Bristol Cycling Campaign has produced a concise strategy for cycling in Bristol. This sets out how we will achieve Space for Cycling.

The strategy is affordable, maintaining current spending levels of £16 per head of population per year, and can be delivered in just 12 years for a total of £109m.

We have mapped out the network of strategic routes shown here that connect every neighbourhood. These can also be seen in an innovative ‘Top Tube’ map to make it really clear.

Our vision is for every street to be a cycling street, linked by 200 miles of Cycling Freeways and Quietways. There are three elements to the network:

  • Cycling Freeways – Direct and continuous routes on main transport corridors that favour cycling and are often segregated.
  • Cycling Quietways – Pleasant often car-free well signed routes
  • Cycling Neighbourhoods – 20mph and traffic cells in all residential and retail areas (not shown as they are city-wide)

As well as this city-wide map we are now working on neighbourhood plans that show all the other links needed to join up our schools, workplaces, retail and leisure destinations to where we live. 

It’s interesting to look at our proposed map and then the cycle flow ‘heat map’ produced by Bristol Council in 2015. Of course, you need to remember the axiom that if you want to know where to build a bridge you don’t look at the number of people swimming. Just because people are not currently using that route doesn’t mean that it’s not important and worthwhile.

Freedom to Ride – Bristol Cycling Manifesto. [see the leaflet here]

Cycling is good for Bristol.

Cycling brings considerable benefits to everyone in the city, whether they cycle or not, but its true potential is far greater. We are ambitious for a future where Bristol and the surrounding areas are alive with people on bicycles, because cycling is so easy that everyone does it. Our communities will be happier, healthier, greener and more civilised.

This strategy sets out why we need the Freedom to Ride through Five Principles; the Five Elements of what needs to be be done; and how Five Actions can make it all happen.

Why do we need the Freedom to Ride?

Half a century of car-centric planning and investment have made many parts of Bristol polluted and congested. Children have little independence and people struggle to keep themselves healthy. We can change this by following the Five Principles on which this strategy is based.

1 Fairness. The choice to cycle should be available to all, regardless of age, gender, nancial circumstances, tness, or need for non-standard bikes (e.g. trailers, tricycles, cargo). Many people and groups are currently denied this choice.

2 Quality. Bristol should be the benchmark city for outstanding and innovative cycling provision, with ambitious targets and committed resources. Pound for pound this will o er Bristol better value than any other public investment.

3 Sustainability. Bristol must become less dependent on imported energy, and is committed to a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020. Achieving the cycling targets could contribute up to 25% of the necessary transport reductions.

4 Wellbeing. Cycling and sustainable transport bring prosperity to Bristol. Subsidies for car-use should be reversed so the city bene ts from more people cycling. Reductions in congestion will bene t everyone, particularly those who really need to use motor vehicles. Everyone will experience improved health and wellbeing through more active lifestyles and better air quality. Bristol will attract new business as a fine place to live.

5 Safety. People on bikes should feel able to travel from where they are to where they need to go, comfortably, conveniently, directly, in attractive surroundings and in safety. Good infrastructure will encourage safe and considerate behaviour. Consistent enforcement must protect the vulnerable.

What needs to be done?

The strategy is supported by five elements, or ‘spokes’, each of which is essential, mutually supporting and requires complete integration with all other areas of city policy and implementation.

Encouragement. Cycling City was effective at improving access to bikes, and giving people the information and confidence to cycle. As well as a sustained and well branded city-wide programme, every infrastructure project must include related encouragement measures. Every primary school pupil should receive Bikeability to Level 2, with Level 3 available to every secondary pupil. Adult cycle training should be easily available and a ordable. Encouragement programmes of events, marketing and promotion will work in particular with employers, community groups, schools and universities.

Integration. Excessive and inappropriate motor vehicle use must be made less convenient, and fairly priced, e.g. through congestion charging and parking management schemes. Integration with public transport must be made as easy as possible. Development control policies must provide for high levels of cycling, and must be rigorously applied. A danger reduction strategy to make our roads free from fear and harm must be followed. Transport planning models must ensure cycling is properly valued. Enforcement measures must protect the vulnerable. Integrated signing, mapping and online tools must make the city easy to navigate by bike. All measures should also support walking.

