Bristol - Cycling City



In 2008 Bristol won the bid to be the demonstration 'Cycling City' for the rest of the country, despite having lots of hills, narrow roads and a huge level of car dependency.

A year into the launch of Cycling City, Miles Warde bikes round Bristol to find out how the initiative is working on the streets, where the 22.8 million pounds that has been ringfenced for the project is going, and the chances of reaching the highly ambitious target of doubling the number of cyclists in the area within three years.

He hears from a range of cyclists, some of the people responsible for the budget, and a couple of cycling visionaries who sense that a better world is within our grasp.

How millions of pounds is being spent on making Bristol the first Cycling City in England.


March 2011 is the cut-off date for Bristol to turn itself into a Cycling demonstration City over three years. Originally the idea was that this would be a pioneering project followed by many other cities - indeed, it came from the umbrella organisation Cycling England. The many stakeholders in cycling culture provided a great deal of lively debate as to how the overall funding of £22.8 should be spent and how the success of the project should be measured. Since the original award, Cycling England itself has been abolished in the bonfire of the quangos, and it seems unlikely that funding like this will be available again for some time to come. Miles Warde, who surveyed the early stages of the project last year, saddles up again to find out where the money has gone, how it's been accounted, and whether Cycling City has been a success.

Producer Christine Hall.

As the three-year project to make Bristol bike-friendly ends, Miles Warde investigates.