Cycling interviews: Geoff Gollop, Conservative Party candidate

Geoffrey Richard GOLLOP photographGeoff Gollop, recently appointed as Conservative Party candidate is the latest to complete and return our cycling questionnaire.

To see the other interviews and to vote for the candidate you think will be best for cycling, please visit this page





1. Do you cycle? If so, what sort of cyclist would you describe yourself? (eg commuter, wobbler, lycra-wearer)

I’m a Wobbler – I love cycling and would love to use my bicycle more in Bristol, but in truth many of the routes and junctions are very dangerous for cyclists. This is one of the first things I would be addressing as mayor.

2. In general terms, what is your opinion of cyclists in Bristol? (eg congestion busting, eco-warriors; above the law bunch of *****; other)

People cycle for lots of different reasons – to stay fit, improve health, save money and increasingly save time commuting. Cycling is essential if we’re to cut congestion in Bristol and we have to make it easy, safe and accessible to all.

3. What in your view are the biggest problems faced by cyclists in Bristol?

Safety is the biggest problem – some of the cycle routes and road junctions still need a lot of work. I know it sounds like a minor thing, but Bristol is very hilly and that puts a lot of potential commuters off cycling, so I would look to introduce Boris Bikes in the city, which people could leave in the centre if they’d rather walk home or get the bus. We have a culture of cycling in Bristol – we’re already streets ahead of other cities - and we need to nurture it.

4. What was your opinion of Bristol as a Cycling City?

We have made huge improvements, but there’s still work to be done.

5. If there was one thing you could do to improve cycling in the city, what would it be?

Introducing Boris Bikes, which would allow people to pick up a bike and drop it off wherever they liked, without having to keep bikes in flats, or worry about theft. Boris Bikes at Temple Meads and other railway stations would mean cyclists wouldn’t need to bring their bikes on trains.

6. The Greater Bristol Cycling Strategy 2011-2026 has targets of 20% of all journeys by bike by 2026 (with an intermediate target of 9% by 2015). The baseline figure was 4% of all journeys in 2008 Do you endorse these targets?

I do endorse these targets and I would be working hard to meet them.

7. The same strategy suggests that funding should be allocated at £11 per capita across the strategy area, rising to £20 in target areas. If elected, would you commit this level of resources to cycling?

Transport arrangements affect everyone and improving and encouraging cycling is one of my key policies. Without knowing the precise Council budgets for the next 3-4 years, it’s hard to put figures into place – nobody can – but I will commit to doing all I can to achieve these levels.

8. Will you endorse the Times Campaign 8 point manifesto

On the whole, especially safety and business involvement.

9. What other measures would you seek to introduce which either directly or indirectly will promote cycling? Do you have any other comments about cycling, walking or other methods of sustainable travel?

I will have some policy announcements in the coming months...