Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan Consultation

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) – remember them, Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles? – have shown scant interest in active travel. But they have now put out a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) for a consultation which closed on 15 March 2020. This is important as the LCWIP is the only game in town for cycling improvements in Bristol and the surrounding area. It’s a mixed bag – quite a few protected cycleways proposed, but many shared paths etc. Also lots of “explore” this and “consider” that; very tentative. We expected this plan to set…

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WECA Joint Local Transport Plan Consultation

So we know our new West of England Combined Authority (WECA), and our new metro Mayor, Conservative Tim Bowles, will soon be celebrating being two years old. What are they for? Well they currently have a Consultation on a plan for transport (called the JLTP) throughout the region up to 2036. Wow an opportunity to make our streets safe and healthy for people and kids. Reduce motor dependency, clean up air quality and create green space; well may be not. The author of the JLTP probably spent their childhood playing Grand Theft Auto in a dark place, not messing…

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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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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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Metro Mayor Tim Bowles is failing us

Our friends at Cycle Bath have been taking the lead locally in attempting to engage the WECA Mayor Tim Bowles. Now frustration levels have reached boiling point as we watch helplessly as other metro mayors power ahead. The words ‘chocolate teapot’ are coming to be associated with Mayor Bowles. Metro Mayor Tim Bowles is failing us For anyone that caught the news on Friday, Chris Boardman raised alarm at the lack of progress on cycling recently in the West of England. You can catch a more detailed program and discussion on it on the Sunday Politics West if…

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Where is WECA’s vision for cycling?

Since the elections for the ‘Metro Mayor’ in 2017 and the setting up of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), Bristol Cycling has been working with our friends at Cycle Bath on a Cycling Manifesto for the region. We’ve been asking for the same level of commitment from Mayor Tim Bowles, and his Transport supremo, James White, as is being seen in other cities, notably London and now Manchester where Chris Boardman is the cycling champion. Sadly there is little sign of any real vision or ambition. WECA transport policy seems to be simply about junction 18A of the M4,…

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Survey ignores e-bikes for West of England – have your say

It’s no surprise to find that by far the most popular and fastest growing electric vehicle in the West of England, and globally, is ignored in a just launched survey. E-Bikes are already everywhere, whizzing up hills and making longer trips more possible. There’s a huge flowering of creativity about carrying cargo and kids. The delight and confidence boost they give to older and less confident cycle users is bringing tremendous health and wellbeing, as well as opening up mobility to nearly everyone. Yet there is effectively NO official support for this, with all efforts remaining focussed on the…

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Knowing where to spend money

There is much insight to be gained from data, given the right perspective. One of the most alarming figures is that 129,000 people drive to work in the city of Bristol. Of those, 57,603 (44.6%) live within a 20 minute, 5km, bicycle ride to work. It’s worth pausing to let that sink in. Nearly half of Bristol commuter drivers live within a 20 minute bicycle ride to work. Adam Reynolds of CycleBath has emerged from sitting in a dark room with a wet towel round his head with a very practical illustration of Bristol traffic flows that won a recent Hackathon.

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The Reclaiming of Queen Square – lessons for ‘metro’ Mayor Tim Bowles

This fascinating video tells the story of how traffic was removed from Queen Square and Champion Square in Bristol. It was made for UWE’s online course Our Green City. It includes an interview with Dave Johnson, Avon County Councillor involved in making the changes to Queen Square in 1992. As we anticipate how Tim Bowles, the new West of England Combined Authority (WECA) Mayor, is planning to use the new powers and funding to address Bristol’s chronic transport and congestion problems, it’s worth noting what made this dramatic improvement to the centre of Bristol possible. In particular the importance of…

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Vote Bike! What the Metro Mayor candidates say

Update:  Tim Bowles (Conservative) is our new West of England Regional Mayor (results). We look forward to working with him to enable everyday cycling, for everyone, everywhere in our region. What will the West of England Metro Mayor do for cycling? Given the level of excitement it’s possible turnout will be low – meaning that those who DO vote can really make a difference. The bookies are putting the Tories and Lib Dems as equal favourites. If you’re undecided, you might want to know what the candidates say about cycling, and then Vote Bike! Working with Cycling UK, we sent…

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