Due to an astute bit of financial management by Ariadne, the Campaign benefited from it's building society going public. The Campaign really spends very little money, most of it's activities just consume member's time. The main expenditure is room hire which is easily covered. This is why the subscriptions are so low. The question remains however, of what to do with the money. There must be a good use it can be put to.
The first suggestion was a cycle portable display stand. This would be an ingenious design that folded down and became a cycle trailer. Panels would fold out to show publicity material, while the centre would be a box to keep leaflets etc. in while it was being towed. As well as being a display stand it would demonstrate that the bicycle had a role in carrying reasonably large objects. Hopefully it would attract interest in itself. Various designs were drawn up which used the wheels prominently to make it more obvious that it was cycle portable. It would be useful for such events as Picnic in the Park and Bike Week.. The idea is good but it would take some time and trouble to make.
The next idea was to purchase some lesser known types of equipment that could be used to transport children. This equipment is generally fairly expensive due to the low production volumes and is only usable for a small range of ages. The main examples are child seats, trailer bikes and tricycles. The latter two are little known to the general public, but have an important role to play. We think that whereas people might be unwilling to spend a couple of hundred pounds on an unfamiliar machine, they might be happy to spend a few pounds for a months trial.
There are various administrative issues to be sorted out before the scheme gets under way. For instance, where should the machines be stored when they are not hired out, how should they be maintained and how much should be charged. This is quite a major undertaking for the campaign so it is important that it has wide support. If you have any views please speak to a member of the committee.
PUNCTURE PROOF TYRES
A company called Urathon from Wiltshire has come up with a puncture proof tyre that has only 10% higher rolling resistance than a pneumatic tyre. They are hoping to make it even better. What they have taken as a standard tyre and whether it grips the road as well as a pneumatic tyre is not reported. The tyres are a two shot moulding. First the neat elastomer is injected to form the hard wearing outside of the tyre, closely followed by a foam layer to give the tyre its compliance. In this way, the interior can be mostly air, to minimise energy lost as heat when the tyre deforms. I have always criticised bicycles as being horribly unreliable but an effective puncture proof tyre would be a definite step forward.
CHARNWOOD CYCLE CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE
Several committee members including myself are members of the above committee. I will be endeavouring to report the activities of the committee to you and hopefully make sure your views are accurately presented. Leicestershire County Council's TPP bid has been approved. There is £250,000 for minor schemes in Loughborough and Shepshed of which £119,000 is outlined for cycle facilities.
Proposed schemes include:
- Ashby Road/Epinal way roundabout improvements. This is a grand signalising scheme. All entries and exits from the roundabout have Toucans across them with the exception of the Loughborough arm of Ashby Road. Apparently it is inadvisable to signal all arms of a roundabout as this can cause it to jam. There are also routes across the roundabout so it is quite a comprehensive scheme. It should improve cycle and pedestrian safety quite markedly as this is Loughborough's most dangerous junction.
- Alan Moss cycle lanes. These start at Epinal Way and will feed into an advanced stop line at the A6.
Reserve schemes include:
- Belton Way cycleway.
- Toucan crossing across Epinal Way by the fire station.