A £3.4 million boost to active travel in Bristol

Councillor Donald Alexander is pictured, smiling, with trees and College Green in the background.
Today’s guest blog is from Councillor Don Alexander,
Cabinet Member for Transport and Labour
Councillor for Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston ward.

From upgrading pedestrian crossings to creating segregated routes for cyclists, we’re continuing to work to make walking and cycling safer and more pleasant across the city.

That is why I am thrilled that at this month’s Cabinet meeting, we agreed to accept £3.4 million funding secured from the Department for Transport as part of Tranche 4 of the Active Travel Fund, which is administered by the West of England Combined Authority.

We will use £1.6 million of this to deliver our Old City and King Street pedestrian scheme, which is a priority for the Mayor and our administration. Construction work is set to get underway later this year to make the changes permanent, and work should be completed by March 2024.

The project includes:

  • Creating a segregated cycle path on Queen Charlotte Street
  • Pavement widening
  • Improving the King Street and Queen Charlotte Street junction through accessibility and safety features for pedestrians
  • A new zebra crossing on Crow Lane
  • New cycle parking in the area
A concept image of Old Market gap is pictured.

Improving the infrastructure of this historic part of the city, so it is safe and accessible, will help to improve air quality and create an attractive space that will be a further boost to local businesses, while making sure it is appropriate for this iconic part of Bristol.

We will use £871,000 of the funding to draw up detailed plans for four proposed active travel schemes, which includes:  

  • Deanery Road
  • Filwood Quietway
  • Malago Greenway
  • Old Market Quietway

Improvements could include segregated cycle paths, upgraded or new crossings, upgraded junctions, and wayfinding.

Work will now take place to design these schemes so they are ready to be constructed, at which point we would need to seek more funding. We will of course run engagement exercises and consult with residents, traders and businesses throughout the process.

The remaining £915,599 of the funding will go towards installing cycle hangars across Bristol and the wider region. These are lockable pods used to store bikes safely on the street, which should encourage even more people to get on their bikes regularly.

People are pictured walking and cycling in pedestrianised Cotham Hill.

News of the successful Active Travel funding bid follows hot on the heels of work getting underway this month on two more of our active travel projects – improving Bristol Bridge for people who walk and cycle and our pedestrianisation scheme at Cotham Hill. You can find out more about these projects in my recent guest blog.

All these active travel projects, and more in the pipeline, will make it easier and safer to walk and cycle, which is great for our health and wellbeing as we work to encourage more sustainable ways to move about the city.