Bristol Cycling Campaign outline 2021 priorities

After a lively and extremely busy start to 2021, we are pleased to outline our priorities for the year. It is going to be an exciting year for cycling in Bristol with mayoral and council elections, infrastructure improvements and the increasing recognition of cycling as a valuable mode of transport.

The new year saw the election of Toby Wells and Tom Swithinbank as new chairs of Bristol Cycling Campaign. Together we decided it was time for a fresh look at how we work and what we want to achieve in 2021.

Below we have outlined our priorities, and how you might be able to get involved (click here for neater table). We would love to hear your thoughts and how you might be able to help. To see our diary of meetings please click here, all welcome.

If you are interested in any of the below projects please Contact Us.

Increase the diversity of the campaignFor many reasons a number of groups and sections of society are under-represented when it comes to riding a bike in Bristol. We want to change this to improve our city’s health and reduce inequalities.
But we need to change as a campaign; we need the campaign to reflect the city.
We will set up a Diversity Action Group to look at why we aren’t currently representative and how we can change this.

We want to work with groups across the city to understand the barriers to working with us, the challenges to talking about cycling and to see how we can help each other make Bristol a more accessible city for all.

Increase the awareness of the campaign and opportunities to get involvedWe aim for a much higher proportion of Bristol residents to recognise what we stand for and to embrace us as a tool to help them achieve a more equitable city.
We aim to be the representative body for cycling in the city, the organisation that people think of when they come across an issue or improvement that could be made.
This involves representing current cyclists and their views and concerns but more importantly those of residents that want to cycle but don’t feel it is safe enough.
A new website, a clearer content and social media strategy and better relationships with partners who can promote our work.

This increased awareness must then go hand in hand with a trust and appreciation that our skills and experience can push your project or idea along.

All our meetings are now available for anyone to join, just follow the link in the diary.

Increase engagement in consultation responsesAlmost every month we submit responses to planning applications and consultations that will impact on cycling provision for the region.
These are undertaken by our volunteers to inform policy decisions in the short and long term.However, do the wider public know about this work? Not at all.
We need to make our volunteers’ work more visible so people can use our response to inform their own, to use our response to help inform councillors of good practice and to drive change.
We need to publish our responses earlier and in a clearer fashion on our website. Our templates will also help others complete consultations in a clearer, more impactful manner.

But we also need your help: politics is about numbers.

Can you share our consultation responses on social media and encourage others to contribute to them?
Can you share our work with your networks e.g. cycling clubs, colleagues, parents groups etc.

Improve our relationships with politicians and other stakeholders in BristolWe recognise that in order to have more influence in the city we need to improve our engagement with stakeholders in all forms. Whilst we have good relationships with the officers at Bristol Council and other Active Travel advocates, we are keen to work more closely with stakeholders and politicians.We have already arranged six-weekly meetings with Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Transport, and monthly meetings with council officers. We have also strengthened our relationships with fellow campaigns, Sustrans, Liveable Bristol, Parents for School Streets and Bristol Walking Alliance.

If your organisation would like to meet with us please let us know.

Mayoral and PCC ManifestoThis is a big year in politics in Bristol:
A Mayoral election for BCC and WECA, Councillor elections and a Police and Crime Commissioner election.We anticipate the future of high streets, and particularly the role of cycling and cycling developments, being a focal point of debates.Which politicians will really back cycling as a genuine transport mode for our city?Which WECA candidate will fund our cycling network instead of a road building project?Which councillors will push for School Streets and pedestrian friendly high streets in their ward?
We are currently in the process of developing a manifesto that people can use to show candidates the sort of action they want from their politicians.

We will also seek to engage with Mayoral candidates to discuss these asks and explain how crucial cycling is to achieving the city and region’s objectives regarding health, connectivity and resilience.

Can you help us with the marketing and PR aspects of this campaign?

Increase public engagement with Road JusticeThe work of our Road Justice team continues, meeting with Avon & Somerset police to discuss how policing in the region could better protect those on bikes.

It would be great to see more awareness of this side of our work and for people to come to us with feedback following incidents and issues with policing in our region.

We currently have a survey running to gather feedback on the future of safety from criminal behaviour on the Bristol-Bath Railway Path.

We intend to organise more public meetings to enable a wider audience to get involved with this side of our work.

We would also like to host a webinar with guest speakers to look at how best practice can be applied to our region.

Develop relationships with bike shops and cycling clubsWe would love for bike shops and cycling clubs to promote and share our work.

Bristol’s cycling clubs have thousands of members: we need to work harder to build relationships so that cycling clubs want to share key consultations and messages.

We are planning to discuss options with bike shops so that they can spread the word and offer a discount to our members.

Can you help by talking to your local bike shop? Could you act as a link between ourselves and Bristol’s cycling clubs?

In return could we help you host talks and events and integrate your views into our consultation responses.