CycleDigest September 2013
From the editor
The 'Get Britain Cycling' report, published in April and informed by evidence from expert witnesses including CTC, was aired very positively in Parliament on 2 September.
Cycling has been debated in the House before, but this time it attracted more MPs than ever. What's more, they unanimously welcomed the report's recommendations, so political leadership has the momentum now, we hope, to make things better for cycling.
Political leadership is something that we'll never be ticking off our list, though. It - and enough funding to back it up - needs to keep going or we'll never meet the national target proposed by 'Get Britain Cycling' (the target, that is, that the Government says it would rather not have...).
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20 mph news
During the recent parliamentary debate on cycling (see 'Headlines'), Transport Minister Norman Baker announced that the roads policing lead for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO, England & Wales) has agreed to rewrite the Association’s guidance on the enforcement of 20 mph limits. All too often, the police seem reluctant to enforce these limits, so CTC awaits the revision with interest.
The City of London’s Court of Common Council has voted in favour of a 20 mph limit for all of its roads. The move is part of the Council’s Road Danger Reduction Plan and could reduce casualties by almost 10%. Lower speeds help create a more pleasant environment for walking and cycling, and all but one of the surrounding boroughs have already adopted a 20 mph limit.
Cyclist challenges FPN
The Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF) is supporting the case of a cyclist who was issued with a fixed penalty notice (FPN) for failing to stop at a red light, when all he was doing was positioning himself, for his own safety, in front of a car which had illegally occupied the advanced stop box. Over £2,000 has already been raised to help with the costs. See Rhia Weston's blog for more.
CDF is an independent charity set up in 2001 by CTC to fight significant legal cases involving cycling and cyclists. Since its inception, its remit has expanded to cover all aspects of cycling and the law.
Dangers of sat navs
At the end of August, two drivers were both sentenced in the same week for killing cyclists whilst distracted by their sat navs. One driver, who relied heavily on the device, ploughed through a crossroads after failing to notice a stop line; and the other effectively drove blind for 18 seconds whilst zooming in on her sat nav. For commentary on the sentences they were given and the need for more research on in-car distractions, see CTC news item.
CTC offers Oxford freshers free cycle training
"Would another point of transition for introducing cycling proficiency be when young people go to university, when they often get back on bikes having not been on them since they were young children?" asked Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood at the recent parliamentary debate on cycling (see Headlines).
CTC was listening and, at Oxford University Freshers' Fair in October, 25 students can sign up for free, high quality cycle training from expert CTC National Standard instructors on the city's streets.
This autumn, CTC will also be providing cycle training to students at Plymouth, Reading and Leeds universities.
Brentford businesses test out cargo bikes
Brentford Bikes is an innovative project aiming to increase the number of businesses in the area using cargo bikes to deliver goods and services. For a three-month pilot phase, three Christiania cargo bikes will be available to local businesses free of charge and also be used to deliver arts and cultural events throughout the borough. The bikes are being funded by CTC as part of a wider CycleLogistics European project.
Researchers to study later life cycling
A team of researchers from Oxford Brookes University is embarking on a £1.4m study to investigate ways in which people can be encouraged and helped to cycle in older age and the benefits it could bring to them. One of the planned outcomes will be a short video and toolkit for policy makers and practitioners on how the built environment and technology could be designed to support and encourage cycling in later life.
'Promoting Independent Cycling for Enhancing Later Life Experience and Social Synergy through Design' or 'PrICELESS Design' is a collaborative project also involving academics at the universities of Reading, West of England and Cardiff.