Issue 49
March 2004

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Child Helmet Law Threat

Eric Martlew's Bill which would make it illegal for under 16-year olds to cycle without wearing a cycle helmet is to be debated in Parliament on 23rd April. Andy Reed, our MP, has asked people for their opinion on the Bill, see - http://www.andyreedmp.org.uk .

As set out in our last newsletter, the bill if passed into law would damage the prospects for increasing the level of cycling in this country and the benefits that would flow from this. These would far exceed any postulated benefits from compulsory helmets. Please endeavour to make your views on this matter known to Andy.

National Bike Week 12 - 20 June 2004

Since the last newsletter a few things have been "firmed up" re. National Bike Week. The very successful Pedalling Picnic, travelling by train on the Great Central from Quorn to Leicester and then back to Rothley for a picnic lunch, followed by a cycle ride back to Quorn via lanes with a tea stop at Stonehurst Farm, Mountsorrel, is to be repeated on Sunday 20th June.

In addition the Parent/Staff Association (PSA) of Holywell School have agreed to promote a sponsored ride between Gorse Covert and Shepshed across Garendon Park. The sponsorship will be a 50/50 split between Holywell School PSA book fund and the local Rainbows Children's Hospice. The young riders will have to be accompanied by a responsible adult so hopefully if we can get the youngsters keen on the idea they will bring their parents along for the ride.

The ride will start from the Safeways Car Park off Maxwell Drive at Gorse Covert, along the path beside the Black Brook following the cycle track across the bridge and onward to Buckingham Drive (where there will be a turning point for infants) then to Kenilworth Avenue. A right turn into this road, crossing Althorpe Drive into Coe Avenue is the only part of the ride that will use public roads. At the end of Coe Avenue the route joins the Bridleway to Shepshed across Garendon Park. The turning point for intermediate riders will be at the turn near the lake. The track leads all the way to Shepshed where the "full distance" riders will turn and retrace their route.

We have been in touch with Gorse Covert Community Centre (Mike Hamilton) and Shepshed Dynamo Football Club and subject to confirmation these will be available to provide toilet facilities and (at Gorse Covert) some refreshments.

The course will be "marshalled" with riders starting between 5pm and 6pm with the "turnround" point in Shepshed closing at 7pm. The final time for finishing the ride will be 8pm. We will need about 20 marshalls/helpers so I would be grateful if you could let me know if you can help on evening of 13 June.

John Catt

Picnic in the Park

The 2004 Picnic in the Park is going to take place on Saturday 22nd May and the Campaign will be present again. The theme for the event is "Recycling", so most of the events and workshops will be based around this. Ideas for how we can build on this theme would be welcome.

Government to spend £1M promoting cycling

The Government has pledged £1m as its contribution to the development of the marketing plan for cycling, proposed by the NCS Board. The cycle industry is also to contribute around £350k a year. Part of the money will be spent on an all-encompassing web portal that will be a single-point entry to information on any aspect of cycling. Other money will support Bike Week 2004 and a project to get more children cycling to school.

Cycle count device

A new cycle count device capable of being mounted on street light columns has been launched. The radar bicycle recorder developed by Applied Traffic of Reading records bi-directional flow information including date, time, speed and gap in seconds between cycles. The data can be downloaded to a hand held computer.

Speed limits in the USA

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has criticised the absence of public support for, or political will to, lower speed limits, or even to enforce existing limits in the interest of public safety. "For years, Institute and other research has quantified the price in lives we pay to get from here to there a little bit faster. The most recent estimate is that higher speed limits increase deaths on rural interstates by about 35 percent. Yet motorists on both rural and urban roads are going faster and faster, encouraged by automakers who build ever more powerful cars and tout their speed capabilities in ad after ad..." www.hwysafety.org

The Way To Go

An unprecedented coalition of 25 national environmental, transport and social justice organisations has launched the Way to Go, the biggest public transport campaign since the 1990s.

The Way to Go campaign has drawn up a list of 12 priorities which would take the Government in the right direction on transport and improve everyone's quality of life.

The Campaign has been launched in the run up to two important events this summer:

  1. the Government Spending Review in which levels of funding will be allotted for all the major areas of public spending.
  2. the review of the Government's Ten Year Transport Plan, originally called Transport 2010, which will set the national direction on transport until 2016. Transport 2010 put a heavy emphasis on road building and this marked a significant departure from the 'greener' view of transport policy taken in the 1998 Government White Paper.

The Government has decided against formally consulting the public on the review of its transport plan, hence the formation of the Way to Go Campaign for giving people a voice.

Campaign resources

How you can help Do you know the Way to Go on transport?
Check out www.waytogo.org.uk and join the campaign for transport that puts people and the environment first.

ASA upholds Dorset cyclists' complaint against Halfords

Last August Halford's took out large adverts in the national press for their Speed Camera detectors and Hands-Free Mobile Phones. An example was in The Times, page 13, on Saturday 30 August 2003.

It seemed to the Dorset Cyclists' Network, whose chairman is Michael Evans, a former deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, that the wording and illustrations could encourage dangerous driving practice. He considered that the advertisement suggested that drivers need observe speed limits only when they were warned of a speed camera. It also showed a picture of a woman apparently dialling a hands-free phone while at the wheel.

Mr Evans drew these matters to the notice of the Advertising Standards Authority. After an enquiry and consideration of Halford's arguments, they upheld his complaint on both grounds.

The full ASA adjudication can be read on their website www.asa.org.uk .

Daisy
(the words of an old song contributed by Sophia Howard)

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do,
I'm half crazy all for the love of you.
It won't be a stylish marriage,
I can't afford the carriage.
But you'll look sweet, upon the seat,
of a bicycle built for two.

Johnny, Johnny, this is my answer true;
I'm not crazy just for the love of you.
If I can't have a stylish carriage,
there won't be any marriage.
Cause I'll be darned, if I'll be crammed,
on a bicycle built for two.

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