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Author Topic: Bristol-Bath Railway Path improvement work  (Read 12133 times)
martyjon
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« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2018, 04:47:53 pm »

We were promised Metrobust in the early stages and have gone through years of disruption with traffic diversions etc while the new bus lanes were built on the ring road, only to find out later that the whole Downend area is now being bypassed completely with the new buses (if they ever run) running straight along the ring road, with our nearest stops being Hambrook or Emersons Green.
There are also stops at the Emerald Business Park and Wick Wick Roundabouts on the Ring Road
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Of course, they've concentrated everything on Emersons due to available parking
Which is a joke, a Park and Ride car park with no more than a 100 or so parking spaces, I've seen bigger pub car parks.
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....the roads to BPW aren't wide enough for the new buses to access!
Haven't heard that one unless you mean the Ashton guided bit.
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Our buses to BPW have been halved in number, and we have no direct bus services to BRI ....
Well yes the half hourly service 18 serving Southmead Hospital via BPW was withdrawn and replaced by an hourly split 10/11 service both terminating at BPW. The service 19/19A still provides between them a half hourly service to BPW from Kingswood, Soundwell, Staple Hill and Downend.
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.... and yet hundreds of millions of pounds have been spent to provide Metrobust which will serve Emersons very nicely, but leave a huge portion of NE Bristol (Staple Hill, Soundwell, Downend, Fishponds, Mangotsfield etc etc etc) still without a decent - and more importantly accessible without a 30 minute hike to the nearest stop - public transport system.
Yes, well who in their right minds will want to be transported half way round Bristols Northern Suburbs Ring Road and then via the UWE Frenchay Campus just to get into Bristols Centre 1 minute earlier than walking down ones residential street to the Staple Hill Road and catching a service 49 bus. Another thing is why serve the Frenchay campus with the M3 at all when that location already has a frequent service to the city centre on the service route UWE. The M3 will pass the Hambrook access slip road to the M32 and this could add up to 10 minutes more to the jounrney times into the city. FFS why don't they route the M3 route onto the M32 at the earliest opportunity, no they want to make this white elephant A BRILLIANT WHITE ELEPHANT.

I'll tell ee fur shore the residents of Emersons Green, Blackhorse, Downend and Bromley Heath ain't gonna be very appy when they realise the X48 is being replaced by Metrobus route M3 and they got to get used to using the slower routes 5, 7, 47, 48 and 49 services into the central area.

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So it's no wonder that we often look so longingly at the cycle path and dream of a direct rail service to escape the daily jams on Fishponds Road... and with our dreaming hats on even more so if we hadn't lost the 13 arches viaduct and could hop on a train directly to Clifton.

Don't worry, Marvin (Bristols elected mayor) has got all that sorted in his plans for a Bristol Underground, there will be a route Fishponds - Greenbank - Eastville Retail Park (alight here for IKEA) - St. Andrews - Redland - Clifton.
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metalrail
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« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2018, 06:06:08 pm »

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....the roads to BPW aren't wide enough for the new buses to access!
Haven't heard that one unless you mean the Ashton guided bit.

Here you go...  you couldn't make this stuff up! 
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-widen-bristol-parkway-roads-856809

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I'll tell ee fur shore the residents of Emersons Green, Blackhorse, Downend and Bromley Heath ain't gonna be very appy when they realise the X48 is being replaced by Metrobus route M3 and they got to get used to using the slower routes 5, 7, 47, 48 and 49 services into the central area

No, we aint!
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Oh for the day when I can catch a train from Mangotsfield to the Centre, Bath and Yate!  ;-)
rogerw
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« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2018, 06:17:23 pm »

Service UWE is also being withdrawn, ostensibly for the summer vac but I bet it won't return
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2020, 03:06:55 pm »

Meanwhile:

It seems Sustrans have been given Department for Transport funding for ‘a community-led re-design to improve the quality of the existing Bristol and Bath railway path’; specifically the busy section between St Phillips and Clay Bottom.

