Pedal Power
Issue 82
September 2009

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Cycling integral to plans for Student Flats

The developers proposing to build residential accommodation for 89 students, at the site of the redundant Temple Filling Station on Ashby Road, have had to make cycle use integral to their plans in order to have any chance of obtaining planning permission. The site does not allow for car parking and had no bus stops in the close vicinity. This meant that local people were concerned that the future tenants would park on nearby residential roads despite a “no car” agreement.

Anaash Holdings, the developers, have now produced an “innovative solution” involving the provision of nearby bus stops and 45 bicycles (together with parking) for the use of the residents. The type of bicycle has not been specified. (Ed. It is to be hoped that they will go for a basic robust and easily maintained design and that bicycle maintenance will be included in the rent).

Two Councillors who regularly cycle, Max Hunt and Geoff Gay, have welcomed the proposal, but Councillor Roy Campsall is quoted as saying “I think it is an accident waiting to happen if it gets the go ahead, I'm very unhappy with it”. (Ed. It would be interesting to know what accidents he believes may happen).

Max has commented that "Most 'no car agreements' made with developers or the university offer little in exchange to students. This proposal is innovative and possibly the first in any British university town. The S106 planning agreement has to be concluded by mid September and I will be pushing for a robust specification which the Borough Council can hold up as an exemplar to other developers and other planning authorities."

There are now five University Halls together with the student accommodation at the Wharf, Woodgate and Greenclose Lane with 'no-car' agreements. No precise figures have been issued but it would seem a reasonable estimate that about 30% of managed student flats/halls have such agreements. Most of them have bike racks for fewer that 50% of their occupants. Greenclose lane in particular seems very poor, being an indoor room for about 20 bicycles and no provision for visitors.

We need to press the planning authorities to introduce adequate standards for cycle parking for “car free” developments. A provision of one cycle space for every resident should be the minimum standard.

Velo-city and Manchester Conference Presentations

Most of the presentations given at these recent conferences can be viewed at these webites:

CTC/Cyclenation/Nottingham Pedals Autumn Conference 2009
14th November, Byron House, Nottingham -
www.cyclenation.org.uk

Members can cycle to this conference if they so wish. The keynote speaker will be John Whitelegg, Professor of Sustainable Transport at Liverpool John Moores University and Professor of Sustainable Development at University of York's Stockholm Environment Institute.

From Northern Rail to the NHS, participants will be looking at how various campaigners have boosted cycling with the help of a partner organisation.

It’s also a chance to sharpen the tools in your campaigning toolbox, with many workshops and seminars, e.g. on raising and retaining membership, cycle training, and how to work with Local Area Agreements. The hot topic of web-based mapping and the next round of Local Transport Plans (LTP3) will also be considered.

But it won’t all be high-cadence campaigning: Nottingham’s Pedals, will be celebrating its 30th birthday with a cake, and lunch will include displays and a cycling photographs competition.

The day will close with legendary cycling campaigner Don Mathew giving his reflections on an epic career in all areas of cycle campaigning. The cost is £20 including lunch and refreshments.

LTP let down

(based on an article in CTC CycleDigest)

The Government has published its final guidance on Local Transport Plans (LTPs). It doesn’t prescribe anything concrete with regard to cycling whatsoever, representing a substantial split between it and the DfT’s recent Low Carbon Transport Strategy, plus the promise of a National Cycle Plan. See:

www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/ltp/guidance/localtransportsplans/

Road Statistics 2008: Traffic, Speeds and Congestion

Published by the Department for Transport

These show that between 2007 and 2008, total estimated motor vehicle traffic fell by 4.1 billion vehicle kilometres (0.8 per cent) to 508.9 billion vehicle kilometres. This is the first fall since 1979, but an 11 per cent increase over the decade from 1998.

Cycling reaches 17 year peak

Cycling levels nationally were at their highest for 17 years in 2008. From 2007, cycling increased by 12%, at the same time as a substantial fall in cycling deaths, down from 136 to 115 - the second lowest level ever, along with a very small increase of 1% in serious and slight injuries. www.dft.gov.uk transport statistics .

Comparison of cycling numbers and accidents in Loughborough shows a similar trend.

Council figures showing the weekly level of cycle trips at a number of sites in the Loughborough area demonstrate a similar trend. The latest figures available are for 2007. It is hoped to have 2008 figures available shortly.

2000-2002 - average 6535 cycling trips per week
2005-2007 - average 7248 cycling trips per week

The overall increase in cycling trips for these count sites between 2000-2002 and 2005-2007 is 11%.

Within the Loughborough parish area, the average annual number of injury accidents involving cyclists were:

2000-2002 30.3
2005-2007 21.7

Cyclist injury accidents therefore decreased between 2000-2002 and 2005-2007 by 28%.

The Amazing Shrinking Gaz

If you know anyone who wants to lose weight, then this story as set on his blog http://gazzasblogs.blogspot.com shows the benefits that can be gained from 12 months regular cycling:

Before: After:
Waist 68"Waist: 44/46”
Collar 26" Collar 19"
Clothes XXXXXXXXL (Yes 8xl)Clothes XXXL (3xl)
High Blood pressureGone

It is of course much easier for those who are “gravity challenged” to exercise using a bicycle rather than running or walking, since the bicycle bears the weight, easing the strain on joints.

'Murder Most Foul: A study of the road deaths problem'

RoadPeace, with the help of a generous donation from KeyMed, has reprinted the 1947 seminal pamphlet, 'Murder Most Foul: A study of the road deaths problem', written by J S Dean, the then President of the Pedestrians' Association. This was a comprehensive attack on the expectation that vulnerable road users - pedestrians and cyclists, were expected to assume more responsibility for their safety than those who actually posed the harm in motor vehicles. Much of what he highlighted in 1947 is still relevant today, six decades and over a quarter of a million road deaths later. The debate still continues over who should have priority on our roads. Britain's child pedestrian death record is one of the worst in Europe and the most vulnerable - children, pedestrians, cyclists, elderly and disabled people are more likely to be killed on the roads, compared to those in motor vehicles. The book is available (£6 incl. p&p.) from RoadPeace. Tel 020 8838 5102 or info@roadpeace.org.

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