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1. Introduction, vision and targets

Vision for cycling in South Gloucestershire

People of all ages and abilities should be able to cycle in comfort in South Gloucestershire.

South Gloucestershire Council is proud of what it has achieved for cyclists in recent years; significant improvements have been made to the strategic cycle network, increased numbers of people have received Bikeability training, and public satisfaction with our Walking and Cycling provision is amongst the highest in the Country. The aim of this document is to build on those achievements, ensuring future investment in cycling is focused on achieving our aims and objectives.

Cycling is a cheap, healthy and pollution free way for people to get around and we will aim to make cycling an easy option for people to use for local journeys. We will do this by making the local transport network as safe and convenient for cycling as possible through our investment in improved cycling infrastructure and high quality maintenance.

Our cycling aims are to:

  • make cycling simpler;
  • make cycling safer;
  • make cycling more attractive; and
  • make better places.
Benefits of cycling
For Cyclists:

  • Cheap – no fuel required! A year’s bike maintenance costs a lot less than other forms of transport.
  • Healthy – cycling can help improve your fitness and reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity.
  • Reliable journey times – bicycles don’t get stuck in traffic congestion meaning that cycling journey times are more consistent and can be a quicker option for local journeys than the car.

For Employers:

  • Productivity – getting more people cycling to work will create a healthier and more alert workforce resulting in lower absence rates due to sickness.
  • Efficient use of space – 8 bicycles can be parked in the space of one car.

For Wider Society:

  • Less congestion – replacing car journeys with cycling means fewer cars on the road.
  • Less pollution – fewer cars on the road means cleaner air.


In order to help us successfully meet our 4 Cycling Aims we have developed the following objectives:

  • To get more people cycling, more safely, more often
  • To provide safe and accessible cycling for users of all ages and abilities
  • To maintain, improve and expand our cycle network
  • To make cycling the fastest way to get from A-B for most short journeys
  • To ensure cycling links well with other sustainable transport modes to encourage long multimodal journeys.
  • To provide a comprehensive network of cycle routes across the authority, linking key housing, employment and leisure sites.
  • To effectively promote our cycle routes in schools, businesses and communities, as well as online.

This Cycle Strategy will address gaps in the existing cycle network to help improve connections for cyclists. Evidence from local residents and businesses has shown us that there is great potential for cycling to grow as a means of travel. This document will create a plan for how cycling projects will be implemented, and how cycling behaviour programmes will be delivered. Its success will be measured against the following targets:


  • Cycling will account for 20% of commuter trips by 2026
  • 30% reduction in all Cyclist casualties by 2020
  • To continue and increase current levels of Bikeability training within schools
  • To maintain or improve current high levels of public satisfaction with Walking and Cycling¹

Teaching children to ride safely and confidently is a crucial factor in encouraging cycling as a lifestyle choice. From 2011 to 2015 the number of people Bikeability trained has increased by 36% in South Gloucestershire. In 2014-15 more than 2,800 people received Bikeability training at Levels 1-3.  The Council are actively delivering Bikeability in 71 out of 83 primary schools and 9 out of 16 secondary schools.

The Council have recently piloted Bikeability Recycle and this has meant that 56 bikes have been given to children who would not previously of had access to bikes and will now be able to access Bikeability training.

Trainees taking part in Bikeability Recycle as part of the Bikeability Plus pilot:

Bikeability photo Photo of boy riding bikeability bike


¹ – 2015 NHT Public satisfaction survey rated South Gloucestershire 61% satisfaction overall for Walking and Cycling, best in the South West and Second Best Nationally.