Issue 71
November 2007

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Threat to route across Garendon Park

The Regional Assembly for the East Midlands has decided that Charnwood should provide for 10,900 new dwellings by 2021. Charnwood planners have proposed that a large proportion of these should be located on the Garendon Estate. If this development were to proceed then the cycle track and other rights of way would be swallowed up.

The Campaign has been asked to support the Garendon Park and Countryside Protection Group in objecting to these proposals. If any members are opposed to this, please let John Catt know. For further details visit www.garendon.org.uk.

Connect 2 - Sign up to vote for Watermead Park

Watermead Country Park's Connect2 scheme is one of 4 projects left in the competition for The People's £50 Million Lottery Giveaway, which will be the subject of a television programme on ITV1 in the week commencing 3rd December. Connect2 will be featured on Tuesday 4 December. Voting will take place online and by phone vote following the TV shows. Voting online will be at www.thepeoples50million.org.uk.

You will be able to vote by telephone over the weekend 7-10 December. You can text 'Connect2' to 80010 to receive further information about the voting process nearer the time.

You save the NHS £28.30 a year
based on an articles in CTC newsnet

Cycling England says a 20% increase in bicycle journeys would lower healthcare costs and reduce congestion. It adds that by making a £70m annual investment in cycling initiatives the government could cut up to 54m car journeys a year by 2012 and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 35,000 tonnes. The report says that an adult who swaps a car for a bicycle on a daily return journey of 2.5 miles - the average cycle trip - will generate annual savings of £137.28 through reduced congestion. A regular cyclist saves the NHS £28.30 a year. The full report that appeared in the Guardian is available at here.

Minister opposes helmet Bill
based on an article in CCN News

Jim Fitzpatrick, Parliamentary Under Secretary at the DfT, has responded to Peter Bone MP's 10 Minute Bill to make cycle helmets compulsory for children, by stating that "the amount of lives saved by helmet compulsion would be dwarfed by the loss of life caused by sedentary lifestyles". Teenagers in particular eschew helmets and forcing this group to wear helmets would make many turn away from cycling. The Government, Fitzpatrick said, has no plans to make helmet use compulsory.

PACTS backs 20
based on an article in CCN News

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) is calling for a default speed limit of 20 mph in all built-up areas, implemented in ways that achieve a high level of compliance. One means of achieving compliance that PACTS supports is the use of 'time over distance' cameras to determine average speeds through an area.

PACTS says there is a need for a holistic approach to road safety and sets this out in its 'Beyond 2010' report. The number of people walking and cycling should be one indicator of how safe an area is. It supports a programme to disseminate the findings of the cycling demonstration and sustainable travel towns, and says that cycle-share schemes should be supported in the same manner as car-share schemes. Road safety should be linked with strategies to tackle obesity and climate change.

Tackling obesity should be a piece of cake
based on an articles in CTC newsnet

A Government-commissioned report on obesity this week makes clear that physical activity is fundamental to halting rising obesity, and points to a need to change radically the design of town centres in favour of walking and cycling. Two generations of planners have designed the UK’s towns and cities around motorised transport, encouraging people into sedentary, car-dependent lifestyles. The report highlighted how encouraging people onto their bikes was an essential part of any strategy to tackle obesity – and that such measures would also help meet climate change targets. Read the report here.

To quote:
Walking and cycling in the course of daily life are an important component of population activity levels. Where pedestrians and cyclists have little fear of collision or injury to themselves and their children, they are found to be more active. Overall, maintaining activity levels in cities seems to require avoiding complete reliance on cars and ensuring urban design promotes active transport (BMA 2001, Sturm 2002). This may also stimulate a sense of community (Livingstone 2005), which may be an important component of good health (Maio 2005).

