#CleanAirDay Cycling Celebration Ride Kingsmead Square 1:15pm today!

I cannot stress enough how important it is to turn up to this if you can. Even if you turn up, have your photo taken as part of a mass group of people then head back to whatever you are doing. The ride is symbolic and only about 20 minutes.

Both Cllr Sarah Warren (Climate) and Cllr Joanna Wright  (Transport) are planning to be on the ride.
It is your opportunity to engage with them. I will also be handing out Bath Cycle Maps to people to get them into their favourite cafe or even their place of work.
Please be there if you can.
I’ll also be in my version of this:
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Clean Air Day Lunchtime Celebration Ride, 20th June, 1pm Kingmead Square

If you work, or live in Bath, we really want to get you all down to Kingsmead Square on June the 20th for 1pm to celebrate Clean Air Day and the joy of cycling.

We will leave the square, head down to the Bus Station, along Dorchester Street, up Manvers Street, around the Guild twice, then down Cheap Street back to the square. Bring bells, bring music. Let’s make some noise!

Sign up on our facebook event page here!
Meet at the council’s Clean Air Day Pop Up event in the Square for 1pm (running 11am-6pm). We should be off by 1:15 and back by 1:40. We will also be looking to get a picture of everybody on all their different bikes. 

Continue reading Clean Air Day Lunchtime Celebration Ride, 20th June, 1pm Kingmead Square

Cycle Bath Meeting, Guild Hub 6:30pm Today (Wednesday 29th of May)

Apologies for the late notification, there is a meeting this evening.

The Guild Hub Co-Working space is to the left of the Guild Market.
Agenda:
0) New council, now what?
1) Low Traffic Neighbourhoods:- An introduction to engaging your neighbourhood community and enabling these to happen.
2) Hartwell Site Consultation response https://bit.ly/2YbiGiM
3) Active Travel Forum priorities
– Oxfordshire Cycling and Walking Standards
4) Cycle Bath social rides/events. CB really is too focused on the political and I think it would be good to have the odd (cargo) bike ride/picnic or two.
5) Commitment to regular monthly ride + meet beginning June.
6) Accessible Bath. Why do we still have things like Claude Avenue


We are expecting Cllr Joanna Wright (Cabinet member for Transport) to come along (based on the FB confirmation).

Literally driven off our roads…

Alex messaged me with the following and he gave me permission to publish it here. It is unedited (written on his phone). It is shocking. It is utterly depressing. It is demoralising. It should not be this way.


Hi Adam. I hope you’re well. I wanted to get in touch again potentially offering a bit of assistance. If you remember, I live in Timsbury, work in Bristol and used to cycle every day of the week. My partner works in Bath usually doing the same.

Just recently I’ve had some rather horrific experiences using the lanes around Saltford commuting to and from work. I chose to use the lanes to avoid using major roads reducing my likelihood of contact with dangerous vehicle drivers and to access the Bristol to Bath cycle path as quickly as possible. Doing this added 5 additional miles to my journey in both directions to and from work.

Recently though, the lanes have become much busier with vehicles and the frequency of me being literally driven at by cars coming the other way or cars wanting to pass at inappropriate times has increased.

Continue reading Literally driven off our roads…

I want my street to be like this…

This is simply brilliant

Nicer cities, liveable places

I want my street to be like this…

Reclaiming residential streets, Dutch street design, and why this REALLY REALLY matters.

This might be the most important blog post I write on urban design – but it’s also been one of the most difficult. I want to demonstrate how to look at a quiet Dutch residential street, and to see what isn’t there – and to be amazed by that. Obviously that’s not an easy thing to do.

Look at this video. It’s quite a nice street isn’t it? Nice, but I don’t expect many people to be amazed by it. I’m going to try to change that. Perhaps you’re trying to encourage people to cycle in your city. You might look at this street and say ‘so what?’ – and go looking for one of my articles on segregated infrastructure. But if you do that you’re going to miss out…

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BaNES spent £300k on polishing a turd

If you haven’t guessed this one is going to be all about the renovation of the Widcombe Subway.

The barriers have now been removed.

NOBODY WANTED THIS!

