Is the Railway Path Safe?

The procession (J Bewley/Sustrans used with permission)The procession (J Bewley/Sustrans used with permission)
Remind me of what the threat to the Path is again?

Bristol City Council and the West of England Partnership have developed plans to run a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route down part of the existing Bristol to Bath Railway Path. (A cycle/walking track would continue to run alongside the bus lane.)

But I read in the Evening Post that Bristol City Council had abandoned plans to run a BRT scheme along the Railway Path...?

That isn't true. The Evening Post misinterpreted a podcast by Councillor Mark Bradshaw. The council have not ruled out BRT on the Railway Path. We believe that there will be a public consultation in the near future which will include a proposal to run buses on at least part of the Path.

Why is BRT on the Railway Path a bad idea?

Today the Path is a safe, green and tranquil 'linear park' that connects our communities. Now imagine it without any of the trees or wildlife. Imagine a grey, fenced-in ribbon of concrete with diesel buses roaring alongside it at up to 30 miles per hour. Would you want to walk, jog, cycle, play, walk the dog or just sit on that Path? We wouldn't.

And would you be able to cross that Path to see a friend on the other side?

Probably not. The number of crossings would be "rationalised" and all unofficial access points gone. BRT would sever the communities on either side of the Path as decisively as the M32 severed St Pauls and St Werburghs.

Wouldn't BRT on the Path decrease congestion in Bristol?

Everyone knows that Bristol has a serious congestion problem. However, we believe running BRT down the Path will increase rather than decrease congestion. There are currently 2.4 million walking/cycling journeys a year made on the Railway Path. If even a small percentage of these people switched to cars because the Path was no longer an attractive option it would result in a massive increase in traffic, more than offsetting the small numbers likely to use a BRT scheme.

I went on the march. I wrote to my councillor. What’s the next step? What can I do to help save the Path now?

1. You can donate money or time to the Save the Railway Path campaign.
2. You can tell all your friends that the Railway Path still needs saving.
3. You can watch out for our online and on-the-Path survey – coming very soon. Take a couple of minutes to tell us how you use the Path and why it matters to you. Then we can use this data to convince Bristol City Council that Bristolians value the Path the way it is now.
4. You can make your voice heard when the consultation happens. No one knows exactly when this is going to be but it will be soon. Keep your eyes and ears open for the date.

Who are the Save the Railway Path campaign?

We are a non-political group of concerned Bristolians. Everything we do is done in our own time and every penny donated directly funds the fight to save the Path - now and forever.