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Bristol swaps car parking spaces for bike racks

But is the local paper siding with the motorist in its report?

Bristol City Council has decided to replace 12 pay and display car parking spaces with cycling stands with room for up to 72 bikes.

According to the Bristol Evening Post, six locations across the city will each lose two car parking slots to make way for six bike stands, each able to accommodate two bikes.

Bristol City Council Cabinet member for care and health Councillor Jon Rogers told the Post, "Thanks to Cycling City, there are thousands less cars on the streets of Bristol at rush hour. It’s very good news for everybody travelling into the city. Five thousand less cars means considerably less congestion whichever way you travel.

"And we are obviously confident that there is plenty of capacity to lose the modest number of car spaces to ease residents' cycle parking headaches."

But the Post article’s opening sentence suggests the paper is taking sides: ‘If drivers think it's hard to find a parking space in the city centre at the moment, it's about to get worse.’

The article also highlights the fact that, while cars would be charged to use the spots, cyclists will be able to use them for free.

Councillor Rogers told, “My impression is that the Evening Post has a difficult job balancing the diverse opinions of residents in and around the city.

“The Post has supported Cycling City initiatives with many positive stories, covering most of the events and launches. No publicly funded initiative can expect an entirely smooth ride from a local newspaper, which will always seek to challenge authority on behalf of its readership.

“That said, the tone of this article does seem to suggest this is bad news for drivers! I think that is wrong! There is no shortage of city centre parking in Bristol and by replacing 12 car parking bays with 72 bicycle parking spaces we can encourage perhaps 60 or 70 car drivers to leave their car at home and cycle in. This reduces congestion, pollution and car parking problems! Win win all round!”

The comments under the article accuse the paper of being anti-cyclist, with one even suggesting the article is deliberately provocative in order to generate controversy and therefore traffic for the site.

The paper denies it is biased but has so far come up with no further comment.

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine ( 

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