Front of Bus Cycle Racks, the DVSA says no.

[Foreword 8th of June 2015: There are moves afoot to try and create a working group of Local Authorities, MPs, the DfT, Bus Companies, and hopefully a co-operative DVSA. Should you wish to be involved, please contact Ben Howlett, the MP for Bath.]

Before I get into the details of this, I have to thank First Group for their immense support and effort throughout this process. They have been exceptional. It is almost solely down to their partnership with bikesonbuses.com that we got to where we did. I also have to stress that at no point did the bus with the rack leave the workshop. So on with the bad news.

My last mail made it clear we do not on principle accept cycle racks on the front of British PSVs. If a VTP5 was submitted for this vehicle modification it would be refused because of the large number of sharp projections from the rack itself as well as any cycles carried increasing the risk of injury in a pedestrian impact. As a secondary issue I consider the view to the front will be seriously compromised towards the nearside pavement where we want drivers to have a clear view of any relatively short people including children at the kerbside.


I am sorry but you have wasted your time and money creating this example. 

Driver and Vehicle Safety Agency – Email sent to First Group 3rd of June 2015

The Bath pilot for front cycle racks on buses cannot now go ahead. There is much that can be said about the above but it is also important to state that the DVSA did not physically inspect the rack. They were sent the following photos.

Continue reading Front of Bus Cycle Racks, the DVSA says no.

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Cycle Route Audit Tool or how to get Local Authorities thinking about cycling.

Bath and North East Somerset Council, like most councils, is a hodgepodge of different departments looking after their own fiefdoms. This can result in very narrow thinking when it comes to individual projects. It also makes it very difficult for councillors to direct policy. Councillors are usually not experts in street design. Neither should they be.

We need to give councillors the tools to ‘manage’ all the departments delivering schemes in the public realm. This is something that the Wales recognised when they created the Welsh Active Travel Guidance. Inside this guidance was the Cycle Route Audit tool. A tool Local Authorities can use to look at existing and upcoming schemes and evaluate them. A tool that enables councillors to tell their council officers that a scheme MUST hit a score of 35 out of 50. A tool that allows councillors to drive policy. A tool that will give us better officers building better public spaces.

The Cycle Route Audit Tool

London Road, an example of bad BaNES management.

There are a lot of people wading into the London Road issue. Many of them believe, now they are elected, that they are able to come up with quick fixes to a broken design. Mostly this is focused around removing the “dangerous” cycle build out that was specifically requested by transport experts to protect people cycling along London Road. As an amateur who spends most evening reading up on best practices I’m going to try and have a go at fixing London Road.

Continue reading London Road, an example of bad BaNES management.

Cycling in the city of Bath

March edition of Bath Magazine ran an article on cycling in Bath called “Weekend Warriors”. I feel the article placed cycling in Bath as a primarily male sporting activity. This really is a disservice to people that cycle in the city and those who fancy giving it a go. I’m not saying it’s an inherently bad article, but I do feel like it missed it’s target audience. This is the article I wish they had run.

Continue reading Cycling in the city of Bath

Cycle Bath May Monthly Meeting 7pm tonight

Our monthly meeting where we discuss cycling in and around Bath. Focus this evening is probably going to focus around Cllr Tony Clarke’s comments at the Cycle Forum and the recent abolishment of the Cycle Champion.

An issue we also have to do discuss is Colin Reece asserting the the 675k upgrade of the Larkhall to Towpath ramp and the towpath out to Bathampton is to be delivered this year. This completely ignores all the other pieces (toucans etc) that Cycle Bath has proposed to create a child friendly network from Batheaston/Bathampton/Larkhall/Snowhill into the city centre. I have expressed that a relaying of the current surface is “good enough” if it gives us all the other pieces that create a good network.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1414678908854250/

7pm at the Griffin, tonight, Sunday the 17th of May.

Hope to see you there.

Call to Action: National Trust – Reconnecting City to Countryside

[FOREWORD AFTER VISIT: I have to say what the National Trust is doing is some good. I walked away with a warm fuzzy feeling. They are identifying new routes using existing paths through the city to reach National Trust land. Remember it is due to the National Trust that the Combe Down Rainbow Woods cycle route became a possibility.]

