Category Archives: Information

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

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The Public Health Time bomb created by the Council’s Highways Department

The rest of the world is waking up to the huge huge impact the way we have designed our roads is having on the health and wellbeing of our residents. We really cannot ignore how the attitudes that pervade our Highways Department has resulted in ‘car only’ schemes like the Two Headed Man junction improvements getting funded.

Canada is the latest country where organisations are calling for a National Active Transport strategy. Signatories to the joint letter include Heart & Stroke, Diabetes Canada, Canadian Cancer Society, The Canadian Lung Association, Asthma Canada, the Alzheimer Society of Canada, Upstream, and CAPE.

Refocusing Highways

It is time for the council to recognise its role in delivering a better environment. It is no longer acceptable for this council to deliver ‘car only’ schemes. It is absolutely vital that Highways department’s core roles be re-appraised and improving public health become one of the core remits for the department.

The Role Of Councillors

Significantly, this vital role of improving public health, needs to be recognised by councillors and they must do their best to explain to their residents why certain schemes must happen and that the objections of residents, say on grounds of loss of on-street parking etc., are secondary to the building of healthy, active streets.

The Reality

Currently 10,000 Bath residents drive to work in Bath. 5,000 kids are dropped at school. That’s 40,000 car journeys EACH day. The recent stats from BaNES council states that a A36/A46 bypass would ONLY remove 2,000 cars off London Road, yet this is the call to arms the current council are using as a way to solve Bath’s transport problems.

Political Failure or It’s Not Us It’s Them!

We need council officers to recognise that political parties have the inability to deliver good, public health driven, transport policies as it might scare away voters and will only support schemes that ‘blame outsiders’. Even the use of 12% through traffic statistic by the council shows a political dogma aimed at preserving votes. What about the 88%? That’s where the change needs to happen.

Public Accountability

This needs to change but the change starts with the Highways Department core remit being public health and, going forward, being publicly accountable to residents for their failings to deliver healthier active streets.

The role of councillors must support the council in delivering this remit, not fight it tooth and nail to preserve votes. They must be part of the solution.

Benefits

We need the council and councillors to recognise the benefits of active transportation as listed in the letter:

  • make physical activity part of our everyday lives, increase fitness levels
  • reduce risk for many chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, osteoporosis, cardiac and respiratory disease
  • control health care spending
  • reduce carbon emissions, support transit, improve air quality
  • reduce traffic casualties
  • increase transportation options and improve housing affordability
  • create communities where seniors can age in place, maintain mobility
  • improve accessibility for everybody
  • create more prosperous communities
  • attract creative employees and build the innovation economy
  • create vibrant communities with a sense of place, distinct character

Addendum

One of the interactions on twitter asked me what powers officers have to veto political ‘ideals’. They have none. In fact officers often present options that they know align with political ideals as was discussed in one of my previous articles on the attack on 20MPH zones in Bath.

This is also why things like the Two Headed Man junction improvements are happening now. The previous administration rejected the proposals twice. Not, however, with this administration that wildly embraced it. Officer have their own agendas and are happy to wait until the right administration is in place to act on them. Yes they play the long game. A very long game.

Public Health must become a legal requirement.

The attack on 20mph schemes in BaNES

Today was an opportunity to take the council to task over their recent report on 20mph schemes. In particular the way the report attempts to pull the wool over the eyes of councillors. At the last-minute, purdah was invoked to remove the item from the Scrutiny Panel until after the election. Let’s be clear. This was not political. This was a major concern by Living Streets, Cycle Bath, 20 is plenty, and Transition Bath, that a fundamental building block of good road design was being removed through deliberate misrepresentation of data in a report.

From the 20 is Plenty critique of the report:

In May 2017 N & NES Council released a report on their recent 20mph area schemes. Whilst we believe that assessing the results of 20mph limits is important in order to better implement ongoing schemes and formulate local authority policy, this must be done in a reasonable, balanced and objective manner.

20’s Plenty for Us refute the findings and conclusions in the report and advise members that the report is so compromised that it would not be reasonable for them to make any decisions based on the report. This critique looks at the report in detail.

In particular it finds the report biased, lacking in statistical rigour and not meeting several local authority duties on competency and equality.

Continue reading The attack on 20mph schemes in BaNES

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:

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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

Avon and Somerset Police “Give space, stay safe” initiative

Avon and Somerset cycle groups, including CycleBath, petitioned PCC Sue Mountstevens to bring this to ASP.
Apparently getting police on bikes not only allows them to prevent close passes, but also connects them with their communities, and more importantly, enables them to capture more people driving using mobile phones.
In the West Midlands it has had a huge impact.
The Avon and Somerset Initiative was announced in the Bristol Post yesterday:
At the meeting on Wednesday I was informed they would be implementing this scheme, but wanted me to hold off saying anything until an official announcement.
We also discussed 3rd party video evidence and how to make it easier for submission and the acceptance of it. There is currently a court case in progress that they are waiting on the result. So watch this space. I will continue to press this hard as I see this key for many people.
This really is amazing news.

Bath Cycle Network Quality Audit

If we’re going to have a conversation about cycling in Bath and North East Somerset we need to be able to know where we are starting from and where we want to end up. More importantly we need a way of talking to individual councillors and asking them, what they are doing about “their” patch.

So something that was started as a project at a Bath Hacked “Celebrate the City” hackathon, has very quickly, over the last couple of days, evolved into something rather powerful:

bath-cycle-network-quality-map-1

Continue reading Bath Cycle Network Quality Audit

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:

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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

The Great Big Lifelong Cycling Bike Blog Roundup

As a local campaigner and somebody that studies transport, knowing what is happening around the world, and particularly, what is working can require a lot of reading on a daily basis.

The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain’s regular round-up blog post always always is worth reading as it links so many different other articles from around the world. Go check it out and subscribe!

http://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/blog/2016/07/11/the-great-big-lifelong-cycling-bike-blog-roundup