Cycling city

Cycling city

Discussion started: 31/07/08
Discussion ended: 31/10/08


Greater Bristol (Bristol and South Gloucestershire) has been chosen as England’s first official Cycling City – making it the country’s premier national and international showcase for promoting cycling as a safe, healthy and practical alternative to the car.

With rising fuel prices and growing congestion, cycling is a great way to save money and get past the jams, with the bonus of getting fitter and healthier.

We asked:

  • We asked how we can encourage you to cycle?
  • If you don’t cycle now, what would encourage you to take it up?
  • If you currently do cycle what would help you to do more?  For example, if you ride your bike for leisure, what might encourage you to use it for commuting?

Go to for more information about cycling in Bristol.  The interactive map at was also used to tell us and other cyclists where there are good facilities for cyclists in Bristol and where there could be improvements.

Comment wrap-up

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Cycling City discussion.  There were 214 posts by 146 distinct users.

The posts have been split down into 476 comments, categorised into 55 themes.

Executive Summary

There were many positive comments on the discussion forum about practical improvements that could be made to encourage cycling in Bristol.  There were a lot of comments about safe cycle lanes and routes and better facilities for secure bike parking.  There were also a number of comments about cyclists and car drivers not obeying the rules that are already in place to make road use safer for everyone.

There were some ideas about how the benefits of cycling can be publicised and marketed widely to encourage more people to take it up. Some comments as to why cycling is difficult in Bristol related to people being put off by the weather, hills and the danger aspect of cycling in traffic.  It is true that the weather and hills cannot be changed (although a cycle lift was suggested) and that road traffic accidents do happen involving cyclists.  However, these are perceptions that can be overcome with proper encouragement from existing cyclists who know that wearing the right clothing and increasing their fitness levels gradually and being in the appropriate gear on their bike means that these things are less of an issue, and that the benefits outweigh the inconveniences.

Improvements to cycle lanes/routes

There were a lot of comments about improving cycle lanes.  There were comments about cycle lanes in specific locations and also more general comments about how cycle lanes need to be more continuous, wider etc.  There were arguments for and against cycle lanes being physically separated from cars and for and against pavement space being shared between cyclists and pedestrians (with a cycle lane marked on the pavement).  There were comments about safe routes.  These including continuous routes to places people want to go (rather than lanes which stop and start) and traffic free routes.  Related to this were comments about the benefits to cyclists if there were two way cycle lanes down one way roads, and if some areas were made completely car free.


There were comments about training for adult and child cyclists and potential cyclists.  There were slightly more comments about training for car drivers to teach them more awareness of cyclists and to change their attitude.  (This reflects the over representation of current cyclists in this discussion).  There were two comments about more training for bus drivers as there was a feeling that buses don’t give cyclists enough space.

Bicycle security

There were 41 comments relating to secure cycle parking.  These included the locations of cycle racks, the design of the bike racks to make it easier to lock bikes to securely e.g. securing all wheels and the frame.  There were comments about cycling storage at work and in new build properties.  There was another comment on bicycle security that related to free micro chipping of bicycles as they have done in Manchester last year to deter theft.

Parked cars/enforcement of laws of the road

There were many comments related to parking rules being enforced where cars and lorries are parked in existing cycle lanes.  There were also comments about laws of the road being enforced more strictly on both car drivers and cyclists. This ties in to the category ‘Better behaviour from cyclists’ where it was felt that cyclists who do not conform to the highway code and laws of the road were endangering themselves and others, and giving cyclists a bad name as a whole.

See the Greater Bristol Cycling City Delivery Strategy for more information.