I think it is important that the National Trust recognises the importance of cycling as part of connecting the city to the countryside. There does seem to be a major emphasis on walking. Looking at some of the images used on the BANES website of narrow meandering rough paths implying bicycles,wheelchairs, and mobility scooters are not welcome.

jn_bathwick_photo

It is important that you try and attend one of these sessions and get our voice heard. Many of these routes are being pushed as walking only routes. They should be accessible to all, wheelchair, mobility scooter, OR bicycle.

The National Trust invites you to join them at one of their three ‘drop in’ sessions. This is an opportunity for them to update you on their management of the Bath Skyline and share their thoughts on work they have been doing around ‘reconnecting’ the City to its green setting.

At each session they will have displays showing the findings from recent visitor research and some ideas for new walks that would connect the City to the Countryside, in keeping with its historical links. There will be opportunities for you to meet some of the staff, ask questions and share your feedback on future plans for the Bath Skyline.

When & where:       

  • Monday 27th April at Widcombe Baptist Church
  • Wednesday 29th April at Ralph Allen Cornerstone, Combe Down
  • Tuesday 5th May at Holburne Museum,Clore Learning Space

Time:  Drop in sessions between 3.30pm to 7.30pm

http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/streets-and-highway-maintenance/public-rights-way/definitive-map-and-statement/city-bath–0

CCAG Bath East now in the Bath Chronicle!

Some of you may have noticed Cycle Bath is in the paper this week detailing the Cycle City Ambition Grant Bath East proposal. I have to thank the Bath Chronicle for being patient with me and working towards a fantastic article. Apparently this is the first time they had done such a thing and felt it was very positive experience. It’s resulted in a fantastic two page spread.

The main story is now on their website http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/…/story-26302958-…/story.html

The story was so big that they split it into 3 further articles:

Cycle Bath proposal for east Bath: Grosvenor Bridge Ramp to Larkhall route

Cycle Bath proposal for east Bath: Sydney Gardens to Grosvenor Bridge Ramp route

Cycle Bath proposal for east Bath: Grosvenor Bridge Ramp to Batheaston route

And now a rather ominous warning….

Continue reading CCAG Bath East now in the Bath Chronicle!

Cycle Bath March Roundup

I thought I’d give a quick roundup of the things our group is involved in:

  1. Dave’s excellent post on Larkhall to Alice park is now a document sited in the planning application. I really hope it results in a good route through the site.
  2. There is a bus with a cycle rack on the front of it in Bristol! However until the Driver Vehicle Safety Agency get their hands on it, we’re not allowed near it. 😦
  3. Cycle City Ambition Grant Bath East proposed set of ideas are now ‘solidified’ and are being looked at by council officers to determine viability. Getting a child on a bike from Larkhall into the city centre safely apparently can be quite controversial [Bath Chron Article].
  4. The CCAG Bath East tour brought up an interesting question over the Hampton Row footbridge. The replacement has still not been designed. A wheelchair accessible bridge is possible. Chris and Frank well done for this one.
  5. The Bath Train Station manager and Southgate manager are on board with kitting out the tunnel under the station with more racks, probably a 100 of these, better lighting AND CCTV. CCAG money is potentially available for doing this.
  6. The river path will have some verge maintenance done on it, but tying down what that is is almost impossible. BaNES needs a path maintenance team kitted out with the tools needed to keep paths wide and clear.
  7. Projects that should be completed within the next two months:
    • Rainbow Woods
    • A4 Ramp
    • Widcombe
    • London Road
    • CCAG Seven Dials!
  8. Cycle Bath is in the process of becoming an associate member of FoBRA. We hope this is a fruitful relationship, particularly with the work we are doing with the CCAG money,

Apologies if I’ve missed you off. I know a lot goes on I hope the above gives some idea of the amount that people are doing. Be proud people. We’re helping to make this city a better, healthier, less congested place to live. Now get out on your bike and ride!

Adam Reynolds – Cycle Bath Chair

PS: If you like what we are doing, just get involved. The more the merrier.

Working, Living, Cycling, and campaigning for better cycle infrastructure in Bath, UK