Update 6th March 2017:
Philip Wright, Transport Programme Manager overseeing the proposed improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure being delivered through the Cycle Ambition Fund (CAF) grant from the Department for Transport has written:
“The proposed works at Conham Road are not part of the CAF programme, but were being considered to be delivered as part of the local match funding that had been agreed to support CAF in line with our bid to DfT. These schemes needed to be delivered to meet the CAF timescales, with all works complete by March 2018. The demands for this match funding are high and tight budgets had to be applied. The draft budget given to the scheme at Conham Road was based on initial designs. As more detailed designs developed it rapidly became clear that we would not be able to deliver this scheme within that budget. The main reason given for the escalation of costs related to the additional requirements to build over the sewer pipe.
The River Avon Path remains a key strategic priority for both walking and cycling and we will continue to work on identifying funding to deliver this missing section of the route. ”
Philip offered Councillor Breckels, the local councillor for St George Troopers Hill, the opportunity to meet the Bugbears project manager, Gari Garmston, to talk about whether there is a low cost interim option to improve the problems presented by the issues of the blind bend, with no footpath, on Conham Rd. It may be possible to find money for a small amount of work from the funding pot called “Bugbears”.
An update will be posted after that meeting has taken place.
Update 2nd February 2016:
At the Place Scrutiny Commission meeting of 21st January, Ian Townsend submitted the question “What plans are there to fund the infrastructure required to close the ‘Conham Gap’ to complete a continuous cycle route along the River Avon, now that planning permission for the project has been granted?”
He has reported receiving the following written reply from Bristol City Council
“The funding is available (thanks to the postponed Camden Rd bridge project) and we are going to proceed with the scheme as soon as the land agreements are in place. There are verbal, in principle, agreements already.”
Bristol City Council’s Neighbourhood Officer for St George has confirmed negotiations on land agreements are ongoing.
Update 13th November 2015:
The planning application described below for a cycle route along the Avon Valley through Crews Hole at the ‘Conham Gap’ has now been granted planning permission. As yet there are no funds in place to complete the works but now that planning permission is in place it is hoped that the money can be found.
As part of the the conditions for planning to be granted money will be given for tree planting in the area to mitigate the effect of the tree felling that was necessary to clear the line of the proposed path.
Original post March 2015:
Planning permission is being sought for a new solution to the ‘Conham Road Gap’ in the cycle route along the Avon Valley through Crews Hole that avoids the need to make any of the road one-way (as was proposed previously).
The new solution is to construct a new path running through the adjacent woods just to the north of Conham Road, more or less along the line of the vestigial works track servicing the Kingswood Sewer man holes.
It involves crossing the road at either end, something which will be effected by raised zebra crossings. These will also make crossing the road safer for pedestrians; the safety of the crossing at the north end has been of particular concern and has become known locally as ‘suicide corner’.
The two raised road crossings will be to the standard details adopted by Bristol City Council for priority crossings on popular walking and cycling routes. At these two locations vehicular traffic will give way to oncoming traffic in order to allow the road to be narrowed so as to secure safe sightlines for the public using the path.
According to the application:
“This route has been made possible by the support of the landowners of the woodland section, John Newlands McCreadie and Francesco Porcaro, and by Wessex Water whose adjacent main sewer has required their careful survey.”
Update – Tree Works
Some tree felling has been carried out in this area recently, we have received the following information from the Council’s planning officer:
“I can advise that they secured a license from the Forestry Commission to carry out the works and required no other planning/tree consents to do so. I have ensured that the further arboricultural information does include the trees removed however and these will be assessed within the application under any mitigation sought in accordance with the Bristol Tree Replacement Standard. As you have noted these are along the alignment of a sewer pipeline and were of limited value given the long-term retention due to future maintenance of this.”
The application has received support from the Bristol Cycling Campaign.
You can see full details and comment on the proposals (for or against) on the Council’s planning online website by looking at planning application 15/00645/FB.
The images below show the proposed route and the proposed crossings at each end.