Category Archives: Call To Action

Threat to London Road Cycle Infrastructure

Please please please please please please please sign this petition. https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/new-threat-to-cycling-infrastructure-london-rd-bath

The build-out that protects the cycle lane is being removed without installation of physical barriers to prevent ingress from cars into the mandatory cycle lane.

There is no legal basis for removal of the on-road cycle lane any more as of April 2016.

There are plans afoot to extend the loading bay and reduce the loading times. The loading bays were parking bays until the 24/25th of May. It has taken SO LONG to get the loading bay restrictions in place despite the scheme officially having finished last year.

To read more, go to the petition https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/new-threat-to-cycling-infrastructure-london-rd-bath and then sign it.

We know the infrastructure is poor, but we need to demonstrate to the council, that only budgeted £5k for cycling in 2016/17 for the whole of the county, that cycling for transport and leisure is wanted by the residents and should be supported better by the council.

Please sign. This is important! https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/new-threat-to-cycling-infrastructure-london-rd-bath

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LGIU Briefing | Draft Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy

I attended the Bristol Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy Workshop. Lot of good stuff was discussed with many people from different cycle campaigning groups as well as council officers from as far away as Devon.

The discussions we had were focused primarily around how central government can support and guide local government. A real push from everybody was a set of high quality standards, tools to evaluate the designs ( TfL’s Cycling Level of Service Audit), and even a centre of excellence.

If you want to feed into the process please read the article and email Walking.Cycling@dft.gsi.gov.uk They are watching this email address very closely at the moment.

cllrpaul4cowick

LGIU Policy Briefing logo

28 April 2016

Draft Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy

Ruth Bradshaw LGiU ssociate

Summary

  • The Government has recently published a consultation on its draft cycling and walking investment strategy. The deadline for comments is 23 May 2016.
  • The strategy sets out the Government’s ambition and objectives for cycling and walking, the financial resources available to meet those objectives, how the objectives will be delivered and the governance arrangements.
  • The Government will be issuing guidance this summer on the preparation of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) and, among other things, the consultation seeks views on the assistance that local authorities will need to deliver these plans.
  • This briefing provides an overview of the draft strategy. It will be of interest to elected members and officers with transport, planning and public health responsibilities.

Briefing in full

Introduction

Under the Infrastructure Act 2015, the Government is required to set…

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Selling cycling

One of the problems councillors have is the message they get from their constituents. I’ve been told that almost on a weekly basis they get a complaint about the behaviour of “cyclists” riding on pavements. As somebody that lobbies hard for more cycle infrastructure, I am asked to justify having the council spend resources on delivering cycle infrastructure when “you cyclists” behave so badly and what am I doing about them as chair of CycleBath?

I’m very much sitting between a rock and a hard place. It is the design of the roads that is driving this behaviour and preventing “normal people” from cycling. To solve it you need to re-allocate space and start treating cycling as a 3rd form of transport. This takes money which “we cyclists” do not deserve.

My concern now is that initiatives like Highways “Safe Routes To Schools” will just have councils delivering shared paths as a solution for cycling. This will just result in even more letters and complaints. Shared paths, through design, tell users it is ok to cycle on footpaths.

We cannot expect “normal people” to share road space on major routes with HGVs.

But I think this article is right, we need to change the way cycling is perceived. It is about having 8 year olds cycling to school without parents worrying. It is about cycling as a mobility aid. It is about being able to pop to the shops and carry more stuff home. It is about staying connected to your community.

Councillors need understand it is not about cycling clubs going on 100 mile rides or racing down a wooded hill. There is a huge chasm between cycling as sport and cycling as a form of transport.

If councillors cannot see the benefits to their constituents of investing in cycling. If all they see and hear about is the bad behaviour of “lycra louts” and aggressive pavement cycling, then the onus is on people like myself, like yourself, to educate, to positively engage with councillors.

I also think many of the bike companies operating in this space have a responsibility to change the message they are putting out. That it is not just about the sport/leisure of cycling, but about the practicality of everyday cycling and the health benefits it brings to yourself and your community. More importantly the different style of bikes that are needed for everyday cycling. Their marketing message needs to change.

It’s not an easy ask, because no other group I know is collectively held responsible for the actions of others. I do not blame the president of the AA for speeding motorists. There are just inherently bad road users and cyclists being an outlier group are more harshly judged.

