Loughborough & District
Cycle Users' Campaign

Pedal Power
Issue 92
May 2011


Building Cycling Cultures

On Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June, Building Cycling Cultures takes over Leicester’s Phoenix Square Media Centre for talk, debate, film, artwork, bike rides, children’s activities, networking and ideas for change.  The venue has all facilities including café, bar, and meeting space.

This event is being supported by Leicester City Council, CTC, Citizens’ Eye, the University of East London and Lancaster University. The thinking behind it is that we have to build the population of cyclists if we are ever to build the political imperative for an improvement in the cycling environment.

You can attend for just a day or make a weekend of it. Further details at http://goo.gl/1rjuv

East Midlands Cyclists' Forum meeting in Leicester

This was a useful meeting held on the 12th March attended by 15 people, with plenty of time for an informal general exchange of views as well as for discussion on the one presentation, from John Coster of the (Leicester) Citizens' Eye (Community News Agency), on the potential for local cycling groups to use Facebook and Twitter as a campaigning tool and getting feedback.

Among the points that arose at the meeting were:

  • the need to make good use of various local, i.e. neighbourhood / ward consultation forums, and involving different local members in doing this, and using these channels as a way of making links with other people in the area.
  • The need to keep a close eye on detailed spending plans of the local authority, to follow up responding to consultations on documents such as the Local Transport Plan.
  • The potential benefits of local campaigners (and the EMCF) using Facebook to help communication between and with members, as well as having better communications with the younger generations, as against the potential disadvantages in terms of the extra time and effort to monitor this and keep track of the comments it generates.

The next EMCF meeting will in Derby on Saturday 8th October.
Contact dave.clasby@sustrans.org.uk.

Tesco Move Bike Stands

Tesco have moved their rather poor cycle stands to the far end of their building near the exit road where there is no shelter. Please let them know that you are not happy with this by filling in a feedback form or registering your views at www.tescocomments.com.

Woodthorpe Roundabout ePetition

The response to the Woodthorpe ePetion was disappointing with only 28 people having signed.

The petition will be formally submitted for consideration at the next public meeting of the Charnwood Highways Forum on 12 July 2011, 6.00 pm at the Court Rooms – Woodgate, Loughborough. Further details of this meeting can be found at http://goo.gl/OotDJ .

Velo City

Velo City 2011 took place in Seville (Spain) 23rd - 25th March 2011. The Event was a great success with over 900 participants, and 120 speakers.

One of the main themes was the ‘Cycling Economy’ which has huge potential for allowing future economic growth and healthier lives, mitigating most of the problems associated with the “Car Economy”.

The presentations from Velo City 2011 are available at http://goo.gl/1Ui4C .

How to put in Cycle Lanes

Readers may find this YouTube demonstration of direct action cost effective techniques for installing cycle lanes “interesting”. http://goo.gl/Y4ZmG

Five reasons to go cycling

by Miriam Stoppard, Daily Mirror 8/03/2011

  1. It’s a great fat burner, blitzing around 500 calories an hour.
  2. Cycling is less stressful on your joints (particularly your knees) than other forms of cardiovascular exercise, such as running or tennis.
  3. It boosts your circulation, transporting oxygen-rich blood around your body.
  4. It’s good for the environment and cheaper than driving, especially with fuel at the price that it is!
  5. Getting outside on your bike can help reduce your stress levels – studies show that exercising in nature reduces stress levels more than exercising inside.

Government funds greener transport nudge


Based on an article in CTC CycleDigest

With the publication of the Government’s Local Transport White Paper Creating Growth, Cutting Carbon (England) and the accompanying Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) the government appears to be at least willing to “nudge” people towards making a higher proportion of their journeys on foot or by bicycle.

Norman Baker MP has said that sustainable transport – walking and cycling – was a particularly good way of making shorter, local trips, contributing to the economy and helping to tackle congestion with all its adverse effects on businesses. He added, “Let us not forget the further benefits that follow a shift to more sustainable transport - benefits to the air we breathe and to our levels of fitness, and the money in our pockets as well.” 

Local authorities in England (outside London) are being invited to bid for a share of the LSTF’s £560m over four years (April 2011 - March 2015). The money must go towards transport solutions aiming to promote economic growth and cut carbon emissions, with sub-objectives to promote physical activity and improvements in air quality together with road safety. ‘Revenue funding’ of £350m has been allocated to support ‘smarter choices’ (e.g. cycle training and the promotion of cycling for schools, workplaces and other targeted groups), while £210m is capital funding for transport infrastructure. 

The shift in the balance towards revenue (as opposed to capital) funding is to be strongly welcomed. Measures that are typically revenue-funded, such as cycle training, personalised travel planning, and cycling development projects, are already proving cost-effective ways of increasing cycle use.

There are two main concerns about the proposals. The Fund’s criteria include tackling congestion to support the local economy and to facilitate economic development. This could be used as a reason to improve roads rather than try to reduce motorised travel. The other is that if travel behaviour is to change for good, the Government must also consider the poor design of cycle facilities and road layouts. The White Paper does little to address this issue. 

No entry − except cycles

Based on an article in CTC CycleDigest

It’s good, but long-awaited news for ‘no entry - except cycles’ signs, a simple means of telling everyone that cyclists are allowed to ride both ways along a one-way street. In answer to a question in Parliament, transport minister Theresa Villiers said she welcomed the trial of the sign and that the results would be part of the signs review discussed in the Local Transport White Paper. She added that she hoped that the sign “will be seen more widely on England's streets in future.” Contra-flow cycling, which is common in Europe, is an excellent way of helping cyclists get from A to B more conveniently.

30 mph too fast for children's visual abilities 

Based on an article in CTC CycleDigest

Research by scientists from Royal Holloway, University of London, shows that primary age children (6-11 years) cannot accurately see or judge the speed of vehicles travelling above 20 mph. This is yet another argument in favour of the Sustrans-led Quality Streets campaign for 20 mph streets and against relying exclusively or too much on teaching children to pay more attention when crossing the road as the best way of protecting them. More information at http://goo.gl/eekrA .

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