Gaol Ferry Bridge

"Build it and they will come, but close it and what happens?"

Project details

Full project title: Gaol Ferry Bridge

Funder: UWE Bristol (QR funding)

Principal Investigator: Dr Jonathan Flower

CTS researcher: Beth Garland (intern)

Start date: 1 June 2022

End date: 31 July 2024

Project summary

Gaol Ferry Bridge in South Bristol closed for more than a year from July 2022 to September 2023. This is one of the most intensively used pieces of walking and cycling infrastructure in Bristol with more than 14,000 journeys a day.

Through a series of three surveys, this project aimed to find out what users intended to do in the months while it was closed, what they actually did when it closed and whether any changes of habit endured once the bridge reopened. Would some stop walking and cycling altogether? For pedestrians, there was a 20-minute walking diversion to get from one side of the bridge to the other. Bridge users were recruited via intercept on the bridge prior to closure, posters and social media.

Follow up surveys during closure and again after reopening were sent to willing participants.