More people are cycling to work in Stroud and Cheltenham, according to new Government figures. But other Gloucestershire districts have shown an alarming downturn, especially in the Cotswolds, where commuting by bike dropped by 26%. The local MP blames the poor condition of the roads.
A father-of-two died when he lost control of his bicycle and fell into Bristol's Floating Harbour, an inquest heard. Sean Phillips, 40, from Backwell, north Somerset, had been training for a charity ride when the accident happened on March 6 2013.
Avon Coroner's Court heard the wheels of Mr Phillips' bicycle may have become trapped in rails which guide the cranes on Prince's Wharf. Mr Phillips, a procurement manager, was seen to suddenly lose balance on his mountain bike before plunging into freezing water nearby.
Two members of the public quickly jumped in to rescue the charity fundraiser, who had been wearing a helmet, but despite their "heroic efforts" he died at the scene. The inquest heard Bristol City Council had been aware of concerns for the safety of cyclists for a decade.
Avon Coroner Maria Voisin, who reached a conclusion of accidental death, said Mr Phillips' death had prompted a series of changes to make the harbourside safer. The inquest heard there are now signs warning cyclists to use a different route due to the tracks.
The Transport Minister Norman Baker has announced £40 million to improve safety for cyclists on roads across England. He says,
"Cycling is healthy and reduces congestion so it is welcome news that more and more people are taking to two wheels.
"Ensuring this funding is targeted where improvements will make a real difference to cyclists is just one way we are ensuring this trend continues".
In South Gloucestershire, £275,000 improvements will be made to the A38 Gloucester Road. £100,000 of that will come from the Government while South Gloucestershire council will make up the rest.
In Bath, £322,100 will be spent on the Two Tunnels path, Northern Link. £252,100 from Government funds and £70,000 from Bath & North East Somerset Council.
In Bristol, £260,000 will be used to make Baldwin Street safer (half from the Government and half from the council). £500,000 will be used for a cycle path by the Gloucester Road (the funding again split between the Government and Bristol City Council)