Loughborough & District
Cycle Users' Campaign

Pedal Power
Issue 122
May 2016



Unfortunately we were not quorate for the AGM called on March 14th and we are therefore holding another one on 13th June 2016 at the Toby Carvery, Forest Road, Loughborough, LE11 3HU at 7-30pm. Please try and attend.

CTC = Cycling UK

Britain’s oldest transport organisation, the Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC), has rebranded itself as Cycling UK

The aim of the new brand is to help the charity to overcome barriers so as to enable more people to enjoy cycling and make it a safe, practical part of everyday life for all. 

The brand name was chosen to be more appropriate to the objects of the organisation and what it does. The name Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC) appeals to only one of many audiences – touring cyclists – but can confuse matters when dealing with transport campaigners, planners, politicians, off-road cyclists, and newcomers to cycling. It has been seen as a handicap when trying to get more people to join local rides, or in getting media attention and in securing funding for cycling.

Cycling UK’s local member groups usually have a clear identity and touring orientation; they will be free to maintain the Cyclists’ Touring Club identity as an integral part of Cycling UK. The charity plans to capitalise on its rich history and heritage (such as the winged wheel logo) as an important part of a heritage brand.

Gaffer Tape Dodge

In some parts of the county thieves have been cutting through cycle stands and then concealing the damage with tape. Any bike later locked to these stands can easily be stolen simply by peeling back the tape and lifting out the bike.

Though we have had no reports of this tactic being used by criminals in Loughborough, please be vigilant for this ploy when securing your cycle. Any damage to racks should be reported to the Council for repair.

What Cycling and Walking 'Investment' ?

Based on an article in Cycling UK Campaign News

Yet again “words and figures differ”. Instead of the recommended £10 per head for cycling each year (rising to £20 as cycle use goes up), the draft strategy ear-marks only £300m for 2015-20. That is just £1.39 per person outside London.

Although it has the laudable aim to normalise cycling and walking by 2040, its draft target to double cycling trips by 2025 is unimpressive. At that rate, English cycle use would only reach Dutch levels (27% of trips) by the start of the 23rd century.

British Cycling’s policy adviser Chris Boardman has commented - “The truth is that without sustained funding, this strategy won’t be worth the paper it’s written on”

Road Traffic Law Enforcement

Parliament’s Transport Select Committee has published its report on road traffic law enforcement which highlights that the falling number of recorded crimes on our roads does not represent a reduction in offences being committed.

While government figures show a downward trend over the past decade, the most recent figures show a four per cent increase in road fatalities in 2014. The number of people incurring serious injuries also rose by five per cent. For cyclists and motorcyclists, the picture is more concerning as the numbers killed or seriously injured have been rising year on year.

Although the number of 'causing death' offences has not fallen, MPs on the Transport Committee have pointed to the total number of detected motoring offences, which has more than halved during the past decade, from 4.3m in 2004, to 1.62m in 2013.

This suggests that the reduction in overall offences does not represent a reduction in offences actually being committed. As the number of traffic police has fallen, so too has the number of road traffic offences detected.

The Department of Transport uses education, engineering and enforcement to meet policy objectives in road safety – the three E's. While the use of technology and education have grown, the number of traffic police has fallen. The Committee’s recommendation is that more must be done to ensure detection rates are high, whether through specialised police officers or detection technology. The full report can be found at http://goo.gl/mPsnTC .

EU Funds for Cycling

The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) is having more success in getting funds for cycling at the European level than campaigning groups are managing here with the UK government.

It calculates that €100bn worth of funds have been made available by the European Union for cycling. The ECF has launched a new Funds Observatory for Cycling which is a tool for any region or organisation that hopes to acquire information regarding these funds. The aim of the Observatory is to help users search all relevant EU programmes and identify where funds are available.

The Observatory provides an overview of more than 200 different programme documents which cover the entirety of the 2014-2020 financing period. They have analysed the wording of each document, to highlight useful references, as well as the funding distribution to estimate how much could potentially be spent on cycling related projects. The documents are all stored in the Observatory, as well as contact details for the managing authorities, and will be continually updated as new programmes are analysed.

