Pedal PowerIssue 17
Council will not allow cyclists to use Bus Lanes on the A6
Whilst Charnwood Borough Council is undoubtedly more progressive in transport matters following the change of regime, it is apparent that we still need to continue our lobbying and public relations efforts if we are to see sensible policies adopted.
Recently the Planning Committee has been looking at proposals to divert the A6 around the town centre and to allow only buses to pass along the existing route. When it was proposed that cyclists should also be allowed to use this route the suggestion was rejected on the grounds that allowing cyclists through would be contrary to the pedestrianisation policy.
Can those Car Drivers see you?
According to a study published by the Eyecare Information Service (commissioned by Autoglass) up to 50% of motorists could have substandard eyesight. If the sample obtained during the 3 month study was representative then 1 in 10 (3,400,000) drivers would fail the existing driving test eyesight check which involves candidates reading a car number plate 20.5 metres away.
The present eyesight check is carried out in daylight, does not take moving objects into account and ignores the demands of driving at night. The main findings were:-
- the 1935 test was failed by 10.3% of motorists
- 21% failed in one eye
- 25% (equivalent to 8.4 million) failed an updated normal vision test
- 50% (17 million) failed the standard in one eye.
The study reported "we shocked one man when he couldn't read our biggest letters. Later, we found him wandering round the car park, going up to within inches of each car in turn, trying to find his own".
Half of those who should wear glasses for driving admitted they sometimes failed to do so.The Managing Director of Autoglass is quoted as saying "One in five drivers can't see safely, risking themselves, their passengers, other road users and pedestrians. There is a clear need to make drivers and Government more aware of this".
We need to change the government's attitude on this subject. Please write to your M.P. and/or the Chief Constable. We need to get the police to undertake at least a cursory eye sight check whenever they have reason to stop a motorist.
Charnwood's Cycle Challenge Bid Unsuccessful
As you will probably have noted from the local press, Charnwood's bid for Cycle Challenge funds was unsuccessful. Our near neighbour Nottingham succeeded in winning the 2nd highest grant of £225,920 for a cycling to work scheme involving 8 major workplaces. This involves radical improvements in cycle parking, changing etc. with monitoring and assessment of the change effected.
Other interesting successful bids were a scheme in, conjunction with Safeways in South Hams, to lend bicycle trailers to customers to carry larger quantities of shopping home by bike (£1,250) and front loading racks on service buses on hilly routes in brighton, to encourage cyclists to use their bikes downhill and in the town centre, returning by bus.
Talk by Tim Hughes and Johanna Cleary
Tim is the editor of the Cyclists' Touring Club magazine, "Cycle Touring and Campaigning" and author of several books on cycling. Johanna has a PhD based on a study of cycle routes and facilities in Nottingham. This talk should prove to be of interest to any one who cycles so please try and attend and bring your friends. We will be publicising it as an open meeting.
Red Flag Day
It is believed that November 16 will mark the centenary of the repeal of the legislation that required cars to be preceded by a man waving a red flag. This could be the chance to hold a small demonstation about the casualties since. A walk down the A6 waving a red flag in front of a car (the Labour Party may have some redundant stocks) could produce some useful publicity.