Category Archives: Bath

What do each of the parties offer for cycling?

After the withdrawal of the transport hustings from all the candidates, Transition Bath, Transition Larkhall and Cycle Bath requested a one to one interview with all candidates. They obliged. During the interviews we gave each candidate the chance to air their views on some of the main issues in Bath and what their plans were to tackle them.

Each candidate was given an hour to interview and answer detailed questions. The full details of which can be found here.

A quick summary of local priorities:

Parliamentary-Election-2017-Candidates-Transport-Priorities-720x380

Focusing in on cycling in order of interview:

Wera Hobhouse (Liberal Democrats)

On Cycling and active transport

  • A keen cyclist with a history of prompting increased cycling in other areas she has lived in.
  • Wants to see a greater emphasis on encouraging people on to bikes and walking.
  • Demonstrated openness to working with groups like Transition and Cycle Bath, to implement and lobby for stronger initiatives and incentives.
  • Wants to create networks of cycling away from main traffic.

Ben Howlett (Conservative Party)

On Cycling and active transport

  • Will implement more cycle routes and safe walking zones
  • Working to implement cycle racks on the front of buses to help encourage bike use
  • Improvements to the Bristol/Bath cycle path, with more accessibility to more people and new developments in Bath.
  • Accessing government’s funds to improve the region.

Joe Rayment (Labour Party)

On Cycling and active transport

  • Like Ben, would like to see bike racks on the front of buses.
  • Segregated cycle lanes to make cycling safer to increase accessibility for all.
  • Prioritise walking, cycling and buses above the use of car.

Eleanor Field (Green Party)

On Cycling and active transport

  • Safer roads for pedestrians and cyclists, including segregated cycle lanes.
  • Walking buses for children on their way to school.
  • Less cars will encourage more active travel, so it has to be key to reduce car use.
  • Wants to encourage more e-bikes in Bath.

Interviewer’s Conclusions

There were some big differences between candidates and some similarities. All accept there is a problem with air quality and congestion in Bath, and all want to encourage more walking and cycling, whilst trying to make public transport more affordable. All candidates apart from Ben seem to agree that more roads and car centric schemes are not the answer. Joe and Eleanor both see an opportunity to take rail and buses back into public ownership, at least at a local level, and Joe strongly made this the centrepiece of his plan. Wera looks strongly to working within communities to instigate change through movement away from the car, and Ben wants to put the emphasis on reducing traffic in Bath by diverting it where possible on alternate routes. Please take the time to listen to the interviews yourselves and hopefully this will help you make the choice you feel will best serve the city, and our future.

My Conclusions

I felt that much of what an MP can and cannot do is constrained by a willing council. It’s all very good Ben Howlett pushing for more cycle routes and walking zones but that actually means very little. All roads are cycle routes and walking zones. Just some are safer than others. The other candidates all wanted to segregate cycling away from motorised traffic which I feel is the only viable approach.

All candidates wanted to ‘encourage’ people to cycle. This is a politically weak construct that allows you to do nothing. With 5.5% of commuters in Bath cycling to work (Census 2011), but only 1% of school children cycling to school, it is the perceived safety of our roads that is ‘discouraging’ people from everyday cycling. The only way you get more people cycling is to segregate, to make it safe.

Putting the work an MP does at parliamentary level within the context of what can be achieved locally I think is a hard thing to do.  An MP can do a couple of things at national level that will have a profound impact at a local level:

  • Legislate for 10% of DfT budget to be spent on cycle infrastructure.
  • Legislate for a set of national enforceable cycle infrastructure standards that take the speed profile and minimum requirements as set out in Highways England IAN 195
    minimum
  • Legislate to require councils to meet minimum infrastructure standards as part of resurfacing/maintenance programmes and provide access to DfT budget to implement those changes.
  • Petition to switch from maximising traffic flow to maximising road capacity. Replacing 2 rows of parked cars on a major route with cycle lanes can increase road capacity by 63%.
  • Legislate to recognise that road design has a key role in delivering public health improvements around Air Pollution (average 7 months loss of life) and Obesity (average 36 months loss of life) and refocus the DfT and Local Authority Highways departments around prioritising active travel on our roads or provision of good alternatives.

Whoever wins on Thursday, I hope Cycle Bath can sit down with them and work at a national level to make a real difference locally.

Please go and look at the detailed analysis available on Transition Bath’s website

Creative Bath Innovation Award Finalist

On September 3rd 2016, I (Adam Reynolds) took part in the Celebrate the City Bath Hacked Hackathon winning the event, with the help of one other hacker, with the following graphic:

001.jpg

Upon releasing this onto social media, people began feeding back information, even laminating it and using it to get around the city. I realised there could be some mileage in evolving the map into something better.

Continue reading Creative Bath Innovation Award Finalist

In support of the Bath Cable Car

Recently I have been working with census data that indicates around 31,000 local car journeys are being made in the city, with around 7000 Bath residents driving to work in Bath and 5000 school children being dropped off and picked up by car. The decision commuters and parents make to use the car is fundamentally down to the choices they feel they have to make those journeys.

