• Support the Space for Cycling Campaign

  • Report a Hazard - Fill That Hole

    Now available as an Android app as well as on iPhone.

  • Demand Road Justice

    Sign the CTC's petition calling for improvements to policing on our roads

  • Cyclescape

    Sign up to Cyclescape now!  We are using this to monitor and discuss new proposals and consultations and to report cycling issues.

    • Get advice from others
    • Make a difference
    • Sign up now!


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.


Cycle Festival 2015 roundup

The second week of June saw another packed week of events for the Bristol Cycle Festival – the celebration of all things cycling back for a successful 6th year. Highlights included a series of Discover Bristol rides led by members of the Cycling Campaign, attracting an average of 20 people - the ever-popular Banksy Ride being somewhat over subscribed with 45 riders.

The main part of the Festival was rounded off in traditional fashion on Sunday with the Carnivelo ride, this year with a green twist: Naturevelo, coinciding as it did with Big Green Week and the Festival of Nature. Taking advantage of the Portway Sunday Park, riders of all ages with bicycles adorned with flowers, bees and butterflies enjoyed a spectacular traffic-free ride under the Suspension Bridge and out to the Bennett’s Patch and White’s Paddock nature reserve alongside the Portway. Over tea and cake, a series of prizes were awarded for the best costumes











and bike decorations, including medals for the Campaign's own Ronnie, William and Martin in striking floral head dresses – a proud moment!

It's not over yet. There are still more Festival events to come – check the programme for details : http://bristolcyclefestival.com/programme/


Cycle Festival wants your feedback


Thanks to everyone who turned up on our Discover Bristol rides and helping to make the Cycle Festival such a success. It was great to meet you and we hope you had fun! It's really useful to us, and those coordinating the festival, to understand what people think of the events we run, and to know who's coming, so that we can make next year's events better than ever, and as inclusive as possible. 

We'd really appreciate it if you can spend a couple of minutes clicking your way through a few questions here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ETR2015 

Also, check out the festival's Flickr pool here https://www.flickr.com/groups/bristolcyclefestival/ or their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bristolcyclefestival for some snaps of the events. If you've got any photos or video you wouldn't mind sharing, then upload them to these, or email them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and they can upload them for you.

Thanks again for coming along, have a great summer of pedalling.


Cycle Sunday - call to action

The next Cycle Sunday event on the Downs is now taking place on Sunday 12 July.  The organisers need volunteer stewards and are looking for people to do a range of things from roaming the route by bike, counting arrivals (think deckchair and flask of coffee) and helping out at the HQ (small gazebo and a flag!) The last event was so positive, with an amazing community atmosphere, so they're hoping that people involved in cycle campaigning in Bristol would find it a real tonic to help out at the event. Get in touch through the Facebook group or website.

Most importantly, although it seems to the participants to be just a ride in the park, it is actually a very strong demonstration to the Downs Committee - and one that they can't ignore... The event timing is 9am - 12pm (although the actual road closure will be 8am - 1pm).

Note that you can now register your interest for the next Cycle Sunday on 12th July.

You might enjoy the film of the first event: 

Please email them on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Their website is: cyclesunday.net, or take a look at their Facebook group or follow them on twitter: @cyclesunday

Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride Routes

Bristol's Biggest Bike RideWe'll be joining the thousands of people out on Skyride on Sunday 21nd June. It's sure to be a great event, and one to treasure along with the Bristol Grand Prix on Saturday 20st. Both coming hot on the heals of another buzzing Bristol Cycle Festival. For those wanting more than the 7.5km short route, here's the information about the four routes from previous years. You get to enjoy all the fun of the Skyride at the start (and end if you wish), but can extend it to appreciate the whole of the the Portway Sunday Park a make a day of enjoying our lovely city and its surroundings.

Family Fiesta - 9 mile route along the Portway, under the Suspension Bridge and looping back to the centre

Avon Gorge - 14 mile route takes you over the Avonmouth Bridge to loop back to the city through Pill and Leigh Woods 

Portishead - 24 mile route to the North Somerset coast 

Clevedon - 38 mile trip with hilly climbs and steep descents

We've now got a webpage with all four routes and you can even download the GPX files if you wish.

