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.



First route plans for the Ashton Vale to city centre are out

We've managed to pick up a draft map of what is being planned for Rapid Transit into the city centre from Ashton Vale:

ashton vale alongside the chocolate path

Some points to note

  1. Because there are already rails alongside the chocolate path, Ultralight Rail may be a good alternative to buses here.
  2. The routing over the river, by the Create centre, appears to follow the track rather than the chocolate path itself.
  3. See how the route goes round the city centre to Temple Meads? This would glue together a lot of the city centre. But there aren't rails there.

Consultation on the TIF (transport innovation fund) bid by Bristol City Council has begun! Have your say on their BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) proposals. Call 0800 0193235 between 9.00am and 5.30pm Monday. More details here


Railway Path Photographic Competition - Call for Sponsorship

This is an exciting apolitical event celebrating the beauty of the natural habitat and physical environment along the Bristol-Bath Railway Path, via the activity of photography. The competition is open to beginner and amateur photographers of all ages and will be promoted to ethnic communities, the disabled and has a radical category for the blind. Details of the competition and launch date will be announced following completion of the website and poster campaign. Natural England, Mind, Sustrans, Life Cycle UK, Forest of Avon, Bristol City Council and Avon Frome Partnership have endorsed the event and the organiser is now seeking sponsorship and funding.
Please contact Martyn Whitelock stating your specific interest in the path and the amount of funding available. In return organisations will get publicity at a local level throughout Bristol and online. Martyn's email is :

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