Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Crap cycling in Bath

Cyclists say their commuting has been thrown into hazardous chaos by the closure of a key footbridge.

The 19th century Victoria Bridge across the River Avon on the edge of the city centre has been closed indefinitely by Bath and North East Somerset Council.

The footbridge - the cables and beams of which are corroded - was shut in mid-October for safety reasons.

CycleBath member John Lucas said: “The bridge is a highly important route for cyclists in the west of the city, being the only off-road route in the area, and is the route I and many others use to reach the city centre from Oldfield Park.

“It is also well used by pedestrians, including children going to Hayesfield School. The alternatives for both pedestrians and cyclists are horrendous - long diversions on roads that are not safe or pleasant for either to use. To the east this is the main road route to Green Park. To the west it is the Destructor Bridge, which is one way so only legally usable in one direction, and which can only be accessed by the main roads and goes through areas that many would not wish to travel through. Further to the west of this the alternative is Windsor Bridge, a very busy road that many cyclists would not wish to use.”

The group’s chair Malcolm Dodds added: “The council says that it regards cyclists as its second highest priority when planning and spending on transport, but too often it feels like we are treated as second class citizens.”

Fellow cyclist Tony Ambrose said: “The state of Bath for pedestrians and cyclists is shameful. We seem to be stuck in the last century whilst the rest of the UK and Europe have been busy civilising their historic city centres.
Whilst the council talks the good talk about the environment all they do is make it more difficult, dangerous and unpleasant for people to get around on foot or by bike.”

Just like the London Borough of Waltham Forest, then!