Yet I cannot blame somebody for pavement cycling. I feel very uncomfortable having a 40 ton HGV pass me. That person riding on pavements could ride significantly faster on roads, not having to deal with pedestrians, side roads and street furniture. It will take them far longer to get to their destination. They do it because they fear riding on roads. The behaviour constituents complain to their councillors about, is determined by the design of the road.

Provide cyclists with their own segregated space and this behaviour will vanish. This takes money from an ever shrinking council budget and what the councillors are hearing from their constituents and seeing with their own eyes, we “cyclists” do not deserve a road space safe enough for children to ride to school.

So I’ve rambled on a bit much here, but there is one final thing you can do. As part of your Council’s Capital Highways programme you will see a significant amount of money being spent on road re-surfacing schemes. These are opportunities to place a road on a “road diet” and implement advisory/mandatory 2m cycle lanes, or even convert a quiet rural road to a cycle road. Engage with your parish and your councillors and educate them. This is how New York city transformed itself. When you resurface, place a road on a road diet.

As Easy As Riding A Bike

The biggest barrier to cycling uptake is the physical environment. Survey after survey, study after study, shows that it is road danger – and in particular, the unwillingness to share roads with motor traffic – that prevents people from cycling. When that barrier is addressed – even on a temporary basis in the form of events like Skyrides – cycling suddenly materialises, thrives and flourishes, quite naturally.

Southampton SkyideSouthampton Skyide

London Skyride London Skyride

By contrast, we should be deeply sceptical of claims that the way individuals behave or dress while cycling has any bearing on cycling uptake. That behaviour, the way people dress, and the way the current cycling demographic is skewed towards men and away from the young and the elderly, isn’t the problem, merely a symptom of the actual problem. Or as Beztweets puts it, ‘a product of the true barriers to participation, not a barrier itself‘. Sure…

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London Road On-Road Cycle Lane is up for review!

Before I get started there is the Cycle Bath Meeting in the Griffin Pub tonight, Sunday the 17th of April, at 7pm https://www.facebook.com/events/457486597774318/

The London Road on-road cycle lane has been implemented using something called an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order. This is a simpler way for the council to experiment with road design. This ETRO has been in place for almost 6 months and is coming up for review.

YOU need to write to transportation@bathnes.gov.uk or it will be removed.

IT IS REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO THIS.

The London Road situation is as follows.

Continue reading London Road On-Road Cycle Lane is up for review!

Does the Parks Department discriminate against the disabled?

As part of the Enterprise area development, a section of the river path is being upgraded and to facilitate access when the lower section floods a new path through Green Park has been established. A path that will see the most use in the wettest weather has been built from compacted gravel and clay.

I have no idea who made this decision, but this is a utility path. A path that needs to be fit for all wheels ALL YEAR ROUND. The purpose of this path is to facilitate the movement of people in wheelchairs, mobility scooters, push chairs, various bicycles and people on foot.

WHY WAS ANYTHING OTHER THAN BITMAC CONSIDERED??????

This is a long-term maintenance nightmare and discriminates unnecessarily against wheeled users.

Even the Canal and River Trust are refurbushing the towpath with a bitmac substrate. It provides the best accessible surface and long-term maintenance free approach. Admittedly they like spraying their surfaces with gravel chips but these are bonded to the surface.

unnamed (1)

Machine laid bitmac is a phenomenal surface for so many users and paths can last 40-50 years without any maintenance. If there is an issue with the appearance, despite all the other paths in the park being bitmac, then a spray and chip surface can be applied as the CRT are doing.

The council officer who decided to use this “soft” surface probably did it to make it look nicer. This is short-sighted, discriminates against wheeled users, and builds in significant maintenance costs down the line.

My suspicion is that this is driven by Parks department. I really hope not, as this indicates a policy/design approach which discriminates against people in wheel chairs.

This path is style over substance. It significantly impacts wheeled users and creates a long-term maintenance cost to the council. BUT hey I guess it looks good…

New threat to London Road Cycle Path

I have taken Bryn’s rather good email about the situation and put it here. Over 1500 people fought to have a segregated cycle lane in place, now the council want to create a shared space solution creating conflict between people walking and cycling along London Road.

Nigel Sherwin, Dick Daniels, Bryn Jones and myself have been fighting a rear guard action for months trying to get information out of the council.

