The Brislington Tramway

Brislington Tramway

A unique green space for active travel, well-being and wildlife

Let us know if you would benefit from this space and comment on the application here: https://tinyurl.com/BrisTramwa...

Progress is stalled on The Tramway but campaigners are still optimistic it may go ahead.

The Tramway

The Tramway is a proposal for a traffic-free walking & cycling route running for roughly a kilometre, parallel to the A4 on the old Brislington Railway line between Sainsburys and Tesco in Brislington, BS4.

This attractive and quiet railway cutting has been unused for decades but planning applications have now been submitted by Greenways and Cycleroutesin Feb 2021 and Meanwhile Creativein June 2021. The two organisations are working in partnership benefitting from the experience of John Grimshaw, founder of Sustrans.

Meanwhile Creative, based in Bristol, specialise in meanwhile uses for unused buildings or land and propose to install a 50 low cost refurbished second hand shipping containers and convert them into affordable office and studio units. They will be funding the work required to open the route.

By demonstrating how many people would support this, we stand a chance of opening up this space to the public. Councillors and residents have been vocally supportive and a study will be done to get the communities views on the value of the space.

The community value of this green corridor would be extremely high, bringing opportunities for residents to enjoy nature and travel to local shops or the city centre on a traffic free route.


The Tramway goes under the busy Bath Rd (A4) overcoming a major physical barrier. This is in addition to passing under Talbot rd and Sandy park rd helping people to choose to travel on foot, by bike or other active travel. By helping people access Sandy Park Highstreet and other local retail more sustainably while being inclusive to those who don't drive - we could see a boost for local businesses.

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It would also make a significant link from Knowle and Brislington to the City centre, which are known for poor travel connections - with many relying solely on cars to get about.

With many feeling intimidated to travel by bike by the city's roads and those on foot, wheelchair, mobility scooter, adapted cycle or e-scooter finding they have little space to move safely.

The Tramway could therefore give people the confidence to travel in more sustainable ways while giving the joy and freedom of independent travel and inclusive leisure opportunities.

Map

Click to open in full screen.

Green line = Tramway route

Orange lines = Existing traffic free routes

Updates

24 August 2021

progress is slow with the iitial application being submiteed 6 months ago.

It seems likely the application(s) will go to a committee meeting due to the sensitivity around the land being earmarked for a transport relief route (Callington Road Link) with is yet undefined. The A4 project has recently gone out to consultationtoo, which means officers will be trying to determine the best use of the land.

This fantastic opportunity finally seems within reach, but reading between the lines, it seems it is being blocked by the transport department who would rather have all their options on the table for infrastructure solutions for the A4. This is the most likely explanation for why it is taking so long to make a decision. The authorities have been using the Callington road link as an excuse for not doing something here for over 10 years and the risk is the path goes unused for many more years while they decide what to do with it.

18 August 2021

The applications should be considered in September in a committee meeting, where councillors will decide whether to approve the applicaions. They will consider the community benefits, transport and ecology.

August 2021

The consultation for the A4 project is now open. This is an oportunity to comment about the Tramway and use of the old railway line to allow for safe active travel: https://travelwest.info/projec...

News: 12 July 2021

The Brislington Tramway application is now fully 'Live' and the latest planning application is in, which describes the plan for containers for small enterprises on the old railway line. I feel this scheme is an excellent use of the space, being a desination for small enterprises, which fits alongside the cycleway/footpath project, already submitted by Greenways and Cycleroutes. The two elements work in conjunction and in partnership and compliment one another.

Application by Meanwhile Creative for containers for enterprises: (https://tinyurl.com/BrisTramway)

Application by Greenways and Cycleroutes for active travel path on the rialway line (https://pa.bristol.gov.uk/onli...)


Remember this is an 'interrim' or 'temporary' use of this land while it is decided what will be done on and around the A4. A council and Weca led community consultation on th A4 is coming soon I understand.
The Tramway scheme seems to me to be a creative and clever use of this resource to enable safer active travel and space for small businesses in the meantime! While it remains to be seen what will happen in the space longer term.

News: 28 June 2021

I understand the Brislington Tramway interim walking and cycling path proposal is being actively discussed by the planning and transport team in the council. With the recent changes in the Transport team at BCC meaning the scheme is now being reassesed (and under threat), and we need to show we want this! Please let them know how great this would be for the area!

