Pedal Power
Issue 84
January 2010

www.ldcuc.org.uk

Local Transport Plans

based on an article in CTC Cycledigest

As English local authorities (outside London) get to work on their 3rd round of Local Transport Plans (LTP3), CTC is producing a guide to good local authority cycle policy. Cycling: a local transport solution aims to provide local councillors, officers and campaigners alike with arguments to support the adoption of cycle-friendly policies and programmes, and ideas about what to include in a good local cycling strategy or a cycle-friendly LTP.

It builds on CTC’s New Vision for Cycling and Safety in Numbers pamphlets, showing how the policies and evidence in those documents can be applied at the local level (www.ctc.org.uk/campaigns).

The current LTP round (LTP2) ends in April 2011, and councils will need to submit their new plans to Government by next summer, so most have already started work. However, unlike the two previous LTP rounds, LTP3 will not last for a fixed 5 year period – from now on, local authorities will be able to renew their LTP whenever they choose.

Another change from previous rounds is that LTPs will be split into a ‘strategy’ (intended to last for around 15 years) and a ‘delivery plan’. The latter is expected to last for 3 years, to coincide with the 3-yearly cycle of Local Area Agreements – although councils are not bound by this timescale.

The Government’s guidance to local authorities stresses that LTPs should contribute to its 5 goals for transport policy, namely:

  1. supporting economic growth,
  2. tackling climate change,
  3. contributing to better safety, security and health,
  4. promoting equality of opportunity and
  5. improving quality of life and a healthy natural environment.

It is clear that cycling contributes strongly (and extremely cost-effectively) to all 5 objectives!

2010 AGM

Please remember that our Annual General Meeting is on Monday 8th March 7-30pm at John Storer House. We hope to see you there.

Sorry Saga in Hathern

Despite pleas to have something in place before the dark winter evenings arrived, nothing has been done to replace the below standard cycle facility on the eastern side of Hathern.

This means that cyclists arriving from Loughborough using the cycle path have to cross the busy A6 as they approach the village and then cross again further up if they want to get to the east side of the village. Even with lights, it is doubtful if a cyclist is very visible to cars on this stretch at night, particularly in bad weather.

Michael Forrest has been advised that a scheme has been devised for consideration by the Parish Council and Borough Councillors, with no provision for comment by cyclists as yet.

Nationwide encouraging cycling

by Sophia Howard

I attended the AGM of the Nationwide Building Society on 16th July 2009 in Birmingham.

I got to speak with Stuart Bernau, who is very enthusiastic about cycling and has a very senior role as the Group Products & Marketing Director. Stuart told me that while some employers had schemes to pay staff for commuting by bicycle by the mile, Nationwide decided instead to reimburse staff the capital outlay of purchasing a machine. The take-up was so good that they had to build bicycle sheds as well.

The Nationwide 2009 Annual Report and Accounts makes mention of cycling in the Corporate Responsibility section under the paragraph about environment and transport. “We're still encouraging alternatives to daily commute; our administrative buildings and head offices have car share facilities; large, purpose built bike shelters and changing/shower areas”.

Good signs

based on an article in CTC Cycledigest

The Department for Transport (DfT) is easing up on its resistance towards a simple-to-understand sign indicating that cyclists are allowed to ride both ways along one-way streets. For some time it’s been averse to the idea of attaching small plates saying ‘Except cyclists’ to poles carrying no-entry signs, but they are now on trial in Kensington and Chelsea. CTC hopes this will lead to more contra-flow cycling along quiet one-way streets everywhere, as is common in Europe – helping cyclists get from A to B more conveniently and directly.

Greenest Form of Travel

based on an article in cyclenation news

Lord Adonis has said to the Labour Party Conference “Take cycling, the greenest form of travel. For too long in this country we have hesitated to promote cycling as a mainstream form of transport […] Just talk to the people already on their bikes. They love it. They sail past the traffic, they enjoy the exercise, they get a sense of freedom. And the cost in petrol? Nothing.” He also announced a

further £14m to improve cycle facilities at railway stations.

He signalled a change of Government policy away from the 'modal antagonism' advocated by former transport advisor Sir Rod Eddington. Instead the Government should favour green modes of transport, proclaimed Adonis. He described as "insanity" the practice of planning yet more motorways and short haul flights.

MP’s Questions Are Absurd

This is edited version of an open letter by West London cyclist Julian Norman to David Curry MP about his remarks following the NAO report, Improving Road Safety For Pedestrians And Cyclists.

Dear David,
I read your contribution to the debate about improving road safety for pedestrians and cyclists. I read the Hansard notes, and I read the Chairman's comments which say that while the UK is ranked 5th out of 24 countries for road deaths per 100,000, it drops to 17th out of 24 when that figure is restricted to child pedestrian deaths.

I was quite surprised to see you describe cyclists as riding "like bats out of hell" - not once but twice! You said that in relation to cyclists outside the Houses of Parliament and on country roads near you. Now, I know that the speed limit outside Parliament is 30mph and on country roads it's usually 60mph. Motorists routinely drive at or near the limits. I'm sorry, David, but there's no way you can say cyclists ride "like bats out of hell" when they're probably not even doing half the speed limit in either area. We cyclists just don't have the engine power for it - even on a club run (or battalion, as you prefer) the fast group would barely average 20mph. Yet curiously, you don't seem bothered by cars coming past you at 30mph, or 60mph. David, you know which is the more dangerous - don't you?

Now, these battalions. While we're out on our bike ride, I'll happily explain to you the etiquette concerning club runs. I ride with a club from time to time: it's sociable, and there's a camaraderie you can't get riding by yourself. No club would ever ride so badly as to put a pedestrian, another cyclist, a horse rider, or themselves in danger. I challenge you to find an instance where a club run has knocked over and killed a group of pedestrians, as happened when a motorist with bald tyres took out the Rhyl club run like skittles.

I'm glad that you take your grandchildren out for walks in the countryside. I hope that like me, they grow up to appreciate the beauty of the landscape on a brisk, chill Autumn day, or the feel of the sunshine on their skin in summer. I love the outdoors. It's why I'm a cyclist. And you said in your Hansard diatribe that "they [cyclists] are the ones who might knock over my grandchildren."

But they're not, David, are they? In a debate about how many child pedestrian deaths there are on the roads of the UK, how could you get it so wrong? Nearly three thousand children died or were seriously injured on the roads of Britain in 2008. None of those were caused by cyclists. There is a menace out there threatening children on our roads; it's in a heavy metal box with an engine.

You see, David, this isn't a "cyclists vs motorists" debate. The cyclists you condemn for being "irresponsible and arrogant" weren't turned into idiots by their mode of transport. They're selfish, and they're idiots, and they will be selfish idiots whether they're on foot, on a bicycle or in a car. They're the people you see who push their way onto a bus to get on first. The ones who won't give up their seat for older people on public transport. The ones who get drunk and noisy when they fly. The ones who use hand-held mobiles, park on double-yellows or disabled bays because "they'll only be five minutes," drive through red lights and call it amber, park on the pavement, speed in residential areas, moan about 20mph zones and go through at 35 anyway.

Those are the people who are a danger to your grandchildren, David. And if they do ever hurt a child, it won't be on their bicycle. It'll be in their car.

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