Do Bristol cyclists need a £1m lift . . . to get them to Clifton?
By Clifton People | Thursday, September 03, 2009, 07:00
Transport campaigner Chris Hutt wants the city council to spend a million pounds installing a special lift to help cyclists to reach Clifton.
Mr Hutt wants the bike lift put in the Trenchard Street multi-storey car park.
The 58-year-old plumber says it will save cyclists battling their way up Park Row.
His idea has received some initial support from Councillor Jon Rogers, the city council cabinet member responsible for transport.
Dr Rogers said there had already been discussions to regenerate the area around Trenchard Street, which "might include bike lift plans in the longer term".
Mr Hutt's plans for a bike lift between the city centre and what he calls the "Clifton-Kingsdown escarpment" on Park Row follow similar schemes already in place in Europe and Asia.
It would involve an external lift being built on the south-west side of the car park and link the bottom of Trenchard Street with level eight of the multi-storey on Park Row. Cyclists would be lifted more than 30 metres and emerge just above the Red Lodge, about the same as climbing Park Street.
Intermediate levels on the car park would not be served, just the Denmark Street and Park Row levels, so ascent would be rapid and direct.
Entry and exit doors could be on opposite sides so bikes would not need to be turned, and the lift cubicles could be light and spacious giving impressive panoramic views.
Mr Hutt, from Victoria Square, Clifton, has suggested that the bike lift would cost about £1m to install and could be used by cyclists, some of who are known to already use the existing lifts, for £1.
He said: "Some of Bristol's existing cyclists would use the lift, but crucially it has to attract a lot of people who do not cycle because they are put off by the hills on Park Street and Park Row.
"We cannot know for sure if people will use it, but they did not know for sure that people would come in such numbers to the Banksy show.
"The fact that so many came to that was a surprise, and in the same way we have to take a bit of a punt on this idea.
"Perhaps it might go some way towards changing the image of cycling in Bristol as something exclusively for the Lycra-clad super-fit.
"For Bristol this really could be the iconic symbol of a genuine move towards being a Cycling City and perhaps the world's first and best example of a bicycle lift forming a key part of a city's cycling infrastructure."
Dr Rogers said he was in favour of any proposal to increase the number of people cycling in Bristol.
But he admitted that the lift "seems to be a bit of a long shot".
He said: "I think that it's certainly an interesting idea.
"However, the cost against the lift is probably such that it is unlikely to be a realistic option.
"But it is being done elsewhere in the world.
"You are looking at either flatter and longer routes to cycle, or looking at the possibility of bike lifts as another option."