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Bike experts crown Bristol “UK’s best cycling city”

06/04/10 Bristol has been named in the country’s “best cycling city” in a poll for the latest issue of the UK’s bestselling bike magazine, Cycling Plus – whilst major cities including London and Birmingham languish near the bottom of the list.

In a major new survey, Cycling Plus has ranked Britain’s 20 biggest cities for their ‘rideability’ – with Bristol taking top position.

Cycling Plus measured a weighted set of criteria such as environmental issue, theft and accident rates, cycle-friendly networks and schemes, bike shops and the number of active cyclists to create a list of top 20 cycling cities.

Bristol, the UK’s first official Cycling City claimed pole position, topping the lists for the number of active cyclists in the city, with 1426 CTC (the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation) members and 4.94% of the population commuting to work each day.

It also led the way with Cyclescheme participants, with 1 in 86 people (4424) taking part in the government’s cycle to work initiative. Other factors such as the condition of the roads and annual rainfall conspired to get more bums on saddles, making Bristol the best all-round city for cycling.

Coming in last was Bradford, which suffered from the lowest number of CTC members (133), the lowest number of National Cycle Network links with only 10 miles of motor-free routes available and only 6 independent specialist bike shops.

The top 10 cities are:

1.      Bristol
2.      Nottingham
3.      Leicester
4.      Manchester
5.      Edinburgh
6.      Newcastle
7.      Stoke-on-Trent
8.      Cardiff
9.      Swansea
10.     Plymouth

Rob Spedding, Editor of Cycling Plus said:

“As Britain’s first Cycling City it’s perhaps no surprise that Bristol should claim the top spot in our first ever survey of the UK’s biggest conurbations. It has it’s critics – local cyclists who feel that progress isn’t being made quickly enough – but this shows that Bristol is certainly moving in the right direction.
That said, it was a close run thing as Nottingham, Leicester and Manchester also scored highly in the areas at which Bristol excel – participation, bike shops, traffic-free cycle routes, low pollution levels…And although Bradford finished bottom in this year’s poll it still boasts one of the highest levels of great sportive rides within easy reach of it’s population, good air quality and decent roads!”

To read the full article, read Cycling Plus – on sale 29th March priced at £3.99.
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