Filwood Quietway – concern for wildlife

Residents have expressed concern that plans for a new cycling and walking route through Knowle West could affect wildlife.

The Filwood Quietway – which is being delivered by Bristol City Council and Sustrans – will run through the Northern Slopes and Victoria Park, linking local people to Temple Meads. It will eventually reach the new hospital in Hengrove.

At a series of consultation events across the area – many cyclists have been happy the route will take them off the busy roads and encourage people from their cars but other comments have included issues of safety and accessibility.

The Northern Slopes Initiative (NSI) which works to maintain the nature reserve has written expressing concern. They say either of the two proposed routes across the Glyn Vale site has the “potential to change the way the area is…”

The Initiative is worried there could be “negative effects on people and wildlife from the routes, especially if they are over lit, have lots of urban features which don’t fit in with the surroundings, or remove lots of vegetation.”

They have suggested an alternative route across the new Kingswear Road green space which is “flatter, avoids the tricky junction with Wedmore Vale/Glyn Vale and Wingfield Road, and is potentially easier to maintain.”

Chair Bob Franks said: “As with all change, there is going to be some things lost and benefits gained. We are determined to ensure that whatever comes out, is good for people and wildlife.”

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said they hoped to continue talks with the Initiative. When the consultations ended in June, they would carefully consider all responses – and examine the suggested alternative route.

He said: “…Our proposals must balance the concerns outlined locally with the need to provide a high quality walking and cycling route … which will help to ease congestion, reduce pollution and keep people active.

“We are fully conscious of the Northern Slopes being a Local Nature Reserve and a valuable space for local people – any proposals for the area will be sensitive to this…”

He said the Slopes had “ongoing issues around anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping”. The council hoped the NSI would see the proposed route “as an opportunity to address these issues” and help “direct investment into the Slopes.”

The next consultation is at Filwood Broadway on 12 May from 4.30 – 6.30pm. For more information visit www.travelwest.info/filwood