Pedestrianisation - How will Cyclists be affected?
Charnwood Borough Council is to publish it proposals for the pedestrianisation of Loughborough Town Centre. The proposals will be exhibited to the public in the Town Hall between 5th & 14th December during the day, and at the Southfields offices on some evenings. Keep your eye on the local press for futher details and please endeavour to go and view and make your comments.
The Campaign will receive the benefit of a presentation about the plans by Chris Yaxley, one of the officers of the council responsible for the proposals, at our December meeting on Monday 11th December. All will be welcome whether or not they are members of the campaign - so bring any interested friends.
These proposals can still be modified and it is important that we put our ideas across if we wish to see this proposal benefiting cyclists. The initial plan appears to indicate that cycling will be prohibited between 10am and 4pm each day although you will be able to push your bicycle through the area during this period. Your editor believes that it would be possible to find space to mark out a track for cyclists allowing them a direct route at all times. This and any other relevant matters will be debated at the December meeting - be there.
Cycling at Loughborough Grammar School
Your chairman was recently chatting to a friend who is involved with the management of Loughborough Grammar School. He was dismayed to learn that the Grammar School has removed 75% of the cycle sheds due to lack of demand. It is understood that only 15 pupils use bicycles to get to school. Almost all those living beyond walking distance, a distance that seems to diminish each year, are ferried to and from school by car.
This is not altogether surprising, being in line with national trends which indicate a drop from 80% to 20% of pupils getting to school under their own power over the last 25 years. Indeed when your editor was chatting to Peter Hopkins, a master at the school, last year he said that when he first joined cycling parking was rationed and not available to the first and second years. We need to return to that situation (with capacity to meet all the demand) if the traffic situation and the fitness of pupils is to be improved.
Have you got an INTERNET address?
As the Internet spreads it tentacles ever wider it is becoming apparent that quite a few members have access to 'E' Mail. As this is a wonderfully cheap way of passing information, without the need to use paper or tyre rubber/postage stamps, perhaps you could let the membership secretary know if you are connected.
Cycle mileage allowance for council employees
As part of its commitment to encourage cycling in and around Loughborough the Borough Council has agreed to a cycle mileage allowance on business at the lowest car usage rate (N.B. most would normally be on a higher car rate as this is the 1000cc band). Moves to compel employees to wear helmets, 'reflective tape' (whatever was meant by that!) and use odometers were stamped out at committee by the prompt action of certain councillors !
Cycle Parking Standards in Charnwood District
After the matter was raised on many planning applications coming before the Plans Sub-committee Meetings, the Planning Officers seem to have got the message. New office developments on Southfields Road and Bedford Square came to Committee with cycle parking proposals already included - after the officers had suggested to the developers that they include it if they wanted their plans to go through smoothly.
Police go by bus
According to the Daily Telegraph, police officers in Northampton are swapping their Panda cars for bus passes to cut costs and improve efficiency. Uniformed officers, detective, special constables and traffic wardens will all use buses during a 6 month trial period while making "non-urgent" calls to take statements or when returning from court appointments. Perhaps we could look for a similar scheme here using a combination of buses and bicycles.
Woodbrook Way - Mountfields School to Outwoods Drive
This section, although not yet officially opened as a shared cyclist/pedestian track, has been widened, again with those striped 'tactile markings' to indicate which side pedestrians and cyclists should go (giving rise to 'tram line' problems for cyclists). Since the entire width of the path will be required for 2 way cycle traffic, segregation is inherently unworkable. Why not notices, "cyclist give way to pedestrians, cyclists keep left, pedestrians keep right"?