Bike Life Bristol 2017 report finds some progress

The second Bike Life Bristol report has been published by Sustrans. It’s a useful snapshot of cycling in the city (and it is only the 2/3 of the city that’s in the Bristol Council area), as with the first one in 2015, Bike Life – Taking the pulse of bike life in Bristol.

  • Cycling in Bristol keeps 24,000 cars off the road every day enough to cause a 73-mile long tailback
  • Three fifths of households (60%) have access to at least one bike
  • 112 miles of cycle routes (from 106 miles in 2015), including 75 miles of routes physically separated from vehicles (from 71 miles in 2015)
  • 72% of residents would like to see more investment in cycling in Bristol (70% in 2015). This includes 55% of those aged over 65, those least likely to ride a bike
  • 77% of residents support building more protected cycle lanes, even when this can mean less room for other road traffic
  • Whilst over half (54%) of people think Bristol is a good place to ride a bike overall (60% in 2015), when you dig deeper there are clear concerns about safety. Only 29% of people think cycling safety in Bristol is good (31% in 2015), and only 20% think safety of children’s cycling is good.
  • There is a 90p net benefit for Bristol for each mile cycled instead of driven which adds up to £62 million annual benefit to Bristol from all trips made by bicycle

Bike Life is inspired by the Copenhagen Bicycle Account, and is an assessment of city cycling development including infrastructure, travel behaviour, satisfaction, the impact of cycling, and new initiatives.

Since Bristol became the UK’s first “Cycling City” in 2008, cycling levels have grown 10% every year, demonstrating that with sustained investment of £16 per person, real change is possible. With the number of trips to work by bike now at 10%, people on bikes make up a third of all traffic on some routes at peak times

The information in this report comes from local cycling data, modelling and a representative survey of over 1,100 residents in Bristol conducted by ICM. More details on all Bike Life reports can be found at