Bristol Cycling Campaign are not happy. In their response, they point out that the railway path is primarily a path, not a park. They may have a point!

Sustrans (who, let us remember, were instrumental in creating the path out of a disused railway) seem to think the best answer to congestion and conflicting uses is to confuse and divert cyclists, whilst encouraging people to linger in some of the narrowest most dangerous bits of the path.

It'll be interesting to see how this pans out. For those who hope that one day trains will also run along this route: Good luck with that!
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2020, 04:55:33 pm »

Sustrans (who, let us remember, were instrumental in creating the path out of a disused railway)
Up to a point. Conversion of the disused railway into a cycle path was started in the early 70s by a group calling themselves Cyclebag (still around in some form). Sustrans grew out of that but they weren't the creators of the path. They have been, however, instrumental in making it as successful as it is.

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seem to think the best answer to congestion and conflicting uses is to confuse and divert cyclists, whilst encouraging people to linger in some of the narrowest most dangerous bits of the path.
The bit that's really hazardous IME is where it goes under the St Philips Causeway, where it narrows, dips, is divided in two by a kerb (though this is one of the very few places in the UK where pedestrian/cycle segregation actually seems to be followed) and there are bollards in the track. And on  a rail note, is there any plan for the track alongside, which used to transport waste to/from the St Philips recycling facility, to be used in future? As a cycling friend pointed out, the only way to increase width there would be to tarmac over the rails...

As for the rest of it, more plants, seating and sculptures and so on would actually be nice – as long as it doesn't reduce capacity of the path as a path.

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It'll be interesting to see how this pans out. For those who hope that one day trains will also run along this route: Good luck with that!
It will be, one way or another...
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2020, 06:55:22 pm »

The bit that's really hazardous  IME is where it goes under the St Philips Causeway, where it narrows, dips, is divided in two by a kerb (though this is one of the very few places in the UK where pedestrian/cycle segregation actually seems to be followed) and there are bollards in the track.

Bristol Cycling Campaign mention this section; the Sustrans scheme is actually an improvement here.

As for the rest of it, more plants, seating and sculptures and so on would actually be nice – as long as it doesn't reduce capacity of the path as a path.

Ay, there's the rub. The guiding principle of the proposals seems to be to use planting, seating and sculpture right in the middle of the path in order to slow down cyclists. The alternative - a straightforward segregation of cyclists and pedestrians, so that the former can safely go fast and the latter can safely go slowly, doesn't seem to feature. This seems eccentric given that this is primarily a path. It seems even more eccentric given that the surrounding area contains a lot of parks and open spaces that don't have the busiest cycle route in the land running through them... As a two-track rail formation, there is plenty of room to segregate users (as per Sustrans' own guidelines) for much of the route.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2020, 07:03:22 pm »

Somewhat OT:
Quote
We acknowledge that the path is trying to achieve a range of objectives including;
an off-road route for those travelling between the cities of Bath and Bristol (and
vice versa), a route for those travelling within or across the three counties, as well
as a local park for those living near the park.
"Three counties"? Well, yes; or three unitary authorities to be technically correct. But in this case "the two cities" and the towns between them form such an obvious functional single area that it does show up how artificial local authority boundaries can be.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2020, 08:36:43 pm »

Having read the whole BCyC response now, I find it a lot clearer to follow than the original Sustrans document – that lacked context to the diagrams. I don't agree with all their comments but I think they're right to be wary of the introduction of too much seating, wiggly routing and general dilution of the function as a path; at the same time we have to recognize that for many people it actually does serve as a destination in itself (which might be a symptom of the lack of other places to go to be away from traffic).

