Mayor George Ferguson spoke at our recent Annual General Meeting and discussed looking at Congestion Charging as one of a range of options for dealing with congestion and air pollution in the City. News soon broke, so we have followed up with a Press Release (see below) which has been picked up by the Bristol Post (15 May). 

 

PRESS RELEASE FROM BRISTOL CYCLING CAMPAIGN
Date: 13th May 2013
Embargo: None – for immediate use
Bristol Cycling Campaign Supports Tackling Congestion in Central Bristol
The Bristol Cycling Campaign today welcomes the news that Mayor George Ferguson is considering a range of ways to tackle congestion in central Bristol including the option of introducing a congestion charge.
“Congestion in Bristol has been estimated to cost the local economy £500m per annum. We all need an effective transport system so that we can quickly, easily and inexpensively get from A to B around Bristol. Improving transport will benefit business and help local people and visitors”, said Bristol Cycling Campaign’s Chair, Martin Tweddell. “We need to have a city-wide conversation on this, and improving cycling is a part of the solution – with or without a congestion charge”.
More and more people are taking up cycling and walking and discovering how effective it is for getting around and for commuting. If we invest more and make it easier, more people will cycle and so help reduce congestion and pollution.
Giving more people the freedom to ride benefits everybody.
“Cycling City” was a good start and Bristol Cycling Campaign is calling for continued investment for the longer term to ensure that Bristol remains Britain’s best city for cycling. Reducing pollution and helping keep Bristol a special place to live and work will attract new enterprises and highly skilled and mobile workers. It will also build regular exercise into our lifestyles and help people stay healthy.
We welcome the chance to have a city conversation on this important topic.
Notes for Editors
1. Cycling on the Cusp of Greatness: The recent report from the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, sponsored by The Times through their Cities Fit For Cycling, was prepared by Professor Phil Goodwin of UWE. In his forward he says: “I, like most professional transport planners, providers and researchers of my generation, have grown up thinking that cycling, though worthy, is of small significance compared with the great questions of cars, traffic and public transport, or the universal significance of walking. […]We were wrong. The evidence demonstrates quite clearly that […] cycling is the mode of transport ‘on the cusp of greatness’.”
2. Bristol Cycling Campaign was formed in 1991 and works to improve things for people who cycle in Bristol. We have members from all walks of life and all kinds of cyclists – from weekend enthusiasts to regular commuters. As well as lobbying local politicians and making the case for cycling, we run popular weekly rides exploring Bristol and around, and open to all.
3. In 2008 Greater Bristol was chosen as England’s first Cycling City and received £11m from the Department for Transport to transform cycling, which was then match-funded. This investment encouraged many more people to take up cycling. The new cycle routes will benefit Bristol for many decades.
4. At a time of increasing scrutiny over council spending there is rightly added pressure to achieve exceptional value for money. Within transport, far-sighted investment in walking and cycling are proven to provide low cost, high-value options: a 2010 report “Value for Money: An Economic Assessment of Investment in Walking and Cycling” by Dr Adrian Davis showed that in the UK the median economic benefits of investing in cycling and walking were 19:1. The foreword by the then Regional Director of Public Health Deputy, Dr Gabriel Scally, and Hilary Neal, Deputy Regional Director of the Govt office for the South West, described this as “astonishing…The typical cost ratios are many times greater than the threshold of 2:1 which is considered by the Department for Transport as ‘high’ value for money”.
5. Applying this analysis, Cycling City investment of £22m has brought £418m of benefits to Bristol. Cycling is an investment which pays big dividends for decades.
6. Summary of advice from NICE, The National Institute for Health Care Excellence: Walking and
cycling should become the norm for short journeys and should be encouraged throughout local
communities says NICE, in new guidance published on 28 November 2012. Local authorities, schools and workplaces should introduce ways to enable their communities to be more physically active and change their behaviours.