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News from the world of Bristol cycling. You might also want to look at the BristolCycling Reddit social news aggregation site.

Please take a look at our Blog for quick updates.


Portway Sunday Park dates announced

Portway Sunday ParkThe Portway will close on five dates this year due to events such as the triathlon and marathon. Rather than re-opening straight away once those events are over, approval has just been granted to keep the Portway closed to vehicles for the rest of the day (until 10pm/midnight) on those dates. The organising group are asking the people of Bristol to come forward with their ideas on how they would like to use the space as a public traffic free space on five Sundays in 2015.

Art projects, recycling projects, litter picking, walks, talks, theatre treasure hunts, rock climbing were just some of the initial ideas, but the aim right now is to really get the word out – please let people know that the space is there for them to use as they like, and think about whether you would like to do anything as organisations/individuals to take advantage of this.

The Portway closure dates, and more information are below and in the proposal document attached. Next meetings are Mondays: 16th March, 13th April, & 11th May. All starting at 7pm at the Pavillion meeting room on the Docks, BS1 5JE.

There is now a Facebook page which will hopefully become a central point for discussion etc. Apologies for those who don’t use Facebook!

If you’re interested in being part of the steering group/putting together a website/starting a Twitter account/have some good ideas that you don’t want to put on FB then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or come along to the next meeting on Monday 16thMarch, 7pm at The Pavilion Meeting room.

Date  Main event  Last competitor Road clear Sunset High tide
31 May Bristol 10KHalf-termWalking Festival last day  11.00 13.00 21.17 18.30
14 June Bristol TriathlonFirst weekend Big Green Week Not yet agreed Not yet agreed?15.00 21.29 18.10
21 June Biggest Bike RideFinal day of Big Green WeekMay not close Portway ? ? 21.32 10.50
13 September Bristol ½ Marathon  13.00 15.00 19.30 20.00
25 October Bath Bristol Marathon  Not yet available Not yet available 16.57


As the proposal says: The beauty of the Portway Sunday Park is that it makes use of the City’s existing resources in a creative way. Portway traffic flow on Sundays is different in volume and nature to weekdays and can easily take alternative routes. The only properties directly affected in terms of highway access along the whole length of the road - St. Vincent’s Terrace – would gain a whole day of blessed quiet and peace and could easily be accommodated in terms of Sunday access. 

The capital and operating costs of opening up this huge linear park – 25 acres or more, or 200 plus, depending on how extensively you consider that adjacent fields, woods and riverside areas are blighted by the traffic at present – is very small and represents extraordinary value for money. 


Download this file (Portway Sunday Park leaflet A4 Feb2015.pdf)Portway Sunday Park leaflet A4 Feb2015.pdf[Portway Sunday Park for 2015]1018 kB

New Great Western trains can carry up to 10 cycles

New Great Western train rolling stockBCyC member Christopher Orlik has been digging away to find out how many cycles can be carried on the IEP trains on the electrified Great Western Main Line. The answer is that it depends on the length of the train. "The nine car trains can accommodate ten bicycles and the five car trains can accommodate four" say Hitachi Rail, adding that "spaces are pre-bookable." 
Hitachi Rail also say "As part of the interior design process for the Class 800/801 trains, a large number of stakeholder groups were invited to see the mock-up and feedback their suggestions. In total, we had approximately 200 visits and estimate that approximately 2,000 people came to see the mock-up. This included representatives of groups such as the CTC, Sustrans and Cycle-Rail Working Group. Many points of the feedback were taken on board and changes were made to the design, which was our response to the technical specification which we had been issued. The outcome of those collaborative discussions was that the number of bicycle spaces was agreed to be ten on the nine-car train and four on the five-car trains.  
"In terms of your query regarding where the trains will run, the nine-car trains are currently planned to run on electrified lines only to and from London to Bristol and London to Cardiff and Swansea. It is anticipated that the five-car trains diagrams will be coupled to form ten-cars in peak periods, but this will be decided by the operator."

John Grimshaw speaks at February meeting

John Grimshaw gave an interesting talk on European cycleways at our February meeting at Roll for the Soul. After a quick scurry through some mighty impressive Spanish railway path with extraordinary bridges and tunnels, via some equally spectacular routes in the Italian alps, we spent the rest of the meeting ambling through Dutch towns and countryside. There was much that he shared that was familiar from our Dutch Study Tour.

