Town Centre “Improvements”
Roger Hill and John Catt have met with officers from Leicestershire County Council in Loughborough. Various improvements have been identified but when and if these are to be scheduled is not known.
The question was asked as to how the decision to ban cycling in the town centre had come about. The answer was that this was made in conjunction with the decision to ban buses. It was evident that we had been under the misapprehension that cycling would be allowed along the route of the old A6 at all times because of assurances received before the bus consultation began.
Although the bus consultation didn't mention cycles, we should have appreciated that when it referred to all vehicles, this included cyclists. Therefore we should have objected to the restriction on all vehicles. As we didn't, we don't have a case.
Interstellar by-passes, Vogons and the “Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy” come to mind. (A Babel Fish might have managed to make things clear.)
Needed: Cycle-Rail Reps
Cyclenation is represented on the Cycle-Rail Working Group as part of the UK Cycling Alliance (UKCA) with Martyn Brunt attending meetings and feeding back on developments. It is hoping to form a group that can be kept informed of developments and act as a sounding board for any proposals that come out of the train operators.
If you would be interested in becoming a member of this group please let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Transport Finance
A written parliamentary question was put to the Secretary of State for Transport asking “what estimate his Department has made of planned spending on (a) cycling, (b) walking, (c) public transport and (d) roads contained in local growth plans in each Local Enterprise Partnership area in each of the next six years.”
The figures for Leicester and Leicestershire appear below. The full table can be downloaded here.
|Local Growth Fund: Total estimated spend (£m) on new projects |
announced in Growth Deals (July 2014).
All years 2015/16 to 2020/21 split by
(b) public transport
(c) cycling and walking
(d) mixed mode schemes
|£m||Roads||Public Transport||Cycling & Walking||Mixed||Total|
|Leicester & Leicestershire||7.9||1||0||12.6||21.5|
Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have varying degrees of freedom to vary spend between projects and between years. The figures relate to all the years 2015 to 2021 inclusive.
Happily these figures are not quite as depressing as they first appear. Many schemes designated as ‘road’ and ‘public transport’ also include some cycling and walking infrastructure. Spend designated as ‘mixed’ includes individual schemes within which sustainable modes, including cycling and walking, are significantly represented.
However, the fact that no specific cycling and walking projects have been listed does not breed confidence that cycling will receive much promotion locally.
Cyclenation-CTC conference 2014
The annual Cyclenation-CTC conference took place on 22 November at Lambeth Town Hall, hosted by London Cycling Campaign. Campaigners from all over the UK and Ireland made the trip to London to share their knowledge and experience.
Vice chair of London Cycling Campaign, Mustafa Arif, said that “we're now seeing real change for cycling but targets for modal share of cycling in London are still too low”. He talked about the importance of passion of people locally, and said that drive must come from local campaigns.
CTC's Chief Exec, Paul Tuohy, reported that over 1500 councillors across the UK have now pledged to support Space for Cycling, but the Government's Cycling and Walking Delivery plan remains desperately short on leadership, funding and ambition.
Jennifer Brathwaite, from the London Borough of Lambeth, talked about how to promote cycling as a normal activity. She said you can't talk about clean air, or health, without talking about cycling - it can be a solution to many of the issues councils face, and it's time it became a mainstream activity.
A brief conference report with presentation downloads is available here.
New Vision and Policies for CycleNation
Following Cyclenation's very successful EGM & Conference in London in November it has set out a new Vision and Policies.
The Vision of the federation is to achieve a strong network of advocates for everyday cycling, for everyone, in every community.
The Purpose of the federation is to:
- Facilitate networking, information-exchange, training and mutual support among local campaigners and campaign groups;
- Facilitate dialogue and co-ordination between those involved in local and national-level campaigning;
- Enable the development and delivery of nationally co-ordinated campaigns designed to be delivered locally;
- Provide a comprehensive set of resources and information about and for local cycling campaigning;
- Develop and strengthen campaign groups of all sizes, and help form new groups where none exist.
The agreed policies relating to “Protected Space for Cycling” are:
- When cycling, people should be able to access all key destinations, in conditions which are safe and comfortable enough for everyday cycling.
- When cycling in built up areas, people should not be expected to share space with motor vehicles moving above 20mph.
- When cycling, people should only be expected to share space with motor traffic where volumes are low. On key routes this should not exceed the Dutch maximum for main cycle routes, 2,000 Passenger Car Units per day.
- Where current motor traffic speeds or volumes are too high we expect improvements to either:
- ensure that motor traffic volumes and speeds are at levels acceptable for sharing;
- provide high quality protected cycle infrastructure.
- ensure that motor traffic volumes and speeds are at levels acceptable for sharing;
- Provision for cycling should be universal, and of a high quality, suitable for people of all ages and abilities.
Campaign Groups on Cycle City Ambition money
The campaign groups linked to the cities receiving Cycle City Ambition have written to Robert Goodwill MP at the Department for Transport as summarised below:
- Stop‐start grants
Consistent, long term and specific investment in cycling is desperately needed to encourage authorities to design and build the high quality, coherent networks that will attract new people to cycling. The award of short‐term grants for cycling creates a situation where local authorities cannot plan strategic and comprehensive cycle networks.
Recommendation: A national commitment to cycling as an everyday mode of transport, with cross‐ departmental support and dedicated long term investment.
The short timescale for designing and delivering the projects has presented a huge challenge to the local authorities. The problem is heightened by the lack of clear infrastructure standards. The aim should be to see the best possible standards and returns achieved through this injection of funding, even if this means slightly delayed implementation.
Recommendation: Relaxation, where appropriate, of the expected completion date for CCAG projects.
- Consultation with local groups and community involvement
The level of involvement of local groups, including the cycling community, has been mixed:
- an open consultation and engagement process is ongoing in some areas, in others, cycling groups have been excluded from the process;
- More commitment to engage with user groups is required from many of the local authorities involved.
Recommendation: Ensure local authorities create direct communication channels between DfT and local campaign groups.
- Perceived necessity to maintain existing motor traffic levels
Local authorities are reluctant to create dedicated space for cycling because installation of effective cycling provision often leads to reduced capacity for motorised traffic. The DfT needs to reconsider how we use our roads and streets to deliver the high‐quality provision required to encourage more people to travel more actively.
Recommendation: DfT to confirm that capacity for private motor‐traffic should not be prioritised above walking, cycling and public transport.
- Department for Transport regulations and guidance
Under regulations, some types of continental best‐practice cannot be implement in the UK. Infrastructure with a proven record overseas needs to be adopted in the UK without delay. Local guidance in the UK is fragmented and to ensure consistency the DfT must take the lead a produce a single national document of cycle infrastructure standards.
Recommendation: DfT to urgently progress national standards for cycle infrastructure and publish standardised audits of all CCAG projects.
The letter in full can be read here.