For many people living on one side of Bath that work or go to school on the other side of Bath, the lack of good cycle provision, the challenging seven hills of Bath, and the time consuming hub centred bus network requiring you to change buses at the bus station, reduce the choices people feel they can make down to one. Use the car.

Continue reading In support of the Bath Cable Car

BaNES just closed a vital traffic free cycle path and made it dangerous

Now this might come across as hyperbole, but I am adamant that if you want people to stop using cars, you need to provide good safe choices. This evening I discovered that the council had removed a wide dropped kerb, and created a narrow crossing that is not part of the desire line that 1000s of people use every day. It not only creates problems for people cycling, but has a real impact on people on mobility scooters, wheelchairs and push chair. It’s a vile, thoughtless, bureaucratic piece of bullsh*t that has me spitting feathers.

This is what they have done:

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This is what it used to be:

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 22.52.36.png

[google streetview]

And this is the result of removing the dropped kerb and enabling easy access for people…

The river path is now no longer a good ‘legal’ cycle route. It is now a desired cycle route. Even if you used the dropped kerb, the footpath is 1m wide. It’s creating huge amounts of conflict between users of the path and requires people cycling to ride illegally along a footpath.

Even if you ignore the cycling aspect, the gradient of the path is steeper on the narrow footpath making it a problem for wheelchair users. The path is 1m wide making passing hard.

This is utter utter utter bullsh*t and a complete waste of taxpayer’s money.

I have no idea who you write to about this. I’m guessing local councillors (Jasper_Becker@bathnes.gov.uk & ian_gilchrist@bathnes.gov.uk) and definitely Cllr Anthony Clarke (anthony_clarke@bathnes.gov.uk)

This is sheer incompetence and complete disregard for accessibility or a need to recognise air pollution is a problem in this city and cycling is one of the answers.

[Update 14th of March] I have been reliably informed that this footpath is actually a road called Spring Gardens that was closed to traffic, hence the bollard. The council have infact, illegally closed a road by building a kerb across the access point to it.

 

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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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)

Bath operates within a political void

This is a personal opinion piece and does not reflect the views of CycleBath.

It follows on from what I wrote (rather hastily) for the Bath Newseum “Making Roads Work“. Apologies to Richard as I keep re-reading it and coming up with edits I’d like to make to it. It’s very rough. 😦

I’m part of the Save Bathhampton Meadows Facebook group. There was a post on there about the statement Cllr Alison Millar made to the Scrutiny Panel on the 25th of July. It’s powerful stuff and I post it here.

Continue reading Bath operates within a political void

Keeping London Road Safe for Cycling

We cannot begin to tell you how proud it makes us to see 30+ people standing outside the Guildhall protesting to keep London Road safe. From the bottom of our hearts

THANK YOU!

Dear Cllr Tony Clarke,

637 people simply ask that you keep this section of London Road safe for cycling. This can be achieved by leaving it as is. It is plainly obvious from the four speeches made about London Road last night that a working party of all stakeholders needs to be organised, but whatever comes out of it, London Road must be kept safe for cycling without compromising the safety of pedestrians.

Nigel Sherwin – Bath Cycling Club

Bryn Jones – Transition Larkhall

Dick Daniels – Transition Bath

Adam Reynolds – CycleBath

The speech made by Adam Reynolds, written as a group by the people above:

Continue reading Keeping London Road Safe for Cycling

Space For Cycling – Keep London Road Safe – Protest 5pm Thursday Guildhall

Hi,

As you are aware, the petition will be handed into the council at the general council meeting this Thursday (tomorrow as of writing). The meeting starts at 6:30pm, however councillors start arriving at 5pm for pre-council meetings.

If you are intending on going, please try and be there for 5pm. It is likely that by 5:30, the impact of the protest will be less but even turning up slightly late will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for signing the petition Keep Bath’s London Road Safe For Cycling. We achieved over 600 signatures, a fantastic number to show the council how important it is to support space for cycling on London Road.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/new-threat-to-cycling-infrastructure-london-rd-bath

The event details are here should you need to share this with anyone:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/events/space-for-cycling-protest-ride-keep-london-road-safe-for-cycling

I really really hope you can make it tomorrow.

Thank you for your support and see you outside the guildhall at 5pm on Thursday (21st of July). I’ll be handing out posters for people to hold.

Adam Reynolds

S4C_LondonRoad

Shared Space – Saw Close and Seven Dials

Yesterday I spent close to 3 hours looking at Saw Close with Frank Thomson (a.k.a. Mr. Two Tunnels) and attending the public consultation. What was really good was meeting a lady that was blind and seeing her perspective on it.

For those unable to attend it looks like this:

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 16.10.00.png
Image taken from this pdf

Today the Bath Chronicle posted an article about Saw Close. I wrote a reply and then realised it had gone completely over their word limit, so had to edit it down.

Continue reading Shared Space – Saw Close and Seven Dials