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"There's a car park 20 metres away": Cyclists slam cycle lane parking putting riders in danger

Locals say motorists park their vehicles in the bike lane "all day, every day"...

A cycle lane in Bristol has been rendered "completely pointless" by drivers who park their vehicles in it, local riders have said.

Speaking to, Phil Sturgeon explained how there are vehicles blocking the route along "one of the busiest roads in central Bristol", the hill up Park Row "all day, every day" and he is concerned the disregard for the infrastructure is putting cyclists in danger.

Highlighting the absurdity of there being a multi-storey car park 20 metres away behind the parade of shops, Phil said the cycle lane is "intermittent and already confusing" even without drivers parking over the wands "adding to that confusion and causing conflict".

Another local rider, Rob Bryher, called the situation an "absolute joke". "I've never been able to use this short stretch of 'cycle infrastructure' without it being blocked, forcing us back into traffic, or having cars drive straight towards me into it on the wrong side of the road," he said.

Phil added that he drives a van and rides a bike, depending on his journey, and does not want to be seen as a "curtain twitcher" but fears "somebody is going to die and they'll probably be victim blamed for not wearing enough high-vis."

The temporary lane will undergo improvements later this year as part of two walking and cycling upgrade projects, Ian Pond of the Bristol Cycling Campaign telling Bristol Live he has been told the works "won't be finished before February 2024".

"The cycling provision on Park Row, originally installed as part of the Covid measures in 2020, is poor quality, intermittent and urgently needs to be improved," he said. "It's good to see that there is an approved, high-quality and comprehensive plan to dramatically enhance the cycling and walking domain along this road. We all look forward to its completion."

Responding to the questions about drivers parking in the cycle lane, the city's council said the pop-up infrastructure is merely advisory and no parking could only be enforced with a Traffic Regulation Order.

The council did point out that parking in a suspended bay can be enforced with a penalty charge of £70, reduced by half when paid within two weeks, that Civil Enforcement officers can issue.

"I cycled up and down Park Row a lot when it first went in, checking on the traffic, it was great," the head of city transport Adam Crowther told the Bristol local news outlet in January.

"It's a little bit tired now, it has been parked all over, and those little plastic bollards can work — but they need to work in the right environment. This scheme will put hard starts and finishes to a lot of those cycle lanes, so it feels more like a cycle lane rather than someone's just put a cone in the middle of the road that you can drive over if you want to.

"The traffic signals will be replaced, the bus stops will be upgraded, and there'll be better pavements. It's a big scheme, really ambitious, and it'll be impressive when we get to a finalised permanent scheme."

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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