Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bath Preservation Trust support for Clean Air Zone.

It’s good to see the Bath Preservation Trust calling for the hypothecation of revenue to prioritise the delivery of walking and cycling infrastructure.

BPT recognising that the Clean Air Zone does not change behaviour and does not get people out of cars really needs repeating. It does nothing to solve congestion.

I note that BPT says a CAZ tackles Air Pollution but a CAZ ONLY tackles NOx, not PM2.5/10 (brake ,tyre, road dust etc) pollution. BPT calling for the CAZ to be the largest and include private vehicles is something everyone should be telling the council. I really hope the council takes note of BPT’s statement. We need so much more from the council. The vacuum of political will is really not helping here.

We are in a Public Health crisis caused by Air Pollution and Transport related Obesity. We need so much more from our councillors.

BATH NEWSEUM

Bath Preservation Trust  has come out in support of the proposal by B&NES to introduce a Clean Air Zone in Bath (CAZ) – particularly because its boundaries take into account the through traffic crossing Cleveland Bridge and exiting the City along the London Road. 

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In a press statement – released today, Tuesday. April 10th – BPT say:

‘We support the highest category of restriction (category D) in order to encourage behavioural change for car users as well as commercial vehicles.

Bath traffic results in three problems which can damage the listed buildings and harm the amenity of the World Heritage Site: pollution, congestion and vibrations. The CAZ is primarily aimed at the former (pollution) though it is to be hoped that it will also change behaviours of both longer distance drivers and local users.

While the CAZ is therefore by no means a total solution to the traffic problems…

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Waltham Forest Mini-Holland (part 3) – Modal filters

I really think with sat navs and map apps giving drivers almost perfect information on an area, modal filters are a key cheap tool to reclaim our streets for residents and make them liveable places where it is pleasant to walk, cycle, and play.

Just Step Sideways

This is part 3 in my series of posts looking at Waltham Forest Mini-Holland, looking at modal filters.

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Don’t mention the helmets

I think if you’re trying to get people to consider cycling, the easiest option can be to get them to try an electric bike. BaNES council offers an opportunity to loan an electric bike for two weeks. Other councils offer similar schemes. The RAC in Australia offered a 10 week eBike trial at the end of which 50% of users bought the bike they had been using (https://rac.com.au/car-motoring/info/e-bike-trial).

Normal bicycles for many people are that little bit *too* hard to consider despite the immense time savings and health benefits, particularly if you live in a hilly areas. Whereas an electric bike magically flattens hills and gets you to work without being in a sweaty mess. They are just a joy to ride and people “get it” within seconds of being on one. They also give you similar health benefits to a normal bike 😉

If your company is already supportive of cycling, then it might be worth persuading the company to invest in a good quality eBike to loan out to employees to trial commuting by eBike. I’ve heard of places where there was a 90% take-up of eBikes once people had a chance to try one.

Wet, cold and angry

For a number of years now, a small group of keen cyclists (myself included) at my workplace have formed a cycling group. The original intention was to offer a place for all cyclists in the company to come together, do cycling things. It’s morphed, slowly, into a group that spends more time encouraging people to cycle to work, attempting to encourage the company to invest in cycling facilities and also working with the council to try and encourage better facilities. We talk to people to try and help them get past the barriers they erect for themselves to stop them riding to work, we provide an on site repair service which is very popular and we provide route guidance, facility support, purchase guidance…lots of things. I’d like to think we have made a difference but it’s hard to tell.

Surveys at work during events we hold have taught us that…

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Come talk about clean air.

When comparing some of the options that are being presented here it’s important to view these within the context of what other UK cities are doing. Exeter introduced Co-Bikes electric bike share, then with the same membership, are now introducing electric car share. I also think it is interesting that they use the phrase “Extend walking and cycling priority schemes and encourage greater modal shift. Provide a safer environment for cycling and walking.” Given the recent debacle in Keynsham, we need to enable people to make the switch, not encourage. You can give all school children Bikeability 3 training and encourage them to cycle to school, but you can only enable them if there are visibly safe cycle routes that get kids from their schools to their communities.

BATH NEWSEUM

The first set of events for people wanting to find out more about plans for a Clean Air Zone for Bath – including charging high-emission vehicles to drive into the city centre – are being held during April.

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Two public events have been lined up by Bath and North East Somerset Council with lots more being planned over the coming months.

The Council has been asked to take urgent action to reduce harmful nitrogen dioxide levels in the city and has drawn up a shortlist of three packages of measures which are capable of reducing vehicle emissions and bringing about the required improvement by the 2021 deadline.

No decisions have been made at this time but the Council is legally bound to reach a decision on a preferred package of measures by December and it is seeking people’s views. Over the coming months, each package of measures will be examined…

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On when Boardman’s team met… Rochdale Council

Great things are happening in Greater Manchester and it really shows how far behind the West Of England Combined Authority is.

One criticism I would have is the use of the term “Cycle Super Highway” which is causing issues around public perception. “Cycle Track” is an internationally recognised type of cycle infrastructure https://nacto.org/publication/urban-bikeway-design-guide/cycle-tracks/ and I see no reason not to adopt a UK National CT designation similar to the Motorway or even A road designation. Anyone coming to a city or town would know that CT218 is a route with high quality segregated cycle infrastructure their kids could ride on.

It also solves the political compromises that a CSH (Cycle Super Highway) designation has that it does not define a minimum level of infrastructure and allows Local Authorities to get away with delivering sub-par infrastructure that no parent would let their kids cycle on.

I know Sustrans are reviewing the National Cycle Network at the moment and it might be good to consider reclassifying the NCN4 designation into NCN4 and CT4 identifying high quality segregated sections of the route.

