Working alongside Dutch organisation BYCS, we are pleased to be launching our Bristol Bicycle Mayor project.
BYCS initiated the Bicycle Mayor Network in 2016 as a global initiative to accelerate the progress of cycle transporting in cities by highlighting and supporting the role of civil society in enacting lasting, community- driven change. Bicycle Mayors are the human face and voice of cycling advocacy in a city. These volunteers are using their role to show how the bicycle can address pollution and health crises, tackle road deaths, strengthen communities, break down social barriers and enable greater access to essential services and economic opportunity. Presently, there are more than 100 Bicycle Mayors in over 95 cities and 30 countries.
We believe that a Bicycle Mayor in Bristol would be a brilliant addition to the work already being carried out already and would add a valuable perspective to cycling advocacy in the city.
In order for this role to be a success we believe it is essential that the Bicycle Mayor is from a less-represented group within the city and is able to use the platform to demonstrate how crucial cycling is to improve the health and social inequalities their community faces.
We envisage that key activities to be carried out by a Bicycle Mayor might include:
– Working with community groups to identify barriers to cycling
– Working with stakeholders in the city to develop plans to remove these barriers
– Working with local schools and parents’ networks to help them increase cycling rates amongst young people
– Helping communities to engage in consultation and to co-design processes around Liveable Neighbourhoods
The Bicycle Mayor will be supported by BYCS who will offer guidance and support as well as opportunities to meet with and learn from other Bicycle Mayors across the country.
Bristol Cycling Campaign will also support the role through an expenses fund and through access to our paid zoom account, slack channel and through introductions to key stakeholders where needed.
“We believe that a bicycle mayor for the city will help raise the profile of cycling as a genuine mode of the transport, especially in underrepresented groups and areas,” says Bristol Cycling’s Tom Swithinbank.
“We often hear that cycling advocacy is dominated by the ‘usual suspects’, we want to change that so that other voices are heard and can demonstrate the benefits cycling could have to their communities.
“Whilst this is a voluntary role and is not intended to replace the clear need for a WECA-funded cycling and walking commissioner (as they have in London, Manchester and Sheffield), we hope that the title and support from the global network of other bicycle mayors through BYCS will help to support an individual in this role.”
If you have any questions about the role please contact connect@BYCS.org