BaNES Council Cycle Champion has been abolished

A vital part of any council is the ability for residents with specific issues to know there is a councillor to go to who “owns” that issue. The conservative led council has decided to abolish ALL champions. This really does not bode well for cycling and walking in BaNES.

At the May Cycle Forum, Councillor Tony Clarke (99.999% likely to be Councillor for Transport) made it quite clear that he does not see cycling as one of the solutions to Bath’s transport issues as the predicted growth in cycling to work in the next 5 years is 23% from 2% to about 2.4%.
He recognised that a 4 fold increase in cycling to 8% would create “only” a 15% reduction in car use. The school run is calculated at being 20-25% of rush hour traffic.  Seville went from 1% to 11% in 3 years when they actually prioritised development of segregated cycle infrastructure. The Newbridge area nearest the river path of the city currently has 12% of people cycling to work. Larkhall has about 4% with similar topography. Bathampton is getting close to 10% of people cycling to work with higher levels in Combe Park. We already have 10% cycling in some areas of the city.
These areas have good access to traffic free routes into the heart of the city, the river path, the kennet and avon canal, Victoria Park. Let us not kid ourselves, this council, from the officers through to the new administration are lacking ambition.
Cycle to work in the Bath area.
Cycle to work in the Bath area.

You do not build a bridge based on the number of people swimming a river. There is a pent up want in this region to cycle and walk. It just needs to be safe enough for a 6 year old to negotiate.


  1. I totally agree with you here – I’d love to know what research they’re basing this prediction on of 2% – 2.4% growth in cycling.

    We’re currently designing a cycling product for a couple of very sharp business leaders from the City of London. They see a huge potential growth in cycling around the UK, the recent increases in London just being the start of it.

    So I think you are right about the pent up (and therefore hidden) demand – build it and they will come.

  2. Adam, you have done a brilliant job so far, and are bath’s default cycling champion, so please dont lose heart. But it does look like progress for cycling in bath will get sidelined by this administration. No surprise there, really.

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