A consultation is underway on improvements that are being proposed to the A37/A4018 (Number 2 bus route) between Stockwood and Cribbs Causeway through Bristol City Centre. The proposals look to achieve major changes to make the roads better for buses, pedestrians and cyclists.
The consultation is important because it is the first of the programme of arterial route schemes. It follows the initial call for comments to which BWA responded in 2020, and the proposals include several of the changes we suggested.
The detailed designs for this scheme set a precedent for future schemes, which will determine the future of Bristol’s transport provision for years to come. BWA has been looking at the proposals, and has seen plans for all of the route, not just the sections shown on the consultation website. We will be submitting a detailed response.
A number of continuous footways and pavement buildouts across side turnings are proposed. And there are three proposals that will radically change the balance of street use in favour of pedestrians:
- new public realm at Queens Road between the Victoria Rooms and the Triangle,
- bus gate on Park Street (but disappointingly Heavy Goods Vehicles are exempt),
- creation of public realm at places on Victoria Street.
These changes are good, but could there be more for the pedestrian? There are two major omissions:
- It is very disappointing that the traffic engineers have decided it is not feasible to design a scheme at the Triangle which would pedestrianize Queens Road. Doubly so because the proposed scheme does not even widen the high-footfall pavement, even though this was part of the temporary changes of the last year.
- There is nothing proposed for the narrow footway from Bath Bridges to the Three Lamps junction that is shared between high flows of pedestrians and cyclists. If this scheme does not address this, then it is unlikely to change in the next 5 years.
The consultation closes on 28 January 2022.
UPDATE: See our response to the consultation.