Part 1 – Basic Principles
The objective of Bath Cycling Campaign is to promote and encourage responsible cycling in the Bath area.
Cycling brings many benefits, for cyclists and also for the wider community:
- Fewer car journeys, so less pollution and less road congestion
- Improved health and fitness
- Quieter, safer neighbourhoods
- Cycling is fun and sociable
Cycling can be encouraged by:
- Creating a comprehensive network of cycle paths
- Increasing the number and quality of cycle parking facilities.
- Reallocating road space from motor vehicles to cyclists and pedestrians
- Increasing safety for cyclists and pedestrians
- Providing cycle training, for children and adults
- Promoting the image of cycling
- Providing more information about cycling facilities
- Setting up Bicycle User Groups within workplaces
Bath Cycling Campaign wants:
- To see cycling increase to 10% of journeys.
- B&NES to allocate 5% of their transport budget to cycling, with more council officers dedicated to promoting cycling.
- To see the proper inclusion of cycling, walking and sustainable transport within all B&NES departments, plans and policies.
Bath Cycling Campaign will achieve these objectives by:
- Publicising and promoting our organisation and its objectives, including press events and demonstrations
- Recruiting members to join us and play an active part in the campaign
- Lobbying council members and officers, politicians, policy-makers and planners, media, and business.
- Organising bike rides and events to promote cycling
- Collaborating with other organisations with compatible aims
Part 2 – Supporting Details
Fact: Over 25% of all trips are less than 2 miles long and could easily be made by bike by any averagely fit person.
Cycling is not only an enjoyable leisure activity, but also a good means of transport for everyday trips to work, school, shops, leisure or entertainment venues.
Cycling can be part of the solution to a number of the problems that face our community and our world. Increased cycling even brings benefits for non-cyclists.
Congestion increases journey time and air pollution, and is bad for businesses. More bikes and fewer cars means less congestion, and more road space for essential vehicles such as public transport.
Health & Obesity
Fact: Three-quarters of adults are now overweight and 22% are obese. England has witnessed the fastest growth in obesity in Europe and child obesity has tripled in 20 years.
Cycling can provide just the kind of regular exercise that people need to keep themselves fit.
Children especially can benefit from cycling. A considerable amount of peak hour traffic is “the school run”. If more children cycled to school instead, they would not only be healthier, but peak-hour congestion would be significantly reduced too. Good fitness habits learned in childhood are more likely to lead to improved fitness throughout life. This brings a healthier population, with fewer demands on healthcare services.
Air Pollution and Climate Change
Fact: Private cars generate about 25% of greenhouse emissions, 90% of carbon monoxide, 51% of nitrogen oxides, and 41% of carcinogenic volatile organic compounds.
Fact: One in eight children now suffer from asthma, a condition exacerbated by air pollution.
The bicycle makes no contribution to air pollution or greenhouse gases. So when there are more bikes and fewer cars, everyone benefits from cleaner air and less impact on the climate.
Fact: About 1,800 people are killed and 190,000 injured by vehicles in the UK each year.
A road environment that is safer for cyclists would be safer for pedestrians and car passengers too. Safety for cyclists can be improved in the following ways:
- Proper enforcement of existing traffic laws, especially speed limits
- Lower speed limits
- Cycle-friendly traffic calming
- Cycle provision/priority at junctions
- Proper maintenance of road and cycle path surfaces
- Road closures to prevent rat-running
- Changes in the law to give increased rights to vulnerable road users
10% of journeys
Fact: The UK Government created a National Cycling Strategy with a target of 10% of journeys by bike by 2012.
Fact: In Denmark, where it’s windier and colder, 20% of journeys are made by bike. In Switzerland, where it’s hillier, 10% of trips are by bike. In Bath the figure is only 2%.
A target of 10% of journeys by bike in the Bath area is perfectly reasonable.
Cycle routes network
To encourage more people to begin cycling we must offer them alternative routes away from the threat of heavy traffic. Cycle routes should be well signposted and include all the places that people commonly travel to, including work, shopping and leisure trips. Cycle routes should also include tourist attractions, to encourage more cycle tourism into the area.
There should be adequate cycle parking at all major trip destinations, including shopping, employment, schools and colleges, railway stations, leisure and entertainment venues.
All new developments, both residential and commercial, should include adequate secure cycle parking.
B&NES and its predecessor have been talking for years about improving conditions for cyclists so more people go by bike. We’ve waited long enough. We want change now!
Issue 1, 30 Jan 2005, compiled by David Beasley.