Big vote for segregated cycle lanes

Published on: 24 Nov 2017

THE UK’s biggest assessment on cycling in cities has found that three out of four people in Bristol (77%) want more protected bike routes built to make cycling safer, even when this could mean less space for other road traffic.

Bike Life, a report produced by walking and cycling charity Sustrans and Bristol City Council, reveals that out of 1,100 residents surveyed, over two-thirds (71%) say more cycling would make their city a better place to live and work. Overall, residents in Bristol think more space for walking, cycling or buses, as opposed to additional space for cars, is the best way to keep their city moving, improve people’s health and air quality.

Currently, a quarter of Bristolians cycle at least five times a week. 65% of those surveyed say they would cycle more if on-road cycle lanes were physically separated from both traffic and pedestrians. Bike Life found that people riding a bike currently take up to 24,515 cars off Bristol’s roads each day, and if these cars were lined up this would equate to a 73 mile tailback – a space of over five Castle Parks.

Nick Davies, Space4Cycling Officer at Bristol Cycling Campaign:

"Gloucester Road is one of Bristol's busiest cycle routes and numbers of people cycling on it have boomed. Surprisingly, however, it has virtually no safe space for cycling, just a bit of mostly faded paint! 

"Bike Life 2017 shows 77% of Bristolians want more protected space for cycling even when it can mean less room for other road traffic. Marvin Rees says he "wants to make cycling an ordinary part of life that everyone can feel safe doing". So come on Bristol City Council we call on you to engage with us and the local community to explore making Gloucester Road a truly inclusive, safe environment for people to travel by bike."

Our part of the city, and in particular the Gloucester Road, provides a key cycling route for many commuters into the centre of Bristol, with the number of cyclists doubling at peak times between 2000 and 2013 according to an annual census that was produced by the Office for National Statistics. 

Speaking of the Bike Life report, James Cleeton, England Director South for Sustrans said: “Bike Life shows that people in Bristol think cycling is a good thing and are supportive of bold and ambitious plans for cycling. They want dedicated space for people on bicycles even when this means taking space away from cars.

“In Bristol, we have a higher proportion of women who cycle than in the other Bike Life cities (40%), which indicates the growing culture and improved infrastructure to support cycling.  However, there is more work to be done.  We call on governments at all levels to work together to meet people’s needs by investing in segregated routes that make cycling across our cities attractive, safe and convenient.”

For more information and to read the Bike Life report, visit

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