Category Archives: Call To Action

BaNES Accessibility/Inclusivity Wheel and Walk Issues Map

For some time Cycle Bath has been struggling to find a way to capture issues around accessibility/inclusivity in Bath and North East Somerset.

The Map

As of this morning (Friday 29th of November) there are 61 issues listed by 10 map contributors.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1nZG9lYHm44UdVBJJGTWjyYPf0h7a6rir&usp=sharing

Screenshot 2019-11-29 at 10.38.24 (2)

What are we going to do with it?

The process we are going to follow is:

  1. Assign Type [Accessibility, Surface, Dangerous, Cycling, Signage, Walking]
  2. Set Colour As Issue is progressed:
    • Blue: New Issue
    • Black: Issues submitted to council/ATAF/local councillors and awaiting response. Ownership of issue with one Cycle Bath member to chase.
    • Orange: Fix agreed with officers + local councillors but no funding.
    • Red: Not going to be fixed.
    • Green: In the pipeline (with ETA)
    • Grey: Fixed (might be deleted from map to reduce clutter).

Get Involved

Either post your issues as a comment below or get involved on our Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/CycleBath/ You can even become a map editor!

 

 

Cycle Bath Meeting July 4th 7:30pm Guild Co-Working Space

The Cycle Bath Facebook group was used to decide the day and time of the meeting to be more inclusive. The Guild Co-Working space have graciously provided us with the front room to use.

The FB group was also used to poll what people wanted to address. Working groups will be used on the night. If you have a passion for a specific issue, please come along and join in.

  1. Safer Routes To Schools (Voters 13)
  2. Lobbying for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (Voters 11)
  3. Two Tunnels ramp to Lyncombe Vale Road (Voters 5)
  4. Pot Holes (Voters 5)
  5. Bath Living Heart (Voters 4)
  6. Path Verge Maintenance (Voters 3)
  7. Accessibility Issues (Cycle Design Vehicle 1.2m x 2.8m) (Voters 3)
  8. Illegal and inconsiderate parking (Voters 2)
  9. 20 where people live (Voters 2)
  10. Resurfacing the B2B (Voters 1)
  11. Sustainable Transport Route – Green Park to B-B Path (Inc Locksbrook Bridge) (Voters 2)
  12. Two Tunnels tarmac to Wellow (Voters 1)

#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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Public Health England demands councils take action

Finally we are beginning to see a change in mindset. Even now, the council bumbles from consultation to consultation. It knows what to do. Sadly at a West Of England Combined Authority & Local Enterprise Partnership level we are seeing complete inaction.

Our decades long car centric approach to transport has created the biggest health crisis this country has ever seen. We promote and encourage cycling, never enable it.

Change The Question_ Enable Cycling

 

Our schools exist within cycling transit deserts, inaccessible from the communities they serve, forcing people to drive their kids to school.

Thankfully Public Health England has had enough.

Their blog gives a set of documents councils should be using, as well as a health costs tool that councils should be using as part of any actions they want to tackle.

Let’s be clear WECA is sitting on £80M of Transforming Cities Fund. If this is not immediately allocated to the delivery of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods to deliver a 58% in residential traffic as Ghent achieved in one year then we have the CEO and Metro Mayor who are utterly failing us, and particularly our children.

Change The Question_ LIVEABLE CITIES

Tim Warren, Tim Bowels, Patricia Greer, Marvin Reece, enough is enough, just get on with it.

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 we need all professional drivers to pass Bikeability Level 3 training

This morning I was walking along Chaucer Road towards Beechen Cliff and observed a mini-bus driver overtake a Beechen Cliff Pupil riding his bike to school. Chaucer Road is a typical Bath residential road with cars parked either side and about 3m of width between. The driver chose to pass the kid at less than 0.5m.

I lost my cool. Stopped the driver, told him in no uncertain terms that that was a dangerous close pass and then called up his company to lodge a complaint.

I later had a call back from the company, where the manager initially apologised and then started to go into a story about how a cyclist up at the top of Wellsway didn’t ride properly across a roundabout. An 11 year old boy was placed in a phenomenally dangerous situation because a professional driver could not wait 10 seconds and his manager tries to use collective responsibility and blame “cyclists”.

W T F?

He did say he would have words with him.

This is where it gets interesting

I suggested that a better solution would be to ensure he gets Bikeability Level 3 training from the council so he understands how bad what he did was. The manager stated that he couldn’t ‘punish’ him that much as bus drivers are quite rare and he would leave to work for somebody else.

