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Agenda and minutes

Venue: A Committee Room - City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR. View directions

Contact: Jeremy Livitt 

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information


The Lord Mayor welcomed all parties to the meeting and asked everyone to introduce themselves.


Everyone present noted the arrangements in the event of the sounding of the emergency fire alarm.




Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Barry Clark, Councillor Chris Davies and Peter Rilett.


Declarations of interest

To note and Declarations of Interest raised by Councillors.


There were no Declarations of Interest.


Public Forum

To consider items of Public Forum sent to the Downs Committee. Interested parties can submit a written statement of approximately one side A4 to the Downs Committee by sending it to Democratic Services by no later than 12pm on Friday 17th January 2020.


The Committee received Public Forum statements from the following:


Peter Weeks

Ollie, Matt and Sam – Ashton Court Golf and Cycle Club

Nick Davies – Chair, Bristol Cycling Campaign

Eleanor Hewitt

Susan Carter – Bristol Ramblers

Luna Moss

Joshua Starke

Collette Brown

Peter and Jenny Weeks – Downs for People

Harriet Blackmore – Cycling Without Age

Roger Gimson – Bristol Walking Alliance

Zoe Banks Gross – East Bristol Kidical Mass


Re-Brief of the Downs and Place Movement Framework pdf icon PDF 14 MB

As agreed at the Downs Committee meeting on 18th November 2019, members are

requested to receive a re-brief of the Downs Place and Movement Framework from Richard Goldthorpe. There will also be presentations from Steven Riley concerning cycling provision alongside the A4018 and from Vicky Cracknell (Cycle Sunday) for the Leisure Loop proposal.


The Committee will receive approximately 1 hour of briefings to be followed by 1 hour of questions from the committee.


In addition the attached re-brief report from Richard Goldthorpe, there are also   updated reports from Steven Riley and from Vicky Cracknell.

Additional documents:


The Committee received a presentation from Richard Goldthorpe on this issue who made the following key points:


·         Bristol City Council’s Asset Management Plan set out places for recreation now and in future

·         Following a report produced by SUSTRANS concerning the provision of cycling on the Downs, an agreed brief was prepared to produce a comprehensive design to improve provision for pedestrians and cycling

·         In April 2015, officers had been instructed by the Downs Committee to produce a Place and Movement Framework

·         Following a meeting held in 2018, other issues had arisen which needed to be addressed ie provision for cycling alongside the A4018 and the proposed Leisure Loop

·         The framework set out the policy context, the relationship with the Downs Act and conservation issues (ie listed buildings etc)

·         It considered the walking and cycling network and outlined 3 scenarios for a future vision, including  2 separate paths, 1 for pedestrians and 1 for cycling

·         There were some generous footpaths on the Downs but some were difficult to cross with an old-fashioned junction and design and parked cars providing an obstruction

·         There were desire lines on parts of the Downs, often during the summer months

·         Other areas are more vulnerable to erosion such as the Sea Walls and along the A4018

·         A slide was shown indicating the Nordic walking Group walking past the 7 sisters

·         There was also a need to address problems associated with events access

·         A slide showed an 1830 Panorama looking at the view from Observatory Hill indicating the rough landscape of the open Downs at the time

·         In 1869, an engineer had been requested to propose a layout of roads to deal with the increasing number of visitors landing at Hotwells who wanted to travel to the Sea Walls to see the view

·         In 1870, the Downs Committee took the decision to make infrastructure changes to the Downs including at Sea Walls and the Circular Road

·         The Downs is special but not unique as a large landscape in an urban area and needed to adapt and respond to changing patterns of recreation – other examples of similar areas included:

Newcastle Toon Moor

Harrogate Stray. A map of this area showed routes which were used for utility cycling and of a shared path with traditional raised signs

Hyde Park. There was very large infrastructure on generous roads used as utility but also to support recreation

Richmond Park. This was a very large landscape area approximately three times the size of the Downs. Materials had been used to signal areas to be invite the use of cycling in a controlled way and with signage to separate different users. Walking and cycling was shared for leisure uses and proved to be a satisfying experience for each.


Three different scenarios arising from the framework were outlined including continuation of the current situation with better management of erosion and support of improved walking and cycling through targeted improvements.


The Downs Committee had requested a workshop. This had created a vision  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.


Date of Next Meeting

The next scheduled meeting of the Downs Committee will take place at 2pm on Monday 27th January 2020 in Committee Room 1P09, City Hall, College Green, Bristol.


It was noted that the next scheduled meeting of the Downs Committee would be held at 2pm on Monday 27th January 2020 in Committee Room 1P09, City Hall, College Green, Bristol.