What do Metro Mayor candidates say about cycling?

There are elections on May 6th for the regional West of England Mayor, the Bristol Mayor, and many local councillors. We’ve met most of the mayoral candidates to discuss our Cycling Manifesto for West of England, and Cycling Manifesto for Bristol. Here are the responses to our challenges from the main candidates for WECA Mayor (and here for Bristol Mayor). We use their own words where provided, or our understanding from meeting them. These are our challenges: Create an annual £10m Active Travel Challenge Fund, committing £90m until 2030. Use the highest standards for cycling infrastructure in…

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Election 2021 – which candidates will back cycling?

It’s going to be a massive May for cycling in our region! On May 6th, Bristol will vote for a new Mayor, regional WECA mayor as well as local councillors. Who will truly back cycling? Who will set out a vision for cycling as a key mode of transport? Find out what Bristol’s mayoral candidates think about Active Travel at our joint hustings on 21st April, co-hosted by Bristol Walking Alliance, Bristol Cycle Campaign, Liveable Bristol and Bristol Parents for School Streets. We’ll have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of our Bristol Mayoral candidates – what will they…

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Is cycling a mode of transport? Our thoughts on WECA’s Transport Delivery Plan

At Bristol Cycling Campaign, we were interested to review the West of England Combined Authority’s (WECA) Transport Delivery Plan (published Feb’21 – see link). The document claims to set out “the currently funded transport projects (2021 – 2026) that are progressing to delivery over the next 5 years in the West of England region.” We were excited to see that it would offer “clarity to the public, stakeholders and investors about projects they can expect to see delivered over the period.” And further, that it acknowledged that the “transport sector at 32%, is the largest single source of carbon…

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More funding for cycling measures in Bristol

Today, the government made its long-awaited funding announcement for tranche 2 of the Emergency Active Travel Fund. The first tranche was a relatively small amount of money for Bristol, thanks to the formula used by the government, which prioritised areas with high public transport usage. Nevertheless, this first round of funding delivered the “pop up” cycle lanes on Park Row, Lewins Mead, Mina Road, Counterslip & Clifton Triangle, as well as extra pavement space for pedestrians to enable social distancing. In tranche 2, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has been given its full allocation…

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Gear Change and LTN 1/20 – the start of a cycling revolution, or another false dawn?

Months, years and sometimes decades go by with only warm words and crumbs from Government on cycling. We’ve had false dawns before but on July 28 the government published two potentially revolutionary documents for cycling: Gear change: a bold vision for cycling and walking, and the less snappily titled LTN 1/20 Cycle infrastructure design. Showing commitment based on what has worked in London, in the foreword to Gear Change Boris Johnson says about cycling: It doesn’t just make you happier. It doesn’t just make you healthier. It helps millions of others too, whether or not they have any…

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WECA: more funding please!

Bristol Cycling Campaign calls on the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to provide additional funding for walking and cycling. We understand that central government have allocated the first tranche of the £250m funding for walking and cycling in the COVID19 recovery, first announced on 9th May 2020. Of the £45m in this first wave, just £741,000 has been made available to the WECA region, as the allocation was based on levels of public transport usage in each region. To ensure effective measures can be implemented in Bristol and the surrounding areas, we are calling on WECA to reallocate some…

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Active travel in the age of Covid: £2bn investment announced

Two unusual words led the Government’s Covid 19 briefing on May 9; walking and cycling.  Why? It wasn’t just because the briefing was given by the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps (though he does like what he calls travelling “under your own steam”) it was because active travel, walking and cycling is at the heart of the Government’s recovery agenda; they say we need to walk and cycle our way out of lockdown. It’s all about social distancing. When this is implemented on public transport as lockdown eases it will reduce capacity by up to 85%. It’s the…

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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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