And I'm glad they raised the question of which side people should walk. As a cyclist on the path, my opinion is that it's best if runners stick to the left but walkers keep to the right. My thinking being that it's easy for a cyclist to slow down to runner speed and wait behind a runner till there's an opportunity to overtake, but not so easy to cycle at walking speed. Also, if walkers are facing the oncoming cyclists, nobody will be surprised by an unexpected overtake. However, having also walked the entire length of the BBRP (yes, in one go!), I'm not so sure that this is best for pedestrians, especially after dark. In practice, of course, many people walk in a group covering the whole width.

But mostly, if I were given £1.1 million to improve cycling in Bristol (and the other "two counties"!), I wouldn't spend any of it on the BBRP (except perhaps at the St Philips Causeway underpass). That path isn't perfect but it's certainly good, and building some things like that on a smaller scale in other areas would do far more good than any upgrades.
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ellendune
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« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2020, 10:22:02 pm »

Somewhat OT:
Quote
We acknowledge that the path is trying to achieve a range of objectives including;
an off-road route for those travelling between the cities of Bath and Bristol (and
vice versa), a route for those travelling within or across the three counties, as well
as a local park for those living near the park.
"Three counties"? Well, yes; or three unitary authorities to be technically correct. But in this case "the two cities" and the towns between them form such an obvious functional single area that it does show up how artificial local authority boundaries can be.

Yes three ancient counties, the County of Gloucestershire, the County of Somerset and the City and County of Bristol.  Bath may have been a county borough, but it remained part of the County of Somerset. Bristol on the other hand was a County in its own right. This situation remains the case for ceremonial purposes.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2020, 08:29:58 am »

Odd that the word security doesn't obviously appear after various reports of attacks on cyclists.

Unfortunately there a proportion of cyclists who can't get it into their heads that a shared path is not where you train for the Tour de France. Not helped by measuring distance in time, with no obvious difference between cycle only and shared paths.

Slightly OT. Cycled the Hanson Way (NCN 5, Didcot to Newbury) yesterday. The section that runs parallel to the railway from Sandford Lock lane to the Cowley branch bridge has been tarmaced, very useful.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2020, 01:39:51 pm »

Somewhat OT:
Quote
We acknowledge that the path is trying to achieve a range of objectives including;
an off-road route for those travelling between the cities of Bath and Bristol (and
vice versa), a route for those travelling within or across the three counties, as well
as a local park for those living near the park.
"Three counties"? Well, yes; or three unitary authorities to be technically correct. But in this case "the two cities" and the towns between them form such an obvious functional single area that it does show up how artificial local authority boundaries can be.

Yes three ancient counties, the County of Gloucestershire, the County of Somerset and the City and County of Bristol.  Bath may have been a county borough, but it remained part of the County of Somerset. Bristol on the other hand was a County in its own right. This situation remains the case for ceremonial purposes.
The path runs through Bristol, South Glos and BANES, in today's definitions.
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ellendune
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« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2020, 06:44:52 pm »

Yes three ancient counties, the County of Gloucestershire, the County of Somerset and the City and County of Bristol.  Bath may have been a county borough, but it remained part of the County of Somerset. Bristol on the other hand was a County in its own right. This situation remains the case for ceremonial purposes.
The path runs through Bristol, South Glos and BANES, in today's definitions.

These modern local authorities are still in the three named ancient counties "for ceremonial purposes", which I think means the Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriff etc.   
« Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 07:20:11 pm by Red Squirrel » Logged
Red Squirrel
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« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2020, 09:12:35 pm »

I feel the need to point out that whilst B&NES and South Glos may for all I know be in ceremonial counties, Bristol is a county - nothing ceremonial about it.

Aside from a brief period in suspended animation when it was unceremoniously kludged into the County of Avon, Bristol has been a county since 1373. It was a county before it was a city, a status it achieved as recently as 1542.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2020, 09:27:07 pm »

Getting back to the path itself, and Bristol* Cycling Campaign's response to the Sustrans proposals, I find it odd that they refer to it as a park, when – although it may technically be so – nobody ever calls it that and their main point is that it does and should function primarily as a route.

*I've no idea whether they define this as city, county or unitary authority, if indeed they define it at all.
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