All professional drivers must have Bikeability training

The reality is, within a gig economy, we must ensure that the companies that hire these drivers take responsibility for their behaviour. Requiring companies to only be able to hire drivers that have had Bikeability Level 3 training would be a simple step in ensuring the safety of people choosing to cycle to school or work or the shops or just for fun.

I think, particularly taxi and bus companies need to ensure all their drivers have Bikeability training.

Bad driving should require a Bikeability Refresher Course

Let’s be real, there are economic and time pressures on drivers to deliver goods/people as quick as possible. Having to wait for an annoying cyclist can cost them money. However they should realise that the company they work for will put them on Bikeability Training if complaints are received about their driving around vulnerable road users. Evidence of the training should be published.

Driving is what they do

Professional drivers spend their lives on the road and should be held to a high standard. Ideally I’d like to see Bikeability Training as part of passing your driving test, but with a significant number of KSIs related to HGVs, maybe, just maybe, getting those drivers that spend all day on the road trained up as cyclists, we will save lives.

One more thing…

The school drop off at Beechen Cliff has to be seen to be believed and the reality is that closing Chaucer Road at Kipling Avenue to vehicular traffic using bollards would create a quieter, safer residential area and control the speeding traffic that piles along Chaucer on a regular basis. Each resident would still have 3 exits onto Wellsway. A modal filter cell here would have huge benefits to the community and to the safety of children.

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 10.20.35dscn9924

Day commuters and the school run are the real problems in Bath

I have sent this letter to the Bath Chronicle in response to the council’s “Our plan to get Bath moving” . It’s a bit long so unsure if they will print it. The key problems within Bath come down to two ‘actors’.

Day Commuters

28,000 people drive by car and park somewhere in the city. We currently provide 7,000 car parking spaces and most Park and Rides are only a 3rd full by 9am. Day commuters use free parking available on Bath’s residential roads.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 14.14.36

You need to remove the ‘free’ bit through the use of parking control in the form of ‘soft’ Resident Parking Zones across the whole of Bath. This ensures all Park and Ride sites are fully utilised and justifies expansion, and yes, an East Park and Ride solution will be needed, say a Link and Ride using existing brownfield sites.

 

The School Run

Transport for London brought out an interesting statistic. 50% of traffic is the School Run.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 10.02.52

The Council has absolutely no handle on this figure for Bath or even other towns. Priority number one for Highways should be the development of good walking and cycling routes to schools. We need to kill the school run and we need to kill it fast.

Obesity, not Air Pollution is the problem

Let’s be clear, if you focus on Air Pollution, you end up throwing money at Electric Vehicles that still suffer from brake and tyre pollution, but more importantly take up the same space as an internal combustion vehicle.

Air pollution kills 40,000 people a year, Obesity kills 84,000. 88 people each year in BaNES die from Obesity related diseases below the age of 75.

We’re currently at 27.5% obesity, whereas a country that has focused on “Stop de Kindermoord” now has a envious 10% obesity rating. Extrapolating this, 63% of obesity is down to our transport systems. 55 BaNES residents die because of the political decisions your councillors and highways officers make each year.

If we truly want to tackle the health crisis in our transport systems, we need to focus on creating healthy streets and we start with children. We tackle Air Pollution and Obesity through this approach.

We need our own “Stop the child murder”.

We need councillors and councils delivering safe routes to school that enable kids to be able to safely cycle to school. The evidence is though that our council simply does not get the need for this as shown by the up and coming Weston route.

The Letter

Continue reading Day commuters and the school run are the real problems in Bath

CWIS and not getting a fair crack of the LCWIP

Something profound has happened to the way councils will be able to access money for walking and cycling. Chief Executives of Councils, Councillors, City Mayors, and Metro-Mayors really need to get a handle on this fast because they are about to lose out massively in ways that will only become apparent about a year from now.

The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) published April 21st 2017, has within it a requirement for councils to prepare Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs). Without these in place, councils and regional areas will have no ability to bid for any central government pots of money to improve cycling and walking networks.

