Bristol BRT2 route – Ashton Avenue Bridge

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  • Bristol BRT2 route – Ashton Avenue Bridge
  • boxfish
    Member

    6pm Wednesday? Count me in.

    wordnumb
    Member

    Anybody know how long this meeting / photo op (it’s a protest really, isn’t it) is going to go on for? Melvins are playing across town. Unless things take a turn for the Bridge Over the River Kwai, King Buzzo takes precedence.

    noteeth
    Member

    Anybody know how long this meeting / photo op (it’s a protest really, isn’t it) is going to go on for?

    StopBRT2 reckon 30-45 mins.

    I think they just want to get a group photo, although a couple of people might speak. But the main priority is photographic evidence of opposition, given that BCC & the WEP are behaving as if it’s a done deal. Apparently, the BRT consultants are trying to rule out the Hotwells option using a passenger-number model that was discredited during the Public Inquiry…

    Hopefully a snapper (or snappers) will get the shot – and people can get on their way.

    SammyC
    Member

    Will try to make this with sprog in trailer and child on bike.

    wordnumb
    Member

    StopBRT2 reckon 30-45 mins.

    That’s what I was hoping to hear. (Conveniently bumping the topic, perhaps convincing some more Bristol-based riders that it’s worth popping down to Ashton Ave Bridge at 6pm for half an hour tomorrow to help stop people spoiling a nice bit of the city.)

    (ha, Sammy bumped it before I could)

    noteeth
    Member

    Thanks for the bumps. πŸ˜€

    sprog in trailer and child on bike

    Ace – I think a key issue in all of this is that Ashton Avenue Bridge is not just a heavily-used pedestrian/cycle commuter route… it’s an also an area that’s enjoyed by families whilst out & about in the adjoining park. Sending buses through there makes it a good deal less safe for all concerned. BCC/WEP & their consultants are intent on steamrollering this through – let’s give ’em something to think about…

    Anyway, inna Agency_Scum Mud Dock jumble sale stylee:

    IT’S TOMORROW!

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    This upsets me. I’ll be 20 miles away at 6pm tomorrow but I’ll be there in spirit (not much use for photos, I know).

    Jolsa
    Member

    I’ll be heading there for 6pm.

    Will the bridge be able to hold us all? πŸ˜‰

    SammyC
    Member

    Defo going to this, even packed a picnic!

    What’s the deal regarding George F. and this? I thought he was completely opposed to this going over the bridge?

    noteeth
    Member

    As Agency_Scum might say:

    IT’S TODAY!!!

    6pm, Ashton Avenue Bridge, on the park (i.e. grassy) side of the river. If anybody reading this is even remotely concerned about what’s happening, please drop by.

    I was there last night handing out leaflets (hello passing STWers!) – again, it’s very striking how many people have no idea about this. Again, they were largely unimpressed – although I did up (politely) arguing with a girl who was obviously involved in the scheme. She was evangelical about it – and kept telling me how BRT was a “step-change” for Bristol transport, as opposed to a hugely-expensive re-routing of existing bus services.

    Will the bridge be able to hold us all?

    Given its structural state, I’d go easy on the pies. 😯

    I’ll be there in spirit

    Don’t worry, we’ll channel you. πŸ˜€

    noteeth
    Member

    What’s the deal regarding George F. and this?

    I don’t know what he thinks about it going over Ashton Avenue Bridge (although he was adamant about it not going thru the harbourside and over Prince Street swing bridge – which was a frankly bonkers alignment), but the project consultants are now pushing very hard for the Cumberland Road option*. IMO, this doesn’t achieve anything which couldn’t be done (& probably done better) by improving the existing Hotwells route. As for what the Mayor will say, I suspect the BRT2 issue is currently being overshadowed by the resident parking scheme stuff – and that’s giving him a mighty headache. We’ll see, I guess.

    *The BRT girl refused to accept that sending a large volume of bus traffic over the Ashton Avenue Bridge would have an adverse effect upon the feel of the area – indeed, she thought it would be an improvement. Asked why local residents & foot/cycle commuters should accept that, she told me it was about seeing the “bigger picture”. What bigger picture would that be? The complete failure to provide an integrated transport solution? The huge expense & probable over-spend? The knock-on effects upon a popular & vehicle-free route into the city? πŸ˜•

    Edit: ah, thanks for the sticky – cheers Mods. πŸ˜€

    News ticker style:

    IT’S TODAY!!!

