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CTC web chat - your questions answered

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CTC’s Chief Exec, Gordon Seabright, and other staff responded to your questions during a live web chat on 21 June. Questions were sent in through Twitter, Facebook and emails. Answers can be found below.

Thanks to all those who sent in questions. In some cases we've responded to you directly.

Among those answering your questions were:

  • Gordon Seabright - Chief Executive
  • Rob Fuller - Director of Cycling Development
  • John Storms - Membership Manager
  • Ian Richardson - North West, Wales and NI Regional Cycling Development Manager
  • Tejesh Mistry - London, East and Central Regional Cycling Development Manager
  • Chris Juden - Technical Officer
  • Chris Peck - Policy and Campaigns Coordinator
  • Laura Brooks - Volunteer Support Officer

We've divided up responses into a range of subject areas to help you navigate to your area of interest.

 

Campaigns & Policy Questions

Have you considered the safety of cyclists wearing music headphones? Do accident stats warrant legislation? (@Vicci)

While CTC would certainly not recommend wearing headphones while cycling, this does not appear to be a significant issue for involvement with crashes. Bear in mind that people who wear headphones while cycling may be more likely to take other risks as well; it is therefore very hard to establish causal links between a single behaviour and overall safety. Chris Peck, Policy Coordinator

How do we get the government (whichever one) to recognise the need to get the road surface and quality, currently almost as good as third world standard in parts, up to standard rather than investing in highly questionable brand new road projects (on PFI toll road disasters AKA M6 toll)? This disproportionately affects cyclists (though it does affect drivers too, the effects are less obvious). (David Wasley)

Better road surface quality is absolutely crucial to ensuring comfort and safety for cyclists and has been a priority of CTC’s since we started in the late 19th century, when cyclists first made the case for sealed roads. Our Fill that Hole campaign, set up in 2007, has helped fix tens of thousands of potholes by giving cyclists the opportunity to report directly to the local council.

You are right that poor road surfaces affect cyclists disproportionately. Unfortunately road maintenance expenditure is forecast to fall significantly over the next four years, which doesn’t bode well for our already crumbling road infrastructure. Part of the problem here is that politicians like to open shiny new infrastructure, whereas investing large sums to maintain or repair isn’t quite so interesting.

However, there are some glimmers of hope. CTC was recently on a Government review into potholes which has made many recommendations for how to invest diminishing funding more effectively – if implemented properly these changes would improve matters, but the deficit of funding, and the very degraded state of the whole road network, make this a very significant challenge. Chris Peck, Policy Coordinator

Dr C. ‏@ChesterCycling  #askCTC Will the CTC's new charitable status mean you will be advocating infrastructure based on overseas best practice?

Dr C – thanks for your question.  Our charitable status won’t make a difference to our policies on infrastructure – we already lobby to improve design standards using international best practice examples.  We were the joint author of the original UK design standards, “Cycle Friendly Infrastructure”, which followed the principles set out in Dutch guidance.  However, CTC local campaigners often find that design of facilities on the ground falls far short of what would be desirable, or even the standards in the official guidance. Since badly designed infrastructure can do more harm than good, we need to make sure that campaigners have the tools to enable them to negotiate improvements with Highway Authorities. We recently surveyed members and non-members to gauge their views on a set of principles and ideas for a revision to our policy on infrastructure. Have a look at http://www.ctc.org.uk/news/2012-05-22/what-does-ctcs-membership-think-ab...). Thanks again, Gordon Seabright

What action is HQ taking to make DfT understand the totally inadequate cycle/shared use paths being provided by so many local authorities? In this County we are reduced to collecting evidence against the certainty of some cyclist or pedestrian being injured. Lincolnshire County Council will not respond to letters and have not the slightest interest in CTC advice or in cycling. (Rodney Jelfs)

Poor design of cycle facilities is a perennial problem, and conversion of footways to cycle paths is about the worst approach highway authorities can adopt. Footways aren’t designed with the needs of cyclists in mind and may place cyclists in a more risky position than they might be on the road. Furthermore, the creation of low quality footway cycle tracks may lead to an erroneous expectation on cyclists to use them. CTC has brought these issues to Department for Transport’s attention, but Government has repeatedly refused to force local authorities to adopt proper standards.