Growing up in a risk averse society
based on an articles in CTC newsnet

Cyclist, Tim Gill, is one of the UK’s leading writers and thinkers on childhood. His new book joins the debate about the role and nature of childhood, and advocates a common sense approach that counters our current risk-averse society. Although the book focuses mainly on issues such as playground design, antisocial behaviour and child protection, cycling does get a mention. You can download the book for free from here .

London Cycle Guides

This set of 14 cycle route maps developed by London Cycling Campaign (LCC) and Transport for London has been updated. They contain information on official cycle routes and quieter roads (all ridden and recommended by cyclists) as well as cycle parking at stations and motor-traffic-free routes. Printed on durable paper you can get free copies by phoning 020 7222 1234 or online from here.

Cycle use growing as risk of cycling falls
based on an articles in CTC newsnet

Cycle use is at a 10-year high, whilst the risk of cycling is at a 10-year low, according to Government statistics published today. Transport Statistics Great Britain 2007 shows that there were 4.6bn km cycled in Britain in 2006, compared with figures of around 4.0bn-km annually throughout the late 1990s. And there are now 374 reported cycle casualties per 100M km cycled, down from over 600 a decade ago.

Mince Pie Run

The Loughborough Group of the CTC will again be holding their Mince Pie run on Sunday December 23rd. Around 300 cyclists from all around the area normally converge on Belton Village Hall betweem 11am and 1pm for tea, cobs, cakes and of course the occasional mince pie. Ed. We hope to see you there.

Conservatives not sure which way to face?

The Conservative party recently issued a "Blueprint for a green economy" authored by the quality of life policy group, chaired by John Gummer and vice-chaired by Zac Goldsmith. This document favours promoting cycling and walking and can be found here.

However, the economic competitiveness policy group, led by John Redwood, barely mentions cycling and wants to see bicycle lanes on pavements 'where they will not inconvenience pedestrians'. Or do they mean motorists? This group also call for a road-building renaissance.

Speeding penalties - leaving a lethal margin for error?
based on an articles in CTC newsnet

The Government will shortly be consulting on plans to increase the number of penalty points issued for drivers who break speed limits, according to a report in the Times. The principle of motorists receiving 6 points for some speeding offences is to be welcomed; however, under the plans described in the Times, anyone driving at a potentially lethal 44 mph in a 30 mph area would still receive only 3 points and a £60 penalty. Much lower thresholds are needed.

However it is encouraging to note that Ministers seem to have dropped an earlier plan to create lower 2 point, £40 penalties for driving at speeds just above the limit. This would have allowed drivers to commit 6 speeding offences (instead of 4) before being banned. Every 1mph increase in speed increases the chances of killing a pedestrian by 5%.

Crap cycle lanes (sic)
based on an articles in CTC newsnet

Every one has a story to tell about a ridiculously-designed cycle facility, but never before have the 50 worst examples been put together into a book. Crap Cycle Lanes costs £4.99 and royalties go to the Cyclists Defence Fund. Available from all good bookshops or online from here.

Unfit for Purpose: How Car Use Fuels Climate Change and Obesity
(Institute for European Environmental Policy and Adrian Davis Associates)
Authors: Adrian Davis, Carolina Valsecchi and Malcolm Fergusson

This report demonstates the link between car use, obesity and carbon dioxide emissions. It pulls together the available and comparable national data, focusing on the UK. This suggests that reverting to the walking and cycling patterns we had before owning a car, when physical activity included more regular walking to work, to the shops and to escort children to school, could be an important part of national programmes to fight climate change and obesity. Download from here.

To quote : "..it is possible to see for cycling, according to Department of Transport data, a steep decline especially during the fifties, passing from 11 per cent of all passenger travel in 1952 to 4 per cent in 1960, and then down to 1 per cent in 1970 and then a levelling out by the mid 1990s at around 0.5 per cent. "

"given that obesity is a cumulative process, it is quite possible that there are many people who have experienced weight problems in later life having given up regular cycling some decades ago. Encouraging cycling could well be part of the solution to our weight and climate change problems, but probably by no means the whole of it. "

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