Loughborough & District
Cycle Users' Campaign

Pedal Power
Issue 109
March 2014


Please try and attend the AGM which takes place at John Storer House at 7-30pm on Monday 10th March.

'Space for Cycling' to go national

(based on an article in CTC Cycle Campaign News)

Funding has been obtained from the cycle industry’s ‘Bike Hub’ fund, to co-ordinate a national ‘Space for Cycling’ campaign in partnership with the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) and local Cyclenation campaign groups around the UK.

This will build on the ‘Space for Cycling’ campaign devised by LCC, which they are running ahead of the London Borough elections in May. The national campaign will adapt the ‘Space for Cycling’ slogan to the very different political situation for cycle campaigning outside the capital.

The campaign seeks to create the conditions where anyone, of any age or ability, feels able to cycle safely, conveniently and enjoyably for any local journey, as part of a wider vision for healthy and liveable streets and communities. The CTC, Cyclenation and local campaign groups will be seeking commitments to consistently high standards of cycle-friendly planning and design, and the funding needed to deliver them from both local and national politicians.

Cycling, Health and Safety (OECD International Transport Forum)

(based on an article in CTC Cycle Campaign News)

This substantial new report on cycling reiterates the message that the health benefits to society of cycling outweigh the negative impacts.

“The health-improving effect is robust across different studies and in different geographic contexts and is greatest when moving from largely sedentary lifestyle patterns to more active ones. There is evidence that the range of morbidity-reducing effects is even greater than that of mortality-reducing effects - not only does cycling reduce disease-related deaths but it also contributes to substantially better health. “ [Page 19 ]

"the negative health impacts, including those related to crash-related mortality" are "19 times less than the benefits. The principal finding that the health benefits from cycling dwarf all other variables is robust to a range of assumptions regarding specific variables and monetary values."] [Page 20

It also recommends a focus on reducing the threats to cyclists' safety:
“Authorities seeking to improve cyclists' safety should adopt the Safe System approach -- policy should focus on improving the inherent safety of the traffic system, not simply on securing marginal improvements for cyclists in an inherently unsafe system”. [Recommendation 6]

A free online version is available or you can pay around £70 for a printed copy (248 pages).

Everyone wins from cycling

Reported in the blog 42 Bikes

Many people complain about cyclists and particularly the resources being devoted to encouraging people to cycle.

A blog “movementsci” points out that:

  • where we have a limited resource (space), giving priority to the least efficient use of that resource (cars) is fundamentally flawed.
  • Cycling is incredibly cheap compared to other ways of moving people around and provides paybacks in the region of 40:1; 4:1 just from the health benefits.
  • Building cycle infrastructure is what’s best for those people who will never travel by any other way than driving too.
  • Everyone wins from cycling, even those that won’t ever cycle.

Modelling the Health Impact of a 10% cycling mode share

(Dr James Woodcock for British Cycling)

This briefing explains the calculations behind the claim that a 10% cycling mode share could reduce the total burden of disease by just over 1% each year (equivalent to 92,000 extra years of healthy life gained from the reduction in new cases of disease in one year).

The author says: “This includes a reduction of nearly 5% in the burden of heart disease, diabetes and stroke and 4% in the burden from dementia. Total benefits from increased physical activity are around 97,000 years of healthy life gained whilst around 5,000 years of healthy life are lost due to the increase in injuries. Using a slightly different method the total number of premature deaths in one year could fall by just over 2%."

Crowd Sourcing Film “Bicycle”

A team that includes BAFTA winning director Michael B Clifford and international award winning film producer Pip Piper together with Rob Penn, broadcaster and author of acclaimed "It's All About the Bike" are planning to release ‘Bicycle’, an exciting feature documentary currently in production that tells the story of cycling in the land that invented the modern bicycle. Made by passionate cyclists, the film will show the story of the modern machine from its Victorian origins to its place in today’s cycling culture. ‘Bicycle’ premiers in early July 2014 to coincide with the Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire.

They are still hoping to raise additional funds through “crowd sourcing”.

Does Hi-Viz work?

(based on an article in CTC Cycle Campaign News)

A new study has shown that even if cyclists wear hi-viz clothing, a small percentage of drivers will still overtake them too closely. Sporting a variety of different outfits, both hi-viz and ‘normal’ and a distance sensor, researchers found that it made no difference to the amount of dangerous overtaking they experienced.

Open University Videos about the Bicycle

(based on an article in CTC Cycle Campaign News)

Following on from the successful “Science Behind the Bike” series last year, the Open University has now released “The Design Behind the Bike”, a new collection of five videos exploring how the development in technology has changed bike design and build over the last 100 years. As well as the history of design, subjects covered include: aesthetics; wheels; materials; and frame design.

Lies, Damn Lies and DfT Forecasts

Extract from an article in the Railway Magazine (January 2014) by Lord Berkeley – provided by John Buckland

Forecasts are generally wrong, and Department for Transport (DfT) forecasts are especially wrong; sometimes when people realise that they have made a mistake and that forecasts will never be achieved, they redo them. Not so with DfT; when in a hole, they keep on digging!

Take car usage: the Campaign for Better Transport reported in July 2013 the DfT car usage forecasts made in 1989, if achieved, would have resulted in 50% more car usage in 2012 than actually happened. Each year the DfT updates these, but never admits that the basis for them must be wrong since, for the last 3 years, car usage has gone down.

I recently asked a question in the Lords why the Government was building more roads when usage had declined; the response was that the DfT's National Transport Model predicts that the distance travelled by road vehicles will rise by 44% by 2035, much like it said in 1989!

More recently, the DfT has done the same with cycling when its model showed that cycle use and the distance travelled by bicycle are set to fall from 2015. Given that use has shot up every year for the last decade and some investment has gone in to help improve cycle infrastructure, what's going to happen in 2015? Are all those who cycle going to become so unfit that they take to their cars or is it that, if growth is forecast to stop, then funding can stop to?

As an excuse for building roads, the model can be useful. As a tool for allocating resources to areas of transport most in need, it is a pitiful failure.

Phil Goodwin, emeritus professor of transport at University College London, questioned whether the Government's model for future cycle use was fit for purpose. He said: "It is not just that they got the numbers wrong, they got the directions of change wrong, which seems to me to be a much bigger problem. If it says it's going down when it's going up, there is something seriously wrong with the model".

Highspeed 2 Cycle Crossing over the Trent

It has been proposed that wherever possible a cycle route should be built alongside the HS2 track. Nottingham Pedals has been consulted and has proposed a cycle path across the Trent on an adjacent way to the High Speed rail, or if not practical a way to be investigated utilising one of the existing rail crossings, e.g. cantilevered on the side of the Midland Main Line bridge east of Trent Lock and with possible connections to routes on the south side of the Trent and in the A453 corridor, including Sustrans NCN Route 15.

Road Humps for Leicester Rd south of Mountsorrel?

A notice setting out a proposal to introduce road hump traffic calming on this section of Leicester Road was advertised in the Loughborough Echo on 28th February.

In the editor's experience these humps are ineffective. The larger vehicles drive straight over them without them even registering.

Member Roger Hill has pointed out that the cushions are proposed where there is already a mandatory cycle lane. Unless the cycle lane is protected by splitter islands and a gap of about 1.5 metres cars will encroach on the cycle lane, putting cyclists at risk. Is the remaining road wide enough for 3 road humps and two splitter islands?


Objections can be emailed to jane.x.moore@leics.gov.uk Ref. JM/HTWMT/2409 before 21/3/14.

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