Avon & Somerset Police
Chief Inspector Andy Bennett, lead officer on cycling, spoke about having revised his leaflet handed out to cyclists when caught by officers breaking the Highway Code. His mantra is to educate before enforcement taking a wholistic approach. The leafet has recently been redrafted to make it more cycling friendly. Enforcement needs to be proportionate and a process of culture change is happening where officers are encouraged to use discretion when dealing with violations. The intention is to extend this approach to all road users: anything from buses, HGVs to cycles.
Cllr Gary Hopkins revealed that the tests for CycleEye (more here) have gone well and there are encouraging signs the trial will be widened out across Bristol.
Barra Mac Ruairi
Director of Place at Bristol City Council Barra Mac Ruairi laid out his approach to making Bristol a more liveable city. For him it’s about trying to get balance. He said “Cycling is very important to the city” (for the usual reasons around reducing congestion and pollution, promoting health and the economy) and that it is “not good to be scared” whilst moving around the city. His job is to look at the long term development of Bristol from funding through policy to delivery on ground. He has to balance the needs of businesses and citizens and their various transport needs. Health outcomes are taken into consideration part of what he does. Local interventions made for benefit of the whole network but things could be better joined up. When asked about why the Bearpit (St James Barton roundabout) development is taking so long to finish he reassured us that it is not in anyone’s interests to drag their heels on a project, for the council officers’ workload, for the politicians or for the contractors. It turns out there was an unforeseen problem with the parapet walls which were being partly removed for the stairways as these turned out to be integral to the structure of the supporting walls.
Bristol Grand Prix
A new cycle race to be held on Sat 20th June, the day before the Sky Ride (formerly Bristols Biggest Bike Ride). The idea is to bring a new audience to everyday cycling via the sport. (Though as we point out here, there is a potential downside to this). Prior to the race the Mayor will be leading a lap of honour for ‘Love my Bike’ and there will be events taking place on the upper reaches of Park Street. The organisers are looking volunteers to help out on the day: http://bristolgrandprix.com
The minutes of this meeting are to be found on the Forum website when available: http://www.bristol.gov.uk/page/cycle-forum