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Bristol police chief loves riding in his city, unlike London's top cop

Bristol road safety summit planned for next month

Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s top cop is a bike rider and unlike his London opposite number, he’s not afraid to take to the city’s streets on his bike.

Asked on Twitter by the BBC’s Tom Edwards whether he would ride in Bristol, chief constable Nick Gargan said he rides every week, perhaps showing greater confidence in his force’s ability to keep the streets safe than Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogen-Howe.

“I cycle in Bristol every week,” Chief Constable Gargan tweeted back. “And love it.”

Last week, Sir Bernard Hogen-Howe told the BBC: “It seems to be that if you get it wrong, or the driver gets it wrong, the person that’s going to pay is the cyclist.

“It seems to me that there’s a lot of traffic and personally I wouldn’t (cycle). But of course some people don’t have the choice; economically it’s not easy you know.”

“Some people, they’ve got limited money and they can’t pay for public transport. I understand why they take the choice. It wouldn’t be mine.”

Sir Bernard later attempted to clarify that he was expressing a personal opinion and that “the work the mayor and TFL have done to get people on their bikes as safely as possible is commendable.”

The role of mayor of London includes responsibilities that are elsewhere carried out by an elected police and crime commissioner, including the hiring and firing of the Metropolitan police commissioner.

Nick Gargan was appointed chief constable of Avon and Somerset in March 2013. He lists his interests as running, cycling and opera.

Chief Constable Gargan and Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens will host a question and answer session at Bath Guldhall on November 27, and with Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson will head Bristol’s first road safety summit at Bristol City Hall on December 11.

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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