No extra safety measures for East Street despite serious crash
Authorities have no immediate plans for further safety measures on a busy shopping street in South Bristol, after calls to better protect cyclists and pedestrians.
There have been been calls for changes to East Street in Bedminster, and for a current ban on general traffic to be enforced more rigorously since the closure of the northbound Malago Road more than 18 months ago now.
Concerns increased following a road traffic collision involving a cyclist and a car being driven down East Street last Friday - while the ban on general traffic was still in place. Police have confirmed that the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collision is still ongoing and no arrests have been made.
The collision happened at around 5.30pm on East Street on Friday, August 25, at a time when only buses and vans and lorries that are loading or unloading are allowed to be driven down the nominally pedestrianised shopping street. The cyclist was taken to hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening or changing, police said at the time.
East Street's road system is seen as particularly problematic by cycling lobby groups in Bristol. Motorised traffic in the form of buses and vans during the day are allowed to travel one way, northbound, while cyclists and e-scooters are legally allowed to travel in both directions at all times, which often puts cyclists travelling head on into the path of a bus or whatever vehicle is being driven northbound.
Just a little over a week before last Friday’s crash, one Bedminster resident and cyclist Tom Sedgman asked local councillors to work towards measures to stop the number of private cars being driven down East Street.
He asked for bus bollards, which retract into the road when a bus approaches, but block the way for private cars, to be installed at the Cannon Street end of East Street. “Everyone’s ignoring those signs, the police are not enforcing the rules, and it’s becoming dangerous to cycle down,” he tweeted.
Locals say the issue has got worse since the closure of the northbound Malago Road in January 2022. For a time in the weeks following that closure, police mounted stop and fine enforcement operations on motorists breaking the ‘bus only’ rules. The road is only for buses and loading vans servicing the shops on East Street between 7am and 7pm every day.
But since those opening weeks, and for the past 18 months, there has been concern about the perceived lack of enforcement of the problem. A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said there were no plans for further enforcement actions at present.
A spokesperson for Bristol City Council said any ideas for additional measures to stop drivers would have to be looked at. “Any ideas there are about additional measures would be subject to further discussion and design so would be speculative at the moment,” a council spokesperson said.
Malago Road is due to be closed northbound for almost a year more, with a reopening date still scheduled for July 2024.
- ^ Bedminster (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
- ^ a road traffic collision (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
- ^ Cyclist rushed to hospital after crash on Bedminster street (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
- ^ police said at the time. (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
- ^ last Friday’s crash (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
- ^ here (bit.ly)
- ^ Bristol City Council (www.bristolpost.co.uk)