Driving…an extinction event

WMP Traffic

The golden age of driving….the beginning of the end

This blogs all about the current state of motoring, not only in our region but nation-wide, and is a wake-up call to all those who think that the golden age of motoring has a future. It’s hard to admit, especially for the likes of ourselves, after all most traffic officers have an emotional attachment to driving and the internal combustion engine in at least one of its inceptions, but the writings on the wall, we are living in the last generations of driving, and with it the last generations of Traffic Officers, at least in their current inception….so grab a brew, a few biscuits and dunk and read away, or drop a few crumbs if you prefer not to dunk. Oh and the soundtrack to read this one to should be a Black Sabbath track as Aston’s finest have called it…

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Events: How can walking and cycling be improved in Bearflat (Thu 26th Jan) and London Road (Tue 31st Jan) 3pm-6pm

Sustrans are working with Bath and North East Somerset Council as part of the Cycling Ambitions Fund 2 (CAF) to consider how walking and cycling in several areas throughout Bath could be improved. We will be engaging directly with local communities in order to understand the needs and aspirations of those living and working within the project areas.

As part of this process, Sustrans and BANES will be holding a number on-street events and running an online interactive map, giving people the opportunity to tell them what is currently stopping them from walking and cycling and which routes they use at the moment.

We would value your input into this process so please do come along to the events or log onto the online mapping tool and record your views (http://www.sustrans.org.uk/bearflat & http://www.sustrans.org.uk/londonroad).

IF YOU CANNOT MAKE THE EVENTS PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE FEEDBACK THROUGH THE ONLINE FORMS: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/bearflat & http://www.sustrans.org.uk/londonroad

Bearflat event is this Thursday the 26th of January: bear-flat-event(pdf)

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London Road event is this Tuesday 31st of January:london-road-event(pdf)

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Avon and Somerset Police “Give space, stay safe” initiative

Avon and Somerset cycle groups, including CycleBath, petitioned PCC Sue Mountstevens to bring this to ASP.
Apparently getting police on bikes not only allows them to prevent close passes, but also connects them with their communities, and more importantly, enables them to capture more people driving using mobile phones.
In the West Midlands it has had a huge impact.
The Avon and Somerset Initiative was announced in the Bristol Post yesterday:
At the meeting on Wednesday I was informed they would be implementing this scheme, but wanted me to hold off saying anything until an official announcement.
We also discussed 3rd party video evidence and how to make it easier for submission and the acceptance of it. There is currently a court case in progress that they are waiting on the result. So watch this space. I will continue to press this hard as I see this key for many people.
This really is amazing news.

Cycle Ambition Fund 2: Bear Flat Event Thursday 26th 3pm-6pm

Sustrans are working with Bath and North East Somerset Council as part of the Cycling Ambitions Fund 2 (CAF) to consider how walking and cycling in several areas throughout Bath could be improved. We will be engaging directly with local communities in order to understand the needs and aspirations of those living and working within the project areas.

As part of this process, Sustrans and BANES will be holding a number on-street events and running an online interactive map, giving people the opportunity to tell them what is currently stopping them from walking and cycling and which routes they use at the moment.

We would value your input into this process so please do come along to the events or log onto the online mapping tool and record your views.

Please find details of the Bear Flat event attached, I will be sending details of the London Road event in the next few days but for reference it will be held on Thursday 26th  of January from 3pm until 6pm.

I would be very grateful if you could pass the details on to any groups or individuals you think would find this of interest and please do get in touch if you require any further information.

bear-flat-event (pdf)

West of England Joint Transport Study: Transport Vision Response from CycleBath

The vision is considered naive.

There are no target modal-split values in the vision. The poster child for sustainable cities is Freiburg in Germany. A city of around 150km2 vs Bristol’s 110km2.

Looking at the modal-split in Freiburg.

In 1982:

  • 35% of people walked,
  • 15% cycled,
  • 11% used public transport (trains, buses, trams),
  • 9% were car sharing
  • 29% in single occupancy vehicles.