Is Bristol the UK's most active city?

Bristol featured as the most active city in the UK in a new report, Active Cities - a guide for city leaders. Nine cities around the world were compared and common themes and lessons drawn out. The report, sponsored by Nike, is a useful summary of the issues and evidence and deserves to be widely used. It seems that active cities typically do four things really well. 1) They make physical activity a priority, 2) Use existing resources, 3) Design for people and 4) Create a legacy of lasting change. News article here.

On a related theme UWE is starting a research project called cycle BOOM to understand cycling among the older population and how this affects independence, health and wellbeing. See the press coverage here. The ultimate aim is to advise policy makers and practitioners how our environment and technologies can be designed to help people to continue to cycle in older age or to reconnect with cycling. They are looking for participants in Bristol, Oxford, Reading and Cardiff who are over 50.

Some of the points from the Active Cities report include:

Walking is great for business and so is cycling
Multiple studies have shown that making places better for walking can boost footfall and trading by up to 40 percent and raise retail rents by 20 percent. Projects in the United Kingdom were shown to increase employment and the number of visitors - each by 300 percent. A conservative estimate of the annual economic impact of cycling in one metropolitan area was $60 million. The annual economic impact of cyclists is almost nine times as much as the one-time expenditure of public funds used to construct special bicycle facilities. Among 20 different studies on the economic benefits of walking and bicycling interventions, the average benefit-to-cost ratio was 13:1. Read this interesting article from CityLab collating 12 different reports.

People like their cities more when they have active transport options
Ciclovias (cycling events that close streets to cars for a full day like Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride) are great community builders. In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 people agree that the events cause them to look more favorably on their city.Public transport options also impact how people feel about their cities. One survey found that half of residents who lack access to mass transit are dissatisfied with the lack of availability.

Walkability and bike ability drastically reduce driving and related pollutants
In one study, a 5 percent increase in walkability was associated with a 6.5 percent decrease in vehicle miles traveled. This equates to a 5.6 percent decrease in emissions of oxides of nitrogen.In a study of a county in the United States, it was determined that the addition of sidewalks to all roadways would lead to a reduction of vehicle miles traveled equal to 183 million miles, resulting in an annual air pollution cost saving of $8 million.

Cycling facilities lower health care costs
A modeling study of Portland, Oregon (USA) estimated that by 2040, investments in bike facilities (costing from $138 to $605 million) will result in health care cost savings of $388 million to $594 million, fuel savings of $143 million to $218 million, and savings in the value of statistical lives of $7 million to $12 billion. 

It's what people want
It turns out that people want to live in cities that are walkable, bikeable and playable. From the surveys and consumer research available, it appears the public is already very much in favor of activity-friendly options. For example: 

  • Many people are “mismatched” and do not live in their preferred neighborhood type—specifically, people who do not live in walkable neighborhoods would prefer to.

  • Nine of ten people prefer that more local government funds be devoted to walking/jogging trails, recreation centers and bike paths.

  • If bicycling were made safer from motor vehicle traffic, bicycle riding at least once per week could increase from 8 percent to 40 percent of adults.

  • In the United States, 59 percent of people surveyed support walkable communities.

  • More than half of Americans prefer neighborhoods that are close to shops, have a mix of incomes and provides public transportation.

Call to S. Glos Council to stop putting advertising signs on roundabouts

There's a petition set up calling on South Gloucestershire council to stop putting distracting advertising signs on roundabouts. These are some of the more dangerous junctions for cycling and those in S. Glos tend to be large and fast making them even more intimidating.  

We support this petition and suggest that you might want to show your support as well.  

Here's the useful explanation:

South Gloucestershire Council is increasing the risk of accidents, particularly for cyclists, by putting advertising signs on roundabouts. This petition asks South Gloucestershire Council not to renew existing agreements and to refuse future applications for advertising signs on roundabouts.

Advertisements by their very nature are designed to distract, and distracted drivers cause accidents, so why is the local authority charged with improving road safety sacrificing their principles for advertising revenue? What price a life?

