Cycle Ambition Failure 3

There’s a theory that sequels get worse and the third series of Cycle Ambition Fund feels like the end of the line. CAF1 was good(ish), giving councils a heads-up and allowing them to put together proposals. CAF2 (£114M) was sprung on councils so quickly, and only thanks to our local Cllr Nigel Roberts working with Cycle Bath, were we prepared enough to put in a £3.8M bid. However lots of councils didn’t and £21M of the allocated money was returned to the DfT.

CAF3, just announced, has an even shorter bid window, and with only a paltry pot of £6.5M to be shared across 8 cities, it will simply be hoovered up in council officer time and might result in a bit of paint.

There are only two things that should be done with this money, and two things only.

We need shovel ready proposals

Delivery of a detailed costed designs to create a city wide cycle network in consultation with the public and use of TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis (pdf) methodology.

Use of & should definitely be part of the process. CyIPT should also be funded and supported fully by the DfT. It will save councils so much money and time during the proposal development process.

Mini-Holland Schemes

Given the success of the Walthamstow Mini-Holland Scheme, which boils down to 14 road closures using modal filters, cities should only be allowed to bid IF they are going to use Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (or even regular TROs), planters, and painted concrete blocks to close roads to through traffic and create a quiet street network connecting communities to schools, shops, and places of employment.


For £200k you could buy one ETRO and 50 planters, and a bunch of dead end signs and create 10-20 through traffic free roads. You could have a serious impact on rat running in these 8 cities for very little money.

Share equally and dictate

I would split the money evenly between cities and require them to deliver a fully costed LCWIP defined cycle network and a “mini-holland” scheme using ETROs and planters to close rat runs to cars and create a quiet street network.

We need money and TIME

Council’s need money and time to be able to develop schemes to the point where they are shovel ready. CAF3 could have been an admission that there isn’t the money, but to enable those cities to deliver a vision of what cycling could be if they had the money.

THREE weeks is ridiculous

This is a real failure of Jesse Norman MP (our cycling minister) not to recognise how he is failing to deliver on his brief. He could have been a lot cleverer here and made a real difference down the line.


A Waste of Space

As Easy As Riding A Bike

In London yesterday evening, I approached Parliament Square along the cycleway at Great George Street.

Good job TfL.

In front of me was perhaps the classic stereotypical scene shared by taxi drivers, and other people hostile to new cycling infrastructure in London (and other British towns and cities). A large expanse of empty tarmac loomed in front of me, contrasting starkly with the clogged road on the right. You might say the cycleway is ‘causing’ congestion and pollution, if you were so inclined.

In the distance – on the ’empty’ tarmac – two cyclists (maybe three? who cares, really) are waiting at a red signal. On the right, frustrated drivers are needlessly spewing out fumes, and doubtless fuming themselves, at the waste of space on their left. Valuable space that – if it were used properly for important motor traffic, not for some silly hobby – would have sped them to…

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Let’s talk Bath transport!

Cycle Bath will be there! So should you.


Bath’s MP Wera Hobhouse will be in Larkhall in February to attending an open meeting where you can have your say about transport in Bath.

It’s being organised by Transition Larkhall on March 3rd at the New Oriel Hall, in Larkhall,  from 9.30 am to 2pm.
Poster for TL Travel Meeting
Joanna Wright tells Bath Newseum that the meeting is all about “thinking differently about travel in and around Bath. We want peoples’ ideas about transport in Bath.

Wera Hobhouse MP – and other political and campaign groups – will be present to
join the discussion about the future of travel in and around the city.

A professional facilitator will lead the discussion, focused on the idea of
thinking differently about travel in and around Bath.
We’ll be asking who is moving around and why are they moving that way. How do you travel, and how would you like to travel, around Bath? Let’s help create…

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There are lies, damned lies, and then there are standards.