Interesting points include:

  • Italian levels of cycling in the Po valley cities can be up around 30%. It's just part of the culture there.
  • In Spain the heaviest time of use of cycle paths is early evening when everyone comes out to cruise around to see and be seen.
  • Don't go anywhere in the Netherlands without the ANWB maps
  • There's a great system of numbering for moving through the rural Dutch LF cycle paths. It's possible to ride for a couple of days with just a set of numbers written on an A4 sheet.
  • Aiming for route from Bristol Temple Meads to Keynsham to be a 3m wide tarmac path the whole length. Coming in stages but will happen over next few years.
  • JG is applying for planning permission on behalf of BCyC for a route through the bottom of Ashton Park in order to try again after this was rejected during Cycling City in 2010.  See our Greater Bedminster neighbourhood plan.

Finally, this year The Portway is being opened for the whole Sunday on the following five days, from Cumberland Basin to Sylvan Way and including Bridge Valley Road. We'll get these listed on our Diary page.

  • 31st May - Bristol 10k
  • 14 June - Bristol Triathlon
  • 21 June - Biggest Bike Ride
  • 13 Sept - Half Marathon
  • 25 Oct - new Bristol - Bath Marathon

The 21st June is usually the date for Bristol's Biggest Bike ride when the Portway is usually opened for cycling and walking, but this year it's been sold to Sky and there are rumours that this will involve only a potter round some of the central streets. Watch this space.

Brean to Weston super Mare scheme has got planning consent.

Women on Wheels film night and Bristol Cycle Festival

Women on Wheels film nightThe 2015 Bristol Cycle Festival is coming later this year (hooray!) but the first event is on 8th March, 'Women on Wheels - a night of films about women and cycling'. 

Those of us who qualify will be talking about this and other things on the Women Cyclists of Bristol Facebook group. There's an informal meet up and chat on the afternoon of 21st March, find out through the group or Kate Cooke.

Bristol Cycling Campaign is not a cyclists group, we're here for the 67% of people who think our roads are not safe for cycling, and for those who don't have a voice but want things to be better. If you're ready to 'lean in' and make a difference for your neighbourhood, workplace or school, then get stuck in!

Bristol Cycle Strategy published

Bristol Council has finally published the Bristol Cycle Strategy. This has been a long time coming and we warmly welcome it's final publication. We've been involved in discussions about this with BCC for well over a year, and of course we that it was only when we published our Bristol Cycling Manifesto that things really began moving. We are pleased that our 'Top Tube' map of strategic routes has been included as well as many of the themes from the Cycling Manifesto.

The Strategy sets out an over-arching Cycling Network and Delivery Plan which provides a good background for delivering this future programmes such as the £30m Cycle City Ambition Grant application that we'll hear about in March 2015.

Because these documents have a habit of disappearing from the office sites, a copy is attached below.

Bristol Cycle Strategy

Comments about the Bristol Cycle Strategy

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol
“When it comes to improving our environment and protecting our health, cycling is a win win option, which is why I want to see the number of Bristol bike users double again over the next ten years.”

Mark Bradshaw, Assistant Mayor, Place Directorate
”This strategy sets out how we will work with residents, neighbourhoods, businesses, other public bodies and campaigning organisations to make a further step change in the numbers cycling – a better connected network of segregated, safer routes will be a priority.”
Ian Barrett, Sustrans Regional Director, South West & Chair of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership’s Sustainable Transport Action Group
”We warmly welcome Bristol’s commitment to continued investment in cycling and look forward to working with the council to create a network of routes that makes cycling simple for everyone.” 

The targets at a glance

To match the ambitions, by 2020, the Council is committed to achieving:f
  • Investment: £16 invested per head of population every year
  • Sustainable Economy: 20% of commuter trips into the city centre made by bike
  • Laboratory For Change: Experimental and cutting edge cycle projects delivered every year
  • Healthy Children: 20% of children cycling to secondary school
  • Normalising Cycling: Progressing delivery of an attractive, safe, 8-80 cycle network
  • Increasing Confidence And Safety: Increase numbers of pupils and adults taking up cycling training every year
Download this file (Bristol-Cycle-Strategy-Jan2015.pdf)Bristol-Cycle-Strategy-Jan2015.pdf[Bristol Cycle Strategy - Jan 2015]3979 kB

Bristol area bids for West of England Cycle Transformation

The Bristol Cycle City Ambition Area has published its bid for the Core Cities Ambition Grant 2 (CCAG 2). Curiously it's only listed at the bottom of the page under the previous 2013 grant. The just published Bristol Cycle Strategy in one of the supporting documents to show how the bid programme fits into a longer term ambition.

The total CAF2 bid is for a £30m programme over a 3 year period. This makes it even bigger than the Cycling City project. 

It is essential that the 3 local authorities (no North Somerset) gear up appropriately by creating delivery teams and being driven forwards by appointing a Cycling Commissioner or similar. A DfT decision on funding for the bids is expected by the end of March.