As noted by RosPA in their report – ‘Cycling Accidents Facts & Figures - August 2014’

“Roundabouts are particularly dangerous junctions for cyclists.”

The DFT Consultation on the draft Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2015 acknowledges this;

“3.2 Over-provision of signs can have a detrimental impact on the environment and can dilute important messages. If they result in information overload for drivers they can contribute to driver distraction, which can have an impact on road safety.”

Writing on the Road Safety Knowledge Centre website on the 21st December 2011 Ms M Whitelock of South Gloucestershire Council wrote:

Roundabout Advertising

"We have never had an accident report that said the driver was distracted by the advertising on the roundabout - I guess that doesn't mean there hasn't been one just not one that has been recorded as such. "

Thus the council doesn’t know if an accident has been caused by their signs but is willing to take a chance with our lives, surely an irresponsible attitude.

The danger of advertising signs is highlighted in the TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (CONTROL OF ADVERTISEMENTS) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2007
”General considerations
1. All advertisements are intended to attract attention. But particular consideration should be given to proposals to site advertisements at points where drivers need to take more care, for instance at junctions, roundabouts, pedestrian  crossings, on the approach to a low bridge or level crossing, or other places where local conditions present traffic hazards.”

The 3rd International Conference on Driver Distraction and Inattention

also draws attention to the dangers and concludes;

“The overall results of the empirical studies show that advertising signs do
affect driver attention to the extent that road safety is compromised.”


“The signs are placed with the purpose of capturing drivers' visual attention. Every time the drivers' visual attention is distracted away from the road and towards competing advertising signs, the time available for the drivers' response to avoid a crash if something unexpected occurs is reduced.”



CycleBath - campaigning in BANES

CycleBathWe're really impressed by what CycleBath are doing at the moment. They're very active in setting out a vision and in holding Bath and North East Somerset Council to account for what's being delivered on the ground. In particular their work with the Cycle City Ambition Grant projects is both constructive and critical, essential elements in campaigning.

We'll be looking to what we can learn from them about applying a Cycle Route Audit Tool to our Strategic Cycle Network.

They've been getting good coverage in the local media as well.

Keep pushing, CycleBath!

May'15 Bristol Cycle Forum quick update

Avon & Somerset Police

Chief Inspector Andy Bennett, lead officer on cycling, spoke about having revised his leaflet handed out to cyclists when caught by officers breaking the Highway Code. His mantra is to educate before enforcement taking a wholistic approach. The leafet has recently been redrafted to make it more cycling friendly. Enforcement needs to be proportionate and a process of culture change is happening where officers are encouraged to use discretion when dealing with violations. The intention is to extend this approach to all road users: anything from buses, HGVs to cycles.


Cllr Gary Hopkins revealed that the tests for CycleEye (more here) have gone well and there are encouraging signs the trial will be widened out across Bristol.

Barra Mac Ruairi 

Director of Place at Bristol City Council Barra Mac Ruairi laid out his approach to making Bristol a more liveable city. For him it's about trying to get balance. He said "Cycling is very important to the city" (for the usual reasons around reducing congestion and pollution, promoting health and the economy) and that it is "not good to be scared" whilst moving around the city. His job is to look at the long term development of Bristol from funding through policy to delivery on ground. He has to balance the needs of businesses and citizens and their various transport needs. Health outcomes are taken into consideration part of what he does. Local interventions made for benefit of the whole network but things could be better joined up. When asked about why the Bearpit (St James Barton roundabout) development is taking so long to finish he reassured us that it is not in anyone's interests to drag their heels on a project, for the council officers' workload, for the politicians or for the contractors. It turns out there was an unforeseen problem with the parapet walls which were being partly removed for the stairways as these turned out to be integral to the structure of the supporting walls.

