Space For Cycling: report on Bristol’s Big Ride, 17 May

The lively contribution of Roger Geffen (CTC) to to Bristol Cycling Campaign’s Annual General Meeting led us to organise Bristol’s own ‘Big Ride’ in support of Space for Cycling, coinciding with a huge event in London and others across the country, including in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Bristol City Council Assistant Mayors Mark Bradshaw (Labour) and Gus Hoyt (Green) were both in supportive attendance on the day. Near the beginning, Mark Bradshaw spoke enthusiastically about the cause of cycling. He then cut a red ribbon on the (not-quite-finished) Clarence Road cycle-track, already being described as ‘Dutch-Style’ in the media. Then off we went to Bedminster Bridge with marshals guiding riders safely around the hostile gyratory, then off to Princes Street, The Centre and Lewin’s Mead, then eventually on to College Green. The biggest challenge was a full circumnavigation of the St James Barton Roundabout, celebrated for its appearance in The Times newspaper as one of the worst in Britain for cycling.

At the end of the ride, Gus Hoyt met us at the doors of City Hall with warm words of support and to receive a copy of Bristol’s 4,000 signature ‘Freedom To Ride’ petition. Bristol’s Freedom To Ride manifesto is fully in line with the idea of ‘Space For Cycling’, originally developed by the London Cycling Campaign and taken up nationally by the CTC (see below).

There is a lovely gallery of images here (thanks to Sam Saunders). Read more in the news article. This video captures some of the mood of the ‘fun ride with a serious purpose’.