Loughborough & District
Cycle Users' Campaign

Pedal Power

Issue 22

SEPTEMBER 1997

Disappointment at Epinal Way "Improvements"

Many of you will have noticed the reports in the press of the disquiet the Campaign has expressed at the "improvements to the cycle tracks alongside the Epinal Way.

Whilst many of these have been resurfaced, the most controversial action has been to swop around the cycle and pedestian lanes so that the cycle tracks are closest to the highway. In itself this is not a measure that the Campaign would object to, since it is probably a more logical arrangement from the users point of view. However, as with all cycle facilities, the devil lies in the detail.

The changes were implemented without the matter being raised at the Charnwood Cycle Consultative Committee and consequently changes such as sending cyclists along the pavement on the south side of Ashby Road, rather than through the university grounds (along a wider track and over a better surface that was installed for cyclists), have been introduced. The Officers are in consultation with Charnwood Borough Council to overcome the problems introduced by these changes.

DEMOGRAPHIC TRIKE BOMB

by Ariadne Tampion

With obvious reference to my own situation in life, I had previously assumed that a tricycle revolution was on its way, spearheaded by young parents calling an end to the pollution and danger caused by motor cars. Previous, that is, to a chance meeting at the Granby Street cycle racks.

It is not unusual for people to approach me as I lock or unlock my gold-coloured Longstaff tricycle, and ask me where it came from. So I explained to the elderly gentleman in question that it was made to order, but to a standard design; and that similar machines might be obtained from a few other sources too.

"Oh good," he said. "Now I know that they're available." And he explained that he was in his seventies, and aware that the day was not long off when he would become unfit to drive. My tricycle had given him the reassurance he craved that such a day would not bring the end of his independent personal mobility

So there, with an increasingly elderly population, must be the real source of our impending tricycle revolution! I am convinced that Richard Branson has already sussed this out. What else could explain the remarkable disclosure that the new Virgin Trains rolling stock would take tricycles and tandems as well as ordinary bicycles? Surely not a letter campaign by CTC Rights Network activists. No, holiday leisure travel is the one area where geographically distinct train operating companies really are in competition. And the grey pound is big business. If Albert has the choice between heading for Bournemouth with his trusty three-wheeler aboard a Virgin Train, or Eastbourne without it courtesy of a less enlightened railway, which will he choose? And if his bad leg gets a bit too much, along with his beloved wife Elsie's failing eyesight, they can take their tandem instead.

Dilemmas of bicycle planning

A paper presented at the Joint International Congress of Schools of Planning in Toronto by Paul Schimek of M.I.T. looks at the dilemmas facing cyclists and cycle planners in carrying out the popular policy of encouraging cycling. Among the dilemmas he cites are:

  • Public misconceptions about cycling, which places are safe for riding and the rights of cyclists;
  • Professionals have ofter ignored cycles in road design and traffic enforcement;
  • The places where cycling is the most useful for transport are also the most challenging:
  • The bicycle is generally not a design vehicle for road design;
  • Transport funding emphasises capital over maintenance, although the latter is more important to cyclists;
  • The Police routinely ignore even the most flagrant and dangerous violations by cyclists;
  • Cycle facilities often do not serve the purposes their advocates propose and can create dangerous conditions;
  • Cycling education is not available on a wide scale.

Getting beyond these dilemmas requires a focus on changing public opinion, making the cycle a design vehicle and widespread cycle training,

Full text at http://danenet.wicip.org/bcp dilemma.html

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