City council plans to swap car parks for bicycle racks
IF drivers think it's hard to find a parking space in the city centre at the moment, it's about to get worse.
Bristol City Council has decided to replace 12 pay and display car parking spaces with cycling stands.
Two car parking spaces are set to go in each of the following locations; Tyndall Avenue; Woodland Road; University Road; Park Street Avenue; Perry Road; King Street.
This will allow 72 more bikes to be parked in the centre, with six stands in each location and two bikes on each stand.
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But while the cars would have been charged to use the spots, cyclists will be able to use them for free.
The 12 bays currently generate around £35,000 in revenue every year but the council claims this will not be lost because people will just park elsewhere.
Installing all the stands will cost around £30,000, which includes stone surfacing and other measures to make the sites acceptable in Conservation Areas.
The council says it has installed the stands where there is no room for off-street cycle space, and that the 12 lost spaces are a small fraction of the 1,800 on-street spaces it has across Bristol.
The changes are being made as part of the £23-million Cycling City scheme that is aimed at getting more people in Bristol onto two wheels.
The announcement comes the day after the Evening Post revealed Bristol and its three neighbouring councils were told they should make life "more difficult, more expensive and more awkward" for drivers as a way of forcing people onto public transport.
Cycling City has seen 1,076 new on-street cycle parking stands installed across Bristol and South Gloucestershire to accommodate the growing number of cyclists in the area.
The council estimates there has been an 18 per cent growth in the number if cyclists in the last two years, around 5,000.
Hundreds of stands are also being installed on private land and in secure spaces provided by employers.
For example the Ministry of Defence is doubling parking for cycles by providing an extra 800 places at Filton Abbey Wood.
The Environment Agency is providing parking for 140 bikes at its new headquarters – enough for 20 per cent of their staff.
More than 200 stands have been installed at smaller employers and community groups.
But in May it was revealed there were not enough spaces at Cycling City's own headquarters to meet the demand from staff to come into work by bike.
Of 180 staff working at the council's transport HQ in Wilder Street, 68 cycle into work, but there are only 10 cycle racks for them.
In the council's city development headquarters at Brunel House, 113 of the 568 members of staff come in by bike, with only 40 racks.
Cabinet member for care and health Councillor Jon Rogers said: "Thanks to Cycling City, there are thousands less cars on the streets of Bristol at rush hour.
"It's very good news for everybody travelling into the city.
"Five thousand less cars means considerably less congestion whichever way you travel.
"And we are obviously confident that there is plenty of capacity to lose the modest number of car spaces to ease residents' cycle parking headaches."