Cycle Tracks cannot be politically compromised due to the very clear definition, not only by NACTO, but also by Public Highways England http://www.standardsforhighways.co.uk/ha/standards/ians/pdfs/ian195.pdf

It is key that we recognise that within the way we communicate these schemes with the public. A Cycle Track scheme is great for kids enabling them to cycle to school. A Cycle Super Highway evokes MAMILs racing along at high speed with far greater public opposition. CSH needs to die. It’s a REALLY bad term with no minimum design requirement unlike CT.

Banging on about bikes

Opening remarks

This is the second in an occasional series chronicling the meetings being held by Chris Boardman’s team and the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester as a preliminary stage in the process of planning a comprehensive walking and cycling network across the region. The first post, mainly about the Bury meeting but with a note on the Tameside session, has had considerably more traction than I expected: imagining it might only have been of interest to a handful of infrastructure geeks, in fact it spread far and wide, predominantly through the medium of Twitter, and to date has had over 3,000 views. It has illustrated the phenomenal appetite of many people across Greater Manchester and beyond to be involved in cycling and walking network planning from this stage onwards, and I am told the piece has even attracted the attention of Transport Minister Jesse Norman, whose portfolio covers…

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Your chance to voice your opinion.

If you have an interest in transport, this might be very good to attend.

BATH NEWSEUM

Buses, the environmental impact of new build developments and clean and affordable energy.

These are some of the main topics coming up for discussions when The West of England Combined Authority’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee meets at the Bath Guildhall  on Wednesday, March 21, at 10.30am.

guildhall The Bath Guildhall

Members will hear about, and contribute to, plans for a for clean and affordable energy system. WECA received £50,000 from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in March 2017 to develop this work across the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership area (Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and North Somerset and South Gloucestershire).

Over 70 people from local organisations attended a workshop in Keynsham in February, organised by Centre for Sustainable Energy on behalf of the LEP, to start discussing priority areas, including low and zero carbon electricity; decarbonisation of heat; electric vehicles and ensuring new build…

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On when Boardman’s team met Bury Council

I suspect that Local Cycling Walking Infrastructure Plans that some councils are producing are not going to this level of community engagement. I *really* like the way that Brian Deegan threw out any preconceived ideas of defining the new network based on the existing leisure routes. Something Bath & North East Somerset can definitely learn from. BaNES are currently working with Bristol to develop LCWIPs. There has been no community engagement as yet. This is a bit worrying. Good to see Greater Manchester tackling this correctly when councils are prepared to engage.

Banging on about bikes

Background

In early February I received an intriguing e-mail from the officer responsible for cycling at Bury Council. Headed “GM Walking and cycling network planning – Bury inception meeting”, the message read:

“Might you be available for a meeting at 10 on the 27th? It’s not a Forum or open meeting but we want one or two local cyclists who know the Borough fairly well to be involved.”

Reading further down the thread of what was in fact a forwarded e-mail, it turned out that my name had been suggested by a fellow cycling/sustainable travel advocate and Bury resident, and that the meeting was with representatives of Chris Boardman, the newly appointed Walking and Cycling Commissioner for Greater Manchester. A meeting between Bury Council and Boardman’s people? With Bury Council reaching out to cyclists at the planning and inception stage? What a tantalising prospect!

28168626_10213678687234093_8802906461876553305_n Heading off to the…

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A Waste of Space

As Easy As Riding A Bike

In London yesterday evening, I approached Parliament Square along the cycleway at Great George Street.

Good job TfL.

In front of me was perhaps the classic stereotypical scene shared by taxi drivers, and other people hostile to new cycling infrastructure in London (and other British towns and cities). A large expanse of empty tarmac loomed in front of me, contrasting starkly with the clogged road on the right. You might say the cycleway is ‘causing’ congestion and pollution, if you were so inclined.

In the distance – on the ’empty’ tarmac – two cyclists (maybe three? who cares, really) are waiting at a red signal. On the right, frustrated drivers are needlessly spewing out fumes, and doubtless fuming themselves, at the waste of space on their left. Valuable space that – if it were used properly for important motor traffic, not for some silly hobby – would have sped them to…

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Let’s talk Bath transport!

Cycle Bath will be there! So should you.

BATH NEWSEUM

Bath’s MP Wera Hobhouse will be in Larkhall in February to attending an open meeting where you can have your say about transport in Bath.

It’s being organised by Transition Larkhall on March 3rd at the New Oriel Hall, in Larkhall,  from 9.30 am to 2pm.
Poster for TL Travel Meeting
Joanna Wright tells Bath Newseum that the meeting is all about “thinking differently about travel in and around Bath. We want peoples’ ideas about transport in Bath.

Wera Hobhouse MP – and other political and campaign groups – will be present to
join the discussion about the future of travel in and around the city.

A professional facilitator will lead the discussion, focused on the idea of
thinking differently about travel in and around Bath.
We’ll be asking who is moving around and why are they moving that way. How do you travel, and how would you like to travel, around Bath? Let’s help create…

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Sustainable Safety and ‘Shared Space’

I suspect that I’ll be mentioning Sustainable Safety and asking why this is not a core part of any public realm redesign.

As Easy As Riding A Bike

There was a bit of back-and-forth on social media last week on the subject of Exhibition Road, involving – in particular – the Conservative councillor Daniel Moylan, who had a major role in pushing the ‘shared space’ scheme through.

One of his tweets was – for me at least – particularly intriguing.

Fairly clear! But why might a fan of ‘shared space’ be so hostile to Sustainable Safety – the policy which lies behind the Netherlands world-leading road safety record? After all, the Netherlands is the country where Moylan’s version of ‘shared space’ largely originates – with the ideas of Hans Monderman.

If we look at the principles of Sustainable Safety, the answer quickly becomes clear. The ideology behind Exhibition Road (and Moylan’s attitude towards how it should…

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