with cyclists, environmental and other partners in preparing more detailed proposals for how the cycle path can be enhanced and co-exist with the rapid transit link. There are other examples of where this has been achieved and we have enough expertise in our city to make this a reality.
“As a strong supporter of sustainable travel choices, this council wants to ensure an effective rapid transit network can be realised, alongside promoting other transport choices such a cycling.
“It is possible that the rapid transit link could enhance use of the cycle path, making it easier for more people to use the path by combining a cycle and transit trip. We want to do all possible to improve the cycle path and make it easier to use.
“I also recognise we need to do more, working with our neighbouring authorities, to better explain rapid transit. I also want to make clear that no contracts have been awarded regarding the rapid transit operators.”

There we have it: combined cycling and transit journeys could improve the railway path experience. Readers of this site are encouraged to explore this possibility by trying to get a bicycle on a FirstBus bus.


Chris Hutt said...

Scary deja-vu experience getting a Google alert to this post, before I realised it was to mark the anniversary.

But then I remembered they haven't withdrawn the plan to run BRT down the Path but have merely put it on hold until such time as the think they can push it through.

And for hanging this sword of Damocles over our heads the City Council get awarded Cycling City status. How can one satirise that?

Noel said...

Is there due to be some kind of "victory" anniversary celebration in a couple of months time?

When I see these pictures of the BRT it brings to mind light rail. Why on earth would they want to be using bendy buses and not electric trams for these new routes they are planning?

If I was in charge of creating a public transport system in Bristol, the very first thing I would do is run light rail along Temple Way connecting Temple Meads and the Bus station. I dont know why it hasnt already been done, it seems so simple to me.

SteveL said...

-I don't think there will be a big victory celebration as we aren't yet convinced we've won. We still need to track everything that goes on with BRT to Emerson's Green. The engineers want the route, some of the politicians know it is untenable, but not all.

-I think I'd like to have a victory family ride rather than a big parade.

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