Cllr Mark Bradshaw, Cabinet Member for Transport at Bristol City Council, has requested officers withdraw the planning application so the council can work more closely with members of the Victoria Park Action Group (VPAG), local residents and others with an interest in the project to agree the best way to link existing pathways to the Filwood Quietway, which is intended to connect Hengrove and Filwood to the city centre through a safer and more direct walking and cycling route.
Further discussions will look at options and ideas to address concerns over the speed of cyclists using any new pathway and how any improvements can build on VPAG’s work so far on access to ensure motorbikes do not use the park as a race track.
Cllr Bradshaw, said:
“We have listened very carefully to the concerns of the community we have received so far through the planning process and we now want to develop options and ideas to ensure any enhancements we make address the local aspirations for this space. We do have an opportunity to make use of a grant from central government to fund walking and cycling infrastructure improvements, but any changes we propose to make will be in conjunction with the people who regularly use the park.
“The park serves a mix of different users so this is not about pleasing one particular user group above everyone else. We want to develop proposals to improve all journeys through the park which give primary pupils and their families the confidence to walk through the park when it’s dark, a coherent walking route for pedestrians, as well as some cycle space.
“Officers will now take the opportunity to discuss the proposals further with VPAG and the rest of the community before coming back with a revised plan.”
Infrastructure improvements are being funded through government money which is available up until 2018 to upgrade walking and cycling routes across the city through the Cycle Ambition Fund programme. The current £500,000 proposals for Victoria Park, which have been withdrawn for further work, are intended to complete the Filwood Quietway route to connect Filwood Broadway and Hengrove to the city centre.
The proposals have been developed by Bristol City Council’s transport team. The Mayor and Cabinet Members have no power or role in determining planning applications and any future amended plan is likely to be heard at a future Development Control Committee, made up of cross-party council members.