Pedal Power
Issue 79
March 2009

www.ldcuc.org.uk

AGM

Don't forget our annual general meeting takes place at John Storer House on Monday 9 March at 7-30pm. Please come along to contribute your ideas.

Station Travel Plan

(based on comments by Anthony Kay)

Anthony Kay is representing the Campaign on the committee drawing up a Station Travel Plan for Loughborough Railway Station. They are trying to finalise a list of actions, both short and medium term, aimed at increasing the proportion of people travelling to and from the station by sustainable modes. He would welcome any ideas for increasing the use of cycles (currently 3% modal share for travel to/from the station) as there is scope for a big increase, given that the size of Loughborough is ideal for cycle journeys).

Actions already included in the plan are:-

Some points for particular consideration:-

There are plans to redevelop the area between the station and the link road (from Nottingham Road to Meadow Lane) as part of the proposed Eastern Gateway scheme. The first draft of this redevelopment scheme is dreadful for buses and pedestrians as well as for cyclists, although they do seem genuinely receptive to suggestions for improving it. [NB. this is not the Eastern Gateway scheme itself (see below) but a scheme for the station side of the link road.]

The bus operators are asking for a dedicated bus route, direct from the station forecourt to Nottingham Road. Consideration is being given to making this a combined bus/cycle route.

Please send any comments you have via the editor at 32 Bramcote Road, Loughborough LE11 2SA or to StationTravelPlan@ldcuc.org.uk.

Eastern Gateway

The formal planning application for the Eastern Gateway (housing and link road - not the area between the station and the link road) can be viewed on the Charnwood site. Of the vast array of documents, the most significant are "Masterplan", "Design & Access Statement", "Transport Assessment" and "Travel Plan". The latter two contain some information about bus services amongst other things.

There appear to be only minor changes since the consultation at the end of last year. In particular, the shared-use cycle/pedestrian paths on both sides of the link road are still there, despite our objections. We would prefer cycle lanes with advanced stop lines at the junctions (as already installed on Nottingham Road - but with at least 1.5 metres width for the cycle lanes, unlike on Nottingham Road!). We do not wish to end up sharing the pavement with pedestrians, which is against the policy agreed by cyclenation, the CTC and Living Streets (formerly the Pedestrians Association).

We understand that mandatory cycle lanes would make the track width for motor vehicles too narrow. One solution might be 1.5 metre advisory cycle lanes (dashed lines) with double yellow lines to prohibit parking in them, as has been done in some other towns.

The trees shown on the overall plan suggest that shared cycle use here would not be a good idea. Intermittent arboreal obstructions would be even worse than the usual street furniture. On-road cycle lanes would also make the station access junctions simpler; 'pavement' cycling would mean losing priority when crossing the entrance roads .

As usual more attention is paid to car parking than cycle parking. At least they are making reasonable provision, but it is not the kind of radical thinking that is needed if we are to change behaviours. Bicycles are to be "parked" in back garden sheds. This means they will be difficult to access. We need to get planners thinking in terms of having bicycle storage at the front door. It should be more convenient to use a bicycle than a car.

Town Centre Cycling

Darlington Council has grasped the nettle and has allowed cycling in the town's pedestrianised centre. The decision follows two six-month pilot schemes and the report to the Council can be found on their website.

One interesting quote from the report is on the effect of a ban:
"Ongoing enforcement by the Police is seen as an issue. It is widely acknowledged that whatever the decision on cycling through the town centre, anti social behaviour will still occur. The Police and Antisocial Behaviour Team have agreed to work together to share information on cyclists who are acting in an anti social manner and enforce appropriately. However the preferred approach is education and raising awareness of how behaviour impacts on other people".

Perhaps we can persuade Charnwood to try out a similar "trial" in the pedestrianised areas?

Town Centre Buses

Cyclists aren't the only ones who may be having problems moving through the pedestrian areas. The original proposal for the pedestrianisation of the A6 was that buses should be banned. After considerable lobbying by Action for a Better Charnwood (ABC) www.bettercharnwood.org.uk and others, there is to be a one year trial with buses being allowed to traverse the pedestrian area only from the north, once the ring road is completed. A decision will then be made as to whether the initial proposal for a ban should be adopted.

Bus passengers will have further to walk than many of those arriving by car. Since the decision is being made by Leicestershire County Council, a cynic might suggest that those arriving by car from villages will always prefer to ban buses and cycles, as they will not be inconvenienced by such bans.

Petition re. Integration of Trains and Cycling

Currently there is no minimum requirement for train operators to carry bicycles and each operator has a different set of rules and booking procedures. This makes the system extremely complex to use, especially where multiple operators are involved. It is not possible to make bicycle reservations online and hence cyclists do not know whether there will be room for a bike on a train when a ticket is purchased.

Some operators have extremely poor provision. The Cross Country service has reduced the capacity of its trains from 4 bicycles per train to 2 bicycles (so they can provide secure accommodation for their buffet trolley).

Clearly, a national policy is required with a fully integrated booking system (that is available online through the standard ticket retailers) plus incentives and requirements for operators to improve capacity.

You will find the petition relating to this at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/bikes-on-trains/ .

Bike Week

At the January meeting it was decided that we would again promote a ride aimed at primary school age children across Garendon on Sunday 21st June. Unfortunately the Gorse Covert Community Centre will be closed for refurbishment and the public toilets are closed by the late afternoon.

We are investigating alternative options and hope to publish more news on the website www.ldcuc.org.uk (which has recently been "refurbished") and in next newsletter.

Cycling as a solution to climate change?

(Based on an article in ctcnews)

The Committee on Climate Change, headed by Lord Turner, who is known to cycle to work, published its report on the interim targets and policies needed to enable Britain to reach an 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Deep in the report, there is the interesting finding that about as much CO2 could be saved by doubling cycling (0.6 million tonnes per year) as could be by switching all air travel from London to Scotland to the rail network! See Building a low-carbon economy – the UK’s contribution to tackling climate change.

Loughborough cycle routes surveyed by Cycle City guides

Cycling England and the Department for Transport have embarked on a project to build a national cycle journey planner, which will be delivered as part of the Transport Direct portal (www.transportdirect.info) and will also be available through the DirectGov website.

CycleCity Guides (CCG) was selected by Cycling England (CE) to supply cycling data for the proposed National Transport Direct Cycle Journey Planner. Leicester and Loughborough were amongst the areas selected for Phase 1 of the data collection.

Data has been collected on various aspects of the existing cycle network e.g. cycle routes along existing cycle tracks, existence of cycle lanes, any signing present, condition of route and usage.

Cycling England have supplied Leicestershire County Council with a copy of the data. It will be interesting to see when this comes into the public domain.

Which group endangers pedestrians the most…

(Based on an article in ctcnews)

Cyclists or drivers? If you believe the tabloid press, it’s often the former. But the statistics tell a different tale. According to figures released recently there have been 364,082 pedestrians injured by drivers over the last ten years, compared with 2,623 injured by cyclists.

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