Forum home Road cycling forum Campaign

Plans to make the Bristol-Bath Cycle Track a Bus Route

JonSkidsJonSkids Posts: 464
edited March 2008 in Campaign
Details here!

I use this facility on a regular basis and am very much against the idea. I know they've muted the idea before but this time the local councils really do seem up for it!

Facebook Save the path group here
«1

Posts

  • nwallacenwallace Posts: 1,465
    "One obvious solution is to find innovative ways to bring back former railway lines into use as public transport corridors - and we are exploring how a "guided bus" could work alongside a cycle route on part of the Bristol to Bath path.

    I have a great innovative way of reusing former railway lines.... put the lines back in and do what should have been done in the first place. Well timed, local trains with proper advertising.

    It seems ridiculous that there were express trains from Glasgow to a small seaside town in Fife, but managements approach was to close the route not rethink the timetable.
    "Through consultation with cycling groups, we are determined to design a scheme that will retain a cycle route along the corridor alongside any guided bus service."

    On the basis that is is a Public transport scheme it will turn out to be totally inappropriate full of political good ideas that don't work in reality... the fuel source probably being an example of that.

    If the original line was double track there would be plenty of room to fit in a single track rail or tram line with passing loops and a decent sized shared route path.
    I assume this is the case based on the amount of times it is pointed out that who ever it is that advocated rail to road conversion that 2 line Permanent way at the uk gauge isn't wide enough to fit an S2 (Single carriageway 2 lanes) road way.
    Do Nellyphants count?

    Commuter: FCN 9
    Cheapo Roadie: FCN 5
    Off Road: FCN 11

    +1 when I don't get round to shaving for x days
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    It is a dreadful idea! This has got to be one of the most popular cycle paths, with 2.4 million cycling journeys per year, plus the walkers, and the Avon Valley Railway. It is a beautiful and (generally) peaceful place that would be destroyed by motor vehicles.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    JonSkids wrote:
    Facebook Save the path group here

    I have an aversion to signing up to Facebook (maybe irrational, I know) in order to join the Save the Path Group - what about getting it on the Bath Cycling Campaign web site / yahoo group, or similar?
  • ParkeyParkey Posts: 303
    Presumably this idea is being put forward because they're scared to confront the motorists lobby and put in a few bus lanes and bus plugs.
    "A recent study has found that, at the current rate of usage, the word 'sustainable' will be worn out by the year 2015"
  • I use the path 3 or 4 times every week between bath and emersons green. Its a joy, and a privilege to use. I realise what a treasure it is.
    Im probably going to get buried for this, but a viable method of public transport is desperately needed on this route. If it can be made to work properly, then why not?
    I've lived in the utopia of the Netherlands for years, where this approach is common - albeit with trams and lpg busses. So it can work.
    Saying that, the path just isnt big enough for bikes , tracks, and bus, - so will probably balls it up creating a compromise that no one can use
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    My objection to the path as a bus route is threefold:

    1) Many parts of the path and surroundings are beautiful, peaceful and quiet countryside - a bus route would destroy these characteristics and remove a large portion of our access to such countryside (and about the only flat access to the countryside from Bath). We need to protect the countryside (and even fairly peaceful semi-urban "green" lanes).

    2) The path may just be wide enough to support a bus lane, but the cycle path will end up as a narrow strip much like a roadside one, and shared with pedestrians, dog walkers and horse riders - this will significantly impair the experience of using and riding on the path.

    3) This is driven by economic growth, it is not environmentally sound. Reducing congestion on the roads is a bad idea, new vehicles will appear on the road to fill available space. If the Bath / Bristol economy is limited due to transport problems, so be it, if we keep chasing the £ we will end up tarmacking the whole country. If we want to get people out of cars and onto buses then we should make car use more expensive and bus use cheaper.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Thank you JIC, I just signed it.
  • ParkeyParkey Posts: 303
    I've signed it too.

