Project Details

Description

Putting a Positive Spin on the Story of Cycling represents the second stage of a project developed with local charity Life Cycle, and a group of riders aged 55 or above who have returned to cycling as a form of transportation and/or physical activity in recent years. This second phase of work has been part-funded by PolicyBristol and the ESRC Impact Accelerator Account (UoB). PPS was devised with this group of riders and will capture their stories and mobilise them to drive behavioural change and policy-making whilst also generating new ideas to encourage cycling across the life-course.

The benefits of cycling for Bristol are clear: a healthier population, less traffic congestion, and a cleaner urban environment. Yet, to encourage mass take-up of cycling, we need to transform the ways in which individuals, policy makers and organisations (from cycling advocacy groups to those with an interest in health and well-being) talk and think about cycling. For too long, debates about the benefits of cycling have focused predominantly on concerns about infrastructure and/or the risks of cycling on overcrowded roads. The path to positive behaviour change is often obstructed by an implicit and often instantaneous association of cycling with risk or danger. This project will change the discourse surrounding cycling through a series of innovative engagement events in which knowledge is not merely exchanged between researchers and a members of the public but is generated through the co-production of novel ideas and approaches to cycling that directly involve stakeholders and policy makers. We aim to:

1) devise - with Life Cycle - strategies to encourage greater uptake of cycling based on the power of memory and storytelling, as well as promoting the health benefits that cycling brings. This will allow us to establish a long-term partnership with Life Cycle that will enable them to continue to develop and deliver successful projects through research-informed practice (e.g. Bike Minded, https://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/wellbeing);

2) develop - with Life Cycle, its riders and other stakeholders including Bristol City Council (BCC) - new ways of influencing policy in Bristol amongst a varied group of stakeholders, including other cycling advocacy groups, those with a more general interest in health and well-being and BCC’s policy makers;

3) approach and engage with a range of policy-makers and influencers (e.g. city councils, clinical commissioning groups, Public Health England, government departments) who focus on particular areas of policy (e.g. transport, environment, education, older age, physical health, mental health, public health) in order to ‘grow’ our network of contacts within these areas.

Layman's description

The benefits of cycling for Bristol are clear: a healthier population, less traffic congestion, and a cleaner urban environment. Yet, to encourage mass take-up of cycling, we need to transform the ways in which individuals, policy makers and organisations (from cycling advocacy groups to those with an interest in health and well-being) talk and think about cycling. For too long, debates about the benefits of cycling have focused predominantly on concerns about infrastructure and/or the risks of cycling on overcrowded roads. The path to positive behaviour change is often obstructed by an implicit and often instantaneous association of cycling with risk or danger. This project will change the discourse surrounding cycling through a series of innovative engagement events that draw up and mobilise positive experiences and memories of cycling amongst a community of older cyclists in Bristol. We will consider what lessons can be learned from the stories these riders tell us, how they can be mobilised by cycling advocacy groups like our partner Life Cycle, and how these lessons can influence and be implemented in the form of policy.
Alternative titlePositive Spin
AcronymPPS
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/04/1931/07/19

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Humanities Health and Science
  • cycling
  • older age
  • wellbeing
  • memory
  • story telling

Projects