Bristol Grand Prix

A new cycle race to be held on Sat 20th June, the day before the Sky Ride (formerly Bristols Biggest Bike Ride). The idea is to bring a new audience to everyday cycling via the sport. (Though as we point out here, there is a potential downside to this). Prior to the race the Mayor will be leading a lap of honour for 'Love my Bike' and there will be events taking place on the upper reaches of Park Street. The organisers are looking volunteers to help out on the day: http://bristolgrandprix.com 

The minutes of this meeting are to be found on the Forum website when available: http://www.bristol.gov.uk/page/cycle-forum

Bristol Cycling digest 2015/05

Here's an assortment of articles that you may have missed over the past month about Bristol cycling. Members have put these together using the Reddit list BristolCycling

Summer of Cycling

Now that May is here all the news about the Summer of Cycling in Bristol comes pouring in.

The very wonderful Bristol Cycle Festival are back for their 6th year with a busy programme including our famous Discover Bristol Rides. Programmes should be in all your favourite venues shortly, or see the website now.

European Cycle Challenge posterAlso, Bristol Council through their Better By Bike brand announce that Bristol is again competing in the European Cycle Challenge. Anyone who rides a bike is encouraged to sign up and start clocking their bike miles for Bristol on a leader board of 39 other towns and cities across Europe.

There is also the National Cycling Challenge, from Bristol based Love to Ride which is backed by CTC and Cyclescheme. Same basic idea but UK based. Oh, and Jam Busting Challenge from TravelWest.

Meanwhile Big Green Week is promoting their Bristol Grand Prix cycle race and activities on a circuit round inner city streets. See our blog for some thoughts on this.

There is no Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride this year as it's been taken over by SkyRide. We understand that while the Portway will be closed, the three routes will be different and may well involve Bridge Valley Road and the Downs, but not Portishead or Clevedon.

Finally, this is the year of Portway Sunday Parks where the whole Portway will be kept open for all sorts of activities on five days including the Sky ride, triathlon, 10k run, half marathon and the Bristol Bath Marathon. There will also some further Cycle Sunday dates on the Downs.

One interesting aspect of the two data gathering challenges is what they can tell us about which routes people are choosing. Of course, not too much should be read into this due to the self selecting sample. As they say, "you don't choose where to build a bridge by looking at the number of people swimming".

Even so, the Bristol heatmap style imaging from the European Cycling Challenge, and from Strava, and from our work with Rideable Bristol in 2013 does provide evidence to support our Bristol Strategic Cycling Network.

Bristol Heatmap

UPDATE: Cycle Sunday returns to the Downs in JULY

As announced on twitter, following the successful inaugural event on 19 April, fantastic news there is to be another event NOW ON 12 JULY. Keep in touch through their group.

As Sam Saunders writes in his blog, on that Sunday morning in April "a section of Circular Road on the Bristol Downs was opened for people and bicycles. For a few hours hundreds and hundreds of people of all ages had a whale of a time on bikes – learning, practicing, coaching, watching, being serious, having fun and having more fun. It was a very sociable and good natured event with plenty of professional support. When I asked a medic for the casualty count as I left she said, with a big smile, that it stood at none."

Unfortunately the day was spoilt for a few people passing by on Ladies Mile who were subject to an unreasonable attitude from a police officer when riding two abreast, as Sam explains further on in his blog posting.

More Articles...