This is a renovation that locals in the area did not want and one that was imposed on them by traffic modelling and air pollution. Yes, Cllr Clarke suggested a level crossing would create air pollution. Oh and despite there being a level controlled crossing on the west of the roundabout.

I have emails about this going back to 2016 where people were asking for a level crossing. The decision to renovate the 1970s subway predates the golden era in transport policy brought about by Cllr Shelford and is the last gasp of the dark ages of Cllr Clarke (a.k.a Mr 30mph).

1970s built in conflict and poor social safety

You cannot paint over tight corners and very confined space to make it better. It’s simply a horrible shared space route that we should have just filled in and left to rot.

What they should have built.

The real issue with Churchill Roundabout is that it’s horrible to use and the south exit is an RTC black spot. I drew this proposal and I realised last night that by opening up one of the arches you could have created a very wide route into the city centre rather than the narrow path through the bridge.

Screenshot 2019-03-15 at 13.15.08

It needed imagination and a willingness to prioritise walking, cycling, and tackle car dependency. Instead we, the people of Bath, are sacrificed at the god of vehicle traffic flow.

Concerns for the future

As a side note, Cllr Mark Shelford has announced he is running for Police Crime Commissioner. This is hugely disappointing as this is likely to mean, should Mark retain his ‘seat’ and the Conservatives win in May, he is likely to step down as Cabinet Member for Transport . No matter your colour be it red, blue, green, or yellow, it is the individual councillor’s views and capabilities that make the difference. Mark has been excellent and very capable but his predecessor was really really really bad. We are *still* suffering from his predecessors handy-work and he has left a legacy of issues that still need fixing.

Mark’s legacy, particularly beginning the introduction of the Oxford Walking and Cycling standards should stand us in good stead for decades to come.

Bath I think we have a PROWblem

Let me start by telling a joke…

For anyone that has joined Cycle Bath’s Facebook Group, you will be intimately aware of the work of Bath and North East Somerset’s Public Rights Of Way (PROW) team around Fieldings Bridge and ongoing river path improvement from Locksbrook to The Boathouse pub. For those unfamiliar here’s a quick history.

Fieldings Bridge Part One

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  1. For the last 10 ish years the owner of the car park next to Fieldings Bridge has been asking the PROW team to sort out the correct path and prevent people crossing the car park.
  2. Bath Spa University bought the Herman Miller building and boarded up the one access route from the river to Fieldings Bridge while they redevelop the site.
  3. The PROW team then installed a very poor set of concrete steps from the river to the bridge despite numerous calls from people and organisations for a connecting level path.
  4. Car Park owner now has anyone with a push chair, mobility scooter, bikes, anything wheeled, using the car park and decides enough is enough and fences off the car park.
  5. After much gnashing of teeth and councillor intervention (Thank you Cllr Doherty!) PROW team eat humble pie and install a connecting level path.

Fieldings Bridge Part Two (ongoing)

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  1. The council approves a significant number of student accommodation to be built on Lower Bristol Road, then the Lidl Retail Park, and the upcoming Bath Spa campus. It also helps develop and build the Two Tunnels which is a major tourist attraction and heavily promoted by Visit Bath. It’s also the beginning of National Cycle Network Route 244 and connects to NCN 4, y’know the Bath to Bristol Railway path and all the way to London.
  2. The council also publish an award winning Water Study that specifically highlights the issue of overcrowding on this bridge, how much worse it has become and how this bridge urgently needs replacing.
  3. There have been reports of a number of incidents of people cycling aggressively across Fieldings Bridge and colliding with people walking over it. That’s really sh*t behaviour. There have also been incidents of people blocking people cycling over the bridge and accosting them.
  4. PROW team removes the advisory Cyclists Dismount signs and replaces them with No Cycling signs. Job Done. Well but forgets to put one on the new level connecting path between river and bridge so any cyclist coming from the river has absolutely no clue that they are now illegally riding over a bridge.
  5. So now NCN 244 broken. The Two Tunnels Circuit is broken. Any disabled cyclist in a hand cycle can no longer use the bridge. I spoke with Visit Bath yesterday and told them they might need to inform any tourists about this. Sustrans are preparing a response.

