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Work to restore Bristol bike path finally underway after 2 years of delays

Work has begun to replace concrete bollards with raised kerbs after vehicle damage

A long-delayed Dutch-style cycle lane in Bristol is being revised after vehicles damaged the concrete bollards that were installed to keep cyclists safe.

The bollards will now be replaced with a strip of raised kerb for the 700m path instead - meaning that the lane, which cost £380,000 and was supposed to be finished in summer 2014, is even later delayed.

The Toby bollards, used on the new "Dutch-style" Clarence Road bike lane alongside the River Avon in Bristol, are commonly seen in Europe, but appear not to be strong enough to withstand life on a busy British A road.

Bristol bike lane bollards: "If they're stopping cars they're doing their job" 

Bristol bike lane bollards to be replaced within weeks

Although the bollards were only installed in October, work to replace them with more expensive but sturdier kerbs has been defended by campaigners who say councils have a duty to trial cheaper options that haven't yet been used in the UK.

The first delays were caused by the partial collapse of the New Cut wall. Now the project should be finished next month.
Peter Mann, director for transport, told Bristol 247:“Work is underway to replace them with robust kerbs and this being carried out within the original project budget, with completion due mid-December.

“Bristol has a history of innovation in cycling provision, for example it was the first city to bring in advance stop lines for cyclists at traffic light junctions.

“As a result we have one of the highest cycle rates for any major UK city and it is important for us to continue that commitment to reduce congestion and pollution

“We will therefore continue to investigate and invest in innovative ways to make cycling safer and more attractive in Bristol as part of our £4m cycling investment.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused in providing this facility, which when completed will provide all road users with a safe and pleasant environment.”

A recent survey by Sustrans found 89 per cent of people who do not cycle supported an increase in protected bike lanes, with 83 per cent of occasional riders and 86 per cent of regular riders also in support. Around two thirds of those living in Bristol (68 per cent) think the city would be better if people in general cycled more.

In 2013 Bristol was awarded funds from the Government's Cycle City Ambition Fund, as well as cycle funding from a number of other schemes. Mann says the council will continue to trial new cycling measures as part of their £4m cycling investment.

“It is important for us to continue that commitment to reduce congestion and pollution," he said.

Additional delays to completion of the Clarence Road route were caused by replacement of a water main by Bristol Water.

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