    6pm, Ashton Avenue Bridge, on the park (i.e. grassy) side of the river. If anybody reading this is even remotely concerned about what’s happening, please drop by.

    SammyC
    Member

    An improvement? Has she ever seen a bus?! Because personally I don’t enjoy sharing road space with them.

    noteeth
    Member

    Because personally I don’t enjoy sharing road space with them.

    Well quite. It will probably be a signal-controlled single bus-lane (i.e. over the existing rail line) – with pedestrians and cyclists sharing the other half of the bridge. Given the amount of foot/cycle traffic that currently goes thru there*, it’s not going to be a pleasant experience at rush hour – let alone with a pushchair or a dog!

    As for improvements to the area – I fail to see why a bus-lane has to be necessary before you put up lighting on the bridge, etc. True, it’s a question of resources and political will, but the success of the Festival Way suggests that the demand is there. So don’t screw with it, BCC!

    (* the blind corner at the park end of the Bridge is already pretty dodgy… ).

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Moreover…won’t somebody think of the house prices in Southville?!? 😯

    (Only messing noteeth. Sorry can’t make it today though. Day care issues messing with me.)

    SammyC
    Member

    So where would it be coming from on the Long Ashton side?

    noteeth
    Member

    won’t somebody think of the house prices in Southville

    How very dare you… *splutters into a organic skinny-latte. πŸ˜€

    No worries, DD – hope you get ’em sorted.

    Edit: SammyC, there’s a PDF map of the original BRT2 route here:

    http://www.travelplus.org.uk/media/217809/ashton%20vale%202011.pdf

    i.e. AFAIK, it would come on to the Bridge via the existing cycle path (thru the cutting in the park, not the new one on the bank).

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    I’ll be along tonight. I’ve been singing the praises of the Festival Way as a great traffic-free route to the trails and the Brunel Way pump track for a while. It’s only just officially opened, and these fools already want to mess it up!

    My somewhat emotive take on things here: http://bristoltrails.tumblr.com/post/51060352432/boom-or-bus

    At one stage they were talking about using the full width of the bridge, and having a gantry bolted to the side for cyclists and walkers to use. Sounds nice.

    noteeth
    Member

    Nice one, MrA.

    Emotive is good – especially given the utter-double-facepalm-squared way inwhich the Festival Way is affected by this. Way to go, transport planners!

    a gantry bolted to the side for cyclists and walkers to use

    Imagine how friggin’ amazing this piece of infrastructure would have been – no doubt something worthy of Brunel at his finest.

    SammyC
    Member

    Well see you all there this eve, I’ll be the one with two children playing on the grass so just come and grab us when its photo time.

    This really saddens me.

    boxfish
    Member

    I’ll be calling in on my way back from a post-work Leigh Woods bimble.

    noteeth
    Member

    This really saddens me

    Aye, me too – it would be a great shame.

    I’ll see some of y’all down there (me: glasses, checked shirt, black Surly Cross-Check) & I guess some of us will be in/outside the Nova later.

    So, as James Brown once almost said… “Let’s take it to the Ashton Avenue Bridge!” 😈

    noteeth
    Member

    Thanks to all who turned up – bikers, cyclists, runners, walkers, dog-walkers, locals and all the rest. It was a fair turnout, and (most importantly) a Post snapper got the photo they needed. Thanks to the STW Mods for making this a sticky – and thanks for the weather for supporting us, in fine style.

    Nice to see some familiar STW faces (and Shaggy’s mint Nontrager πŸ˜€ ) – and a pleasure to meet you & your family, SammyC.

    I don’t know what influence (if any) this will have over the monstrous bendy-juggernaut that is BRT2, but it will certainly have helped to raise awareness, so thanks again for turning up.

    Cheers,

    Noteeth.

    boxfish
    Member

    I didn’t get there until 6.05 by which time things were underway. Nice to see a variety of people turn out.

    noteeth
    Member

    by which time things were underway

    Yeah, the snapper got to work pretty fast!

