CycleDigest March 2013
From the Editor
Welcome to the March issue of CycleDigest, CTC's round-up of cycle campaigning news.
Spring is as good a time as any for visionary thoughts: the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group has just wrapped up its Get Britain Cycling inquiry and a report will be out in April; funding for cycling in London has leapt up; and there's much promise for sustainable 'door-to-door' travel. That's not all that's on the horizon, so please click on.....
And - another new thing - this is the first entirely paperless edition of the CycleDigest and we hope you like it. If you have any feedback, please email me.
Cherry Allan, CTC Campaigns
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Road Safety News
20 mph: revised guidance on local speed limits
The Department for Transport’s revised guidance on setting local speed limits (England) (i.e. limits that differ from those set nationally) is yet another boost for lower speeds and 20 mph in particular. It says, for instance:
“Traffic authorities are asked to keep their speed limits under review with changing circumstances, and to consider the introduction of more 20 mph limits and zones, over time, in urban areas and built-up village streets that are primarily residential, to ensure greater safety for pedestrians and cyclists.”
Fear of traffic can affect people's quality of life and the needs of vulnerable road users must be fully taken into account in order to further encourage these modes of travel and improve their safety. Speed management strategies should seek to protect local community life.”
Setting Local Speed Limits, DfT 2013
It also states that traffic authorities can not only introduce 20 mph speed limits or zones in residential streets, but also on: “Major streets where there are - or could be - significant numbers of journeys on foot, and/or where pedal cycle movements are an important consideration, and this outweighs the disadvantage of longer journey times for motorised traffic.”
Midlands road safety campaign highlights cycling issues
Determined to reduce cycle casualties and highlight the many distractions that can cause every road user to ‘take their eye off the ball’, Road Safety GB Mercia region (Midlands/Birmingham area) has just launched its ‘What Matters Most’ publicity campaign. Taking a balanced approach to educating drivers about cyclists, two complementary web pages explain ‘What cyclists want drivers to know’ and ‘What drivers want cyclists to know’. CTC has endorsed the campaign.
Taxis in Belfast bus lanes will put cyclists at risk, say campaigners
Campaigners, including CTC representatives, have publicly protested against plans to allow taxis into Belfast’s bus lanes. Although not perfect, bus lanes are popular with many cyclists for their directness and lower levels of traffic, but changes to the way taxis are licensed in Northern Ireland could see thousands more vehicles using them.
Bill on better cycle paths goes before Welsh Assembly
The Welsh Government has proposed ambitious new legislation to place a duty on local authorities to map the walking and cycling routes in their area, make a plan and budget to improve them.
Scottish Government refreshes Cycling Action Plan (CAPS)
The Scottish Government is currently refreshing the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS), with input from key stakeholders including CTC Scotland. A refresh is something that Cycling Scotland called for in its report on the progress of CAPS, along with improved leadership and more funding.
The central target of CAPS, first published in 2010, is for 10% of journeys to be by cycle by 2020.
£62m for cycling in England
CTC and other cycling groups have welcomed a Government announcement explaining how £62m of cycling funding for England will be spent - including £30m for up to three 'cycling cities'.
Grants for parks
The Government is inviting English local authorities in partnership with National Parks to bid for a Cycle Grant. The money, to be administered through the Linking Communities Programme, is for infrastructure improvements to enable more people to cycle in and around National Parks. Deadline: 30/4/2013.
Code of conduct for shared-use paths
Cyclists and walkers have the potential to co-exist happily when they use the same routes, but mutual respect and consideration are a vital part of this. In response to the growing problem of speeding cyclists, Sustrans has issued a Code of Conduct to encourage responsible behaviour on shared-use paths. The Code was developed with input from CTC’s Roger Geffen and is also endorsed by British Cycling.
Drive to Work Day 2012
The first Drive to Work Day on 11 December last year saw thousands of cyclists in London exchange their cycles for motor vehicles. Dreamt up by cycle instructor David Dansky of CTUK, the initiative is designed to demonstrate the scale of the contribution that cyclists make towards easing congestion.
David, who took a taxi to work, said: “Great to see thousands of fellow travellers sharing the communal commute. We’ll be back again bigger and better next year.” Next Drive to Work Day: Wednesday 11 Dec 2013
Cycle to Work scheme signs up even more commuters
The Cycle to Work Alliance reports that 2012 saw a 7.9% increase in take up of the Government supported ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme when compared to 2011. The initiative helps employees hire and, if they want, eventually buy a cycle tax efficiently.
The Cycle to Work Alliance is a group of the leading providers of the Cycle to Work scheme, including Cyclescheme, Cycle Solutions, Evans Cycles and Halfords.
Funding boost for Wheels for Wellbeing
Wheels for Wellbeing, together with partners, has been awarded £468,000 from Sport England to further build cycling resources for disabled people across London over the next three years.
Community cargo bike share scheme for Hereford
With the help of CTC, Hereford Pedicabs and Pedicargo are launching an innovative community cargo bike share scheme in the St James area of the city. If successful, this type of scheme could be rolled out in other towns and cities in the UK.
Children who cycle to school have more focus
Denmark’s Mass Experiment during School Science Week 2012 examined the link between diet, exercise and the power of concentration. It found that children who walk or cycle to school rather than being driven are able to concentrate better, and the effect lasts all morning.
Good news for EuroVelo
Thanks to lobbying coordinated by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), the European Parliament has agreed to include cycling and the EuroVelo network of cycle routes in its infrastructure guidelines. While the move has the potential to realise “billions of Euros in cycling investment” across the EU region, the campaign to keep cycling included in EU budgets is ongoing.
NYC racks up
New York City’s Department of Transport has decided to make good use of its defunct single-space parking meter poles – they’re going to be upgraded into bike racks.