Bristol looks likely to get a Dutch-style cycle network after the city council adopted an ambitious plan put forward by Bristol Cycling Campaign to build a grid of commuter routes across the city.
According to the Bristol Post, Bristol City Council will put the proposal out to public consultation early next year. The plans could be signed off by Mayor George Ferguson by next Spring.
Bristol Cycling Campaign described the news as “a bit of a first” and welcomed the chance to influence the building of bike routes instead of the council “producing something on their own which needs to be changed later”.
Mark Bradshaw, Bristol’s assistant mayor for transport, planning, strategic housing and regeneration, said: "We are producing a new cycling strategy and have been working with Bristol Cycling Campaign on plans for the strategic cycle network for the city.
"We are aiming to consult on proposals this year for a launch in early 2014 which will include many of the issues highlighted in the campaign group's manifesto.
"There are more than £10 million of new cycling measures in the council's cycling programme, including the new cycling ambition fund to improve cross-city and river links. We will continue to work with the campaign group and other stakeholders in delivering a comprehensive network for Bristol."
In its Bristol Cycling Manifesto, Bristol Cycling Campaign called for an investment of £109 million over 12 years to quadruple the level of bike use in the city. The manifesto’s aims include 30 percent of commuter journeys in Bristol being made by bike.
Martin McDonnell, from Bristol Cycling Campaign, said that the council's support is a big success for the group.
He said: "It is a significant step and a bit of a first.
"We are really pleased to be working with the council over this instead of them producing something on their own which needs to be changed later.
"It looks likely to go ahead but the issue is funding. Whether it will come from local budgets or national budgets there needs to be long-term, secured financing."
Cycling projects in Bristol are currently funded by an allocation from the Cycle City Ambition project which put £7.8m the region’s way with a £3.3m local contribution.
That money will be used for a new pedestrian and cycle promenade across the city following the route of the River Avon; five new or improved river crossings for cyclists; the Cribbs Causeway to Emerson’s Green trunk cycle route in the North Fringe of Bristol; and the Seven Dials National Cycle Scheme in Bath City Centre.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.