    As you say, good to see a varied bunch in support. Thanks again.

    wordnumb
    Member

    Interestingly nobody seemed to stop mid-commute, lots of cyclists just glared at us or dinged their way through when we temporarily blocked the route to do the photo. Now then. (and hey, I’ve been on the cider, at a Melvins gig since attending the BRT2 thing) The most beautiful aspect of travelling in and out of a highly populated city by bike is the fact that if something catches your eye you can very easily stop and check it out.

    Am I right? You see a new doughnut place, you get off the road, go back to said doughnut place, eat a doughnut, get back on your way, no worries. Can’t do this in a car, there’s nowhere to park. Can’t do this on a bus, wastes the rest of a ticket.

    Surely if you see a group of people trying to prevent your commute route being turned into a poorly designed bus carbuncle, you at least take an interest.

    Nice to see you again Mr Noteeth.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Hard to get the word out, innit. Chris (Noteeth) has been putting up posters along the path, but they get ripped down again very quickly. And cyclists don’t tend to read the Evening Pest for news as it’s generally a load of DM-esque us-and-them bobbins.

    A statement by someone like Sustrans could go a long way towards getting the word out, but I guess there are political sensitivities there, as well as the risk of being seen as a dog in the manger.

    SammyC
    Member

    Glad to have been able to support this and meet Chris and the usual suspects (Ant)!

    I was impressed with the lady who did the speaking at the end, she seemed very passionate about it and it gives me hope that something may come of this with people like Chris and her involved. It was also good to see that people weren’t being irrational NIMBY about it either which never helps things.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Pip Sheard (the woman who spoke at the end) and Mike Ginger are old hands at this sort of thing. I think both are also involved with Transport for Greater Bristol, who are trying to get more light rail and cycle infrastructure installed.

    http://www.tfgb.org.uk/manifesto.htm

    noteeth
    Member

    I’ve been on the cider, at a Melvins gig

    πŸ˜€

    Good to see you again – hope the gig was suitably loud.

    The pic used in today’s Post (p 24) was a good one, IMO, as it gave an excellent view of the Bridge (and the back of some STWer’s heads… probably a good thing in my case). Even if people got there slightly late, I suspect they’ll still have made the shot – it seems to have been taken whilst Pip was speaking. That said, the Mayor’s comments in the article were not especially encouraging – I guess his opinion on Cumberland Road is much to do with the proposed TM link. But even if it does have to go along there, I still fail to see why it can’t be routed via existing roads, instead of trashing the area towards & around Ashton Avenue Bridge. There was also ground survey work being carried out in the park this afternoon, which doesn’t bode well… πŸ˜•

    Nonetheless, at least StopBRT2 got some decent media exposure. The reaction among residents and commuters has been largely supportive (most of them are aghast at the plans) – not least given that we will be taking the knock for the sake of a scheme that offers so few tangible improvements, at such huge expense – whilst costing us a pleasant & vehicle-free route into town.*

    Next StopBRT2 meeting is Tuesday, 4th June 7.30pm at the Hen and Chicken Pub, North Street.

    Thanks again.

    (*If I see that BRT girl out & about, she’s getting another argument – it’s fugging ludicrous to pretend that a large volume of bus traffic will have no impact. The bridge is busy enough as it is – and whether you be a cyclist, walker/dog-walker, runner or pushing a pushchair, sharing a standard (i.e. 3m) pedestrian/cycleway becomes a whole lot more imposing when in close proximity to a moving bus, FFS! I was getting more relaxed in my old age, but this kind of nonsense might just turn me back into a militant cyclist. 😈 πŸ˜‰

    tangent
    Member

    Start3PC0 instead, oil bath fresh…

    noteeth
    Member

    Start3PC0 instead, oil bath fresh…

    Late night in the Hunters’, Tangent? πŸ˜€

    I’m getting a bit releuctant to stick posters on the Bridge, as whoever is tearing them down is just chucking them over the fence as litter – although they are also (allegedly) being removed by council types… clearly, they’d prefer it if people didn’t know what’s coming.