We had some input to the bid and sought commitment to "Triple A" standards for design and to support all ages and abilities, as part of an over-arching Cycling Network and Delivery Plan and in line with our Bristol Cycling Manifesto.

The total CAF2 programme is expected to cost £30m approx over a 3 year period. This makes it even bigger than the Cycling City project. It is essential that the 3 local authorities (no North Somerset) gear up appropriately by creating delivery teams and being driven forwards by appointing a Cycling Commissioner or similar. A DfT decision on funding for the bids is expected by the end of March.

A summary of the CAF2 bid follows: 


Community Speedwatch in Bedminster

Community SpeedwatchA group of Bristol Cycling Campaign members has been active in the BS3 area Community SpeedWatch group. Here's a table showing overall findings so far.

Obviously early days but this shows that the majority of drivers are complying at least on most routes (and these are the sites assessed by the police as being worth monitoring). Numerically the number of speeders is still high though. Very few are going over the 30 threshold (about 12 out of 500 vehicles monitored), and we doubt if this would have been the case prior to 20mph being introduced.

We will update this as we get more results but early conclusions are that 20mph is having an effect. (In case you don't know, police count 'speeders' as people doing 20 plus 10% plus 2=24mph).

So far over 1100 vehicles have been speed checked at 5 locations over 4.5 hours, with 20% speeding. It's clear that the time of day is a big factor, and that some locations have more of a problem that others (we're looking at you, Duckmoor Road).

Bedminster Community Speed Watch Results      
Proportion of 'speeders' (number of speeders/no of vehicles counted)      
Date Time Duration Location Total Vehicles Speeding %
13/08/14 11:00 30 Greenway Bush Lane 71 13 18%
04/11/14 08:30 38 Greenway Bush Lane 134 11 8%
28/08/14 17:10 25 Bedminster Parade 165 30 18%
03/12/14 08:35 30 Bedminster Parade 108 12 11%
08/09/14 08:35 25 Raleigh Road inbound 33 3 9%
08/09/14 09:00 20 Raleigh Road outbound 38 11 29%
11/11/14 09:20 15 Duckmoor Road 45 24 53%
27/11/14 08:38 26 Duckmoor Road 178 38 21%
20/11/14 08:38 27 North Street 159 38 24%
09/12/14 09:10 30 North Street 173 15 9%

What we learned on our Dutch Study Tour

Dutch study tour - protected path with parkingLearning Lessons from BCyC Dutch Study Tour 2014

1. Do it again

2. Work to build political support and willingness to invest

3. Classifying the road network is a necessary first step to identifying what needs doing: Through, Distributor, Residential/Retail

4. We need ‘Triple A’ Infrastructure - All Ages and Abilities. This means one network for all

5. Unravel the three networks. Walking, vehicles and cycling

6. Campaign for the first Bristol simultaneous green junction

7. Campaign for the first Bristol annular roundabout

8. Campaign for the first Bristol extensive segregated route with priority over side roads (we’re close but not there yet)

9. Campaign for ‘Except Cyclists’ on every suitable no entry and one way street

10. Get the idea of Sustainable Safety embedded in thinking (Road Danger Reduction)

11. Find a way to enable all modes of transport to feel that they benefit

Read a report from Chrissie Decker about her views of the tour, and then have a browse through these Flickr albums to get a feel for what we saw over an intense 3 days:


These are excellent summary videos and blogs from other tours:

New Year Consultation Fever


It seems our local authorities have woken up after the Christmas slumber with a host of consultations with very short deadlines. They cover the A38 near Thornbury to the new Enterprise Zone in Temple Gate.

Responding to consultations is core to what we do in campaigning for cycling in Bristol. These consultations are your chance to shape the future of cycling in Greater Bristol, so please check them out on our Consultations page and do respond to any you have knowedge of, however briefly. These are listed with deadline dates and links to the consultation websites. We'll post the official BCyC response as we respond, but please feel free to copy us in with your thoughts so we can incorporate them into our response: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

'Perfect Storm' Opportunity to Fix Potholes

Once again we've reached a 'perfect storm' - the time when roads and paths are deteriorating and we're approaching the financial year-end when councils want to use up this year's budget. And now the CTC has announced (thanks to DfT funding) an Android version of their wonderful fillthathole app has been released. You can use the app to report potholes, road defects and other forms of obstruction that could be dangerous to cyclists. Reports are then forwarded to the local authority concerned for action. Of course the iPhone version is still available. Our councils are pretty good at responding and action is usually taken within a couple of weeks. The satisfaction of seeing a patch of tarmac with your name on it is unbounded!

Who's got Green Capital funding?

