Cycle Campaign News February 2014
Table of Contents:
From the Editor
Handing in its first petition to the police was an important moment for CTC's ongoing Road Justice Campaign (see 'Headlines' below).
Prosecutors, the courts and sentencing are also in sight this year - poor collision investigation, inexplicable charging and prosecution decisions, and lenient sentencing must become a thing of the past.
Keep yourself updated and add your voice to the campaign by signing up as a Road Justice supporter.
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CTC has secured funding from the cycle industry’s ‘Bike Hub’ fund, to co-ordinate a national ‘Space for Cycling’ campaign in partnership with the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) and local Cyclenation campaign groups around the UK.
The national campaign builds on the ‘Space for Cycling’ campaign devised by LCC, which they are running ahead of the London borough elections in May. The national campaign will adapt the ‘Space for Cycling’ slogan to the very different political situation for cycle campaigning outside the capital.
The campaign seeks to create the conditions where anyone, of any age or ability, feels able to cycle safely, conveniently and enjoyably for any local journey, as part of a wider vision for healthy and liveable streets and communities. Working in conjunction with local campaign groups, CTC will engage individual supporters in seeking commitments from both local and national politicians to consistently high standards of cycle-friendly planning and design, and the funding needed to deliver them.
As well as pressing for local action to deliver ‘Space for Cycling’, CTC will also enlist supportive MPs and councillors to help us secure commitments to the campaign’s aims in their respective party manifestos, ahead of the 2015 general election.
Following protests from cyclists and cycling organisations, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is reviewing a ruling that, if not withdrawn altogether, could mean that from now on adverts always have to show helmeted cyclists hugging the kerb - a portrayal of cycling that could damage its future popularity as an everyday activity and promote unsafe riding practice.
The ASA made its original decision in response to complaints about a Cycling Scotland TV advert that featured a helmet-less cyclist who was cycling towards the middle of her lane whilst being overtaken considerately by a car.
As CTC points out, helmets are not compulsory and promoting them makes cycling look more dangerous than it really is. As for the cyclist's road-positioning, this complies with advice in the national standard for cycle training. In any case, the scene’s purpose was to demonstrate the kind of safe berth drivers should give to cyclists.
CTC is supporting Cycling Scotland in its appeal against the ruling. The UK's All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group has also voiced its concerns in a letter to the ASA, as has the Transport and Health Study Group.
DLR welcomes cycles on off-peak services
Following a successful trial, cycles are now permitted on off-peak Docklands Light Railway (DLR) services in London.
CTC and other cycling groups hope that this will prompt light rail systems elsewhere in the UK to follow suit. Indeed, a 2007 report commissioned by Transport for London (TfL) recommended a similar trial of cycle carriage on the Croydon Tramlink, while other reports have highlighted the disparity between UK and other European systems. To its credit, Sheffield's Supertram has at least got as far as a trial of bikes on trams for one day, and collaborated with campaign group Cycle Sheffield in chartering trams to take people out on Sunday bike rides.
Dave Holladay, CTC’s public transport campaigner, said: “From observation and reports, it is apparent that allowing cycle carriage on trams and on the DLR itself means there's less need for policing, less confrontation and fewer avoidable delays on services which are often barely half-filled with passengers. Also, surveys of cyclists and would-be cyclists have revealed a substantial number of people, especially women, who are deterred from making a journey which involves a return trip as a lone rider late at night.
“Cyclists report that cycles are already being carried on other buses and trams, occasionally with a formal arrangement, but often informally - and I'm always getting news of local initiatives. Please send me your photos and notes of passenger numbers!" Photo: taking a bike on a tram in Bergen
Lighten up on 20 mph signage, says 20's Plenty
The campaigning organisation 20’s Plenty is calling on the DfT to update its stringent 1990s’ regulations on repeater signage for 20 mph limits which, it says, is a barrier to the smooth transition to slower speeds. 20’s Plenty is proposing an alternative ‘Flexi-20’ system that would allow local authorities to choose whether to put repeater signs on their 30 mph or 20 mph streets.
Tax incentive boosts cycle commuting take-up
The Cycle to Work Alliance (Cyclescheme, Cycle Solutions, Evans Cycles and Halfords), has seen a 16.4% increase in the uptake of the tax-efficient bike loan scheme compared to 2012. In the last year alone, 164,317 people were encouraged to cycle commute as a result.
Weather to commute?
Research from Australia has highlighted how important it is for employers to provide secure, undercover cycle parking, showers, lockers and changing rooms because they make people more willing to commute by bike in inclement weather. More than 50% of respondents to the researchers' survey said that the availability of ‘end-of-trip facilities' influenced their decision. The survey also discovered that committed riders were more likely to take public transport than go by private cars on adverse weather days.
Dream Fund grants cycling to all Glasgow's four-year-olds
Thanks to £230,000 from The People's Postcode Lottery Dream Fund, a new CTC-led project is to give every four-year-old child in Glasgow the opportunity to learn to ride a bike. The funding awarded to Play on Wheels, a collaborative project between CTC, Play Scotland, Glasgow Bike Station and Cycling Scotland, is the largest single amount ever awarded to a Dream Fund project.
Planned to run from this year until January 2016 to coincide with the Commonwealth Games, the project aims to help children and their families incorporate cycling into their lives.
Peak District saves two green lanes from 4x4 damage
The Peak District National Park Authority has approved permanent Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) to exclude 4x4s and trail-bikes from stretches of two of its green lanes, The Roych (part of the Pennine Bridleway) and Chapel Gate. The routes, which are popular with cyclists, have suffered significant wear from motorised use and the TROs are intended to “safeguard the natural beauty and special characteristics of these landscapes and the amenity for other users.” Photo: Chapel Gate in winter.
For off-road updates, see CTC's MTB Facebook page
1984: cycling in London captured on film
What was it like to cycle in the capital thirty years ago? Has much changed since then? Why did the Greater London Council make a film of it? What did CTC and LCC have to say on camera?
See for yourself and read commentary from CTC's campaigning blogger Chris Peck.
The news that Tom McClelland, CTC’s Right to Ride Representative in Northern Ireland, passed away on 13 February was immensely saddening. He was one of the most positive and charming cycle campaigners ever, with a uniquely warm kind of gravitas.
Everything he did for cycling in Northern Ireland and beyond was so inspiring and energetic that everyone who worked with him and shared his vision will want it to enjoy enduring momentum. One of Tom's last achievements was persuading the Northern Ireland Assembly's Regional Development Committee to hold an inquiry on cycling, similar to 'Get Britain Cycling' in the Westminster Parliament. CTC will work to ensure that the outcome is a fitting epitaph.