    IMHO the trick to good public transport isn't getting one-off projects like Trams or BRT schemes, it's about good policy. In Nottingham the policy has been to introduce bus lanes and more pedestrianised areas, and to run fewer routes but at very regular intervals. That's why public transport usage there is the highest in the country outside of London. Yes it now has a tram too, but this was awarded because of Nottingham's success with running its buses well.

    Having experienced Bristol's buses I think they should get their basics right before they start trying to concrete over a valued public area with such a pie-in-the-sky scheme.
    "A recent study has found that, at the current rate of usage, the word 'sustainable' will be worn out by the year 2015"
  • Rob SallnowRob Sallnow Posts: 6,279
    I'd rather walk than use Shimano
  • nwallacenwallace Posts: 1,465
    Out of interest is this one of the old GWR Broad Gauge routes (important as to the amount of space available) if it is it might answer the "how do they propose to fit 2 lanes of traffic in there" question.
    Do Nellyphants count?

    Commuter: FCN 9
    Cheapo Roadie: FCN 5
    Off Road: FCN 11

    +1 when I don't get round to shaving for x days
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    nwallace wrote:
    Out of interest is this one of the old GWR Broad Gauge routes (important as to the amount of space available) if it is it might answer the "how do they propose to fit 2 lanes of traffic in there" question.
    No, it was a Midland railway line so standard guage I believe. The GWR line went south of this and is the current Bath to Bristol mainline route.
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    The local news finally jumped on the bandwagon tonight with a report about the proposal on both the main news at 18:00 and a shorter report on the 22:30 bulletin and also mentioned the meeting tonight that was overcrowded, with people having to stand outside to hear proceedings.

    An embedded video is on the ITV Local site but this is updated daily so will change, however there is a search facility so you might be able to find it in the archives.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • chrishhuttchrishhutt Posts: 5
    edited February 2008
    nwallace wrote:
    Out of interest is this one of the old GWR Broad Gauge routes (important as to the amount of space available) if it is it might answer the "how do they propose to fit 2 lanes of traffic in there" question.
    the line was opened in 1835 as a single track horse drawn tramway to bring coal from south Gloucestershire down to Bristol. In 1844 it was converted to a double track broad gauge railway and extended to Gloucester by Brunel .The Bristol & Gloucester Railway was taken over by the Midland railway in 1846 and was subsequently converted to standard gauge.

    Although constructed to broad gauge standard it is still not wide enough to accommodate double bus tracks and a cycle/walkway without some major re-engineering of the route which would utterly change its character and ambiance. The route serves as a linear park for local people and is a thread of the countryside reaching into the heart of the city. Those qualities would be totally lost if taken over for bus tracks, even if some sort of path were retained.

    The bottom line is the people of Bristol don't want the Railway Path messed with, least of all to add to the profits of the despised local bus operator - First Group. So far 7,000 people have signed the on-line petition against the bus route proposal and in a poll being run by the local paper 93% have voted against the bus way. Bristol City council have been mocked and vilified for this crass and insensitive proposal.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    chrishhutt wrote:
    The route serves as a linear park for local people and is a thread of the countryside reaching into the heart of the city. Those qualities would be totally lost if taken over for bus tracks, even if some sort of path were retained.
    So true!

    This path is in my opinion, the best leisure facility around our area. It is massively popular as it is, I can't see that being the case if it becomes a bus route.
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    At the mo there are 7000 e-signatures on the petition against this stupid plan and there is also light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a glow worm colony which has been found on the side of the path in Mangotsfield.

    BEP 13/02
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • gert_lushgert_lush Posts: 634
    you really do have to wonder about these people sometimes, its almost funny its such a bad idea...my name is firmly on the petition
    FCN 8 mainly
    FCN 4 sometimes
  • grayo59grayo59 Posts: 722
    gert_lush wrote:
    you really do have to wonder about these people sometimes, its almost funny its such a bad idea...my name is firmly on the petition

    Bristol has never got it's transport policy right - for example it's one commuter railway goes from nowhere to nowhere - Temple Meads - Clifton - Severn Beach! (It runs through the park and ride but no platform!) Another perfectly usuable one doesn't carry passengers - Ashton to Portishead.

