Making Bristol better for cycling

Responses to draft Cycling Strategy published

The response to the initial consultation on the draft Bristol Cycling Strategy have now been published

There is a revised version around but it’s not published yet. We remain concerned that the document is mainly a ‘sales brochure’ to help Bristol secure funding for cycling. Without the detail behind it of where investment in cycling will be made, and to what standard, it is a ‘Strategy’ only in name.  

Note that we are starting to make use of the term ‘Triple A’ Cycling Network, meaning All Ages and Abilities. We consider this a better, more inclusive term. It’s also easily understandable what ‘Triple A’ means: it’s very good.



We Asked
Public consultation on the draft Bristol Cycle Strategy closed on 11/08/14. 547 responses were received via the online consultation survey and 65 additional comments were received from individuals and groups containing detailed comments. 
You said
The results of the closed questions were generally positive and revealed the following: • 68% (376) of respondents felt that the strategy successfully outlines the benefits of cycling; • 85% (467) felt that the aims of the strategy were clear; • 70% (384) felt that we have chosen the right actions; • 62% (343) felt that the strategy would encourage people to cycle.
The open questions and detailed email responses raised some points that were themed to show most commonly reported aspects. In general, these were:
1. There is insufficient detail in the strategy and the flow of the document meant that it was not easy to follow in terms of how the targets, aims and actions fit together;
2. There should be a specific numeric target for cycle training;
3. The ‘8-80’ tagline for the network in not inclusive;
4. The issue of cycle and pedestrian conflict is not adequately addressed and there should be reference to clear segregation;
5. There is insufficient recognition of different types of cyclist (e.g. leisure cyclists);
6. There should be a team within the Council that ensures the Strategy is implemented;
7. The proposed network map is not clear on the detailed routes that might arise from it;
8. The Strategy should prioritise implementing infrastructure over promotions and initiatives;
9. Bike security was raised as an issue that needs to be addressed to encourage cycling.
We did
We have responded to these comments by:
1. We have improved the flow of the document; setting out targets first, then detailing the aims and objectives to meet them;
2. We have included a target for cycle training;
3. The ‘8-80’ tagline is a term recognised worldwide as a way of indicating that the cycle network is accessible to all. It indicates that the network is accessible and safe for a child of 8 years of age to cycle independently and similarly for people of 80 years of age. We recognise that people younger and older than this broad range cycle, and if we aim to get the network right for this broad range of ages then we would have achieved a network suitable for all;
4. We have recognised that cycle training will alleviate many concerns regarding considerate cycling (to avoid danger to pedestrians), understanding the network and improving cycling confidence, as well as clearly stating that protection from traffic will be implemented where possible, which will segregate people who cycle from traffic;
5. We have amended the original aims (now expanded to include ‘objectives’) to include acknowledgment of the barriers to cycling and seeking to overcome them, and to recognise and support leisure cycling as a way to inspire cycling for every day journeys;
6. We have reassured that a multi-disciplinary cycle co-ordination group will ensure the aims and objectives of the Strategy are incorporated into transport and planning projects and that delivery of other strategies is in conjunction with this;
7. We have amended the network map to improve clarity of routes;
8. The Strategy sets out the priorities for infrastructure implementation. One of the main reasons for producing the Strategy is to encourage more people to cycle. We felt that in order to do this, we must continue and increase our levels of engagement in terms of encouraging people to cycle through initiatives, as it is important to promote the existing network to those who are new to cycling and promote new parts of the network as and when they are developed;
9. We have responded to the bike security concern by clarifying our position that we will seek to provide secure cycle storage at the beginning and end of journeys through planning conditions on new developments and by working with land owners to help provide storage on existing sites. The final Bristol Cycle Strategy (subject to appropriate sign off) will be published on the Bristol City Council website.