Ladies Mile will be free of cars for cyclists

Cyclists in Bristol who battle against the traffic on a daily basis can have an altogether different experience this Sunday when a long stretch of Ladies Mile, The Downs, will be traffic-free for a Cycling City Freewheel Ride.

Cyclists will have the freedom of the road from 11am-4pm. It is hoped that the relaxing ride will get people, particularly those less confident, onto their bikes and give cycling a try in a safe and supported environment.

The day will also include a free Wacky Cycles activity where all ages can have a go on fun bikes and trikes, and Life Cycle UK, a Bristol-based cycling charity will be offering free cycle training taster sessions.

Those wishing to discover new places to cycle can pick up free maps and other leaflets from the information stall at the event. It will also provide an opportunity to find out more about Cycling City and what the City Council is doing to promote and encourage cycling.

Owners of unusual bicycles or tricycles are also being encouraged to come along with their machines to show them off. In June councillor Jon Rogers, who is in charge of transport in the city, proposed that the A4 Portway be closed to motorists on summer Sundays following the success of Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride, which saw the road closed and around 7,000 cyclists take part.

Dr Rogers, executive member for transport and sustainability, said: "Ladies Mile was designed as a leisure route for walking and riding and I'd like to see leisure and relaxation reintroduced into the mix. No one wants to banish the car, but most people would agree that in some places, on some days, it's nice to get away from it.

"This is the first time that Ladies Mile has been closed to motor vehicles - giving priority to walkers and cyclists. If the day is a success, and I am confident it will be, then we should certainly consider holding similar events on the Downs or elsewhere in the city, in future.”