Email the mayor mayor@bristol.gov.uk and our MP kerry.mccarthy.mp@parliament.uk also transport.engagement@bristol.gov.uk. it seems all local councillors support the scheme and have all tried hard to get support from the council. I think the community now need to work together to make a case for this to be allowed/permitted asap to help address the need for safe active travel, walking, cycling, scooting, and ultimately reduce car journeys.

Original planning application here: https://pa.bristol.gov.uk/onli...

PDF Planning document here: https://drive.google.com/file/...

21st Feb 2021 This proposed route is currently being discussed in the council, with growing political and public support.

The Brislington Tramway (or Brislington Greenway) is a green space in BS4 that could be opened up to the public as an active travel corridor.

The Tramway has fantastic potential to link areas of Bristol by allowing people to travel on foot, by bike, scooter, wheelchair, hand bike or adapted cycle.

The space is green and wild and could be enjoyed as part of healthy outdoor activities to boost well-being.

There is also significant space available for a section of the space to be designated for small enterprises to set up micro container based premesis along a portion of the path perhaps with a small cafe, bakery or jewlery maker for example. This has been used to great effect in Wapping Wharf for example.

Some comments from the survey:

As a resident of Talbot Road this would mean that our family could access the shops and amenities of Sandy Park without having to get in the car. We don't get in the car very often and so don't go there very often.
It would create a save way for us and our toddler to cycle/walk into town. It would also be nice to have a green space to practice bike riding
A place to walk safely away from traffic
Exercise and improve mental health
Would be somewhere to get some fresh air without traffic and industrial estates, plus somewhere safe to use bikes and connect different parts of Bristol without having to rely on buses.
It would finally give me confidence to start cycling as I’m reluctant to cycle on roads as an inexperienced cyclist. I recently got a car as trying to avoid public transport/taxis during the pandemic. I’m prepared to walk a fair distance (e.g. into town) but this isn’t always practical - having the option to cycle on a traffic free route would make it worth getting a bike at last. Also somewhere local to go for walks without having to navigate busy roads. More wildlife for the area to enjoy - I live on Repton Road and would much prefer the sound of birdsong to another noisy, polluting road!
It would finally give me confidence to start cycling as I’m reluctant to cycle on roads as an inexperienced cyclist. I recently got a car as trying to avoid public transport/taxis during the pandemic. I’m prepared to walk a fair distance (e.g. into town) but this isn’t always practical - having the option to cycle on a traffic free route would make it worth getting a bike at last. Also somewhere local to go for walks without having to navigate busy roads. More wildlife for the area to enjoy - I live on Repton Road and would much prefer the sound of birdsong to another noisy, polluting road!
I would use it to run and cycle. It would use it as part of a route to jubilee pool. It would add a green route to Brislington
If there is no road
Safer route with my young children
I live on the Knowle side of Brislington and it would be amazing to be able to get to the Sandy Park side using this lovely route rather than having to deal with Bath Road traffic. I'd also love to walk and cycle on it with my family -- it would be an amazing resource right on our doorstep.
It is between my house, my closest friends and my parents house, it would be a safe a pretty way to get around on our bikes. My children are not confident enough to cycle it in the road yet.
Really help to get more exercise is a traffic free space, and visit people on that side of town.
It would feel much safer walking with the children away from the busy roads
My husband and I could walk to work with less pollution and a nice environment to walk in . Also I could walk my dog and my son could have a safer bike ride
Commuting, leisure
As a family who with young children this tramway would provide a wonderful, safe and healthy way of us being able to get about locally without having to use the car.
It’s a convienient and local passage that is safe to use to access other local
areas and a great alternative transport route for walkers and bikes. I would
Also use my bike more instead of my car. I would also enjoy the green space.
I live in Talbot Road with my family and currently don’t cycle to town because of the danger and pollution on Bath Road. With a safe cycle way I would be able to cycle with my children, and also cycle to work rather than relying on my car or the bus (which I haven’t used during the pandemic) This space would also be a fantastic area for nature, both the existing species and also encouraging more birds and animals as well as native plants.
For my fitness and therefore mental health. A place to go where there aren't any cars or traffic... An escape!
Safe travel from home to school, shops and work for my partner, children and myself.
Would give me a traffic free cycle route heading out from Arnos Vale, without having to either use Bath Road (unpleasant, esp uphill), or having to stop and cross Bath Road.
It’ll be a great way to avoid Bath road and its traffic. My kids could learn to cycle there, I would enjoy having that green space so close to home. Would be great for independent businesses in Sandy park Rd for example as people could walk there instead of having to use the car and therefore ending up at Tesco or Sainsbury’s
I live in Brislington. It would provide a safe cycle route, away from traffic for me and my children.
It would add an alternative green space route to my walks round Bristol.
Travel by bike to the city centre and for shopping in Sainsbury’s
By promoting safe and accessible cycling
It would help me access retail and leisure facilities in Knowle and hengrove that I would not usually use because they are difficult to get to. I think it would also improve Sandy Park and bring more people to the high Street here. The small retail units would be fantastic, as while the shops on the High street are good, the atmosphere isn't great because it's such a busy road. It isn't nice to sit outside the cafés and during the pandemic queueing outside has been uncomfortable because of the frequency of reckless pavement parking. Having some off-road retail would be lovely!
It would enable traffic free access to the Brislington industrial estates on Bath Road as well as North Somerset. It would nicely join with the NCN.
Great place to walk!!
As a nervous cyclist on roads I’d use my bike so much with this. It’d also mean my 4 year old child would get used to cycling into the city centre rather than using the car.

