Fury over Bristol church bike rack that ‘would block access to hearses’

Plans to put up a new bike rack outside an old church have sparked fury among parishioners who said the bike rack would “block access for hearses.” The planned covered bike rack was criticized as a “blatant act of vandalism” that would also block views of the 18th-century building.

The bike rack is planned for the top of Broad Street, in the city centre, outside Christ Church with St Ewen. The current Grade II listed building was built between 1786 and 1791, but the medieval church had been offering services for several centuries before then.

Last week, Bristol City Council workers were seen installing temporary fencing around a space in front of the church, raising concerns. Conservative councilors have also criticized the “deluded laymen” of the City Council for making it increasingly difficult to access by car.

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Jonathan Price, the church’s music teacher, said: “I was just horrified by what the council workers said they were creating. I asked one of the team who was expected to use the covered bike rack and he replied, “nobody.”

“Christ Church needs clear access here for hearses bringing bodies for funerals, wedding cars and for our sick and disabled faithful. Even the current bollards at the edge of the street spoil the view of our beautiful Grade II listed church. With an ugly bike rack here, it will be much, much worse.”

The council has since agreed to move the bike rack further down the street. The bike parking is part of a larger plan to reduce motorized traffic around the Old City, in an attempt to make the area safer for walking and cycling.


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