Cycling Neighbourhoods. Every neighbourhood should have a walking and cycling plan linking residential areas and local hubs such as schools, parks, retail and leisure centres. The 20mph areas should be made more effective through use of ‘traffic cells’ to restrict through traffic while improving access for walking and cycling. Plans should set out to make every street a cycling street and must include cycle parking at destinations, workplaces and in residential areas with restricted indoor space.

Cycling Freeways. The most direct route with the best gradient for cycling in Bristol is usually along a main road and they already carry the largest number of cyclists. They must be comprehensively adapted to become high quality, continuous routes for cycling. A Dutch-style matrix of infrastructure responses for each road type and condition should be used to determine suitable provision, with segregation on busy roads and junction treatments that favour cyclists. Priority must be given to preventing obstruction of the ow of cyclists. All measures must provide for future high levels of cycling.

Cycling Quietways. Pleasant traffic-free routes that extend through the city and surroundings with clear signing. Significant progress was made in this area during Cycling City with routes such as Concorde Way, Frome Greenway and Festival Way joining the Bristol Bath Railway Path, Malago Greenway and Whitchurch Way. The network must be improved, integrated and extended.

The Bristol Cycling Network

A comprehensive network of high quality, continuous and direct routes is essential to make cycling for everyone feel easy, safe and convenient. The Bristol Cycling Manifesto maps out 200 miles of Cycling Freeways and Quietways connecting every area, enhanced by local links.

Freeways: direct and continuous routes on main roads with extensive segregation

  1. F1  The Portway
  2. F2  Whiteladies/Westbury Road A4018
  3. F3  Gloucester Road A38
  4. F4  Fishponds/Stapleton Road A432
  5. F5  Two Mile Hill A420
  6. F6  Bath Road A4
  7. F7  Wells Road A37
  8. F8  Bishopworth/Hartcli e A38
  9. F9  Coronation Road A370
  10. F10  Inner Loop Orbital
  11. F11  Inner Middle Orbital
  12. F12  Outer Middle Orbital
  13. F13  Northern Loop Orbital
  14. F14  Outer Ring Orbital

Quietways: pleasant and well signed traffic-free or low-traffic routes

  1. Q1  Westbury Quietway
  2. Q2  Concorde Quietway
  3. Q3  Frome Quietway
  4. Q4  Bristol Bath Railway Path
  5. Q5  Wesley Quietway
  6. Q6  Whitchurch Quietway
  7. Q7  Malago Quietway
  8. Q8  Festival Quietway
  9. Q9  Pill Quietway
  10. Q10  Promenade Quietway
  11. Q11  North Fringe Quietway
  12. Q12  Yate Quietway
  13. Q13  Knowle Quietway
  14. Q14  St Anne’s Quietway
  15. Q15  Purdown Quietway
  16. Q16  Trym Quietway

Bristol Cycling Manifesto.

  • Cycling in Bristol is quick, cheap and pollution-free – why don’t more people do it?
  • Shifting from cars to bikes cuts congestion and improves people’s health – why is investment so low?
  • More trips are by bike in Bristol than in any other major UK city and thousands of people are out on their bikes every day. There are tens of thousands more who would join us, but they need to be confident that it’s safe and easy – where is the comprehensive Cycling Network for Bristol covering every road and street?

The Bristol Cycling Manifesto is affordable and can be delivered in just 12 years. It will offer independence, health and mobility for all of us. Every street can be a cycling street, linked by 200 miles of Cycling Freeways and Quietways. Please sign the petition to ask our Mayor and councils to take five actions to make it happen:

1 Set a target to quadruple cycling to 20% of all trips by 2025, and 30% of those to work

2 Fix a plan to deliver a comprehensive cycling network by 2025

3 Commit investment to deliver the plan (£16 per head each year minimum)

4 Implement the plan through a multi-skilled team for action across all areas

5 Engage an inspirational Cycling Commissioner to lead the transformation.

Please support the manifesto & sign our petition:

  • if you and your family want the Freedom to Ride bikes to school and work
  • if you want Bristol to be alive with people on bicycles and walking
  • if you think cycling in Bristol should be so easy that everyone does it
  • to join with thousands of others asking for change
  • to ask for action from the Mayor and local politicians

Together we can give everyone the Freedom to Ride!