By 1999, 17 years later:

  • 23% walked (-13%),
  • 27% cycled (+12%),
  • 18% were using public transport (+7%),
  • 6% car shared (-3%),
  • 26% single occupancy vehicles (-3%)

The ambition by 2020 is:

  • 24% walking (+1%),
  • 27% cycling (0%),
  • 20% public transport (2%),
  • 5% car sharing (-1%)
  • 24% single occupancy vehicles (-2%)

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Freiburg is a big city which has had phenomenal success and has achieved this through the building of 400km of segregated cycle tracks but think getting more than 27% of the population cycling is not possible.

So when you look at the West of England transport vision fails to answer two simple questions.

  1. What is the current modal-split by city/region?
  2. What is the target modal-split by city/region?

Once you have the answer to these two questions, you can actually begin to have a vision. At the moment the vision just feels like civil servants and politicians wanting to play with very big expensive train sets. It is vague and appears to have been deliberately written this way to allow for future back tracking.

Walking and cycling has been lumped into one budget. This type of lumping in creates situations where councils misuse money intended to develop good segregated cycling connections between communities and schools/centres of employment and allocate it to ‘public realm improvement schemes’. Bath’s Seven Dials scheme being a classic example of wasting cycling ambition fund money.

Cycling needs its own budget and one that has specific controls/standards/audits around the bid processes to ensure the delivery of high quality segregated infrastructure.

The World Health Organisation has recommended that 20% of any transport budget is allocated to the development of cycle networks as these support the 0-8km travel range which covers the majority of most people commuting to school/work. Given the £7.5 Billion budget, the vision should be allocating £1.5 Billion to cycling ALONE not £0.4 Billion to cycling AND walking.

An example to consider is London which has just allocated £900 Million to cycling. The cycle superhighway has enabled Embankment to increase road capacity by 5% by reducing the space allocated to motorised vehicles.

The vision also ignores the need for legislature to achieve better road capacity. Transport For London have been able to increase road ‘people’ capacity, note the lack of using the term traffic flow, as they ‘own’ the major corridors and can do what they want with them.

The trunk roads within our cities are at the whim of the councils. In many instances on-road parking is a higher priority for local politicians than the development of a balanced modal-split transport network. In other words, you can have segregated cycle tracks but only if it does not impact the residents on-street parking on major A roads. This approach must be changed.

The vision also needs to clearly state that transport is a public health crisis that, through deliberate design over many decades, has encouraged the use of the car as “the” premier form of transport while degrading public transport. This article discusses this in detail. Highways and planning must take responsibility for delivering healthy environments. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/15/sedentary-lifestyles-social-care-crisis-exercise-ill-health-old-age

Sedentary lifestyles and morbidity can be countered through delivery of good active travel options and discouraging the use of the private car.

The vision document fails to deal with any connection to Radstock. It very much discards rural North East Somerset. This seems short-sighted.

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 11.17.47.png

Particularly within Bath the maps are way-off with the key cycle network routes. See the attached Bath Cycle Network Map. The light rapid transit system appears to be using the Bristol To Bath cycle path while running parallel to the current rail network. Why not increase the number of trains? The authors have forgotten the 2007 protests in Bristol when the BRT was proposed to run along the cycle path. The authors of the vision also seem to have forgotten that the path has been widened in parts due to the immense number of people using it.

It is estimated that 20-25% of rush hour traffic is the school run. The school run must be tackled and eradicated. Many councils are beginning to create school drop-off exclusion zones, but more importantly, ways need to be found to offer free public transport to all school children. Some schools in Oxford have 80% of pupils cycling to school, not through training and education, but because the provided infrastructure enables traffic free commuting from their communities to the school. Travel independence is key for school children.

The JTS mentions education, by which we are assuming Bikeability training. However cycling rates in 10+ children are phenomenally low. No matter how well you train kids, they will not share the road with HGVs and will be driven to school.

