Joint action aims to stop 'B2B Bandits' and make path safe

August 31 2018

POLICE, councillors, community activists, cyclists and walkers are coming together to combat a wave of crime on the Bristol-to-Bath railway path.

Patrols were stepped up last month  following a number of assaults on cyclists at the Bristol end of the 13-mile route.

Cyclists also staged a “Reclaim the Path” demo.

Now an initiative called One Path has been launched by the campaign organisation Sustrans with Bristol City Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, South Gloucestershire Council and the community group Up Our Street.

Its aim is to ensure that different groups using the path respect one another.

 There are approximately four million trips per year on the 13-mile long BBRP, making it one of the busiest dedicated traffic-free routes in the UK. A recent survey counted more than 5,000 trips a day along the Whitehall section. Numbers peak in rush hours.

Questionnaire interviews will be undertaken over the next few weeks at various points. Ideas for physical changes will also be collected for consideration.

James Cleeton, Sustrans England director, said: “We are committed to a Bristol and Bath Railway Path that is a community space for everyone - a park, path and place for all, by foot or by wheel, enabling healthy lifestyles across the West of England.” 

Councillor Mhairi Threlfall, cabinet member for transport, said: “Conflict between pedestrians and cyclists is a growing challenge as more people choose to travel short journeys sustainably, by foot or bike, and we are concerned about anything which could disrupt or dissuade people from continuing these journeys. This has been no more evident than on the popular Bristol to Bath Railway path, and we want to work with local people, path users and non-path users alike, to identify how we alleviate pinch points and problem areas so we can all travel together in harmony.” 

• A teenager has been arrested in connection with three robberies along the path near St Werburghs. The youth was released under investigation.

Anyone who has any information about any incidents along the path is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. If anyone feels intimidated, they should call 101 or 999 if a crime is being committed.