UPDATE: Proposals ratified 24/12/2014 https://www.bristol2015.co.uk/news/green-light-bristol-2015-strategic-grants/

News comes of how the larger funding pots available through Bristol Green Capital will be allocated. Final decisions will be announced on 24th December but recommendations to the Bristol Council Cabinet for decision give some early notice. There were 184 applications for the £1.5 million fund, representing 136 different organisations, with bids totalling £8.1 million. Funding from the Small Grants Fund has also been announced, including a number for cycling. 
The table below sets out what the transport 'theme' is intended to deliver, and how the awarded funding is expected to achieve that. Other themes are Energy, Food, Nature, Resources.
Congratulations to the projects (didn't Sustrans do well!).  However, we remain concerned by the lack of ambition around transport in the Green Capital programme which we consider mainly comes from a lack of engagement by council officers who are stretched thin delivering even what's currently planned.

Transport theme: Our ambition is to make Bristol a world leading city in active travel, where 4 out of 5 journeys under five miles are made by foot, bike and public transport

2020 Aspiration


2015 Desired Outcomes


Deliver improvements to both the price and quality of our public transport networks, making it quick, cost effective and easy to go by bus or by train


To increase the use of public transport throughout the city, better connecting outlying residential neighbourhoods to Bristol’s Centre and growth areas



GC116 – Sustrans (Promoting Healthier Transport Choices)



Make road layout and other improvements in the city to open our streets to people, removing the blight of heavy traffic and improving flows for public transport and those who need to drive



To trial road layout and other improvements that open the city’s streets to people and reduce the negative impacts of traffic on health, environment and social connectivity



GC111 – Sustrans (Southmead)
GC115 – Sustrans (Streetpockets) 



Support the ongoing and successful expansion in Bristol of cycling through investment in cycle lanes and other cycling infrastructure, and more cycle training for those who need it




To improve walking and cycling networks throughout the city to enable more people to undertake everyday journeys to work, schools and other destinations on foot and by bike


GC066 - APE Project CIC

GC116 – Sustrans (Promoting Healthier Transport Choices)



Reduce emissions in the city to help protect people from the harmful gases produced by streets clogged with traffic



To reduce emissions in the city through support for the transition to ultra low emission vehicles, including accelerated provision of charging/fuelling infrastructure and changes to corporate fleets and public transport


GC116 – Sustrans (Promoting Healthier Transport Choices) 



Promote active travel choices – walking and cycling – as safe and pleasant alternatives to the car



To support people to change ingrained travel habits by providing and promoting opportunities to walk, cycle and use public transport for everyday journeys, including travel to work and schools 
To provide international leadership in exploring how changes to urban streets and transport systems can benefit a city’s environment, health, social connectivity and prosperity


GC066 - APE Project CIC
GC007 - Greater Bedminster Community Partnership (Walking)

GC116 – Sustrans (Promoting Healthier Transport Choices)


Here's the project descriptions.
 Organisaation  Reference  Project  Description  Recommended Grant
APE Project CIC  GC066  Children's Bike Exchange Scheme  The main focus is on recycling bikes and making them cheaply available to underprivileged children.  £49,342 
Sustrans  GC111  Southmead Flood Prevention  Implementation of flood prevention measures in Southmead.  £44,100



Promoting Healthier Transport Choices

Engaging people in debating and developing a sustainable transport vision for Bristol.



Sustrans GC115  Street Pockets Develop a modular, freestanding and moveable toolkit to be used by communities to instantly change the feel and use of any street in the city. Projects and designs will be trialled by communities with kit which can then be made permanent.  £44,100 
Greater Bedminster Community Partnership GC007  Let's Walk Bedminster Promoting walking and bringing the community together in Bedminster with series of events.  £40,000 

Here’s how to spend cycling money wisely, we tell roads minister in joint letter

Campaign Logos for Cycle City Ambition Grant cities

Along with campaign groups from the other seven cities who received funding through the Cycle City Ambition Grant, we've sent a letter to DfT about our shared concerns about how these schemes are being delivered. Given that further funding has been announced we've made recommendations for what needs to be done to enable ambitious results.

Mr Robert Goodwill MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport
Department for Transport
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
London SW1P 4DR

10th December 2014

Dear Mr Goodwill

Feedback on the first phase of the Cycle City Ambition Grants We write to you as representatives of the local cycle campaign groups in the cities awarded the government’s “Cycle City Ambition Grants”. The Grants provide a valuable opportunity for these eight cities to begin the transformation into healthy, clean and economically vibrant places which are attractive to businesses and residential populations alike. While we welcome the grants and the opportunity to create a step‐change in the level of cycling provision in UK cities, we would like to highlight some common issues across the projects.

1. Stop-start grants

Consistent, long term and specific investment in cycling is desperately needed to encourage authorities to design and


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