People who want to enable everyone in Bristol, aged 8-80, to have the Freedom to Ride are calling on their ward Councillors to create ‘Space for Cycling’ as part of a national campaign to create the conditions where anyone can cycle for any local journey.

Bristol Cycling Campaign (BCyC) is taking part in a national campaign which enables people to contact their local councillors, urging them to support the provision of space for cycling and to find the funding needed to make this happen. The campaign is co-ordinated by CTC, the national cycling charity, and Cyclenation, the federation of cycling campaigns.

They can do this via an online campaign tool at www.space4cycling.org.uk. They can also upload examples of good cycle provision and locations where Space for Cycling improvements are needed, with photos and descriptions.

CTC President Jon Snow, the Channel 4 News presenter has backed the campaign in an online video. He said:

 

“Space for Cycling means creating safe conditions on major roads and junctions, lowering speed limits and reducing through motor traffic on residential streets. Some councils are now showing real enthusiasm for action to make cycling a safe and normal activity which everyone can benefit from.  We now need a really strong show of public support for the long-term planning and funding that this will require.”

Getting more people on bikes will mean better health, reduced congestion and lower emissions. With a public health crisis linked to physical inactivity rapidly rising up the political agenda, the Greater Manchester councils have the opportunity to use cycling as a way of improving health.

Eric Booth of BCyC said, “Whilst the benefits of cycling might be well known, too often people are put off by poorly designed roads or inadequate provision at junctions. Local councils have the power to improve our streets so that anyone can feel comfortable getting on their bike for more of their everyday trips. This will help create safer, pleasanter and healthier streets and communities for everyone, whether or not they chose to cycle.”

There are six main elements to create Space for Cycling, BCyC is calling for:

– protected space on main roads

– lower speed limits: 20 mph on urban roads, 40 mph on rural

– removing through motor traffic on local streets

– cycle routes through green spaces

– safe routes to schools

– cycle friendly town centres

BCyC is also planning a mass bike ride through the city centre on Saturday 17th May. Please sign up for this on Facebook now! This will let us know you are joining us. Then please don’t forget to invite all your friends (including those on Facebook)!

Although 39% of people say that they could just as easily make a 2 mile car trip by bike as they do by car, only 2% of trips are actually made by bike and just one in ten people in cycle once a week or more.

67% of people say that they aren’t confident cycling on busy roads, with heavy, fast moving traffic and a lack of safe space for cycling the being the biggest barrier for most of us.