Bristol

Cycling 'not safe' in Bristol says Kerry McCarthy MP

A Bristol MP has claimed the city is not safe enough for cyclists, despite it being named as England's first cycling city four years ago.

Labour's Bristol East MP, Kerry McCarthy, said streets are too crowded, and cycle lanes "too confusing".

She also suggested banning vehicles on Sundays to allow cyclists to use the roads.

Jon Rogers from the city council said £23m had been invested since Bristol was made an official cycling city.

'Own the road'

Ms McCarthy said the idea of banning cars from certain roads in the city for a few hours on Sundays and bank holidays should be looked at.

"It's been tried elsewhere and it's been very successful. Bogota [the Colombian capital] has been doing it for 25 years, and I believe Seattle does something similar," she said.

"Bristol is approaching gridlock, it's got the slowest average traffic speeds of any city.

"The cycle lanes are incredibly confusing. To get round Temple Meads to join the Bristol and Bath [Railway] path, there are little bits that start and then stop."

"We have to look at what changes we can make - whether it's closing some roads or introducing 20mph zones, things that can be done that can make it safer to cycle."

Mr Rogers said: "We've got 8,000 new bike racks, 2,000 new signs, and 53km (33 miles) of new and improved routes, but we need to keep that sort of investment going for years.

"There are some cyclists around that think they own the road and they don't, but then there are some car drivers and bus drivers that think they own the road and they don't.

"We have to share and respect one another."

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