It was great to attend the Bishopston Neighbourhood Forum last night, where we discussed sustainable travel in the area. We split into groups of local residents to discuss the challenges and problems related to sustainable travel, in addition to how they may be overcome. Whilst the outcome of these groups will be published in the notes of the meeting on the Council’s website, we wanted to add a few (by no means all!) of our own thoughts on how we can work towards sustainable travel:
- Cycle paths – Some cycle paths around the area and the city as a whole are badly surfaced, others stop and start, and there are plenty of busy roads with no marked cycle paths at all. Safer cycle paths that are continuous and well tarmacked would really help people feel safer when cycling, and so more inclined to get out there on their bikes.
- One way streets – By making streets one way it’s possible to calm the traffic on them without affecting the flow too much. We’ve previously posted about one suggestion for Dongola Road, but there are plenty of other candidates too (Church Road, for example).
- Traffic flow study – Before implementing anything such as one way streets, it would be great to see a study of traffic flow around the area to better understand what can be done to alleviate congestion.
- Safer driving – It’s all too common to see dangerous driving in the area, especially along the busy Gloucester Road, Kellaway Avenue and Ashley Down Road. This can endanger cyclists who share the road, and pedestrians crossing it. Whilst more enforcement from the police would be nice it isn’t really possible in the current climate of cuts, so working with local people to share and understand the dangers, in addition to traffic calming measures, could go some way to alleviating the problem.
- Safer cycling – A minority of cyclists in Bristol give the rest of us a bad name by running red lights, cycling on pavements, cycling without lights or helmets, and such. The local police team and neighbourhood watches work to try and cut down on this and I think, like with safer driving, education and traffic calming could help.
- More crossings – Busy roads in the area seem to have a varying amount, and quality, of pedestrian crossings. Whilst there are limited funds to implement these it would be great to see more in the area.
- Bike parking – Gloucester Road is great for bike parking, but as soon as you go somewhere else it’s a struggle to find somewhere to tie your bike up. More bike parking locations would be quick, cheap and easy to implement.
- More reliable buses – Whilst relatively plentiful, there is much concern about the reliability of the buses, especially away from Gloucester Road.
- School traffic safety – This was discussed in depth in the meeting; it would be great if the Council and other local bodies could work with schools to make the school run greener and safer.
- Walk more! – No explanation needed really; why drive when it’s close enough to walk?
Of course there are many, city wide, initiatives that could be implemented too. Bike hire, an integrated public transport system, “Oyster”-style cards, and the expansion of suburban rail to name but a few. If successfully elected in May, the local Labour party, and Marvin Rees as mayor, will seek to do all of this and more!
What are your thoughts on sustainable travel? We’d love to hear them, email us at BishopstonAshleyDownLabour@outlook.com or tweet @BishAshDLabour