Campaigns

Making Bristol better for cycling

The Downs. No Cycling? Or a car-free leisure route?

Why we need space for cycling on the Downs. The annual Cycle Sunday event is a brilliant way to demonstrate the huge demand for car-free cycling around the Downs to the Downs Committee, who manage this beautiful area. (To those unfamiliar with Bristol, the Clifton and Durdham Downs lie to the north of the city centre and overlook the ecologically significant Avon Gorge). We can expect between one and three thousand people to attend these family-friendly events (depending on the weather). People of all ages and abilities come to enjoy a stress-free cycle without the worry and ‘woosh’ factor of…

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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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Not long till Cycle Sunday!

Bristol’s family-friendly Cycle Sunday event, which we are supporting, is back on Sunday 16 September, 10am to 2pm. Now in its fourth year, Cycle Sunday attracts up to three thousand participants. Its success has demonstrated the huge amount of interest in the Downs as location for bike riding especially for children, who need plenty of space and a lack of hills to develop cycling skills and stamina. This year the route has been extended to include Ladies Mile, which along with Circular Road will be closed to cars so that people…

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Metrobus opens up a new cycle route

With the opening of the M2 Metrobus route (Ashton Vale to Temple Meads) on 3 September, you can now cycle on the new car-free cycle track from Ashton Avenue Bridge to the Long Ashton Park & Ride, linking into the Festival Way.  We sent out our infrastructure terrier to check it out. On the whole we think it is decent, and provides a (mostly) well surfaced near continuous route from the Park and Ride to Avon Crescent without any interaction with traffic apart from the level crossing off Winterstoke Road.  However here are a few minor issues: The…

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It’s NICE to be right – Physical activity and the environment guidance

New guidance on Physical activity and the environment (PH90) was released in March by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). This is the body which provides evidence based national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. It is not perfect about cycling when read in its entirety but the recommendations work well alongside NICE’s guideline on physical activity: walking and cycling. It has some great soundbites and does cover (amongst other things): enabling as well as encouraging ensuring activity is accessible for those with limited mobility safe activity for children travelling to school space reallocation…

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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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Road Rage on Nelson Street

If you’ve had problems riding this road please let us know If you’re cycling along Nelson Street perhaps you should wear a flak jacket or, at least, a GoPro camera. In the last couple of months two of our members have reported road rage incidents involving buses and bikes. A bit of an uneven battle you might think 15 tons against 15 kilos. Double decker buses pick on someone your own size! But this is serious; someone might get hurt. Observations by our members suggest that these incidents are the tip of the iceberg, with many other cyclists suffering similar…

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Bristol’s City Centre Framework – we’ve responded

Earlier in the year Bristolians were invited to help shape the future of the city centre by responding to a consultation on the City Centre Framework (CCF) document https://bristol.citizenspace.com/growth-regeneration/city-centre-framework

The deadline for responses passed on 14 May. We hope you agree with our response:

We welcome the CCF document and agree that our City Centre should provide a high quality walking and cycling environment for all ages, abilities and genders.
People are already choosing to walk and cycle into the City Centre for everyday journeys in high numbers, often despite a poorly connected network of routes and facilities, and an environment which is dominated by motor traffic.

If we want to build a successful Bristol for the 21st Century we need to move away from machine dominance and to an environment built around people. The CCF, in our view, is overly influenced by urban planning and travel ideas from the mid 20th Century (eg motor cars, multi storey car parks and slow, stopping diesel buses on narrow streets).

Cities which prosper in the coming years, will in our view, be those which people find pleasant and enjoyable to visit and work in; in part because they have an attractive appearance and environment. Access by motor car will, in the next 50 years, not be anything like as important as it has been in the last 50.

The CCF movement framework should be based on the following key principles:

the objective must be movement of people, not movement of vehicles.
motor traffic volumes in city centres need to be reduced to improve air quality and encourage more walking and cycling, and this requires some physical restraint, with permeability for cyclists.
road space should not only be re-allocated from motoring to cycling, but also cyclists should be segregated from motor vehicles (including buses) on all busy roads.
people on bicycles should be segregated from people on foot where volumes of walkers and cyclists are high.  This avoids conflict and allows quicker cycling.
car-dependent travellers going to the city centre should be encouraged to transfer to a more sustainable mode (public transport, cycle hire, secure cycle storage, walking) as early as reasonably possible in their trips. 

Further detail can can be found on our full consultation response here: BCyC.Consultations.City.Centre..ND.4.5.18

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Transport in Bristol in 2018: feels more like 1968

In late April Bristol Civic Society organised an event at the Watershed entitled Transport in Bristol in 2018 at which the speakers were James White, Interim Head of Transport at West of England Combined Authority Peter Mann, Director of Transport at Bristol City Council Several cycle campaigners attended including members of our Space for Cycling group. James White spoke mainly about the MetroWest rail project, while Peter Mann covered most of the other current transport issues in Bristol. Their presentations were followed by questions from the audience. There…

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Bathurst Basin works welcomed, but could do better

It’s always a delight to see new cycling infrastructure being installed across the city, but are our transport authorities getting it right? A recent development has been the new bridge at Bathurst Basin and the path linking it to Bedminster Bridges along Commercial Road installed for the upcoming MetroBus. So we thought we’d review the current result and share this with you. Click here for a map to show the layout of the streets in this area. Although the work itself has been performed to a high standard, it simply does not connect very well to anything…

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