Based upon the analysis of the documents, ECF estimates between 1,325 and 2,041bn euros are available for use on cycling related projects for the period 2014-2020. This is based upon the explicit references to cycling in the documents, so the actual figure could be much higher. This is more than twice the amount available in previous funding periods. Details can be found at https://goo.gl/Xa68Mi .

Drivers who don’t see.

Based on an article in Cycling UK Campaign News

Within a car dependent and ageing population there is a strong motivation for people to try and maintain independence and continue driving as long as possible. As a result there is an increasing problem of pedestrians and cyclist being hit by motorists whose eyesight or reactions are no longer adequate. The DVLA is responsible for regulating and testing the fitness to drive of those whose reactions, sight and road confidence are declining with age.

The DVLA relies on self certification and the threat of the penalties that courts may impose on incompetent drivers. However, preventing people from driving when they can no longer do so safely, and before there are fatal consequences, should be the priority, rather than the punishment of elderly drivers who have not accepted that they are no longer competent to drive.

Bottomless Holes?

Based on an article in Cycling UK Campaign News

Is £50 million a year, divided between 100+ councils, enough to repair England’s potholes and make cyclists’ journeys safer, particularly on the local roads they tend to use? All the motorists’ and cyclists’ organisation agree that it is insufficient. The Asphalt Industry Alliance estimates that £12 billion is needed to fix England and Wales’ roads: 240 times more than the £50 million a year made available in the Government’s Pothole Action Fund.

Potholes can be a lethal danger to cyclists and other vulnerable road users. In 2014, the police decided that a ‘poor or defective’ road surface contributed to almost three times more crashes involving pedal cyclists than it did in those involving cars.

Thirty cyclists were killed or seriously injured in 2010 because of poorly-maintained local roads in England and non-motorway roads in Scotland and Wales – that figure rose to 53 in 2014.

The Pothole Action Fund is worth £250 million over five years and is intended to fix more than four million potholes by 2020-21. Bearing in mind the average cost of filling a pothole is £56, there’s an average of one defect for every 110 metres of road in the UK, and there are over 245,000 miles of road, it simply isn’t enough money.

The Government has allocated £6 billion over the next five years to maintain England’s trunk roads and motorways, amounting to 2% of England’s road network, yet they are only giving councils another £6billion to maintain the remaining 98% of the network over the same period.

This will mean that the council-controlled local roads used by pedestrians and cyclists for local journeys are to be left to rot and crumble. This will inevitably mean more deaths and injuries to cyclists, with councils being forced to make wasteful compensation payouts instead of being able to repair our local road networks properly.

Bike + Train in Europe: an unequal development

Based on an ECF article by Ed LANCASTER

To extend the range of bicycles it is useful to be able to combine them with other forms of transportation and for this reason it is important to have good connections to public transport. This benefits public transport operators by widening the catchment areas of their stations.

One of the most important things in promoting this is safe and secure parking at either end of the journey. The number of available spaces can tell us a lot about a country’s approach to promoting both intermodality as well as cycling generally. The best provision is found in the Netherlands and Denmark. In the Netherlands, there are almost 25 bike parking spaces per 1,000 inhabitants (412,000 bike parking spaces for a total population of 16.8 million). The result is that 40% of all train users come to the train station by bike and 16% of users leave the train station by bike. For comparison, in the UK it is 0.98 per 1,000.

The value of cycling: rapid evidence review of the economic benefits of cycling

By Fiona Rajé and Andrew Saffrey (University of Birmingham and Phil Jones Associates) see https://goo.gl/vAh7cT

This study identified (along with many other benefits) that:

  • Cyclists visit local shops more regularly, spending more than users of most other modes of transport;
  • Per square metre, cycle parking delivers 5 times higher retail spend than the same area of car parking;
  • A compact town optimised for walking and cycling can have a “retail density” (spend per square metre) 2.5 times higher than a typical urban centre.

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