Campaigns

Making Bristol better for cycling

Why it matters that Bristol is preparing a ‘Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan’

After intensive lobbying by cycling and walking groups the Government set up a legally binding Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) in 2017.  The aim is “to deliver better safety, better mobility, and better streets”. All local authorities are supposed to produce a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), setting out their long-term approach to developing local cycling and walking networks, ideally over a 10 year period. In particular this means:

a network plan for walking and cycling which identifies preferred routes and core zones for further development
a prioritised programme of infrastructure improvements for future investment
a report which sets out the underlying analysis carried out and provides a narrative which supports the identified improvements and network

Here in Bristol we’re a long way ahead of many areas, and BCyC has blazed a trail with our Bristol Cycling Manifesto with its highly influential ‘tube map’. It will be no surprise that we’ve got a long list of priorities based on our detailed network plan, so we’ve had to work hard to distill these down to some specific routes that we want Bristol and South Gloucestershire to include in their first LCWIP (yes, Gloucester Rd is #1). [Cycle Bath have been doing the same with BaNES, see here, and we don’t think North Somerset are ready yet].

Here’s the BCyC submission, also copied below, LCWIP BCyC final13.8.18. Our Space for Cycling Forum of BCyC members will be closely involved in working with council officers as plans develop. We’ll see how far we get a meaningful plan with prioritised actions. Note that the LCWIP will form an action plan appendix to the Bristol Transport Strategy that is out for public consultation on 24th September 2018, watch this space for updates.

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The world, and Greater Bristol, needs more cycling champions

For all those campaigning for Space for Cycling, Brian Deegan is a hero, being the transport planning engineer who has delivered top quality infrastructure in London. But he says that without a ‘big gun’ cycling champion even skilled and committed council officers can’t transform our streets to make them more suitable to cyclists (and everyone), they can only deliver tinkering half-measures (The world needs more cycling champions). Is a cycling champion of the standard of Andrew Gillingham or Chris Boardman possible in Greater Bristol? Deegan says ‘if you can’t find one then you must make one… You will never get out…

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Metro Mayor Tim Bowles is failing us

Our friends at Cycle Bath have been taking the lead locally in attempting to engage the WECA Mayor Tim Bowles. Now frustration levels have reached boiling point as we watch helplessly as other metro mayors power ahead. The words ‘chocolate teapot’ are coming to be associated with Mayor Bowles. Metro Mayor Tim Bowles is failing us For anyone that caught the news on Friday, Chris Boardman raised alarm at the lack of progress on cycling recently in the West of England. You can catch a more detailed program and discussion on it on the Sunday Politics West if…

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Where is WECA’s vision for cycling?

Since the elections for the ‘Metro Mayor’ in 2017 and the setting up of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), Bristol Cycling has been working with our friends at Cycle Bath on a Cycling Manifesto for the region. We’ve been asking for the same level of commitment from Mayor Tim Bowles, and his Transport supremo, James White, as is being seen in other cities, notably London and now Manchester where Chris Boardman is the cycling champion. Sadly there is little sign of any real vision or ambition. WECA transport policy seems to be simply about junction 18A of the M4,…

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Knowing where to spend money

There is much insight to be gained from data, given the right perspective. One of the most alarming figures is that 129,000 people drive to work in the city of Bristol. Of those, 57,603 (44.6%) live within a 20 minute, 5km, bicycle ride to work. It’s worth pausing to let that sink in. Nearly half of Bristol commuter drivers live within a 20 minute bicycle ride to work. Adam Reynolds of CycleBath has emerged from sitting in a dark room with a wet towel round his head with a very practical illustration of Bristol traffic flows that won a recent Hackathon.

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The Mayor wants a metro…

…to solve Bristol’s congestion problems. (More here) We wish him all the best in this. But: For a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time it would take to build we could have a fully protected network of cycle routes. Whatever the final outcome of the studies, Bristol needs to reduce motor traffic and increase active travel to make it a healthier and more ‘liveable’ city. And that means being radical. That means taking steps to physically prevent through traffic in our city and district centres as well as in our residential streets. And that…

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The Reclaiming of Queen Square – lessons for ‘metro’ Mayor Tim Bowles

This fascinating video tells the story of how traffic was removed from Queen Square and Champion Square in Bristol. It was made for UWE’s online course Our Green City. It includes an interview with Dave Johnson, Avon County Councillor involved in making the changes to Queen Square in 1992. As we anticipate how Tim Bowles, the new West of England Combined Authority (WECA) Mayor, is planning to use the new powers and funding to address Bristol’s chronic transport and congestion problems, it’s worth noting what made this dramatic improvement to the centre of Bristol possible. In particular the importance of…

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Vote Bike! What the Metro Mayor candidates say

Update:  Tim Bowles (Conservative) is our new West of England Regional Mayor (results). We look forward to working with him to enable everyday cycling, for everyone, everywhere in our region. What will the West of England Metro Mayor do for cycling? Given the level of excitement it’s possible turnout will be low – meaning that those who DO vote can really make a difference. The bookies are putting the Tories and Lib Dems as equal favourites. If you’re undecided, you might want to know what the candidates say about cycling, and then Vote Bike! Working with Cycling UK, we sent…

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Partial Win for Our Prince Street Bridge Campaign? [Updated with photos]

Update:   The covers are off and we can now see what the renovated bridge will be like when it opens in the next few weeks. Note that the southbound lane has the same narrow pavement as before. Northbound now has a cycleway and a footway, with a very slight height difference. It’s not clear if there will be further visual cues to separate the two. Judging by the following response to our Prince Street Bridge petition from the Mayor’s office, it seems our concerns have been listened to and a compromise has been reached for now. Read on and…

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Cycling Manifesto for the Metro Mayor

On 4th May 2017 we will be electing the first ‘Metro Mayor’ of the West of England Combined Authority. They will have powers to really get serious about making cycling an option for everyone, to clean up the region’s air, to reduce journey time, and to get people active. Bristol Cycling, working with Cycle Bath and Cycling UK, have sent our West of England Cycling Manifesto to the main candidates which sets out the case for cycling, and asks three key questions. We’ll post their answers when we receive them. The new West of England Mayor will manage new powers, funding and…

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