Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Why Bradford is rubbish for cycling

In the news this morning, it was announced that Bristol was the best cycling city in the UK – and Bradford the worst. Unfortunately, this is hardly surprising.
There are very few dedicated cycle routes around Bradford, especially in the city centre, which is surrounded by a 3-lane dual carriageway on three sides. I’ve seen very few cyclists attempt to use this which is scary enough as a motorist, never mind a cyclist. There’s a real lack of bike parking too – you would struggle to find any dedicated bike racks anywhere in the centre. While Bradford’s crime rate is no worse than any other big city, without proper places to lock bikes, the chances of finding your bike where you left it are slim.
Bradford’s geography doesn’t help either, being in a bowl surrounded by hills, but the lack of effort by the council in providing safe cycling routes means that more are inclined to drive, thus making Bradford’s congestion problems worse. Though I don’t cycle myself, as a pedestrian I see many a traffic jam on the way to and from work every day.
Bradford does have a number of green areas and I’m sure some investment in some off-road paths and footbridges over the ring road would encourage a modal shift away from cars to more sustainable forms of transport.
As for Bristol winning the poll, it may seem an odd choice against cities like Cambridge and my home town of York, but these smaller settlements were excluded in favour of just the 20 biggest towns and cities. While I’m sure Bristol has put in more effort than Bradford, I’m not sure whether the provision of cycle lanes, dedicated routes and safe cycle parking is on a par with its smaller, cycle-friendly counterparts.

One Comment

  1. Hi – Yes you are spot on. I ride from Bradford to Hudds, through Brighouse. It is the ride of death. A city as big as Bradford and the provsion for cycles is dire. The roads are the most dangerous I have ever used, the lighting is bad. Brighouse has a half hearted cycle lane that is more of a car park and area for broken bottles!