Please help us stop a 3m (that's more than 9 feet) wide cyclists' expressway from ruining Wickham Glen forever. The Council's Cycling City Team say they want to build a ramp from Wickham Glen up to Broom Hill so that cyclists can get in to town more quickly and to enable better disabled access.
These are all good things of course, but the Cycling City Team have not taken in to account the unique character of Wickham Glen. It's a really beautiful spot next to the river between Eastville Park and Snuff Mills and has a long history dating back to the Civil War. It's not like a park but more like a bit of countryside in the city and Snuff Mills Action Group is strongly against it being covered in tarmac, spoiling this unique character.
We have objected to the planning application and urge you to send in statements objecting to the scheme too. Send your statement to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on September 14th. Please quote: Land adjacent to Frome Terrace, Blackberry Hill,Bristol(ref:10/02839/FB) in the subject field of your email.
It will then be considered by the South and East Development Control Committee of the Council the next day. In your statement you could argue that:
1) For cyclists there is a perfectly acceptable alternative to building a cyclists expressway through Wickham Glen by using Wickham Hill instead. This is a cul de sac with very litte traffic and it leads straight down to the river - it's already there so why throw more tarmac at the area?
2) A 3m wide tarmac ramp and path will spoil the unique character of the area which is part of the Stapleton Conservation Area and a wildlife site. A much narrower path surfaced with more appropriate materials would be more in keeping
In response to suggestions by Snuff Mills Action Group to reduce the width of the path or use Wickham Hill lane the Cycling City Team claim they are also trying to improve access for disabled people. We applaud this idea but have tested the proposals with 78 year old Ivor Needs and his son, Matt, who uses a wheelchair. They tell us this proposal will not help wheelchair users because:
1) It's a long ramp that leads up to Broom Hill and it needs level resting places otherwise it is too much of a long climb
2) The ramp will come out on Broom Hill higher up than the current exit on Frome Terrace. This means there is a steeper uphill climb to reach the ramp which would be difficult for wheelchair users
3) There is no provision for crossing Broom Hill which is a notorious accident blackspot and this scheme will endanger both wheelchair users and cyclists alike
Ivor does not see the need for a really wide path either. He believes a much narrower path will maintain the beauty of the area and discourage cyclists from speeding and encourage them to respect walkers. We also believes the path should exit on to Broom Hill by Frome Terrace following the line of the current footpath as this really would help wheelchair users and result in the loss of many less trees than the current plan.
You may be interested to know that we reached a compromise with Cycling City following a meeting on site a few weeks ago. They agreed a narrower path and other changes to the scheme, but then emailed us the following week to say this was no longer acceptable because of the needs of the 'disabled community'. A few of us in Snuff Mills Action Group work with people with disabilities and we have been very offended at the way the Cycling City team seem to have cynically used the needs of disabled users to promote what is really a road - but a road that just happens to be for cyclists.