WE NEED YOUR HELP. IF YOU WALK OR CYCLE ALONG LONDON ROAD THESE CHANGES MASSIVELY IMPACT YOU.

The Council have now proposed changes (see Executive Forward Plan Reference E2820) which we feel will be detrimental to  encouraging cycling and could force cyclists onto the narrowest 3 lane section of the road near the Cleveland place Junction. The foreword plan doesn’t attach the plans in the appendices, which does not seem very open form of consultation.  One has to either visit the One Stop Shop or ask for an E mail copy from the officer noted on E2820, but these are shown below along with the details in Bryn Jones’s E mail to concerned cyclists.  One major problem has been the Council’s failure to put up loading notices in the 2 loading bays thus allowing 24hour unrestricted parking since June, to detriment of both traders and residents, but this failure should not be a reason for penalising those wishing to cycle. – Nigel Sherwin

Bryn’s Email

Please act soon to object to new proposals to reduce the off-road cycle lane on the south side of London Road leading to the Cleveland Place junction!

(Last date for responses is  15th January !!)

Prior to 2004 when parking bays were first introduced the cycle lane was unrestricted.

In 2014 the ‘Gateway’ scheme proposed removing the lane completely.

In our campaign to prevent removal 1500 people signed a petition to keep the cycle path.

Eventually a compromise was agreed with BaNES whereby the lane would be retained and slightly extended in return for extra parking elsewhere and limited loading periods of 15 minutes.

Please write/email to: transportation@bathnes.gov.uk making sure you copy to:

Louise Fradd <Louise_Fradd@bathnes.gov.uk>, Andy Coles <Andy_Coles@bathnes.gov.uk>, “Anthony Clarke (Cllr)” <anthony_clarke@bathnes.gov.uk>

citing A4 London Road Redevelopment Works- Executive Forward Plan Reference E2820

Please ask for:

1) Retention of the cycle lane as a designated cycle path.

2) No parking allowed in the bays between 7am and 9am Mon-Sat.

3) Removal of pedestrian side clutter that forces people to walk into the path of cyclists.

4) Clearer demarcation of the cycle path and the footpath.

If you wish, please also make use of some or all of the information and relevant points below.

Best wishes and Happy New Year

Bryn Jones

Chair Transition Larkhall

 A4 London Road Redevelopment Works- Executive Forward Plan Reference E2820 Example Complaint letter:

I wish to object to the proposals to make the cycle path into a dual use path and to the proposal that there should be either parking and/or loading in the two bays at Walcot Terrace 24 hours a day, as set out on drawing number MPLONPRE/TRO/4. The reasons for objection are as follows:

  1. The completed Gateway Project work identifies one path for cyclists and one for pedestrians, although this is currently far from being adequately marked. The proposed design for  “Dual Use” is likely to cause conflict between pedestrians and cyclists; increasing the likelihood of accidents between them.
  2. The design of the two traffic sign posts forces pedestrians into the cycle path,  made worse by an advertising A board often under one of the signs.
  3. The original proposals (as approved ‘Gateway scheme’, Ackerman drawing AIS060/02/01 rev.03) restricted the times of the two loading bays, keeping them  clear of vehicles in morning and evening peak hours for people to cycle. Under the current proposals vehicles can use both these bays at any time thus forcing cyclists into the path of pedestrians.
  4. Vehicles parked in the bays will dissuade some cyclists from using the pavement level cycle lane, making them travel instead on this heavily trafficked London Road at its narrowest part near to a very busy junction, with dangerous  HGVs. Others will use the cycle lane but will have to cycle around the parked vehicle on the main pavement as there is no safe alternative.
  5. The proposals contradict agreed Council policy in Getting Around Bath Transport Strategy: ‘That cycling be promoted through better cycling routes with appropriate infrastructure where needed, building a cycling culture for people of all abilities’. Policy GABP5 (see also GABP1, GABA7, GABAA8 & GABA9and section 3.6)
  6. The new proposals in E2820 are likely to adversely impact on safety for both cyclists and pedestrians and would normally be subject to an independent Safety Audit. It is not clear whether this has been done for the works completed in 2015. Please inform me when the safety audit will be done, or, if it has been ruled out, the reason for this decision.
  7. Air pollution problem on London Road has long exceeded WHO and EU limits. As the council has stated that the current 2.6% cycling level, if increased to 8% would reduce congestion by 16%. Why prioritise four parking/loading spaces over the health and well being of travellers and residents by making it harder to cycle?
  8. Can you give assurances that at no point in the future will the police prosecute cyclists for pavement cycling on this section?