    The cycle lane from Bristol down the A4 towards Avonmouth has had cranes and works and vans parked on it for over a year. The one that runs from Bridge valley road (you have a choice - the one on the pavement that kicks you off at Shirehampton or the one that stops half a mile along the A4 and doesn't have a drop kerb to let you onto the pavement one) ... hopeless!

    You from Bemmy, Gert Lush? Have I spelled that crect? :D
    __________________
    ......heading for the box, but not too soon I hope!
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    grayo59 wrote:
    . . . Another perfectly usable one doesn't carry passengers - Ashton to Portishead.
    Jeez! I didn't know that, surely that must change, Portishead is expanding rapidly, and is surely becoming a major dormitory town for Bristol. Madness!
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    Portishead commuters have one route/choice out of town :shock: I used to work with a bloke from P'Head and he had to leave home at 7:20 for an 8:00 start and would always arrive at 7:40, if he left later he wouldn't get in on time.

    The crane on The Portway is now a permanant fixture, it has replaced the Plimsoll statue at the entrance to the docks.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • ParkeyParkey Posts: 303
    alfablue wrote:
    grayo59 wrote:
    . . . Another perfectly usable one doesn't carry passengers - Ashton to Portishead.
    Jeez! I didn't know that, surely that must change, Portishead is expanding rapidly, and is surely becoming a major dormitory town for Bristol. Madness!

    Haven't you heard? Road = Investment. Rail = Subsidy.

    We can't break the great British railway taboo and actually lay more railway track. That would be madness! In line with the rest of western Europe certainly, but witchcraft as far as this government is concerned.
    "A recent study has found that, at the current rate of usage, the word 'sustainable' will be worn out by the year 2015"
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Parkey wrote:
    Haven't you heard? Road = Investment. Rail = Subsidy.
    So right! :evil:
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    There is a Rally along the cycle path this Sunday 30/03/08 and the council meeting to decide that this idea is a stupid one is on the following Tuesday which is on the schedule for a webcast of the meeting. All being well this time next week we shall no that they council have decided against these plans.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    redvee wrote:
    There is a Rally along the cycle path this Sunday 30/03/08 and the council meeting to decide that this idea is a stupid one is on the following Tuesday which is on the schedule for a webcast of the meeting. All being well this time next week we shall no that they council have decided against these plans.
    I'll be there, thanks for posting this
  • TheBoyBillyTheBoyBilly Posts: 749
    All being well this time next week we shall no that they council have decided against these plans.

    Well I, from West Sussex, firmly hope that you succeed in getting this plan stopped. I shall be rooting for you all.
    To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity - Oscar Wilde
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • bbc news

    Great News! :D

    At last someone is listening to the views of the public(over 9000 signatures on the petition).

    Some credit must go to Sustrans too.

    Ride On ...
    Ride On ...
  • I can't help but wonder if the council will take issue with our protest, and 'improve our safety' with lots of bollards and cyclists dismount signs along the route.
  • GambatteGambatte Posts: 1,453
    I can't help but wonder if the council will take issue with our protest, and 'improve our safety' with lots of bollards and cyclists dismount signs along the route.

    Sod it - they're only advisory anyway!!! :twisted:
  • ParkeyParkey Posts: 303
    Gambatte wrote:
    I can't help but wonder if the council will take issue with our protest, and 'improve our safety' with lots of bollards and cyclists dismount signs along the route.

    Sod it - they're only advisory anyway!!! :twisted:

    Is there such a thing as an advisory bollard?! :wink:
    "A recent study has found that, at the current rate of usage, the word 'sustainable' will be worn out by the year 2015"
Sign In or Register to comment.