Over in the cycling mailing lists -which we spy on- lots of people are complaining "where is the road space that Cllr Gollop says the cycling city program has stolen"? They point out that the big infrastructure projects are on parkland, public commons and pavements. In the city centre, no road space has been re-allocated from motor vehicle to bicycle.
This misses the point. Every bicycle on our road is stealing roadspace just from the taxpayer who could fit in the same space. What is worse, by slowing down the vehicles behind, they are slowing down important people to their speed.
Here is an example, Stokes Croft at about 9am one weekday.
You can hear a car sounding its horn -it's the black golf turning left at 0:12. Why is it upset? There is a bicycle going straight on in its way. It should not be there! There is a small cycle lane in the left side of the road used for parking, and if the cyclists aren't using that, they are holding up people in a hurry -they deserve to be harassed.
We count 10 bicycles going towards town in a minute -one every second. They have effectively stolen the left lane from important people. Admittedly, that left lane is a bus lane right up to the soon-to-open "tesco minimart designated parking area", formerly known as "the cheltenham road bike lane". We know that bus lanes are for important people to drive in or park in, and these troublemakers are denying us this right.
This is the real failure of the Cycling City program, that during its lifetime the number of cyclists on the road has increased, and that by doing so, they are taking away road space from the city, even without any new bike lanes or paths appearing in the city centre.