Thursday 24 February 2011

Cycle paths that don't end in the middle of nowhere

One thing the Netherlands has is bike paths that go all the way to the city centre, and which start in the suburbs, so you can get all the way in to town and back again safely. In Bristol, the Railway Path fulfils this for one part of the city, even though it abandons you in the centre, and getting to it can be hazardous.

In South Gloucestershire, the A38 and the A4174 are the key non-motorway routes, and the A4174 does have a segregated path.

Is it so much to ask for this path to get to anywhere useful, rather than just have it stop when it gets complicated?

This "End" sign is so woefully bleak. It says "you are on your own from here". The idea of having anywhere to cycle other than alongside the A4174 ring-road doesn't seem to have occurred to these cycle path designers.

What can we do here? It's not obvious. Painting cycle paths on the quiet suburban roads would be a start, even better: putting in cycle paths when such suburban sprawl goes in. Though as we've seen, they are making such a mess of that in their latest project we don't believe the existing cycling team or Redrow should be permitted to do so.


  1. C'mon, get your photos geotagged... where's this?

  2. A newly 'created' cycle route has been put in to join the A4174 segregated cycle late to the Bristol/Bath cycle path via Emersons Green and Mangotsfield and across Rodway common, it neglects to tell you on the signposts that you'd better bring a trail bike and good suspension. Most of this route is reclaimed footpath, now turned into a shared use facility, but some of this route crosses unsurfaced land, and in parts is a surface not suitable for a road bike for example, and you might have to walk through a hedge to join the cycle path when you get there. It's probably easier to just stay on the A4174 cycle path and join the Bristol-Bath cycle path at Mangotsfield station.

  3. I use the Ring Road cycle path between Warmley and Longwell Green to go to work, and find that the signposts there are quite good when you get thrown out on a road (with no traffic apart from those that lives there) but the lighting is non-existing or only every second light, which creates dangerous situations more than once.

    It is not very comforting to go downhill towards a T-junction (on the segregated path) with a light pole visible and not turned on.

    Rasmus Jensen

  4. @Matt -added location tags to all the postings.

    @Siriuz7dk -good point about lighting, We've raised it with the MoD too. Their infra cameras don't care, but some people are scared to walk the rugby grounds. Check out the St Werburgh's path to see subtle solar lighting that at least shows you where to go, and lets you spot pedestrians by the way they block lights. Then try the railway path with proper lights. And signs painted on the ground.

  5. @m1mbz -ahh, that explains the sign by emerson's green showing an alternate route to the ring road option. We shall investigate it. We remember when it was a quiet path all the way to pucklechurch. No more.

  6. Same problem with lighting on some of the Festival Way here in Brizzle, especially since it sometimes seems to be used by lone UWE students on foot...

    If you get your JPGs nicely geotagged and then upload them with Picasa to Google Photos, users should be able to just click through from the blog to see the photo and its location, e.g. a few of these are in South Glos I think:

    Picasa even works on Linux ;-)