Loughborough & District
Cycle Users' Campaign

Pedal Power
Issue 115
March 2015


AGM Reminder

John Storer House will once again be the venue for our AGM at 7-30pm on Monday 9th March 2015. Please do your best to attend.

The Bike Shed is no more

Steve, the proprietor of The Bike Shed on Cumberland Road, no longer sells bicycles or offers repairs and accessories. He has refocused the business on assembling tricycles.

Removal of Centre Lines from some roads

Leicestershire's Director of Environment and Transport has produced a report looking at the implications of not replacing road centre lines following surface dressing treatment on certain roads.

This would reduce costs and have a positive effect on the character of the location, especially in rural areas or areas of historic importance. In addition, without a centre line, a road appears narrower and if drivers have no defined area of carriageway that is ‘their half’, studies show that they will slow down to reduce their perceived risk of a collision.

In 2003, Wiltshire County Council commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and the Civil Engineering and Environmental Management Associates (CEEMA) to investigate the effects of removing centre white lines. Their report, “An evaluation of the effect of removing centre white lines” reached the conclusion that, in the absence of a white centre line, uncertainty is created which encourages drivers to reduce their speed. Specifically, the evidence shows that drivers

  • Travel closer to the kerb-line
  • Adopt a more stable lateral position on the road
  • Have a 40% increase in lateral separation from oncoming traffic
  • Reduce their speed when they are close to oncoming vehicles
  • Travel marginally slower when they are close to oncoming vehicles compared to drivers on a road with a centre line

Significantly, the Wiltshire experiments also produced a 35% reduction in accident rate.

The suitability criteria are that the road must:

  • not be an A or B classification
  • be in a village or village-like setting

This has been discussed in the cyclenation webforum and it has been suggested that a general rule could be introduced that the speed limit for all roads without a central line marking would be 20mph.

Investing in cycling enshrined in law at last!

Based on an article in CTC Cycle Campaign News February 2015

Royal Assent for a new law that commits the Government to a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) has made February 2015 a turning point for cycling in England.

Once the relevant clause in the Infrastructure Act come into force in around two months’ time, the Secretary of State will have to publish a CWIS that specifies objectives and the financial resources for achieving them. A progress report must also be laid before Parliament ‘from time to time’, and the Strategy has to be reviewed every five years.

As there is no CWIS at the moment, the Secretary of State must set one as soon “as may be reasonably practicable” – and if that doesn’t happen, explain to Parliament why not.

The sporadic nature of funding for cycling has concerned campaigners for years, so it is good to note that the Act obliges the Secretary “to have regard to the desirability of maintaining certainty and stability” when varying a prevailing CWIS.

Cyclenation News

Part of an article by Simon Geller , Secretary – Cyclenation in the January edition of Cyclenation News

Following the successful AGM where we established the principles under which we would work with our partners, we conducted a further consultation about the campaigning principles we should be following. This led to a set of motions that were put to an Extraordinary General Meeting just before the annual conference in London in November.

The key points of these motions were as follows:

  1. We established a Vision for Cyclenation
  2. We adopted Space for Cycling as our key campaign
  3. We adopted a policy on protected space for cycling, using the Dutch measure of 2,000 Passenger Car Units as the benchmark for when Protected Space should be provided.

With all this in place I think we are in a good position to take the Federation forward in 2015 and we have some challenges to address. The General Election is upon us along with local elections, oil prices are falling, not all of our prospective Transport Ministers seem particularly cycle-friendly and we have yet to see the Government put any serious money into cycling or even promise to do so. I think there will be some serious campaigning work to do so let’s put whatever difficulties we’ve had in the past behind us and get to it!

Worse road safety worst for cyclists

Based on an article in CTC Cycle Campaign News February 2015

The latest road casualty figures from the Government show a worsening of road safety in Britain, particularly for cyclists.

Overall, the year to September 2014 saw a 4% increase in road injuries when compared with the same period a year earlier, while serious injuries increased by 5% and deaths by 1%. Cyclists fared worse, with an 8% increase in fatal and serious injuries.

Although cyclist fatality numbers have remained fairly steady, the number of cyclist casualties has risen by 26% compared with the 2005-9 average, while fatal and serious cyclist casualties have risen by 46%.

Figures for cycle use up to September 2014 are not yet available, so it is impossible to tell whether there have been more casualties simply because more cyclists have been out on the roads. However, even after allowing for almost a 20% increase in cycle use up to 2013, CTC estimates that the risk per mile of a cycling injury is now about 14% above the 2005-9 average, while the fatal and serious cycle injury risk is up 22%.

Cycle use breaks records in London

Based on an article in CTC Cycle Campaign News February 2015

According to figures released by Transport for London (TfL), cycling levels in quarter 3 of 2014/15 (14 Sept - 6 Dec) were 10% higher than in the same quarter the previous year, and the highest since records began in 2000. This was the fifth record quarter in a row and, by the end of 2014/15, TfL forecasts a 12% rise from the previous financial year.

2014 was also a record for London's Cycle Hire scheme, with 10,023,987 journeys made - up 5% on 2012 (the previous highest year) and 25% on 2013.

Driverless cars to be tested on public roads

Based on an article in CTC Cycle Campaign News February 2015

Driverless cars will be trialled for the first time on public roads this year. The Government has been supporting development projects in Greenwich, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Coventry and now wants the UK “to take this technology to the next level and investigate how vehicles that can take greater control could improve our driving experience and increase safety further.”

More predictable and precise steering could preclude collisions and also free up space for cycling, thanks to a reduction in lane widths needed for motor vehicles. We would be dismayed if this led to closer overtaking distances, however. More positively, driverless cars could make community car-sharing schemes much easier to facilitate and more attractive, meaning fewer private cars about and much more efficient logistics.

The transition period could get messy, though: the mix of driverless and driven cars on the roads could prove highly challenging for transport planners and it might take some time for them to maximise any potential benefits.

All-time high for Cycle to Work Scheme

Based on an article in CTC Cycle Campaign News February 2015

Record numbers of employees equipped themselves tax-efficiently with a commuting bike last year. According to the Cycle to Work Alliance, 183,423 people signed up to the Cycle to Work scheme in 2014, representing an 11.6% increase on 2013.

Co-op trials cyclist sensors on trucks

Based on an article in CTC Cycle Campaign News February 2015

The Co-operative supermarket chain is trialling ten lorries fitted with sensor systems, extra indicators and side guards to help improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians outside their cabs. The vehicles are operating from the Co-op's depots in West Thurrock, Essex, and Plymouth, to distribute to its food stores across the South and South East region, and particularly in London.

Cycling to school hampered by parental worries ...

Based on an article in CTC Cycle Campaign News February 2015

A survey released by the road safety charity Brake suggests that parental worries are stopping almost half of 11-17 year olds in secondary schools and colleges from cycling for utility journeys such as the journey to school.

Brake also found that:

  • two in five (38%) 11-17 year olds cite a lack of safe routes as a barrier to cycling
  • four in 10 (41%) think traffic in their area is too fast for the safety of people on foot and bike
  • nearly four in 10 (37%) think their area needs more pavements, paths and cycle paths

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