County withdraws support for CCUG
At the last meeting of the Charnwood Cycle User Group on 9th March, Mike Hay (Integrated Transport Improvements) announced that reluctantly, due to resource constraints, the County Council can no longer provide support for the group after the June 2010 meeting. He made the point that, since the group formed new means for reporting issues such as Road line, Highways Forums and the County Council’s website had become available.
Concern was raised from members of the group that not all future schemes were made public on the County Council’s website. This issue is to be referred to the Communications and Information Manager. It is hoped that announcements on the Leicestershire County Council's website together with a possible discussion group, using the internet, might be a way of replacing the functions of the group.
Good news for Hathern?
Leicestershire County Council have announced that funding has provisionally been allocated to deliver a cycle facility alongside the A6 (Loughborough Road) in Hathern during the next financial year (c.2011). They are currently reviewing the options and will consider the need for a cycle crossing.
Campaign member, and Hathern resident, Michael Forrest reports that surveyors have been spotted looking at the route and it appears that they are considering upgrading the previous “informal” arrangement that allowed cyclists to progress in both directions along the east side of the A6.
Michael comments “It will be interesting, given the fuss we have all made, to see if they attempt, at last, to build a cyclepath beyond criticism......?”
Report it or put up with it
At the last meeting of the Charnwood Cycle User Group, David Hayes, from Charnwood Borough Council, explained that the new contract meant that requests for road sweeping can be made to their call centre, where they are time recorded. The contractor must then action the request before a set deadline. You can find more details here.
So if you spot a road or cycle path that needs sweeping, please report it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01509 634563.
More Cycle Parking
Sheffield stands are to be installed outside the shop on the corner of Valley Road/Brookside Road and at the northern end of the parade of shops on the corner of Park Road and the Epinal Way. Leicestershire County Council is also in contact with the Loughborough Hospital to pursue an upgrade to their cycle parking facilities.
Bike Week 2010 – new dates
The dates for Bike Week 2010 have changed. It will now take place from 19-27 June 2010.
Bike Week, which is now sponsored by Team Green Britain (EDF Energy), has also relaunched its website www.bikeweek.org.uk. You can now view an interactive calendar of events, register an event and keep up to date with Bike Week 2010 news.
Salt Shortage – Priority for Cyclists (in Denmark)
The City of Copenhagen issued a press release when the City's stash of salt for the roads and bicycle lanes was very low due to the snowstorms.
Salting: Bicycle Lanes and the main roads have the highest priority
Because of the hard winter conditions of the past several weeks there is a shortage of road salt all over Denmark, including Copenhagen. We must therefore prioritize which roads and paths we salt.
At the moment we are prioritising the bicycle lanes/cycle tracks as well as the main approach roads to the city, so that the police and ambulances can get in.
Each and every day roughly 500,000 citizens choose the bicycle in Greater Copenhagen. Forty years ago Copenhagen was just as car-clogged as anywhere else but now 37% of commuters crossing the city boundary ride bicycles each day. That number rises to 55% in the city proper.
Stop speeding motorists – with a bird box
Based on an article in CTC Newsnet
Retired police officer Bill Angus has stumbled upon a great way of getting motorists to watch their speeds when passing through his neighbourhood. Since he put a bright yellow bird feeder shaped like a speed camera at the edge of his property, drivers have been sticking to the 30 mph speed limit when passing through the village of Newbottle in Durham. Mr Angus says the bird feeder’s resemblance to a speed camera is purely coincidental: the fake camera lenses on the side of the box are to deter thieves, and the lamp on the front was part of an old torch he used to plug a hole.
Don't let traincos cut rail services!
Campaign for Better Transport is concerned about proposals to give train operating companies incentives and powers to cut train services whenever they feel like it. You can support their campaign to prevent this by visiting their website and completing their “pro forma”.
National Cycle Mapping Standard
Based on an article on the cyclenation website
CTC and cyclenation have proposed a National Standard for cycle maps based on mapping that grades the relative cycle-friendliness of the entire road system.
In recent years the cycle maps produced in most parts of the UK have shown only 'cycle routes' and other special facilities for cyclists. This is usually of only limited benefit, both in terms of the target audience for the mapping and the usefulness of the information provided, especially as many cycle facilities are widely regarded as being of poor quality. Surveys have shown that cyclists undertaking everyday journeys (as distinct from cycling for leisure) usually opt for the most direct route compatible with their ability and that these routes more often than not do not coincide with designated cycle routes. Furthermore, few journeys start and finish on cycle routes: cyclists require a much finer grained network than other road users which, in practice, means the whole of the road system.
A new approach to cycle mapping was pioneered by Cheltenham Cycle Campaign which colour-graded the whole of the road network into five categories according to the cycling skill required to use the roads. The classification is closely linked to the skills taught in the National Cycle Training Standard. This type of map allows every cyclist, whatever their ability or journey preferences, to choose the route that is best suited for them from any place to any other, overcoming most of the limitations of traditional cycle maps. Cycle paths and many other types of facility are shown on the map but they do not dominate it and the quality of what is provided is taken into account in the overall assessment. Another advantage of this method is that roads are graded incrementally as conditions change. This not only informs map users about how conditions are likely to vary along their route as a whole, but it also provides a highly visible indication to highway authorities and others of where lie the principal problems for cycling that need to be addressed.
The Cheltenham mapping scheme has since been used on maps in Gloucester, Stroud, Kettering and Warrington and an increasing number of other towns are following suit. Feedback from map users has been highly positive. CTC and cyclenation believe it is time to make the benefits of this type of map more widely known and have drawn up a Standard and guidance notes for use by cyclenation groups and others. Feedback on the guidance is encouraged.
You can read the proposed standard and guidance here. at http://tiny.cc/lixyn.
Poole council ridiculed for providing excellent cycle lane
Based on article in CTC Newsnet
Poole council has been ridiculed by The Sun, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Express for installing a 2-metre wide advisory cycle lane on Constitution Hill in Dorset. The press clearly haven’t checked the Cycling England guidance on cycle lane widths, which specifies that 1.5 metres should be the minimum and 2 metres the ideal width whenever practicable.
Research supported by CTC found that people overtake closer where a cycle lane is used, by driving to the line, so extra width is required to create a comfortable space for cyclists.
Murder Most Foul on the internet
‘ Murder Most Foul’, a wonderfully written tirade from 1947 against the injustice of the slaughter of pedestrians and cyclists on our roads by JS Dean, the then President of the Pedestrians’ Association (now Living Streets), is now available online. Many of Dean’s arguments are as relevant today as they were in 1947. It can be found here.
A small extract: “...the more the non-drivers, and especially the pedestrians, are killed and maimed, the more this is proof of their carelessness and refusal to be "educated" and the more this is accepted the less care is taken by the drivers to avoid them, and this is applied to the youngest children and the oldest and most infirm persons...”