It is one of the city’s finest assets, but the Bristol & Bath Railway Path can also be a source of conflict between commuters.
As the busy route marks its 40th birthday, Sustrans is launching a major engagement project on the future of a particularly popular 1.7 mile stretch between Clay Bottom and Trinity Street.
The walking and cycling charity, in partnership with Bristol City Council, has been awarded £1.1m by the Department for Transport to make improvements to this section of the path and is seeking input from the wider community on what these should entail.
James Cleeton, a director at Sustrans, said: “This is the launch of a very exciting chapter in the Bristol and Bath Railway Path’s 40-year history.
“It’s an opportunity for everyone in the community to have their say over what physical work needs to happen to ensure that this wonderful community asset really does become a path for everyone, where no one feels excluded.
“It’s important to state that we really don’t have any pre-conceived ideas about what the physical changes to the path will look like. This is a true community co-design project, as we want to ensure that whatever improvements are made will mean that the path really does meet the needs of the communities it serves.”
The One Path: BS5 project seeks to address issues of conflict that sometimes arise on the very busy stretch of the path between Clay Bottom and Trinity Street.
From Monday, people travelling along this stretch of the path will find an array of words posted on and around the path with the aim of starting conversations between those who use it.
The words have been drawn from almost 1,500 responses to a 2018 survey that saw people reflecting on the path and giving ideas for how the route could be improved.
People who live and work locally are invited to share more about their experiences of the path and hopes for it in the future
Sustrans will also be holding a series of workshops and online engagement activities throughout October, November and December.
The aim is to explore how best to transform ideas into action for much-needed improvements on the path and come up with collaborative solutions.
Deputy mayor Asher Craig said: “The railway path is an important part of the city’s transport infrastructure and is used by tens of thousands of people for journeys and recreation every year.
“This investment in its long-term future is part of our commitment to supporting cleaner, greener journeys across the city, as well as ensuring the path is truly for everyone’s use.”
Sustrans encourages anyone who wants to get involved in the project to join the Bristol & Bath Railway Path OnePath group on Facebook, where regular updates and key dates will be posted: www.facebook.com/groups/BBRPOnePath.
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