Locksbrook River Path (ongoing)

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  1. Notices goes out that the PROW team are going to be upgrading the footpath as it is unusable.
  2. Being a nosey busy body, I dive in and find out that the new bitmac path width will be 1m wide all the way as there are bits of the path that are that narrow. In parts the path is currently 2.5m wide and heavily used. You can see this due to the usage pattern. In fact I’d say most of it is 2m wide given the amount of smooth clay either side of the new 1m wide tarmac strip.
  3. I requested that, at a minimum, passing places are put in to allow two mobility scooters to pass each other and am assured that intermittent passing places will be installed.
  4. No specific intermittent passing places are being installed. The only widening is done where there is a river feature or bench. It’s a nightmare for mobility scooters with 100s of metres without a passing point with a good chance of one of them falling towards the river off the raised tarmac path.
  5. The PROW team have designed in immense conflict on an exceptionally busy footpath that is impossible to use by somebody in wheelchair. Mobility scooters could not even turn round on it.

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We really do have a PROWblem!

So as far as I can work out, the councils PROW team has an immense hatred of cycling and makes sure as little wheel friendly new infrastructure as is legally possible put in place. This shafts wheelchair users, mobility scooters, push chairs, disabled friendly trikes, hand cycles etc. but hey at least you’ve tried to prevent those nasty bi-cyclists from using the FOOTpath.

There is something really wrong with a department that has such a clear anti-disabled bias operating within it. The PROW team should be all about creating wheel friendly infrastructure. Its core principle should be about tackling the social model of disability as part of its work.

The social model of disability is a way of viewing the world, developed by disabled people.

The model says that people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference. Barriers can be physical, like buildings not having accessible toilets. Or they can be caused by people’s attitudes to difference, like assuming disabled people can’t do certain things.

The social model helps us recognise barriers that make life harder for disabled people. Removing these barriers creates equality and offers disabled people more independence, choice and control.

Building 1m wide paths, only building steps, refusing to build level paths, and putting up No Cycling signs on an overcrowded bridge caused by planning decisions made by their own council, shows a department with some very big problems and completely out of touch. I would strongly suggest there is a need for accessibility training.

Prioritise People with Disabilities in all you do

It should not be for the likes of Cycle Bath to point out the obvious need for 4 season wheel friendly infrastructure and the, sometimes, life changing benefits to people with disabilities.

If you want to see a slow car crash in motion, just pop down to Locksbrook and have a look at the new path. Now imagine you’re on a mobility scooter and want to turn around on it. Of course, if you mention this to the PROW team, their response is likely to be “Well you do know it’s a FOOTpath don’t you?”

More cycling fatalities than deaths in cars

BICYCLE DUTCH

Disturbing news this morning: more people died on a bike than in a car in the Netherlands in 2017. A total of 206 people died on bicycles and 201 in cars. This is the first time that ever happened. The figure for cycling deaths is also the highest in 11 years. The fatality increase is completely male. The number of killed men went from 125 in 2016 to 148 in 2017. For women the total decreased a little, from 64 in 2016 to 58 in 2017. And yet, when you look at deaths per cycled kilometres, then cycling is becoming safer, not more dangerous.

More cycle fatatilies in the Netherlands while cycling is becoming safer. The elderly account for three quarters of the cycle fatalities in the Netherlands.

Statistics Netherlands published the annual road fatalities this morning and the fact that “cycling is deadlier than driving” made all the headlines…

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From main road to attractive people’s space

BICYCLE DUTCH

Utrecht is reconstructing the streets directly around the historic city centre. These streets, alongside the former city wall and moat, were once supposed to become a four lane main road. For that the water would have disappeared. That never happened at this location but the streets did become a main route for motor traffic for decades. Now the streets have been designated as a main cycle route around the city centre. The design of the streets is being changed accordingly. The second stage of this project has just been finished and a third stage is under construction.

The reconstructed Maliesingel in Utrecht has first and foremost become a main cycle route. The area is now also an attractive urban space where people may want to linger longer.

Two years ago I showed you the first stage of this project. The streets named Maliesingel and Tolsteegsingel were transformed from a…

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