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Bristol plans to build a new £14 million cycling centre

The new centre would replace the current Bristol Family Cycle Centre

Bristol City Council is planning to bid for about £14 million from the government’s Levelling Up fund to pay for a new multipurpose cycling centre. 

The new facility would replace the current Bristol Family Centre, which would be used as space for new housing.

In a recent cabinet report, Hannah French, deputy head of policy and public affairs, said: “The Bristol Cycling Centre will be a multi-million-pound capital bid to construct and operate a new purpose-built regional cycling centre, incorporating a competition-standard cycling track at Lawrence Weston.

“The cycling centre will be an inclusive facility with a core cycling programme that enables new and existing riders to improve their riding, skills, confidence, fitness and wellbeing. It will also be the focus for supporting more specialist programmes, such as social prescribing and physical rehabilitation.”

The report outlines multiple potential benefits to the cycling centre, including more residents cycling and walking, and improved health outcomes. It says: "Protected cycle infrastructure will disproportionally benefit children, women and black and minority ethnic cyclists who typically cite safety as the biggest barrier to cycling."

The council is match funding 10 per cent (£1.3m) of the Levelling Up Fund through the Clean Air Zone.

It is expected that the new cycling centre could open by 2024. 

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

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10 comments

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Ride On | 1 year ago
1 like

Top notch facilities very welcome.

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brooksby | 1 year ago
2 likes

When does Marvin stop being elected mayor? This plan will be scrapped about a nanosecond later... Of course, an awful lot of money will have been spent on "consultancy" before that point 

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Rendel Harris replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
1 like
brooksby wrote:

When does Marvin stop being elected mayor? This plan will be scrapped about a nanosecond later... Of course, an awful lot of money will have been spent on "consultancy" before that point 

He's mayor to 2024 so if it follows the schedule here it'll be done before he leaves.

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
0 likes

Why would it be scrapped? With Marvellous Marv gone and a return to the committee system, the greens will have more of a say (not less) considering he excluded the elected greens from the cabinet. Won't the greens be even more 'Pro active travel'?

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Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
2 likes

How is a building classed as "protected cycling infrastructure"?

And how will a competition level track benefit minorities, children and women?

and how much is the land being sold for?

Seems like pork barrelling to me.

As others have said on thread there are better ways of spending £13m.

 

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chrisonabike replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
3 likes

I'm not saying this is pure and holy.  (I wonder if there's any public spending which doesn't happen to particularly benefit a few people, as well as the public).  But reading the actual report it's not the kind of blantant grab from "ring-fenced for active travel" money to fix holes in budgets or even fund motor vehicle infra we've seen from councils elsewhere.

They've got two bids going in - one is a more general "area regeneration" one.  The other's the cycling centre and that's seeking funding from levelling up money.  The strand they've gone for includes improving areas through "sporting facilities".  Presumably to help get the money they're stretching this a bit by saying the centre will deliver various "help get you cycling" programmes.

I also can't see why there's money for many things but nothing (or peanuts) for genuine high quality active travel infrastructure.  However this one doesn't look like one to really complain about.

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pockstone | 1 year ago
9 likes

How about half a dozen secure ( as in staffed) bike parking facilites at local/central shopping streets, campuses, rail terminals. Then join them up with some cycle lanes or LTNs. My biggest obstacle to utilitarian cycling is not having anywhere safe to leave the bike. I could only have commuted to work for the last few years because my employer had half decent secure bike parking and changing facilities. ( I could have managed without the latter, except perhaps the drying room on occasion.)

If I was in Bristol I could probably manage to live without a 'Family cycling centre' but being able to cycle safely to the shops or school and know I wouldn't have to get a taxi back would seriously encourage me to cycle more.

I know it shouldn't be either/or but ...

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hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes
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ktache | 1 year ago
6 likes

Won't this just increase the flooding risk?

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chrisonabike replied to ktache | 1 year ago
8 likes

They're mitigating that by putting in road access and lots of car parking.

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