There are councils and organisations around the country that are decades ahead of where some councils are and we must be able to recognise our own failings and take on board that others have done it better. They have learnt from their mistakes. They DO get it.
The following four documents are key, and councillors should be requiring these documents to be used by Highways, Planning, and Development Control as well as forming key cornerstones in ANY development.

Public Highways IAN 195

Available here 

Provides minimum requirements for the Strategic Road Network, but was authored by Phil Jones specifically to be usable by ANY council/authority as it applies to ALL road types. Key takeaways from this document are:

  • 1.2m x 2.8m long mobility bike dimensions for designing access to cycle infrastructure
  • Minimum requirements for cycle infrastructure based on road speed and volume

Get this in front of your highways team. It is part of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges which Highways will use on an ad-hoc basis. There is NO reason this cannot be part of the set of standards that their engineers use.

Wheels For Wellbeing Guide to Inclusive Cycling

Available here

Simply for one simple reason. Thinking beyond the bicycle. One of the key reasons Cycle Bath recently changed its logo. People need to understand you are designing for the hand cyclist, for the wheelchairs, for wheelchairs ON trikes.

Get this in front of your councillors and your Highways Safety Officers, particularly those that love putting in stepped gates and 5 bollard formations because we “need to slow down speeding cyclists”. Get them thinking BEYOND the bicycle. So much of UK cycle infrastructure access is limited by Health and Safety and the fear of kids being killed by speeding cyclists, yet every junction of a road has a simple corner pavement ledge and we don’t have kids randomly running into roads at junctions constantly.

Highways Health and Safety create immense problems for people with accessibility issues. They design in exclusion in the name of safety.

Oxfordshire’s Development Control Walking and Cycling Standards

This one is a big one. Developers design and build developments. The roads in those developments MUST be adopted by the council. The council has a Development Control Team that signs off those roads. They use standards from the 1990s where the car is the primary concern.

Oxfordshire council realised that developers were forced to design car centric developments but wanted Walking and Cycling centric developments. They realised they had to update the standards that the Development Control Team were using BEFORE developers would design and build walking and cycling prioritised developments.

Get these in front of your councillors and insist that they take the Oxfordshire standards and rebrand/adopt them. These are decades ahead of other councils. If you do one thing, recognise that the one person in the council that is the “Development Control Team” is absolutely wrecking your housing developments keeping them grounded in a car centric 1990s air pollution creating nightmare.

 Your council’s road adoption standards are fundamentally defining the fabric of your environment and not a single councillor is aware the power this one person has. Get those adoption standards changed. Get them changed NOW.

Inclusive branding…

The way the council sometimes deals with Cycle Bath is to treat us like we’re just a bunch of people on two wheels with a fetish for lycra and riding fast on pavements. However the fight is about inclusive cycling.

Social Model of Disability

It is fully about tackling the social model of disability. Scope has a very good definition.

The social model of disability says that disability is caused by the way society is organised, rather than by a person’s impairment or difference. It looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people. When barriers are removed, disabled people can be independent and equal in society, with choice and control over their own lives.

Disabled people developed the social model of disability because the traditional medical model did not explain their personal experience of disability or help to develop more inclusive ways of living.

An impairment is defined as long-term limitation of a person’s physical, mental or sensory function.

Image is everything

To this end I’ve been rethinking the Cycle Bath branding and whether it truly reflects society.

Cycle Bath Proposed Logo

Bikes left to right:

  1. Wheelchair bike
  2. Dutch style bike with a child seat
  3. Child bicycle
  4. Cargo bike
  5. Wheelchair with eBike conversion kit
  6. Cargo trike
  7. Road bike
  8. City bike with child trailer
  9. Recumbent Trike

This is inspired by the work done by Highways England and their inclusive mobility vehicle design standard 1.2m wide x 2.8m wide vehicle they defined in IAN 195


Cycle Bath, at its core, is trying to tackle the social model of disability. Huge numbers of people want to cycle but feel our road space does not enable them to cycle. The roads are simply too dangerous. The bollards are set too close together. The council, and particularly councillors, simply have the wrong view of who cyclists are.