  1. Goodbye and good luck
  2. Active Travel Hustings - are we any the wiser?
  3. Discover Bristol Rides - 38 cake fuelled days out in 2014
  4. Third closure of Bristol Bath Railway Path
  5. Vote Bike!
  6. Cycling Trends in Bristol
  7. Cycle Sunday - this Sunday!
  8. New Bristol Pound note to feature cycling
  9. Car free family cycling comes to the Downs
  10. Building on success - lessons from Gloucester Road
  11. Petition to extend the Strawberry Line
  12. Why are recent plans for cycling so awful?
  13. BCyC briefing for Deputy Mayor Mark Bradshaw
  14. Bristol Cycle Campaign Dutch Study Tour 2015
  15. Bristol Cycling digest 2015/03
  16. Another section of Railway Path closed
  17. General Election Cycle Hustings
  18. £19m Cycle City Ambition Grant awarded to West of England - now confirmed
  19. Portway Sunday Park dates announced
  20. New Great Western trains can carry up to 10 cycles
  21. John Grimshaw speaks at February meeting
  22. Women on Wheels film night and Bristol Cycle Festival
  23. Bristol Cycle Strategy published
  24. Bristol area bids for West of England Cycle Transformation
  25. Community Speedwatch in Bedminster
  26. What we learned on our Dutch Study Tour
  27. New Year Consultation Fever
  28. 'Perfect Storm' Opportunity to Fix Potholes
  29. Who's got Green Capital funding?
  30. Here’s how to spend cycling money wisely, we tell roads minister in joint letter
  31. Southville Bridge approved (and objections to South Glos plans)
  32. November meeting has talks on 'Roads were not built for cars' and Green Capital
  33. Annual Cyclenation-CTC conference 2014
  34. Merchant's Dock Consultation Response
  35. Full house at campaigners training day
  36. Majority of under 35s in employment in Bristol choose not to commute by car
  37. More irrelevant cycling 'infrastructure'
  38. Council calls for halt to 20mph speed limits
  39. Two dates to get you in touch with your campaigning mojo
  40. Making Bristol's Streets Special
  41. Tell the Treasury we need #funding4cycling
  42. Railway Path Closure at Teewell Hill Bridge 6th Oct for 8 weeks
  43. Clarence Road "Dutch-style" Cycleway - update
  44. Bristol Bike Forum on 18th Sept 2014
  45. New Cycling related Consultations and Planning Applications
  46. How the Draft Bristol Cycle Strategy can be better
  47. National recognition of BCyC Road Justice campaigning
  48. Bristol council debate our Cycling Manifesto
  49. How good is the Bristol Council Cycling Strategy?
  50. Penny on Discover Bristol rides during the cycle festival
  51. Neighbourhood Cycling plans
  52. Bristol Cycling Campaign Dutch study tour
  53. London Cycle Campaign interviews George Ferguson
  54. Bristol Cycling Campaign response to TRSGD consultation
  55. Our New Committee
  56. Space for Cycling - Big Ride in Bristol
  57. 2014 AGM with Roger Geffen
  58. Productive meeting with Chief Constable
  59. Adrian Hill
  60. Strange Cylindrical Objects Appearing around Bristol
  61. AA Launches "Think Bikes" Campaign
  62. "Other Things Being Equal" A Spell That Binds Us To The Past
  63. New law urged for dangerous driving
  64. Jan'14 Bristol Cycle Forum Update
  65. Decision time for Crew Hole / Beaufort Road
  66. Media Interest Escalates
  67. Manifesto Campaign Makes National News
  68. Reprieve for Colston Street
  69. Barriers Likely to be Removed
  70. Cycle Parking at Home
  71. Colston Street Bike Lane Reprieve
  72. Cycling Excluded From Local Transport Plans
  73. Neighbourhood Forums
  74. Bike Forum Update
  75. Justice for Ross and Clare Simons
  76. Baldwin Street Cycle Safety Consultation
  77. Third Round of Funding for Active Transport
  78. Bee Ride Goes Down a Swarm
  79. Freedom to Ride Leafleting
  80. 3 Important New Consultations
  81. Rideable Bristol July 2013
  82. Stop the slaughter on our streets
  83. The future of Britain’s transport? More roads
  84. Green Week Finale - A Taste of Things to Come?
  85. Sensible contraflow diversion on Nelson Street
  86. Stop Pinching Bikes - New Campaign
  87. Bristol Cycling Campaign Supports Tackling Congestion in Central Bristol
  88. Bristol Cycle Forum - Thursday 16th May
  89. Cycle City Ambition Grant
  90. The world's most bike friendly cities
  91. Probably the best day for British Cycling since the war - but still a way to go!
  92. Roll For the Soul Announce Venue
  93. Lovely Census Stats
  94. Councillor Against Air Pollution
  95. Infrastructure Ride Reveals New Link
  96. Boris Johnson's £1bn Vision for Cyclng in London
  97. Most Motorists are Not Criminals but Most Criminals are Motorists
  98. Tesco's Contractors Don't Ride Bicycles
  99. Traffic Free Bristol Comes a Step Closer