Loughborough & District
Cycle Users' Campaign

Pedal Power
Issue 127
March 2017



This year’s AGM will take place at 7-30pm on Monday 13th March 2017 at the Toby Carvery, Forest Road, Loughborough, LE11 3HU. Please try and attend as we had diffculty in achieving a quorum last year.

Candidates’ Cycle Ride

by Stephen Watson

On 4th May 2017, there will be an election for Leicestershire County Council (LCC) which is responsible for highways and transport. Before the election we would like to organise a short ride around Loughborough, to which all the candidates standing in Loughborough will be invited. The ride will have several aims:

  • to build bridges between Loughborough and District Cycle Users’ Campaign and the potential new councillors;
  • to make councillors aware of problematic streets and junctions;
  • to generate some enthusiasm about cycling.

The idea is to make it a friendly and positive event, not an occasion to harangue politicians about everything which they are doing wrong!

Getting involved

We need your help! On the day, we will need people to come along on the ride and chat to the candidates. If some of the candidates don’t have a working bike but still want to come, it would be good if they could be lent a bike. We also are open to suggestions on the route – what roads in Loughborough do you find particularly bad or good for cycling?

To get involved, please contact Stephen Watson (stephen.watson@leic.org.uk) or Kevin Dakin (kevindakin@leic.org.uk) . I (Stephen) would be very happy to meet up and discuss ideas over coffee/beer.

More information about a candidates’ bike ride can be found at www.walkcyclevote.scot

Average Brit hasn’t ridden a bike in over 9 years

A British Heart Foundation survey has found that the average person in the UK hasn’t cycled in nine years, with one in five avoiding the saddle for more than 10 years.

Despite being one of the nation’s favourite sports, the survey of 2,000 UK residents has revealed that an astonishing 6.3 million people – one in eight of us – don’t know how to ride a bike. For those who do cycle, the survey found that the average household in the UK owns just one bike between them, but more worryingly 41% of households don’t own any cycles.


One in five said they haven’t cycled in more than 10 years. Despite this, many have ambitions to get back into cycling. More than half (57%) also said they would consider a cycling challenge as a way of getting back into cycling in 2017.

Do you do the Dutch Reach?

In recent months, the Dutch Reach has been gaining notoriety, and for good reason; it is the name of a simple manoeuvre that, if widely adopted by motorists, could save lives.

It is a method of opening a car door for a driver (or passenger) in which you use your far hand rather than the near hand. In the UK, if you are the driver, you would look to open your door with your left hand, not your right. As you reach across your chest, your body naturally turns, making it easier not just to check your mirrors for oncoming traffic (including cyclists), but also places you in a position to actually see the traffic. If it’s safe to do so, you can then open your door, and as you’re reaching across your body, you can ensure the door only opens partially, and not to its full extent.

It’s taught in the Netherlands during driving instruction, and has been helping to save lives over there for close to fifty years. A demonstration can be viewed at here.

In 2015, there were 474 reported car 'dooring' incidents, according to the Department for Transport. Many of these might have been avoided if the Dutch Reach was a common practice in the UK. Not all of these would have resulted in serious injury or death, but the risk is definitely there, as we know all too well with cases like that of Leicester school teacher, Sam Boulton, killed outside Leicester station.

No conflict in the countryside

Based on an article on Cycling UK website

When Cycling UK, the Ramblers and the British Horse Society (BHS) presented evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) select committee they confirmed that there was no real conflict between these user groups when they encounter each other. Mark Weston, Director of Access at the BHS, explained that there was no evidence of systematic conflict between horse riders and other Right of Way (RoW) users, though he acknowledged there was a perception it existed.

Weston called for increased access to the RoW network for both cycling and horse riding, which are currently only legally allowed on 22 per cent of the whole network in England. He reasoned that, despite these activities only being concentrated in a limited area, the conflict is down to individual behaviour, rather than whole user groups.

Cycling UK’s Policy Director Roger Geffen MBE suggested that conflict between different user groups is not inherent, but can arise when there are too many users in too little space. Adopting the Scottish approach of creating a right of responsible outdoor access would help prevent conflict by spreading the concentrations of cycling and horse-riding across a wider network.

The panel agreed that Scottish-style access laws could not only benefit health and wellbeing of anyone taking advantage of them, but also the rural economy. Scotland’s off-road and leisure cycling industry contributes significantly to its economy, generating between £236.2m and £358m a year. Similar benefits could be realised in England and Wales. The full evidence session is available on the Parliament UK's website.

Make a 'Tube Map' of Local Cycle Network

(online guide developed by CycleBath)

Cycle Bath (a member group of Cyclenation) has produced an illustrated online tutorial on producing a ‘Tube Map’ of a cycle network and identifying, very graphically, where there’s room for improvement. Details can be found at http://www.cyclinguk.org/guide/make-tube-map-cycle-network.

This colourful and simple-to-read type of map has already proved itself to be a persuasive local lobbying tool: the first, created by the Bristol Cycling Campaign in 2015, has been incorporated into the city’s Cycling Strategy.

If you are interested in producing such a map for Loughborough, please get in touch with the editor.

Active Lives survey

(Sport England)

The November 2015 to November 2016 results of a rolling survey of around 200,000 people offering an insight into the physical activity habits of the nation finds that:

  • 19% of men and 11% of women cycle for leisure and sport; 15% overall, the same as running;
  • 10% of men and 4% of women cycle for travel;
  • 25.6% (11.3 million) do fewer than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.

Cyclenation 2017 AGM

The year's Cyclenation AGM will be held on Saturday 18th March 2017 at Bike Expo in Manchester, M41 7TB.

The organisers of BikeExpo have offered Cyclenation a free stand at their event in Manchester on March 18 and 19. This will provide an opportunity to interact with expo attendees as well as each other. The venue is open to the public from 10:00-17:00 on both days and the AGM will be held from 3pm on the Saturday.

Free entry to both days is on offer to anyone associated with Cyclenation. We are a member organisation of Cyclenation. If you plan to attend please register using this Eventbrite page and advise the editor.

Obesity v Physical Activity

The Public Health England Obesity website provides a wide range of information on the population’s weight and level of physical activity. Charnwood in 2015 did better than the national average with 38.7% (England 40.4%) of adults being classified as overweight and 20.5% (24.4%) as obese. This is perhaps a result of slightly higher than average physical activity, with nearly 60% of the population taking more than 150 minutes of exercise a week compared to the national figure of 57%.

Systematic Safety

This is the Dutch approach to achieve better road safety. This policy is lesser known than ‘strict liability‘ and underestimated. The main objectives of this vision are preventing severe crashes and (almost) eliminating severe injuries when crashes do occur. It was introduced and quickly adopted by all road managers in 1992 and has since been very successful.

The guidelines for road design are based on the physical vulnerability of people and what they want to do (humans make mistakes and don’t always follow rules). Roads and vehicles must be adapted to human capabilities. The approach is pro-active; it aims to remedy problems before crashes occur, including human behaviour.

It has resulted in a hierarchy of roads with Through Roads for high volumes of fast traffic on long distance routes, Local Access Roads from which end destinations can be reached via Distributer Roads.

Large differences in the speed and mass of different road users in the same space must be eliminated or traffic must be separated. Road design has to be consistent so that road users instantly understand what to expect. Humans make errors and break rules so roads should be designed in such a way that this natural human behavior does not lead to crashes and injuries.

Road users are trained to assess their own capabilities to perform tasks in traffic, developing an understanding of vehicle operation and how speed changes the behaviour of the vehicle.

For an 8 minute video describing Systematic Safety go to https://youtu.be/5aNtsWvNYKE

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