This has to change.

Give Feedback

Feedback is very welcome. The branding is being discussed in detail on facebook or leave a comment here.

PS It’s very hard to draw people 😀

[Edit] Latest one with a hand cycle leading the charge.

Cycle Bath Proposed Logo (25)


Cycle Bath calls for the withdrawal of the BaNES 20MPH report

Let’s be VERY clear that this article is exceptionally poor journalism given that at the heart of the story is a Communities, Transport, and Environment Scrutiny panel rejected report. This report is being sent out by the council.

Given national coverage that this rejected report is now getting we are calling on the council to withdraw this report as it reflects poorly on Bath and North East Somerset council and particularly the officers.

The JULY 2017 Scrutiny Panel RESOLVED to:

  • Note the report;
  • Accept that more data over a three year period for all schemes is needed to provide evidence for any future changes to the scheme;
  • Note that capital budget provision will be required to implement any future changes;
  • Await the outcome of the Department for Transport review and request a report on this to a future panel;
  • Continue to consider specific applications for 20 mph schemes especially where these relate to safety around schools;
  • Recommend to the Cabinet Member that 20mph signage be removed where it is illogical.

The data in the report showed that :-

  • Crashes in the 20mph limits had reduced by 28% in Bath.
  • Casualties in the 20mph limits had reduced by 23% in Bath.
  • The number roads with average speeds at or above 24mph had reduced by 43% when 20mph was implemented.
  • The number of roads with average speeds at or above 26mph had reduced by 78% when 20mph was implemented.

Now you may feel that these would have been worth mentioning as a finding in the report but they were excluded. Instead the report found that by looking at areas in detail they could compare the number of areas where casualties and crashes had increased or decreased without weighting or taking any note of the significance of a number. And from this they concluded that more areas had increased casualties than reduced them. This is completely bogus statistically.

I even wrote about this in May.

Dear Council,

Withdraw this report now. It’s embarrassing.

Adam Reynolds

Chair of Cycle Bath

Twitter: @awjre


Why so angry

I’ve given in and bought myself a bike camera ( was £240, now £65).

Pretty much every time I cycle on main roads I get a close pass or somebody racing past you to get through a pedestrian island pinch point, only to pass them a minute later as they sit in traffic.

Worse can be on some of the residential rat runs where you have to take primary position to block people from overtaking you dangerously. You can hear them revving their engine and sitting as close to your back wheel as possible. Even on an eBike riding up hills at 15mph in a 20mph zone you get this behaviour.

Enough is enough.

Sadly Avon and Somerset Police have now provided a dashcam evidence submission page to help get prosecutions.

A sad state of affairs our roads have come to.

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Take a look at this short video [language warning].

It’s a woman attempting to cycle along Upper Thames Street, and having to come to a stop as two HGVs barrel past her, at speed. You can actually hear the fear in her voice.

This was of course back in 2011. This section of road looks very different now.

The lane in which the two HGVs thundered past the frightened woman has been replaced by a protected cycleway. The post box where she was forced to come to a halt is visible in the photograph above, with a father and his young son cycling past it, side by side. It’s precisely the same location. There is an HGV in the background of the photograph, but it won’t come anywhere near these two. The contrast is total.

There is a cliché of cycle campaigners being angry, or aggressive. That we froth, won’t…

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Council to investigate Resident Friendly Day Parking Zones

Although not strictly cycling related, many many many times, when we ask for better cycling infrastructure, the answer is no due to budgets. Even more insidious are Local Enterprise Partnership grants that can only be allocated on the basis of generating economic activity. So safe routes to schools from communities are harder to justify.

