The routes in question, shown on the map above (click to enlarge) by #24 and #25, are essentially existing routes (shown on the map below) which are already used by cyclists. However 'improvements' are proposed, including such things as light controlled road crossings and improved surfaces and realignments in places. So is it right to call them "new links"? As you can see from the comments on the article I accused the council of 'lying' over this use of the word "new" but Jon Rogers, the Executive Member for Transport, said -
This is a public consultation to create two new cycle links. True, the paths already exist, but the plan is to consult local residents and users of the Railway Path on improvements to the links to make them more suitable for cycling and walking. Words like "upgraded" or "improved" might strictly be more accurate than "new", but to accuse Bristol City Council of "lying" seems a bit strong.The council press release for the opening of the St Werburghs path said "Bristol's trailblazing Cycling City programme has delivered the first completed kilometre of a new off-road cycle route". Note "route" rather than "path", so the "new" claim refers to the overall existence of the route, not some facet of it such as the new asphalt surface of the path. Yet it is well known that the very same route has been used by cyclists for at least the last 20 years.
Chris, we had the same sterile and pedantic discussion on the St Werburghs to Muller Road path, but if you travel along it you will see there is a "new path". The path is also "improved" and "upgraded".
The as yet non-existent link to Speedwell, actually built in 1980s.
The problem dates back to the beginning of the Cycling City project. For example the promotional leaflet issued in February of this year, at the first (so far) relaunch, included the map above which shows proposed "new infrastructure" (dark blue lines) and "new infrastructure on existing network" (broad cerise lines). So clearly the "new infrastructure" (dark blue) is by implication NOT on the existing network.
But the St Werburghs route (#2 on map above), which might reasonably be described as "new infrastructure on existing network" is in fact marked in dark blue and therefore as "new infrastructure" NOT on the existing network. Likewise the proposed "new link" to Speedwell (#24 on the map above) is shown as "new infrastructure" (dark blue) when it is in fact based on the existing network and so should properly be marked cerise). Are these "sterile and pedantic" distinctions?
Oddly enough the other "new link" (to St George) claimed in yesterday's Post story is shown merely as "existing network", but for a small element within it. So they can get it right occasionally, if only because they can't manage to be consistent about anything, even their deceits. The map shows many other examples of existing routes which are misrepresented as "new infrastructure", in fact most of what is marked in dark blue within the Cycling City area is existing cycle route.
Cycling City claims that it will deliver "13 miles of new track and 18 miles of improvements to the existing 73 miles of off-road track". So far, one year into the three year project, they have delivered less than half a mile of improved track. The 13 miles figure is pure fiction (and probably the other figures too, although I'm not yet in a position to prove that) and that fact will continue to be exposed on this blog until such time as the council come clean and withdraw all the false claims made in support of Cycling City.