Mayor also supports Sunday traffic ban

Cyclists in Bristol have welcome the mayor's proposals for a congestion charge in the city centre.

Bristol's independent mayor, George Ferguson has already said that he would like to make the centre of town traffic free on Sundays, and has requested a feasibility study into the possibility of charging motorists to enter the area at peak times.

Bristol Cycling Campaign's chairman Martin Tweddell told the Bristol Evening Post: "Congestion in Bristol has been estimated to cost the local economy £500 million per annum. We all need an effective transport system so that we get from A to B around Bristol quickly, easily and inexpensively.

"Improving transport will benefit business and help local people and visitors. We need to have a city-wide conversation on this. Improving cycling is part of the solution – with or without a congestion charge."

Although the scheme might be beneficial for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as those living in congested areas, it's not at all popular with local businesses.

Guy Kingston, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "When George Ferguson was elected there was a tremendous amount of goodwill from the business community. But what he is suggesting would be extremely damaging for Bristol's economy at a crucial time and will undermine a lot of that goodwill."

London's congestion charge, which now costs £10 a day, was introduced in 2003. It quickly saw a 30 per cent decrease in motor traffic and overall increases in the numbers of taxis, buses, and especially bicycles.

TfL also estimate that the scheme saves around 40-70 injuries due to traffic each year.


After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.