Having opportunities to walk/cycle on a pleasant route to work and meet friends would mean a lot more exercise for all of us. The current busy Bath road is a huge barrier to walking as the noise and car fumes are not pleasant.
It would help to create a more connected city for active travel for me and my family
Safe route to cycle (as long as it links up to other routes to provide seamless traffic-free routes to multiple destinations). Nicer than having to share the road with impatient, aggressive motorists.
I live locally and this green space is so valuable as a potential safe traffic free route. I am horrified at the thought of the increased pollution and noise from traffic use.
It would give me and my children a safe traffic free area to exercise and reach other parts of Bristol without using the car. It would be a good way to get outdoors into nature and help our mental health.
Green space very near my home, would provide great mental health benefits
This,would be be a lifeline to safer cycling and foot access to the city, would take up cycling again to avoid the dangers of the A4. Also an invaluable wildlife corridor and provides a contribution to cleaner air.
Nature walks
Would use to cycle to shops and walk dog away from cars
walk and cycle
It would finally give me confidence to start cycling as I’m reluctant to cycle on roads as an inexperienced cyclist. I recently got a car as trying to avoid public transport/taxis during the pandemic. I’m prepared to walk a fair distance (e.g. into town) but this isn’t always practical - having the option to cycle on a traffic free route would make it worth getting a bike at last. Also somewhere local to go for walks without having to navigate busy roads. More wildlife for the area to enjoy - I live on Repton Road and would much prefer the sound of birdsong to another noisy, polluting road!
Cycling and walking
Nice place to walk/cycle, better connection to Tesco by avoiding horrible roads
It would be a really useful, convenient and safer route for me to cycle. I regularly cycle through this area and the tramway would make it a much easier and pleasant part of the journey.
Safer and much more scenic cycle route to link the centre and the south and to avoid the busy bath road section
It would give direct access to the traffic free routes heading out of Bristol to the southwest without having to navigate the A4.
Enable me to cycle to places I wouldn't normally consider
It would keep me safe from 2-tonne death machines for a few hundred meters
I enjoy cycling south of Bristol (I live in Bishopston ) and this would impove the access to , say, Chew Valley) and to retail south fo the river
I would use it to commute into Bristol
By enabling cyclists to avoid the danger and pollution of having to ride on busy roads
By being able to cycle off road and feeling safer
I would feel safer. At age 77 I took up cycling again. Last time I cycled was 50 years ago after my son was born.
I’m an older person and it would enable safe cycling
Another great place to extend my cycling fitness away from the danger of cars
improve the safety of the cycle route from center of Bristol to South Bristol by removing the section on busy roads (Talbot & Hampstead rds used by drivers as a short cut, hence they are often less considerate of cyclists), it would also encourage more nervous cyclists by providing more traffic free sections of route.