We stress again the modal-split that Freiburg will achieve in 2020:

  • 24% walking
  • 27% cycling,
  • 20% public transport,
  • 5% car sharing
  • 24% single occupancy vehicles.

The majority of travel within the city of Freiburg is by bicycle, the same can be said for Copenhagen, and even some parts of London.

It is considered vital that the JTS provides target modal-splits by region/city and then actively pursues those targets through the correct allocation of budgets to either encourage or discourage forms of transport. These can be derived from the 2011 census data and re-evaluated using the 2021 census data.

More importantly, the JTS MUST split cycling out from walking. It is not acceptable to have these two different forms of transport that do not mix well together in one pot of money.

Adam Reynolds

CycleBath Chair

 

CycleBath Workshop – Tonight – The Guild 18:30pm-

Apologies for the late notification. Meeting at the Guild next to the Guildhall http://www.theguildhub.co.uk/en

Work through:
– Cycle Map primary, secondary, and tertiary route classification in preparation for Local Cycling Walking Infrastructure Plans that the council will need to consider publishing in the new year. https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1TNfz2RC7Y5l_pJAuGun8o2fa-CmNbKvcJl9Gb9tyqfo/edit

https://www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk/consult.ti develop official response.

– Campaigns for the new year.

– Potentially, if there is time, discuss the ‘Living Heart’ Proposal https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1Fq0y0lAWJlLXvHvd_5wqTu8a8BEcJ05rN9I5G7v9wDA/edit

– Mincepies

Note that the guild hub offers soft drinks (50p per can) or free coffee. If you want to drink alcohol, please bring your own 😉

See you there.

CycleBath Meeting This Wednesday 19th Oct

Been a long time and I think this is very much over due.

Items on the agenda:
1) News on the BaNES Cycling Walking and Accessibility Forum (none as of today and am chasing with Paul Crossley).
2) Cross-Groups Bath Die-In Protest. That last email from Cllr Clarke made me angry (https://www.facebook.com/groups/CycleBath/permalink/1155344674511775/). This will need Police co-ordination. (Adam Reynolds& Dick Daniel to coordinate with other groups)
3) Bath Bike Jumble (Tim Beadle now heading this up).
4) Council to implement an Inclusive Cycling Campaign? (All routes should cope with a 2.8m long by 1.2m wide cycle design vehicle) (Need somebody to lead on this.)
5) Construction update covering Bellotts Road Bridge and Destructor Bridge. (Any others?)
6) Tube maps and a vision for Bath.
7) Cycle Racks on Buses update. (DfT now have their cycling officer involved.)
8) Let’s talk about Cllr Clarke’s exceptionally ignorant email (https://www.facebook.com/groups/CycleBath/permalink/1155344674511775/)
9) Street Diets as part of road resurfacing programmes.
10) Keynsham is getting active.
11) A.O.B

Anything else people want to raise, please add to comments.

We’ll be meeting at 7pm in the New Inn, Monmouth Place.

Utrecht reclaims ever more space for people

Utrecht is a city Bath can learn so much from.

BICYCLE DUTCH

People were drinking champagne on the street and enjoying beautiful singing; not something you see every day. They were celebrating the opening of yet another reconstructed street in Utrecht; their street, with their homes on it. Again, the city of Utrecht has reclaimed a lot of space from motor traffic, to become living space for people.

The new Maliesingel has become a very pleasant street alongside the old Utrecht city moat. The new Maliesingel has become a very pleasant residential street alongside the old Utrecht city moat. The walking path on the left hand side could only be rebuilt because the roadway is so much narrower now.

The current council is delivering on what the former council decided: the car is no longer king in Utrecht. The closer to the city centre, the more people friendly the city has to be. Driving your motor vehicle into the city centre will remain possible when it is absolutely necessary, but it will not be a convenient option…

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Working, Living, Cycling, and campaigning for better cycle infrastructure in Bath, UK