Cycling news from Bristol and beyond

Portway Sunday Park dates announced

The Portway will close on five dates this year due to events such as the triathlon and marathon. Rather than re-opening straight away once those events are over, approval has just been granted to keep the Portway closed to vehicles for the rest of the day (until 10pm/midnight) on those dates. The organising group are asking the people of Bristol to come forward with their ideas on how they would like to use the space as a public traffic free space on five Sundays in 2015. Art projects, recycling projects, litter picking, walks, talks,…

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New Great Western trains can carry up to 10 cycles

BCyC member Christopher Orlik has been digging away to find out how many cycles can be carried on the IEP trains on the electrified Great Western Main Line. The answer is that it depends on the length of the train. “The nine car trains can accommodate ten bicycles and the five car trains can accommodate four” say Hitachi Rail, adding that “spaces are pre-bookable.”    Hitachi Rail also say “As part of the interior design process for the Class 800/801 trains, a large number of stakeholder groups were invited to see the mock-up and feedback their…

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John Grimshaw speaks at February meeting

John Grimshaw gave an interesting talk on European cycleways at our February meeting at Roll for the Soul. After a quick scurry through some mighty impressive Spanish railway path with extraordinary bridges and tunnels, via some equally spectacular routes in the Italian alps, we spent the rest of the meeting ambling through Dutch towns and countryside. There was much that he shared that was familiar from our Dutch Study Tour. Interesting points include: Italian levels of cycling in the Po valley cities can be up around 30%. It’s just part of the culture there. In Spain the heaviest time…

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Women on Wheels film night and Bristol Cycle Festival

The 2015 Bristol Cycle Festival is coming later this year (hooray!) but the first event is on 8th March, ‘Women on Wheels – a night of films about women and cycling‘.  Those of us who qualify will be talking about this and other things on the Women Cyclists of Bristol Facebook group. There’s an informal meet up and chat on the afternoon of 21st March, find out through the group or Kate Cooke. Bristol Cycling Campaign is not a cyclists group, we’re here for the 67% of people who think our roads are…

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Neighbourhood Partnerships city-wide conference 7th Feb 2015

Neighbourhood Partnerships are an important part of how Bristol works (there are equivalent fora in South Glos). They shape local priorities including policing, traffic schemes, and developments. There is an acknowledged problem with the representation on these groups and it is particular acute when considering attitudes to change and specifically cycling. Attached are notes from a city-wide event on 7th February 2015 of NPs Citywide NP event 7th Feb 2015 Notes. The aim is to help shape how local democracy may work in Bristol following the Mayoral elections in 2016 and any possible devolution from central government.

The next Citywide NP Event will be held at the MSHED on the 24th October 2015.

BCyC is working to encourage more involvement by members and supporters in their local NP. We are also working on Local Active Travel Strategies (LATS) that can help to define the direction of travel (!) for decisions.

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Bristol Cycle Strategy published

Bristol Council has finally published the Bristol Cycle Strategy. This has been a long time coming and we warmly welcome it’s final publication. We’ve been involved in discussions about this with BCC for well over a year, and of course we that it was only when we published our Bristol Cycling Manifesto that things really began moving. We are pleased that our ‘Top Tube’ map of strategic routes has been included as well as many of the themes…

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Bristol area bids for West of England Cycle Transformation

The Bristol Cycle City Ambition Area has published its bid for the Core Cities Ambition Grant 2 (CCAG 2). Curiously it’s only listed at the bottom of the page under the previous 2013 grant. The just published Bristol Cycle Strategy in one of the supporting documents to show how the bid programme fits into a longer term ambition. The total CAF2 bid is for a £30m programme over a 3 year period. This makes it even bigger than the Cycling City project.  It is essential that the 3 local authorities (no North Somerset) gear up appropriately by creating delivery teams and being driven forwards by appointing a Cycling Commissioner or similar. A DfT decision on funding for the bids is expected by the end of March. We had some input to the bid and sought commitment to “Triple A” standards for design and to support all ages and abilities, as part of an over-arching Cycling Network and Delivery Plan and in line with our Bristol Cycling Manifesto. The total CAF2 programme is expected to cost £30m approx over a 3 year period. This makes it even bigger than the Cycling City project. It is essential that the 3 local authorities (no North Somerset) gear up appropriately by creating delivery teams and being driven forwards by appointing a Cycling Commissioner or similar. A DfT decision on funding for the bids is expected by the end of March. A summary of the CAF2 bid follows: 

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Twenty questions to light the way to improving cycling in Bristol

How can we tell how Bristol is doing in becoming a real cycling city? There are many sources of information including lovely census statistics, the Bristol Quality of Life surveys (see transport extract Quality of Life in Bristol 2012 – Transport) and the Big Commuter Counts. We’ve been working with Bristol Council and Sustrans on one way to answer this question through Bike Life reports for six UK cities based on the biannual Copenhagen Bicycle Account. We think there may be a role for a subjective but quick audit that will help with campaigning.

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What we learned on our Dutch Study Tour

In October 2014 a mixed group of activists, officers and just plain interested folk from Bristol spent 3 days on a study tour with David Hembrow. We were there to learn what makes cycling in the Netherlands such a natural part of life for everyone. Read a report from Chrissie Decker about her views of the tour, and then have a browse through this Flickr album to get a feel for what we saw over an intense 3 days. Here are some thoughts of lessons for Bristol Cycling Campaign. Learning Lessons from BCyC Dutch Study…

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Community Speedwatch in Bedminster

A group of Bristol Cycling Campaign members has been active in the BS3 area Community SpeedWatch group. Here’s a table showing overall findings so far. Obviously early days but this shows that the majority of drivers are complying at least on most routes (and these are the sites assessed by the police as being worth monitoring). Numerically the number of speeders is still high though. Very few are going over the 30 threshold (about 12 out of 500 vehicles monitored), and we doubt if this would have been the case prior to 20mph being introduced.

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