Safety concerns were raised with Saltford Parish Council about congestion on the Bristol and Bath Railway Path (B2B Path) through Saltford, especially during periods of good weather.
Though it was recognised that it is wonderful that the path is being used by so many, the need for more considerate use of this popular shared path by all users was required, especially on the busy stretch through Saltford.
Saltford Parish Council contacted Sustrans, the organisation who are custodians of the National Cycle Network, which includes the Bristol and Bath Railway Path. Saltford PC passed on resident concerns and requested similar signage as seen in other busier sections of the B2B Path. Saltford PC also requested safety information to share publicly about considerate use of shared paths.
Saltford PC was grateful for Sustrans quick response saying their volunteers would put up temporary ‘Share the Path’ signs as seen on other sections of the B2B Path. Saltford PC requested and received permission from B&NES Council for these to be displayed, and sent suggested locations to Sustrans where the signs could be placed (due to the minimal number of posts and fences on the Saltford stretch options were limited).
In late July Saltford Parish Council was delighted to be informed that Sustrans volunteers had put up the signs along the Saltford stretch of the B2B Path. Saltford Parish Council would like to express its sincere thanks to the Sustrans volunteers for their time doing this.
Saltford PC also thanks the team at Sustrans for supporting Saltford PC’s initial request and creating and sending the signs to the Sustrans volunteers. Saltford PC hopes that they are effective in reminding all users to ‘Share the Path’ considerately whilst using the B2B Railway Path.
Looking to the future, Saltford PC has contacted the Avon Frome Partnership (a collaboration between the three local authorities – including B&NES Council – that the railway path falls within) who are working towards a consistent signage strategy for the whole path. Saltford PC has requested a meeting with the officer responsible to discuss permanent signage on the Saltford stretch of the path, with discussions lead by SPC Cllr Dudley Bartlett.
Saltford Parish Council is keen to see improved signage about the shared path on permanent display to improve user consideration and enhance safety for the many cyclists, pedestrians, joggers, dog walkers and other users who enjoy the Saltford stretch of the B2B Path.
Sustrans have signposted Saltford PC to their webpage at Advice on using shared-use paths – Sustrans.org.uk which SPC shared via its communications channels. Sustran’s top tips on using a shared path are as follows:
Top tips for sharing the space
- Use the path in a way that is considerate to the comfort and safety of others.
- If there is a dividing line segregating cyclists from pedestrians, keep to the appropriate side; this is normally indicated on blue and white road signs and by logos on the road surface.
- When it’s dark, or in dull conditions, make sure you are visible to others, use lights at night.
- Be particularly careful at junctions, bends, entrances onto the path, or any other ‘blind spots’ where people could appear in front of you without warning.
- When riding a bike, travel at a speed appropriate to the conditions and ensure you can stop in time.
- Be courteous and patient with other path users who are moving more slowly than you and slow down as needed when space is limited or if you cannot see clearly ahead.
- Please be aware, especially of more vulnerable users such as older people, people with small children, people in wheelchairs, or the hearing or visually impaired.
- Give way to slower users and wheelchair users and take care around horse riders leaving them plenty of room.
- When riding a bike, ring a bell well in advance if approaching people from behind.
- Keep your dog on a short lead when walking on a path shared with people who cycle.
Saltford Parish Council again thanks Sustrans for their support of SPC’s request, and to their volunteers for assisting SPC in making the B2B Path a safer and more considerate place to travel and enjoy.