Is Cotham Road safe?

As a background to our proposal of zebra crossing and bike parking up at the top of Cotham Road, here is the Bristol Traffic collection of collisions on Cotham Road. This site has only been running 18 months, it tries to cover the entire city, yet it has three recorded crashes on this road. That’s a sign of a dangerous road.

Drunk Driving on a Friday evening

Rear ended car

Something the police came out for

These are the hits, not the misses, and only those that B.T. get emailed. What else happens there, we don’t know. But we know this: if it’s not safe to drive down, it can’t be safe to cross.

Getting to school alive

One goal of our campaign is making it safe to walk and cycle to and from school. That means you have to get across the roads on your way to school, and roads near schools need to put the needs of families walking or cycling to school ahead of through traffic and parents driving. Flashing 20 mph signs do not do this.

What roads are trouble here? Here are some, we welcome the suggestion of others, roads where speeding traffic makes walking to school dangerous:

We have some good news on that last road. Some of the school parents, and some local residents, have got in touch with us and we’ve been working together on options for Zebra Crossings. And here is the good news: the school supports it, the councillor for half the street, Neil Harrison, may even have some money. We just need to push for it and for bicycle parking. Which is where everyone’s help is needed. We’re going to put up a petition on the council web site, and we want everyone who supports having a city that you can walk round to sign up.
More details soon.

2 pedestrian-orientated events

May I draw your attention to 2 events.
The first is  an interesting meeting in Westbury on Trym TOMORROW, Thursday 21st January:

“Re-claiming our village centre?”

SusWot invites you to come and hear some interesting ideas about how we could make the centre of our village more pedestrian-friendly. Good for the community, good for business, and good for shoppers.

Thursday 21 January, 7.30pm, at Westbury Primary School

More info (including initial sketches) are at

SusWot – using less, living more. Part of Transition Bristol.

The second event is hosted by Sustrans, to review their ‘DIY streets’ project on March 11th:

The organisation’s DIY Streets projects, in London, South Wales, Coventry, Manchester, Sheffield, Torquay and Oxford, have encouraged local people to re-design their own streets, making them safer, cleaner and more people-friendly.

The conference, to be held in Bristol on March 11, will review the evaluation results of the pilot projects carried out. Residents’ success in slowing down traffic and making streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists could see the scheme rolled out across the UK.

Members of the public are invited to attend the conference at Bristol’s Council House. Tickets are £55 each (£20 concessions) including lunch and are available through Sustrans. To make a booking, please contact Mira Ruskin on 0207 0172 364 or email by 26 February.

January Update

It’s been a very good first year for Living Streets in Bristol!  Please read on for an update…..

20mph zones
‘DIY’ streets – example from Montpelier
Pedestrian crossing light review
Stapleton Road Consultation
City Centre Consultation
Gating order and PROW
Web/ Yahoogroup
Steering Group

20mph zones
Thanks to all those who made the effort to contact the council over the 20mph pilots. As you are probably aware, we won a resounding victory and almost all the roads the officers wanted excluded are now to be 20mph. In the East Bristol Zone there are no excluded roads northwest of the M32, and southeast of it only the Oldmarket one way system, Easton Way and the A420  are excluded, as far as Redfield.  We owe thanks to Jon Rogers for his firmness on the issue.
I won’t dwell on this as it is now old news but the scale of the change compared to the original proposals is vast: we are now being promised quite a radical scheme by UK standards instead of the mousey Portsmouth ‘side roads only’ plan.
The Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) are being sought, with implementation planned for the spring. There are two important issues to consider: enforcement, and which areas should be next?

Realistically, although the police have agreed to the scheme, we know that police enforcement isn’t going to happen. It will be enforced by the actions of local people:

  • By those that drive at 20 forcing those behind to do likewise
  • By ‘taking over the street – the more people walk and cycle in the road, the more it will feel to drivers that they must drive slowly.
  • By street redesign: the council do not plan to make physical alterations to the roadspace – but we can! See below under ‘DIY streets’.
  • Community Speedwatch – local residents may be equipped with a radar speedgun courtesy of the police

Who’s next for 20mph? The pilot zones will undoubtedly be a success and it is possible the whole city could be included within a few years if we show the council it is popular. The LibDem administration want to identify the next areas and have funding earmarked so why not your area?  Residents in Bishopston, St Andrews, Cotham and Kingsdown have already expressed an interest. Speak to your neighbours, resident groups such as ‘transition’ groups and – obviously – let us know.

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September Meeting

The next meeting will be on 14th September 2009 at 7.30pm.

Stag and Hounds upstairs room – Old Market/ Temple Way Junction (next to Evening Post).
Neil Harrison will be coming to talk about the forthcoming Council’s draft walking strategy.

August Update

Dear supporter

We held our first Living Streets Bristol open meeting on 23rd July. 15 people discussed issues and possible solutions, resulting in an agreement to concentrate on 4 areas:

1. Better Faster Crossings:

  • a maximum wait for pedestrians at light controlled crossings of 30 seconds – though many should have no delay at all
  • an end to the zebra cull – a commitment to preserve all existing zebra crossings – and make funds available for more
  • more ‘informal crossings’ – raised road surfaces across side road junctions

2. Enforce existing parking rules

  • A substantial investment in council parking enforcement – which could be self financing – throughout the city.
  • Zero tolerance of pavement obstruction. In many areas, vehicles block pavements for days on end. We want this to be a citywide policing priority.

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