The Problem

  •  A council trying to find £16M cuts over the next three years.
  • Client Earth suing DEFRA again for not doing enough to tackle air pollution.
  • A city suffering from some of the worst congestion in the UK.
  • The cancelling of public bus services.
  • Lack of investment in walking and cycling.
  • 29,000 people commuting to Bath by car with most of them parking up in residential roads
  • 9,000 of those commuters live IN Bath and drive to work IN Bath

The Solution

We need a solution that

  • Removes ‘free’ day parking from our city roads removing the huge incentive to drive into the city rather than use provided park and rides or switch to public transport.
  • Enables the council to fund better public transport networks.
  • Enables the council to implement free bus passes for school age children tackling the 30% of rush hour traffic that is the school run.
  • Does not impact Residents financially for using a car, except when used to commute within the city.
  • Enables the council to work towards a fixed cost of say £35 per month to travel into and around the city by car or bus. Currently buses are £66 within the city or £80 from outside the city. Cars are ‘free’. Guess why people drive in?
  • Recovers some of the costs of Congestion to the city. Currently £9.9Million per year and car commuters directly impact that cost.
  • Delivers on Air Quality. There is no reason to consider that down the line, older diesel cars will be charged more for permits or even not allowed to have a permit.
  • Solves Congestion. Congestion is an exponential curve. A 30% reduction in number of cars entering the city would be similar to what happens to the roads in School Holidays.
  • Discourages car ownership within the city, particularly from students who are asked not to bring their cars with them, but many do.

We need a solution that changes the behaviour of car commuters getting them out of their cars. That places a cost on parking. That solution is Day Parking Zones.

Day Parking Zones

Keeping the current resident parking zones and placing the rest of the city under a new type of Day Parking Zone where:

  • Parking is free up to 4 hours Monday to Saturday, 8am to 6pm.
  • Council Tax Paying Residents get up to two free permits for their zone.
  • Day Tickets and ALL DPZ permits can be purchased from the council by anyone.
  • Key Workers get free ALL DPZ permits to enable them to carry out their jobs easily.

City Wide Day Parking Zones (3)City Wide Day Parking Zones.pdf

Show me the money

Generating around £54 Million in revenue over the next three years, enabling the council to invest heavily in public transport, walking and cycling, and simply getting more people out of cars. It even discourages students from bringing cars to the city.

I presented this idea to the BaNES Communities, Transport, and Environment Scrutiny panel last night, and they have now set up an All-Party Task and Finish working group to investigate the proposal further.

Bath Key Bus Network

This proposal is only the start though. We currently have a broken bus transport system and without delivery of a Key Bus Network that connects communities and park and ride sites to all economic centres of the city, we have to accept that people will still use their cars to get around the city.

Bath Key Bus Network MapBath Key Bus Network Map.pdf

If we want more cycling infrastructure, if we want a better environment, if we want a good public transport system, we need to enable the council to provide those. Day Parking Zones is that enabler.


What happens if this is too successful?

This one has been raised. Assuming that this creates a monumental shift in behaviour and suddenly, of the 29,000 commuters, we suddenly find only 50% switch to public transport. Over night air pollution would drop significantly. Public Transport would be heavily utilised requiring less/no subsidy. The economic cost of congestion to the city would drop. This is a win win situation. The less people commute by car, the better.

We need a functioning city, not this grid locked air pollution nightmare we currently have.

Sustainable Safety and ‘Shared Space’

I suspect that I’ll be mentioning Sustainable Safety and asking why this is not a core part of any public realm redesign.

As Easy As Riding A Bike

There was a bit of back-and-forth on social media last week on the subject of Exhibition Road, involving – in particular – the Conservative councillor Daniel Moylan, who had a major role in pushing the ‘shared space’ scheme through.

One of his tweets was – for me at least – particularly intriguing.

Fairly clear! But why might a fan of ‘shared space’ be so hostile to Sustainable Safety – the policy which lies behind the Netherlands world-leading road safety record? After all, the Netherlands is the country where Moylan’s version of ‘shared space’ largely originates – with the ideas of Hans Monderman.

If we look at the principles of Sustainable Safety, the answer quickly becomes clear. The ideology behind Exhibition Road (and Moylan’s attitude towards how it should…

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