    CountZero
    Member

    I’m getting a bit releuctant to stick posters on the Bridge, as whoever is tearing them down is just chucking them over the fence as litter – although they are also (allegedly) being removed by council types… clearly, they’d prefer it if people didn’t know what’s coming.

    Try sticking them up using condensed milk*; apparently it sets very hard indeed, making them very difficult to remove.
    *I read this in a William Gibson story, no idea if it works, but he’s always picking up weird stuff from various sources. πŸ˜€

    noteeth
    Member

    Try sticking them up using condensed milk

    Thanks for the tip. πŸ˜€

    noteeth
    Member

    I was saved the task. I cycled home after work last night to find that somebody had done a sterling job of putting up posters.

    Nice work, whoever that was – much appreciated. πŸ˜€

    noteeth
    Member

    PSA-type bump.

    Next public meeting is tomorrow, 7.30 pm, Hen & Chicken, North Street.

    It was another fine weekend, with plenty of people out & about on the bridge and the Festival Way… Bristol City Council, don’t do it! πŸ‘Ώ

    khegs
    Member

    Oh, will try to be there,

    interesting article in the may Bristolian about it, hadn’t realised one of the guys pushing for it was Elfan ap Rees

    yes That Councillor Ap Rees

    noteeth
    Member

    Elfan ap Rees

    Bundle of joy, ain’t he?

    Bumpity-bump: meeting is tonight.

    noteeth
    Member

    Okaaaay, I attended the meeting on tuesday.

    I fear we are very much in the endgame now – the Mayor has indicated that he wants the Cumberland Road option, despite there being no offical BCC announcement. There was further ground survey work going on today, with part of the Festival Way blocked off. Not a good sign… πŸ˜•

    As the plan stands, this will involve building a bus lane from Ashton Vale, over Ashton Avenue Bridge & onto Cumberland Road, in order to take all the Park and Ride and Airport services. StopBRT2 are working hard to get hold of both the Mayoral review (iirc, something like Β£150,000 of public money was spent on it!) and the BCR models used by the consultants to justify their plans. The council & WEP don’t seem to want any of it to be released to the public – which is pretty outrageous, and certainly grounds for a FOI request & a formal complaint. There’s also some waffle from the WEP about how BRT2 is the only way to “save” the Bridge itself. True, it’s a dilapidated structure… but lighting and a lick of paint doesn’t require the re-routing of a bus service.

    Anyway, StopBRT2 are organising another protest meeting to highlight the likely impact upon Ashton Avenue Bridge & the riverside park area. This is planned for saturday 6th July, and (at present) will start at 2pm with a walk along the proposed Ashton Vale/Colliters Brook bus route, before looping back to the Bridge for a family-friendly “protest picnic” between 3.30-6pm.

    The idea, quite simply, is to encourage people to take a bit of time out to enjoy that area of the park (i.e. the grassy side, technically Sylvia Crowe Park, adjacent to Greville Smyth Park), whilst it’s still free of buses! There might well may be live music, games & a chance for kids to do some artwork (highly-trained saboteurs might then ziptie said artwork to the bridge itself… 8) ), I’m not sure. If anybody has any further ideas or suggestions, feel free to make ’em.

    IME, locals and commuters value the area precisely because it is a vehicle-free space, and as it stands, that will be lost. In terms of campaigning, I think the best thing now is sustained pressure via email (even if BCC inboxes are full of RPZ stuff). If anybody has concerns & hasn’t done so already, please email mayor@bristol.gov.uk – and sign the ongoing petition at: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-mayor-of-bristol-please-stop-brt2

    Cheers – and thanks for reading.

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    I don’t get it – that bridge won’t take a bus!

    noteeth
    Member

    I don’t get it – that bridge won’t take a bus!

    According to the WEP it will – at a rate of something like one every three minutes!

    The whole thing is ludicrous: it will be light-controlled and single-lane. Given how busy the pedestrian/cycle intersections are likely to be, there’s huge potential for safety hazards, buses backing up, etc. Unless they build us a whole new bridge…

    The overspend will be massive – and BCC (& by extension, us) will have to pick up the tab.

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