CycleDigest April 2013
From the Editor
Cycle-friendliness is one of our themes this month, not least because of the improvements due to junctions and routes at 78 locations in England thanks to the Government's Cycle Safety fund, while London Cycling Campaign's 'Safer Urban Lorry' is a step forward in the HGV battle.
As far as local cycling levels are concerned, some places certainly have a lot to be proud of, but in others cycle-friendliness still needs a serious boost. The latest figures from the DfT and the returns from the 2011 Census show a very patchy picture indeed.
The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group's report on their 'Get Britain Cycling' inquiry will be out next week, so watch out for that - and if you haven't got in touch with your MP urging them to sign the Get Britain Cycling EDM 679, now's a good time.
Finally, the publications we've highlighted this month span a wide range of subjects, from an excellent guide to recording Rights of Way before we lose a lot of them, to a report on London's transport system. And there's much more as usual, so do read on.
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Rights of Way: Restoring the Record
Sarah Bucks and Phil Wadey
Although we already have some 32,000 km of bridleways and byways in England & Wales available for recreational or utility cycling, the network is potentially much, much larger.
However, unless we do something about it, off-road cyclists could lose out on the chance to convert all these fragments into a coherent network of usable circular rides - which is where this book comes in. It carefully explains how to use evidence to prove or disprove the existence of public rights of way.
Read the full review by Colin Palmer, CTC's Offroad Adviser.
By Professor David Begg, sponsored by Siemens
A report concluding that, despite room for improvements, London’s transport system is world class. The author stresses the importance of future funding, however, and includes a critical assessment of cycling noting that despite rapid growth, it still only accounts for 2% of journeys and a high level of casualties. Uses data gathered from a survey of 3,500 London transport professionals.
Department for Communities and Local Government
A report that “outlines the problem that the government is trying to tackle, describes the work that has gone on over the past year, and sets out what will be done next.”
Unfortunately, one thing that the report says will be done next has disappointed Living Streets (who campaign for pedestrians) and CTC. The section ‘More powers for more parking’ hangs on to the belief that more car parking space in town centres attracts shoppers.
Living Streets’ Chief Executive Tony Armstrong said: “It beggars belief that as the Department of Health issues advice that the public should be more physically active and walking should be encouraged, that the DCLG is suggesting ways to make our streets more congested, more polluted and less attractive to walk in.”
Research has found that people on foot spend more than those arriving by car and that cyclists are significant high street spenders too. Traders tend to overestimate their customers’ use of cars and the distances they travel. Look out for CTC’s forthcoming briefing on cycling and the economy for more.
Living Streets report Making the Case (June 2011) explains the benefits of investing in walking.
Unsealed, Unclassified Roads: Their history, status and the effect of the Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act 2006
LARA (Land Access & Recreation Association)
Unsealed, unclassified roads (UCRs) are an extremely useful resource for off-road cyclists as they can be more usable than bridleways and byways because of their width - and they sometimes have some form of stone surfacing too. Read the full review by Colin Palmer, CTC's Off-road Adviser.
Always intriguing, but very expensive (£1,750, excl. tax), Mintel’s market research reports on bicycles make a valuable contribution to data on cycling. This report, for example, looks at:
- How is recent positive exposure impacting on cycling participation and frequency?
- What do buyers look for in a bicycle?
- What types of retailer are best-positioned to capitalise on anticipated market growth?
- Where is demand for electric bicycles likely to come from in the future?
Mintel’s press release explains further.
CTC's series of policy briefings is growing! It covers a wide range of topics from cycle-friendly employers to the principles of cycle-friendly design and planning. Each briefing sets out headline messages (for those in a hurry), CTC's formal views and key facts and arguments that look at the subject in depth.
The briefings are designed for anyone with a professional or voluntary interest in cycling. Do have a browse.