Residents complain Flax Bourton cycle path is a danger to pedestrians and car drivers

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By The Bristol Post | Friday, February 08, 2013, 07:00

RESIDENTS in Flax Bourton are calling for a cycle route through the village to be re-routed after concerns cyclists are causing a danger to residents.

Riders using the Festival Way route, which runs between Bristol and Nailsea, cut through Rosemount Road, Farleigh Green, to join the cycleway on the edge of the estate.

But residents say that the cyclists are posing a danger to pedestrians and motorists and there have been a number of near misses over the past few months.

The situation is made worse as a section of Rosemount Road has no pavement, meaning people have to walk in the road.

Residents have now collected a petition which they plan to hand to North Somerset Council asking for a diversion to be put in place to take the cyclists away from the estate.

They say a new path could be created around the edge of a field bordering the estate near the Dew Drop pub which would reconnect with the cycle path.

Farleigh Green Residents Association chairman Michael Barnes said: "Now the Festival Way route is completed we are seeing a lot more cyclists coming through the estate.

"The issue for residents is safety as the route follows narrow roads through the estate with the longest having no pavements.

"There are at least three blind corners giving no visibility for motorists, cyclists or pedestrians and there have been several collisions and many near misses involving cars, pedestrians, children and cyclists."

He added: "We are not anti-cycling and many of us enjoy cycling."

Residents say they have held a number of meetings with North Somerset Council and sustainable transport charity Sustrans, which pioneered the Festival Way route, to discuss re-routing the cycle path.

Mr Barnes added: "We have had a number of on-site meetings with North Somerset Council and Sustrans, but unfortunately have failed to gain their support for a simple re-routing of the cycle path around nearby fields.

"It would be a short detour but important for the safety of all.

"There are cost implications of course, but at this stage we are just seeking an agreement in principle to a simple change."

The matter is due to be discussed by Flax Bourton Parish Council this month where residents plan to hand the 79-name petition to councillors.

Residents are being invited to send their views on the route of the cycle path to farleighgreenreroute@gmail. com with comments being passed on to Sustrans and the council.

North Somerset Council spokesman Nick Yates said: "Our road safety experts have been out on site – this a well-designed and useful route. It is a shared space and whether people using it are on foot, on two wheels or four they need to walk, ride or drive to the conditions.

"The scheme is complete and we are not looking to divert the route."

Sustrans area manager for North Somerset Rupert Crosbee said: "The design is for a shared space where people can walk and cycle. The small number of vehicles which use the area behave accordingly. It works well and it would be difficult to justify changing the route."



  • Profile image for HerbieGreen

    The headline is incorrect - it calls this a cycle path, it's a cycle route - i.e. a route indicated for cycling, not a dedicated cycle path. If it was a cycle path there would be no problem as the motorists and pedestrians shouldn't be in it. As a cycle route, cyclists might be being encouraged to use this route, but even if it was not they would still be at liberty to use something open to vehicles - so we just have to learn to get on together and stop pointing fingers. If someone does something wrong, fair enough, but don't start complaining about cyclists using routes they are perfectly entitled to use.

    By HerbieGreen at 22:23 on 06/04/13

  • Profile image for pedrogers

    DaveBr - you might be interested to see the CPRE's policy on new cycle routes, below. There is no mention of "environmental damage". Studies have shown that, where accompanied by new hedgerow planting, such routes can increase biodiversity even if tarmacced, as well as contributing to a reduction in CO2 and harmful gas emissions.


    "Routes for cyclists

    People should not be expected to have to cycle with heavy traffic on busy main roads. A proportion of the national roads budget should be spent on improving - or in many areas actually creating – walking and cycling routes along and across such roads. These facilities are the exception in England as much as they are the rule in neighbouring continental countries. Little has been done since studies in 2002/3 and the Highways Agency has recently confirmed to CPRE that it no longer has any specific budget for cycling schemes and that it will not publish any programme of cycling measures.

    More investment is needed in Rights of Way networks and greenways, such as disused railway lines. The priority should be to provide coherent networks of safe and convenient ways to cycle to stations, schools and employment sites as well as between villages and towns. English law covering rights of way and cycle tracks is unnecessarily complex and should be modernised: by contrast recent Scottish law gives people much broader rights to cycle in open countryside".

    By pedrogers at 14:15 on 02/04/13

  • Profile image for Nailseadad

    Wow -I never realised these people lived on such a dangerous road...Blind corners on a residential estate - this is SURELY an Accident waiting to happen.....yawn. I dare say this will make the value of your picket fence houses fall. Try driving at an appropriate the pace of a cyclist!
    This cycle route is is really well used by cyclists, school children and walkers - WELL DONE SUSTRANS; Keep Up the Good Work and don't listen to these residents who clearly fail to understand the need to provide for a safe and viable alternative to motorised transport.

    By Nailseadad at 13:29 on 30/03/13

  • Profile image for DaveBr

    What I never understand is why Sustrans does not treat these routes as a single project and planning permission? That way all the issue of road safety and environmental damage could be dealt with at the same time.

    By DaveBr at 17:30 on 22/03/13

  • Profile image for Briancampbell

    Sustrans promote cycling, walking, and public transport. The Greenway is used by cyclists, walkers, kids scooting back and forth to school and dog walkers.
    There will be a celebratory ride to and from Nailsea and Bristol on Monday 6th May to mark the completion of the Festival Way.

    By Briancampbell at 22:18 on 13/03/13


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