We ran a public consultation on plans for the Temple Gate scheme, a suite of works to improve the journeys of the thousands of people who travel to and through the area around Temple Meads every day. We sought opinions on proposals to improve crossings, links with other routes and the general experience for pedestrians and cyclists, the reconfiguration of the Temple Circus Gyratory, a new MetroBus stop and bus lane, and proposed new buildings and public spaces.
The consultation ran from 12th January 2015 to 18th February 2015 and an accompanying survey received 998 responses, as well as a number of written representations from stakeholder organisations.
In general, most consultees were supportive of the proposed changes to the highway layout and the surrounding public realm. For most of the questions on the survey, positive responses outnumbered critical ones, and many comments stated that the removal of the roundabout, a primary aspect of the scheme, would represent a simpler layout and make Temple Gate easier to cross for pedestrians and cyclists.
The majority of the negative comments focussed on concerns that the new system would not improve traffic flow, with some respondents worried that limiting traffic through Cattle Market Road would have an adverse effect on the surrounding traffic network. Additionally, some were concerned that the lack of a right hand turn onto Station Approach would cause inconvenience and longer journeys for those coming from the south. However, traffic modelling has shown that the former will not be the case, and the latter is an existing problem that is outside the scope of this scheme.
The changes to pedestrian and cycle routes were generally seen as an improvement. However, many people commented that shared cycle and pedestrian routes do not work and should instead be segregated in order to reduce conflict between and increase safety for users, especially the elderly and disabled.
The change to a single crossing from Brunel Mile to Plot 6 was mostly welcomed, although numerous comments were made that, in order to aid traffic flow, an underpass or bridge would be preferable. However, these options were considered prior to consultation and found to be unsuitable.
The proposed improvements to the public realm were well received; many suggestions sought to further improve this through additional planting and wider pedestrian and cycle routes.
Several comments also raised concerns about the proposed locations of bus stops, suggesting they were too far away from the train station or not on key routes.
As a result of the feedback received through the consultation, a number of changes were made to the proposals.
As many of the comments focussed on high quality pedestrian and cycle routes, the scheme has been extended to include improvements at the Bath Bridge Roundabout. This new aspect of the scheme will include:
Widening the footpath outside Fowlers Motorcycles to accommodate a segregated cycle and pedestrian footway;
Reconstructing the traffic islands at York Road and Clarence Road, making them larger and more cycle and pedestrian friendly, as well as carrying out further improvements to the pedestrian and cycle provision at the junction;
Widening the footpath outside the Peugeot dealership, allowing room for a shared cycle and pedestrian footway;
Adding a new segregated cycleway from Mead Street to York Road, including a toucan crossing;
Widening the western footway on the approach to Temple Gate from Bath Bridge and the provision of a new toucan crossing of Temple Gate at its southern end;
A new pedestrian crossing from Temple Gate towards Cattle Market Road.
Additionally, the Friary and Victoria Street junctions have been reconfigured for the benefit of cyclists and pedestrians, and segregated cycle routes have been implemented wherever feasible.
The consultation also led to several changes to bus stop locations, which were flagged up as being inconveniently placed in the initial scheme. In order to further boost connectivity, a new northbound bus lane from the junction with Redcliffe Street to Victoria Street has also been added to the scheme.