 

Details of the proposed changes are shown below:

PDFS of the drawings MPLONPRE-TRO-3 MPLONPRE-TRO-4

Parking bay issues are as follows:

  • One parking bay to be unlimited residents parking 7pm-7am.
  • One parking bay will allow loading for up to one hour; the other for half an hour anytime 7am to 7pm . (The parking bay, with the 1hour restriction, is also the one at the narrowest section of the pavement.)

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 13.11.36

The on pavement cycle path is being replaced by a shared pavement:

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 13.12.06

There are also traffic signs which force pedestrians into the cycle lane:

The  current design does not designate the cycle path clearly to pedestrians and cyclists.

BaNES Communities Forums, please please attend

If you are reading this, then I beg you to attend one of these forums and make your voice heard. We need to design cycling into these new housing estates. We need to give children travel independence.

Each of the five Connecting Communities Forums across the district will be hosting a Budget Fair and these will be open to the public. The Fairs provide an opportunity to hear about the Council’s financial plans for the next four years, ask questions and participate in discussions on the budget proposals.

Following the Budget Fair, there will be an additional presentation from Planning Officers on the West of England Joint Spatial Plan and Transport Study and an opportunity ask questions. The Plan will set out a prospectus for sustainable growth that will help the area meet its housing and transport needs for the next 20 years. Estimates state that to maintain its current prosperity, the area needs at least 85,000 new homes by 2036 – nearly 30,000 more than the number already planned – as well as the transport and other infrastructure needed to support this level of growth. Officers will also be giving a brief update on Placemaking.

If you are unable to attend this meeting, you are most welcome to attend any of the other meetings taking place. The dates and locations are:-

* Bathavon Forum – 19th November, 6pm – Sixth Form, St Gregory’s School, Combe Hay Lane, Odd Down, Bath, BA2 8PA

* Chew Valley Area Forum – Monday 23rd November at 6pm, in The Library, Chew Valley Secondary School, Chew Lane, Chew Magna BS40 8QB

* Keynsham Area Forum – 24th November, 6pm – The Community Space, Market Walk, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 1FS

* Somer Valley Area Forum – 30th November, 6pm – The Conygre Hall, North Rd, Timsbury, Bath BA2 0JQ

Please do help publicise these events in your local communities and encourage people to attend.

How to solve pavement cycling

In BaNES we have Partners and Community Together (PACT) meetings. The last one was dominated by people demanding what the police are doing about pavement cycling. The simple answer is to give Cyclists their own space.

There is a picture that has done the rounds recently about a street in Amsterdam comparing the 1970s shot next to one taken recently. It’s subtle to notice, but there is no pavement cycling in the recent picture.

Continue reading How to solve pavement cycling

Seven Dials, what happened to the Monmouth Street contraflow?

Seven Dials consists of a new shared space and a swathe of Traffic Regulation Orders to develop a more direct cycle network through the implementation of cycle contraflows. The Avon Street contraflow was applied for on the 15th of January 2015. If you look at the scheme map, you’ll see that the Monmouth Street contraflow is key to delivering the scheme as it provides a direct on road contraflow route into the scheme for cyclists:

Seven Dials Missing Monmouth Street Contraflow
Seven Dials Missing Monmouth Street Contraflow

So in theory as part of the delivery of this scheme, this TRO SHOULD have been applied for at the same time as the Avon Street TRO, sometime around the middle of January. So what happened? Why did council officers not apply for this TRO?

Continue reading Seven Dials, what happened to the Monmouth Street contraflow?

The video MPs, councillors, and council officers absolutely need to see.

The Tour De France has delivered probably the single best video to underline the need to make cycling a serious transport option. If you are a councillor, MP, or work for a council, you need to spend 5 minutes and watch this video. Then you need to watch it again AND every time you commission a transport/public space project you need to watch it again.

http://www.itv.com/tourdefrance/features/video-chris-boardman-on-the-dutch-love-affair-with-cycling

AND you absolutely must go visit Utrecht. If you have a training budget, put yourself and your team on the http://www.hembrow.eu/studytour/ and transform your view of transport.

PS: If you work in the NHS you absolutely should also probably watch this.