BishopstonWalkBishopston, Cotham and Redland Neighbourhood Partnership is about to begin a survey of the area bounded by Cranbrook Road, Kellaway Avenue, Muller Road and Chesterfield Road, to produce a map showing useful walking routes across and through that area of our neighbourhood.

The project aims to develop a local action plan to implement, where possible, the recommendations in the 2011 BCC Walking Strategy; part of the strategy is to work towards having good routes. The map will be a dynamic document with an annual review to update it. It is hoped, by highlighting such routes, that this will encourage and facilitate more people to walk to local facilities and destinations instead of using their cars.

•    The project will survey agreed priority routes for ease of access particularly for elderly and disabled and to develop an action plan to eliminate or ameliorate obstacles that exist.

•    The NP hopes to achieve this with the help of the BCC Street Scene Group, Street Champions, local community groups, and local volunteers.

There will be two outputs of the project:-

1.    A published map showing features like local facilities, benches, easier routes to avoid hills etc. There will be a table showing distances and approximate walking times between locations

2.    A record of street level obstructions linked to an action plan, for example where new trees should or should not be planted.

The published map, showing local features will use similar features & symbols to those being used by Sustainable Redland on their map (funded last year) so that the two maps are coterminous across the NP.

It is also intended that the map will be of use to planners, policy makers, developers and businesses when considering the local area.

•    Distribution of maps:

a.    PDF published versions of the maps will be promoted via NP Web site, Community magazines web sites, local community groups websites.
b.    Printed versions to be distributed and advertised at local libraries, shops and businesses, community centres, health centres and schools and available Forums.

•    It is not envisaged that it will be distributed to each household as amendments / updates will certainly be needed in subsequent years.

•    The main goal is to encourage walking or cycling, especially for short local journeys to local facilities, such as schools, shops, healthcare, sports, social and faith meeting places.

•    At a deeper level is an aspiration to reinforce engagement in the community, and greater care for the physical environment.

According to Sustrans, a quarter of all car trips are less than 2 miles, and half of them could be replaced by sustainable journeys using existing facilities.

•    Sustrans identify that lack of information about the alternatives to the car, and motivation to try them out, are key barriers to change.

•    This project will help break down the mindset that leads people to unthinkingly jump in the car to go shopping when they could just as quickly, and more healthily, walk to local shops.

•    It will also make local people more aware of the community facilities that exist within walking distance in their local area and the best ways of getting to them.

•    Bristol suffers from high car ownership and crowded roads, leading to congestion, pollution and damaging carbon emissions.

•    Less use of cars will benefit health through reduced pollution, and provide a more pleasant experience for walkers and cyclists.

•    Walking and cycling can help improve health and reduce obesity. In the long-term, reducing transport carbon emissions by using more local, sustainable products will also help limit the effects of climate change.

•    Data will be collected for the maps by involving local people through the Ward Forums
•    The project is going to be carried out by volunteers and we already have 6 volunteers who have been involved in developing the project plans. 

BCRNP says:

•    We have already been talking about the project and have had articles in the local newsletter, “Bishopston Matters” about it.

•    We will engage with local shops by asking them to gather data about how people travel to visit them.

•    We will engage with local places of worship to ask them to gather data on how people travel to their meetings.

•    We will hold three focus groups for different sections of the community to find out what routes would be most useful for them:

(1)    The elderly
(2)    Children
(3)    Mothers of school age children

•    We will engage with local schools by asking them about their existing school travel plans. (There are 4 primary schools in the Map area).

•    We have access to several Facebook pages, and will use the BCR NP Facebook page to keep people updated about the project

•    We can use Twitter to inform people about project progress
•    Other areas in the country have already used this approach – for example, Norfolk County Council has created such neighbourhood maps for Swaffham, Thetford and Wymondham amongst other places  as has Southville in Bristol.

•    Sustainable Redland recently received a grant to carry out a similar project in Redland and Cotham, and we will be building on and using the tools that they have been developing.

•    We will carry out surveys in the local shopping areas, in Forums and in Elderly People’s homes to find out if people are aware of the maps, whether they have found them useful, and publish the results at a Bishopston Forum meeting.

•    We plan to carry out an online survey before the mapping exercise has been carried out and again one year after it has been produced to find out if it has made a difference to people’s travel habits.

•    We will also ask NP members and council officials from all departments if they have found them helpful in making decisions about the local area.

•    We will ask shops to carry out a repeat survey of travel methods after the map launch