News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Bristol Cycling City

Thank goodness for the independent media.

Without such robust reporting and campaigning as that evidenced by Trym Tales (if clicking a mouse may be considered a political act) Bristolians might still be choking in their own traffic fumes.

Thankfully, the powers that be - including the Department for Transport, Sustrans and Bristol City Council - have clearly been reading this blog and have responded promptly to a post this February calling for a bike sharing scheme to be implemented in the city.

In fact, they have gone a stage further and designated Bristol as England's first cycling city, a move which will see over £20 million spent on bike-related infrastructure.

In happily wallowing in its own self-congratulation at this impressive result, Trym Tales would like to make clear that at no time did it call for either of the following related cycling initiatives to be implemented, both of which are apparently part of the grand scheme:
  • Cycling buddies assigned to help novices
  • Door-to-door, one-on-one advice in some areas
On the latter issue, I was somewhat perplexed to read that, according to the BBC, this advice will involve Council officials going "door to door in low income areas evangelizing about the benefits of cycling." I wonder why Lawrence Hill rather than Sneyd Park will be targeted in this way, the former having far fewer cars per head than the latter.

Political correctness not withstanding, the scheme is of course welcomed. At its best, it has the potential to effect a significant and positive shift in the Bristol traffic scene.

Since Trym Tales is clearly punching above its weight in this area, I will offer my additional contributions to the debate, safe in the knowledge that they will become public policy within months. The question is, what would cause a flabby, middle-aged suburbanite (not thinking of anyone in particular) to cycle more in Bristol? Two factors would be decisive:

Secure, monitored cycle lock up areas

I hate having stuff stolen. Having lost numerous children's bikes, scooters and a moped from my property over the years, I just hate being the victim of this kind of crime.

Bike repair shacks located throughout the network

It's no use telling me it's easy to learn - people have tried with me for decades. Fixing things, including repairing tires, is a life skill that has sadly passed me by. A shed where I can get my puncture fixed on demand at a reasonable price would make a difference between using or not using a bike.

Right, campaigning done. Back to the football.

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.

No comments:

Site Meter