[Foreword 8th June 2015: We have now had the result from the DVSA, and it’s not good.]
It is with rather a lot of excitement that Peter from BikesOnBuses emailed me to say that he delivered a Veloporter 2 to the Bristol First Group depot on Wednesday. The rack will be installed on a bus they are currently servicing and respraying with new livery. The process is expected to take two to three weeks, but at the end of it, there will be a shiny bus with a cycle rack on the front of it.
For many years there has been a desire by locals in and around Larkhall & BANES Council for the construction of a shared path & bridge across the Lam Brook to allow direct access between the Square & Alice Park.
With the building of the proposed skate park, Alice Park’s popularity, is certain to increase. Particularly with families. At present, to get there on foot from Larkhall Square it requires detours to the North or South along roads that are busy, polluted & have narrow pavements. The proposed redevelopment of the Harvester site provides the perfect opportunity to construct this traffic free path. Benefits Include:
A shorter, safer journey
Increased footfall to the local shops & amenities
Reduced vehicle usage
Plans have been submitted to develop the Harvester site into retirement apartments. An access path to these homes will also provide a very easy, level,& safe walk into the square for those residents. Continue reading Larkhall to Alice Park Path→
Tim Warren, Conservative BaNES shadow cabinet member for Transport, sent me a detailed response to my critique of the BaNES Conservative Transport Manifesto and I honestly feel it deserves it’s own space rather than tacked on the end of the critique. I will update the original article to link to this. I would like to just thank Tim Warren for taking time for writing. Campaigning to improve the lot of people that cycle is all about discourse. It is encouraging that Tim felt it worth writing to me and I hope this bodes well for further discussions in the future.
Ben Howlett, prospective Bath conservative MP, contacted me yesterday to ask what Cycle Bath’s opinion of their recently announced Bath Transport Manifesto was and if we could offer feedback. I duly put out a request for people to give feedback and feedback I did receive.
To be fair Cycle Bath is not a political animal. Pretty much every party falls short in their approach to healthy transportation. It’s within the nature of being a single issue campaign group that there is never enough. However this is going to be a complex analysis and one that other parties should take note of when writing their manifestos.
I popped up there today to have a look at the upgraded route between the University and Combe Down and to take my dog for a walk. This route has been 10 years in the making with dogged determination by BaNES officers to solve all the land issues. This has been legally HARD and we really do have to congratulate what has been achieved here despite the complications.
Edited to add link to PDF (below) of consultation display board images & comment form (Word Doc).
It appears WordPress doesn’t allow images in comments so… A new post.
The developers appear keen to make cycling/walking a priority & keep on-site vehicles to a minimum & separate. The parking for the residential blocks is hidden under a raised deck between the buildings. As with all developments such as this, cycle/walking routes are dependent on neighbouring sites to link them all together
The obvious one that can benefit from being built at the same time as this development is the Toucan link to the North entrance of the Two Tunnels path. Frank/Nigel R. – do you know if there’s money already earmarked for this by BANES?
Another link is to the West, next to the Church building which can join up with the existing path between the student accommodation & the river, See image. This is looking East, the church building is in the background. Further West a bit of shrubbery needs to be removed & it can then join into the Lidl car park.
For the uninitiated at present this is a light industrial site that lies north of the junction of Bellotts Road and the Lower Bristol Road. Environmentally it is currently pretty uninspiring.
For cyclists the proposal effectively provides an opportunity to start extending the Two Tunnels route to the north, and on Wed 14 Jan 15 myself and two TT committee members attended a presentation given by Deely Freed (DF) in advance of them submitting an outline planning application.
The DF team were all well aware of TT and the Bristol-Bath path and some of them use them on a regular basis. While the footprint they are directly responsible for developing lies inside both paths they are recommending infrastructure that will allow additional elements to be built if and when later development takes place.
a. a toucan crossing into the site from the north end of Bellotts Road
b. space for ramped access (and steps) up to the approach to the old Midland Rail bridge
c. a link across Windsor Bridge into the Western Riverside development when the opportunity presents itself.
They were also cognizant of the potential to utilize the wide path across Windsor Bridge which could link in to the riverside path opposite the new Tescos on the Upper Bristol Road (UBR), although they had some reservations about its width. (Evidently no-one knows who owns the bit of path from UBR to the Riverside path which doesn’t entirely help.)
Within the site a pedestrian/cyclist shared use path would run round the back of the site thereby avoiding most vehicular traffic. A bit roundabout but would lead to a nice area overlooking the river. A more direct route would also be available via an access road (for the occasional bin/delivery lorry etc).
The site in question does not include the buildings that abuts north to Windsor Bridge (including BBC Audio Books) which evidently have leases running for another 4 or 5 years and would be part of a later development stage.
According to DF the move of Homebase to this site as a result of the Sainsbury Green Park redevelopment has not been a consideration: draw your own conclusions about Sainsburys Green Park.
All in all we came away fairly happy.
e-images of the display boards and a record of Q&As are being provided which I will post up when I get them, although I’m not sure when that will be.
Meet at the Nextbike station, Guildhall, Orange Grove 10.30 am
This is another gentle ride to suit all. Don’t worry we always pace with the slowest rider
We leave the city taking in the first part of the night ride route, and towards the newly restored Victoria Bridge and then head for the Two Tunnels (I know you may have already rode the two tunnels, but it still gives me a buzz) We aim to ride through both tunnels to Midford, and if the pub is open we can stop for coffee!!
We come back through the tunnels, both, depending how wet one of the exits, and return to the city on a different route, still on quiet roads with a down hill run. Slight gradients in places, but if I can do it anyone can.
There is a problem with BaNES. One hand doesn’t know what the other 23 hands are up to. This might be excusable if it wasn’t for the fact the head of this gargantuan body, the council, has stated that BaNES uses the Sustrans Design Guidance. The hands that are designing and building our future cycle infrastructure appear not to be listening to the head and it really shows in the detail of what they are producing.
[EDIT: Note there is a correction to this article and I will be following it up with an apology at the weekend when I have the time. I knew something that I conveniently left out of the article and this makes BaNES look worse that they are at delivering this.]
With the recent announcement of an extra £114 million to be spent on 8 cities that previously won CAG money, Bath is in the running to get some of it. The reason is that one of the 8 cities is the “South West” which is Gloucester, Bristol and Bath.