Continue reading CWIS and not getting a fair crack of the LCWIP

Bad Road Users and the Law as it Stands

An open letter to Bath’s MP Wera Hobhouse and Avon & Somerset Police Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens:

Dear Sue and Wera,
I am writing to you as I think in the coming weeks and months there is going to be a concerted effort to start legislating against dangerous cycling behaviour. To put this in perspective, last year 1 pedestrian was killed by a cyclist and 399 were killed by drivers.
I am not trying to excuse what Charlie Alliston did and this article I think sums up my thoughts around his court case:
However there is a need to re-address the way we deal with the bad road users. A significant number of whom get away with manslaughter due to failures in process as well as failures within the law:
I would like, as stated within the above article, the following to come into place:
  1. The current guidance regarding referral of fatal road collision cases to CPS for charging decisions needs to become a requirement, a rule which police forces can’t simply ignore as they did in this case;
  2. Collision investigation standards are urgently needed, with accreditation and increased transparency as called for by RoadPeace through their collision investigation campaign.
  3. The current classification of careless and dangerous driving offences, how driving standards are assessed, and charging standards, are simply not fit for purpose. They must be changed, with the standard of driving required being more objectively determined. Currently, the law requires jurors to consider whether another driver’s standard of driving fell “below”, or “far below” the standard which they believe would be expected of “a careful and competent driver”, whatever that standard might be. One person might well think they’re a careful and competent driver as they overtake a cyclist whilst speeding, leaving a 30 cm gap. I would disagree, so our perspectives on what falls “below the competent and careful driver” test will be irreconcilable. We are asking jurors to apply a standard that few understand, and which is far too subjective.
There have been similar calls from Road Justice and Brake. The recommendations from the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group also reflect similar demands:
We have a problem on our roads and the way cases involving Killed or Seriously Injured are dealt with by the police and the law. We are failing the victims of road violence, particularly the vulnerable road users.
This is being played by certain groups as a problem between pedestrians and cyclists when fundamentally, both these vulnerable road user groups are disproportionately affected by the bad behaviour of drivers.
New York City has found that the provision of segregated cycle lanes has reduced the number of pedestrian casualties:
Using cycle infrastructure to protect vulnerable pedestrians is enabling cities and even countries to achieve a Vision Zero approach to road safety:
We need to ensure that the conversation is not about the problem of dangerous cyclists and their impact on pedestrians, but that there are bad road users and how we fix the legislation and operational procedures of our police to ensure justice is done.
I hope you can convey that message in the coming weeks and months, and support working towards a better approach to road justice.
Regards,
Adam Reynolds
Cycle Bath Chair

The problem is not us, it’s them!

When we ask ourselves how we address the transport problems in Bath, and particularly the air pollution that Bath suffers from, the language that organisations use gives you an idea about the direction in which those organisations are looking.

Reading both the statement put forward by BaNES  and the letter from FoBRA published in the Chronicle, it is pretty clear that the problem is the 12% through traffic ( 8760 drivers) and the naughty 900 HGVs. (FoBRA in their defence did list a few other things.)

What seems to have been ignored is that WE are the 88%. We are the 64240 people that drive into and around the city each day. Yet the answer lies with the 12%.

Let’s be clear. The A36/A46 bypass will ONLY remove 2000 cars form London Road and is 15 years in the making. Within the last 12 years we’ve already lost nearly 5,000 cars from London Road yet the bypass has been on the cards for 30+ years.

We need to be absolutely honest about what’s going on here and we need radical solutions and we need them now.

We need strong parking control across the whole city to keep Park and Ride sites fully utilised. The council can sell day time passes to commuters in areas where space is available if P&R sites get too full (but not for diesel). Call it the Bath RPZ+ if you like.

We need to prioritise separate space for walking, cycling, and driving on our major arterial roads over on-street parking.

We need better, smoother junctions using Poyntonesque style roundabouts with cycle bypasses (Poynton is horrible to cycle. I tried.).

We need a Link and Ride on the east side of the city using brownfield land between the A46 and the railway at Bathampon Junction, ready for when you implement the RPZ+.

We should be implementing some of the phases from the New Phased Delivery of the Bath ‘Living Heart’ Transport Plan making the city centre access only.

We need to kill the school run. Build School Streets. Fine parents for dropping their kids off outside schools as 5,000 of them do each day. LOOK AROUND YOU RIGHT NOW. Go outside tomorrow at 8:30am. Where’s all the traffic?

We need to ask why 10,000 people living in Bath, drive 2 miles or less to work in Bath each day.

What we don’t need to be doing is blaming the 12% or those naughty HGVs.

WE ARE THE 88%. WE ARE THE PROBLEM.

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