Nicky Morgan “getting in touch”
Nicky Morgan (the Conservative party candidate for Loughborough) picked up on the views expressed by Nick Moss and Peter Hopkins (see Pedal Power November and January editions) and e-mailed to say:
“I send out a monthly newsletter and in one edition last Autumn I mentioned that a number of people had complained to me that they were fed up with nearly being knocked over in the market place and on pavements by, as Peter Hopkins calls them, people on bikes. It almost happened to me again yesterday in Loughborough market place.”
“The question I have been putting to everyone, and I'm so pleased you got in touch, is how we can tackle this - particularly cycling in the pedestrianised market place.”
We responded in some detail, inviting her to join a ride around Loughborough to get the cyclist's perspective. Nicky has agreed (date to be set) and made these comments:
- Delighted to cycle around the town with you at some point. I think this is an excellent idea.
- I entirely accept that proper enforcement of all traffic regulation is needed and I am going to pass on your suggestion of a separate traffic police force to our Shadow Home Office team. I agree that many people often wonder why the police are worrying about traffic crime rather than more "serious crime".
- I think the idea of clearer signing in the market place is excellent. By the time I came to Loughborough the market place was already pedestrianised so your comments about exactly what was intended when this was carried out are very useful to me. I am going to get in touch with the county council about this to find out what the position is and what can be done. I am also going to ask the Police exactly how many of their officers patrol on bikes.
- I entirely understand your point about the problems of perception vs the reality. I think, for example, the Home Office and the Police would endorse this given the high level of fear of crime but the lower level of experience of crime. I would hope though that some sort of awareness campaign (and I agree that making it clear that cyclists are actually allowed across the market place at certain times of the days would be a very good start) and consistent enforcement could help to change this perception. As you guess I deal with people's perceptions a great deal - mostly about the Conservative Party!
- Promoting cycling - with my environmental hat on I think we have to promote cycling and I'm going to raise this with our Shadow Transport Minister. At the last election one of our policies was "to review all road speed limits, with the possibility of ... lowering limits to 20mph near schools and hospitals". Not quite what you were suggesting but I will try to find out what our current view on this is.
Reminder – AGM 12 March 7-30pm at John Storer House
Please come along and let us know what you think we should be doing. Some of the old stalwarts will be standing down this year so we need some new officers and committee members together with some new ideas.
Mapping every street by bike
based on an article in CCN News
Cambridge Cycling Campaign member, David Earl, has just finished biking every street in Cambridge. Over the past three months he has been surveying for OpenStreetMap, an international, voluntary, collaborative project to produce a free-to-use map. He has now completed the City of Cambridge.
Armed with a bike, GPS receiver, notebook and voice recorder, David has electronically collected the route of every street, cycleway and important footpath in the City together with street names and details like schools, pubs, churches, parks and commons.
The collected data is joined up on a computer, cross-referenced with copyright-free satellite images and sent to an internet site where it is merged with the data collected by others across the country, Europe and the world. By surveying from scratch like this, OpenStreetMap does not infringe copyright of existing maps and can be made freely available. OSM is to maps as Wikipedia is to encyclopaedias.
OpenStreetMap is at www.openstreetmap.org. Anyone can contribute to the project.
Loughborough Cycle Routes
Agreement in principle has been reached for Leicestershire County Council(LCC) to take over the maintenance of all cycle routes in Loughborough. A programme of works to substantially upgrade and improve the routes is to be implemented.
The first phase currently underway is cutting back vegetation and improving the existing street lighting where necessary on the off-highway cycle network. We are told the second phase will involve improving the surface of the cycle tracks, which will be included in a future year's programme of work, together with the third phase, a comprehensive signing package of the entire Loughborough cycle network.
CTC/CNN Spring Conference – Derby – Saturday 19 May
The theme of this conference will be “Tomorrow's Cyclists” and will focus on how to attract today's young people to cycling. The event takes place at the Waterfall conference hall, which is directly opposite Derby Railway Station and costs £15. A booking form is available on the Derby Cycling Group conference website
Unfortunately this event clashes with Picnic in the Park
Fill that Hole
The CTC has introduced a new web based service at fillthathole.org.uk to allow people to notify local authorities of road defects in need of attention. The officers from our local authorities suggest that you can get faster results by telephoning them. Contact details for local officers (printed in the November 'Pedal Power') together with the link to the CTC service are available on the Campaign’s web site.
'No case to answer'
based on an article in CCN News
Cyclist Daniel Cadden, who was convicted by a court in Telford last August for riding on a road instead of using an alternative cycle path, has won his appeal and the conviction has been quashed. The judge at Shrewsbury Crown Court told Cadden that he was as entitled to be on the road as anyone else and there was no obligation on him to use the cycle path. Further details can be found on the CTC and CCN Websites.
based on an article in CCN News
Company of Cyclists are working on the launch of 'Get Cycling' a free email newsletter for all cyclists. You can subscribe at any time by emailing email@example.com.
Quick release TV
A new web site featuring video and audio cycling-related podcasts (including one showing how to adjust a quick release has been set up at http://quickreleasetv.magnify.net ).
In Tandem need assistance
In Tandem are a group of disabled people who cycle with able bodied front riders. Their rides organiser for Saturdays is no longer able to support the group. They need someone to plan and lead the Saturday rides. Can you assist or do you know anyone who might be willing to do so? There is one ride each month. Please contact the editor if you can help.
Loughborough Station Users' Group
Roger Bacon, the secretary of Railfuture East Midlands, has started forming a group and getting a list of names of people who are fed up with the present stalemate relating to the development of the station. The aim is to put on some pressure to get both the rail industry together with local and central government to actually do something.
If you would like to support this endeavour please contact Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loughborough Town Centre Masterplan
For those of you who missed the exhibition, the details of the Loughborough Town Centre Masterplan are available on the Charnwood Borough Council Website.