15 Jul 2016

Transport

Paving the way for smoother journeys through Castle Park

Pedestrians and cyclists travelling through Castle Park will benefit from smoother journeys over its historic cobbles following a £200,000 improvement project.

Engineers have finished resurfacing and separating the new cycling and walking routes in Castle Park ahead of this weekend’s Harbour Festival.

The project involved re-laying 14,000 cobbles which were sawn in half to create a flatter, smoother surface, as well as creating more space for walking alongside cyclists. A popular walking route, Castle Park is also home to one of the busiest cycle routes in the city with often around 1,500 people travelling through it each day.

The 80m stretch in Back Bridge Street used to be bustling with houses and shops until it was destroyed during the Blitz in the Second World War. It has now been sensitively restored, maintaining the character of the area while providing better access for walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users. 

Cllr Mark Bradshaw, Cabinet Member for Transport at Bristol City Council, said:

“An integrated and sustainable transport system is essential to our city’s future. It underpins our broader economic prospects and provides an opportunity to connect people in all communities of Bristol. I hope improvements like this will encourage more people to take up walking and cycling to their destinations across the city. 

“We have worked hard to strike a balance between maintaining the historic cobbles in Castle Park and ensuring we have a safe, accessible transport network for all users.

“We will benefit from further developments over the next few years as we help get Bristol moving with a safer and more attractive environment to make cycling and walking more accessible and attractive for everyone and reducing congestion on the roads for those who do not cycle.”

The work is part of a series of new cycling and walking upgrades to improve journeys across Bristol. Other projects include a new Family Cycling Centre in Whitchurch along with a combination of enhancements to existing routes, revitalising streets and addressing barriers to cycling and walking. They are funded by the Government’s Cycle Ambition Fund which supports improvements worth £12million in Bristol up until 2018 and local match funding from the council.

Elsewhere, Poole’s Wharf Bridge will reopen this weekend for the Harbour Festival and will close again on Tuesday 19 July for around three weeks for the remaining works to the ramps and to allow commissioning of the electrical and mechanical systems.

Further cycling projects include:
Southmead Quietway – work to support the Southmead Quietway from the Arches to Southmead Hospital, especially around the Zetland Road junction.
Easton Safer Streets – we are currently working with the community to understand how to make the streets in Easton a better place for walking and cycling and are identifying areas where funding is needed to deliver this vision.
North/South City Centre routes – this will be the first complete route through the city centre via Prince Street and Nelson Street through to Bond Street.  
Cycle hangars – offering a safe and cheap alternative for people who lack space in their homes to store their bikes. A bike hangar is a covered, lockable and secure pod which sits on the road. It takes up about the same amount of space as a parked car and it can hold six bikes securely. 
MetroBus cycle routes – extend cycle routes that are already being delivered as part of MetroBus from Cater Road Business Park to the Malago Greenway and Commercial Road from Wapping Road to Bedminster Bridge
River Avon Path – improvements to support the existing works happening around the proposed Arena site and completing the link on Conham Road.
Avon Promenade off-road route – finishing an off-road route along the north side of the harbour from Hotwells to the city centre.
Bristol Bugbears – we are asking for feedback from the community on which small scale improvements they would like to see implemented. These include resurfacing paths, new signage and segregated lines, installing dropped kerbs and enhancing short sections of route. There is limited funding available and this project does not cover bigger enhancements such as new pathways. Comments can be submitted to https://bristolbugbears.commonplace.is/  before the end of July, when we will review the submissions and create a list of priorities.

ENDS

Notes to editor
In October 2015, local people were given the opportunity to have their say on how to spend £3m of Cycle Ambition funding on cycling improvements. The sum was originally earmarked for a new cycle and foot bridge over the New Cut but costs for the project escalated. As a result residents were asked for their feedback on investing in better value cycle projects.
The reallocated £3m was put towards extending the scope of the CAF project, including the Southmead Quietway, Easton Safer Streets, North/South City Centre routes, the Family Cycling Centre in Whitchurch, cycle hangers, extended MetroBus cycle routes, River Avon path link around the arena site and Avon Promenade off road route.
These schemes were prioritised based on cost, strategic fit and practicality.  All schemes have to be delivered before March 2018 in order to meet with the timescale that was set out by the government as part of the original Cycling Ambition Fund agreement.
Further information is available at http://travelwest.info/projects/cycle-ambition-fund-2