Proposed changes to the junction of Bristol Bridge and Baldwin Street will shortly come to Bristol City Council Cabinet for approval to put them forward for WECA (West of England Combined Authority) funding.
The changes are being motivated by the need to replace the current signals at this junction, which are nearing the end of their life. There is much reduced traffic at the junction since the bus gate was introduced, and it has long been an awkward pinch point for pedestrians and cyclists. The changes would provide more space for pedestrians, a wider signalised crossing for pedestrians and bikes between Baldwin Street and Castle Park, and a zebra crossing between Bristol Bridge and High Street.
BWA had responded to a Traffic Regulation Order for these junction changes in February and put forward some comments to the officer responsible for the project. We welcomed the reduction in carriageway space to give more room for pedestrians. Our main concern was that there was a raised planter in the desire line for pedestrians going from Bristol Bridge to the zebra crossing that in turn was likely to result in pedestrians trying to walk in the cycle track. Happily, that seems to have been removed from the Cabinet proposal. We also pointed out that there should be kerbs between the footways and the cycle tracks to better ensure segregation and assist the visually impaired.
We will ask to see the final plans before they are implemented to check whether they provide a safe and accessible solution for pedestrians and press for pedestrian priority in the timing of the crossing lights.