New cycle route gets bikers to Balloon Fiesta

Today sees the launch of phase one of Festival Way, one of the latest Cycling City paths in Bristol, which provides cyclists and pedestrians with easier and safer access to all Ashton Court events including Bristol's Balloon Fiesta this coming weekend.

Festival Way will soon link the north side of the Cumberland Basin in Bristol to Nailsea in North Somerset, providing an important and attractive link for commuter cyclists and others.

Lord Mayor Colin Smith, Cycling City project manager Ed Plowden and Jon Usher, Sustrans Project Manager were on hand with the Cycling City trike to publicise the launch at photo shoot in Queen Square - the city centre end of Festival Way.

Jon Usher, Scheme Manager for Sustrans, said: “This route is going to give more people the chance to get into Bristol by bike or on foot while avoiding busy roads, making people feel safer and happier in getting into the city centre.

"Somewhere that people used to drive to because of the complicated busy road is now only a 15-minute bike ride from Bristol city centre.

"It will provide an excellent way to get to the large events at the Estate - but will also help students getting to the University of the West of England's Art Faculty at Bower Ashton.”

The first phase of the route links the Create Centre with Ashton Court via a largely traffic-free path to Bristol's Ashton Court estate, meaning that people wanting to walk or cycle to the Balloon Fiesta no longer have to use the busy A370 dual-carriageway.

This new link will form part of an almost completely traffic-free route that takes cyclists and pedestrians from Queen Square via the harbourside, along the 'chocolate path' to the Create Centre, across Ashton Avenue bridge, along the new section of path underneath the A370 and past Bedminster Cricket Club to the junction between Clanage Road and Kennel Lodge Road - home to the University of the West of England's Bower Ashton campus.

This new section of path is 0.5 miles long and was paid for by the Cycling City Project. The path will join with the Nailsea-Bristol route, which is being part funded by Bristol-based sustainable transport charity Sustrans via a £50million grant from the Big Lottery Fund. The grant supports new walking and cycling routes up and down the country. The Nailsea-Bristol route is expected to be open by 2013 and is set to cost £2.3million, with £600,000 funding coming from Sustrans.

Cllr Rogers, Bristol's Executive Member for Cycling City said: "We hope that this largely traffic-free route will give people the confidence to make more journeys by bike. The Festival Way path is a perfect way to attend events at Ashton Court and it's a great addition to Bristol's leisure cycling routes. Plus the path serves a major educational establishment so the path will help more students get to their destination without using motorised transport." 

Muir Moffat, chairman of the 2010 ASTRA Bristol International Balloon Fiesta added: "The Fiesta is a hugely popular event for the city and it’s great to have a new way for people in Bristol to get to and from the event. There will be a free cycle park with barriers for people to attach their bikes to at the Fiesta this year as we envisage greater demand from cyclists now this route has opened.”

Route map

The PDF below shows routes that cyclists can take to the Balloon Fiesta from destinations around Bristol. This short movie clip shows the route from the Create Centre in Hotwells to Bedminster Cricket Club, just off Clanage Road. From there it's a short ride along Kennel Lodge Road to the gates of Ashton Court.