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Update: Bristol to remove parking bays that replaced National Cycle Network bike lane

Deputy mayor concedes "we got this wrong"...

Bristol City Council has replaced a bike lane that’s part of the National Cycle Network with five car parking spaces that are expected to earn the council £20,000 per year in charges. And then changed its mind - see the update at the foot of this story.

Blogger ‘wheelsonthebike’ reports that at a recent meeting of the Bristol Cycle Forum, Terry Bullock, Bristol City Council’s traffic manager said that a section of lane on Colston Street had been replaced with the five parking spaces in August.

Mr Bullock was speaking as part of a discussion of Bristol Cycling Campaigns ‘Stop Pinching Bikes’ campaign which is attempting to get the council to implement proper quality assurance on road schemes so they do not create pinch points that endanger cyclists.

The new parking spaces on Colston Street are opposite a bus stop and the combination of parked cars and a stopped bus creates a pinch point that forces cyclists riding uphill out into the traffic.

Mr Bullock said that mistakes had been made before the quality assurance process had been fully implemented but said that things were improving.

Wheelsonthebike claims that the council’s actions are not matching its words.

Responding to Bristol Cycling Campaign's concern about pinch points in the city, Alistair Cox, Bristol’s city transport service manager wrote to Martin McDonnell of the campaign in July to say:

“It is of course not council policy to narrow a road to the extent that it disadvantages cycling, neither to expect cycling to share roads with heavy and fast traffic nor to build facilities that are obstructed by parked vehicles. It is completely understood that such conditions are a serious barrier to cycling by all except the few swift and brave enough to ‘take the lane’. These features can never form part of a comprehensive network suitable for all 8-80 years and it is our intention to build such a network.”

Update: Bristol backtracks

In response to a reader drawing this story to his attention, Bristol deputy mayor Mark Bradshaw this afternoon tweeted "we got this wrong re Colston St & I've asked for the pay & display bays to be removed."

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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