Bristol Cycling Campaign yesterday launched a manifesto which calls on the local council to adopt five measures to boost bike riding in the city, including quadrupling levels of cycling there by 2025.
The Bristol Cycling Manifesto - also termed the Freedome to Ride Manifesto - was launched at an event in the city on Wednesday morning, with cyclists calling on Bristol City Council to take the following five steps:
1. Set a Target to quadruple cycling by 2025 to 20% of all travel and 30% of trips to work.
2. Fix a Plan to achieve the target and deliver a comprehensive cycling network by 2025
3. Commit Investment to deliver the plan at £16 per person each year
4. Implement the plan through a multi-skilled team for action across all areas
5. Engage an inspirational Cycling Commissioner to lead the transformation.
Those points are also contained, in summarised form, in a petition that can be found on the Bristol Cycling Manifesto website.
According to Bristol Cycling Campaign, “Bristol must be far more ambitious for cycling, the most cost effective solution for congestion, health, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.”
Martin Twedell, the organisation’s chair, said: “Cycling already benefits everyone in Bristol with thousands of people out on bikes every day, more than in any other large UK city.
“Tens of thousands more would like to join them, if they felt confident that it was safe and easy.”
Campaign co-ordinator Eric Booth added: “Our manifesto includes a strategy that will bring independence, health and mobility to everyone in Bristol through a comprehensive network of 200 miles of Cycling Freeways and Cycling Quietways.
“Cycling Neighbourhoods will emerge through local plans for 'safe routes to school', 'safe routes to work' and 'safe routes to shop'. It's also affordable and deliverable.”
Bristol Cycling Campaign’s says that its Freedom to Ride Manifesto is based on a report that it worked on alongside consultants Arup and Bristol City Council during the period from 2008 to 2011 when Bristol enjoyed Cycling City status.
The Cycling City and Towns initiative ended following the Coalition Government’s decision to scrap Cycling England, which had overseen and allocated funding to it.
In all, £22 million was invested in cycling in Bristol, although how wisely it was spent remains a controversial issue.
Bristol’s first elected mayor, architect George Ferguson, who entered office late last year, has said that he wants to promote a Dutch-style approach to cycling in the city.
Prior to taking office, he had presented a short film for BBC1 that contrasted Bristol’s efforts to become a Cycling City with the reality of the Dutch city, Groningen, demonstrating how much needed to be done.
Ferguson was also a founding member of Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity which is based in Bristol.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.