CTC is awaiting the arrival of a new local campaigning tool which will allow examples of badly designed infrastructure to be recorded, rated and shared with others. This tool should help build a nationwide picture of the state of poor cycle infrastructure, aiding our discussions with the Department for Transport. Chris Peck

[Will] segregated cycle lanes increase pedestrian-cyclist collisions in busy pedestrian areas & induce safety complacency? Adam K

It slightly depends from whom they are segregated and the circumstances! Cycle lanes designed along the lines of those recently opened in Old Shoreham Road, Brighton, whereby a wide cycle lane is provided separated from the footway (except through narrower areas), are likely to be the best solution.

However, where space is more restricted and cyclists' speeds need to be kept low, shared use (ie, without a line or separate area) might be a better bet. Painting a cycle route through a busy pedestrian area is unlikely to be effective as it simply gives cyclists a sense of ownership of the space and will lead to conflicts. In general, however, CTC want to see pedestrian areas made more accessible to cyclists, preferably with signs clearly stating that pedestrians have priority. Chris Peck

Why do you insist that cycle lanes should be 2m wide, when it's clear that - with taming - it isn't necessary? Richard M

Cycle lanes should be designed to accommodate more than one cyclist at a time; a parent should be able to cycle next to their child, or two people should be able to cycle side by side. Dutch and Danish guidance both recommend at least 1.8m to ensure that two cyclists can pass each other safely. A MSc project, supported by CTC, found that drivers gave less room to cyclists in cycle lanes than in shared lanes. This suggests that lanes need to reserve extra space for cyclists, on the basis that drivers cannot be trusted to leave enough room. Lanes that are too narrow may mean drivers passing too close. CTC's policy on this subject is currently under revision, in the interim it can be found here: http://www.ctc.org.uk/campaigns/views/cycle-lanes-tracks-and-shared-use-... Chris Peck

Question via Twitter: widening pavements, narrowing roadways is putting cyclists at risk and annoying drivers. Will you campaign to stop this practice? (Blackfriars Bridge)

CTC's policy argues that extra space for both cyclists and pedestrians should be allocated from the road, not the other way around. While narrower road lanes can make cycling more hostile, lower speed limits and reduced traffic can reduce conflict. However, if this can't be done our preferred approach for Blackfriars Bridge would be high quality cycle facilities, as has been argued and campaigned for by thousands! Chris Peck

I am a cycling O A P and live in Eastbourne - we have a local cycling group called Bespoke who lobby the council to try to improve access and conditions for us cyclists. We need to have a cycle route on the promenade - the council run a dot to train up and down the prom but have notices showing £500 fines for cycling. Are CTC able to get involved? I'm happy to help. Mike King

This is a very hot topic at the moment, Roy Spilsbury, local CTC campaigner in Wales has, after 5 years of campaigning, persuaded the local council to allow cycling on Llandudno Promenade. CTC are currently looking to support another campaign to overturn the outdated ban on Weymouth sea front. In recent years campaigners in both Worthing and Poole have succeeded in overturning restrictions on cycling on their promenades.  I will be in touch to put you in contact with your local representative and help support you campaign to gain access to the promenade, for now, here is a very useful CTC briefing on the subject. Laura Brooks

I would like to help to improve the cycling facilities in and around Gorleston, can advise if there are any long term plans for the area. Tony G, Gorleston

It is great that you would like to get involved with improving cycle facilities locally and we can help support you.  CTC have a local campaigns network with around 400 representatives nationwide who campaign locally for cyclists. I can link you in with your local representative who will help support you, and put you in touch with the relevant people. Or if you would like to become a representative too we can offer support through our large range of briefings which cover lots important topics as well as having the Policy and Campaigns team on hand to help! I will contact you to talk you through the role of a CTC local campaigner and put you in contact with the people you need to speak to locally to campaign for cycling facilities in your area. Laura Brooks

In a recent blog post former Chief Executive of 14 years Kevin Mayne confessed that he had never visited Amsterdam. Which other senior CTC staff have not visited the city within the country from which we have the most to learn? Those that have visited, do they think mass cycling for ordinary people has been achieved there by training and encouragement or by infrastructure? Grant

Grant – right now there are 9 of us sitting in the room answering questions as quickly as we can – a quick show of hands says 6 of us have been to Amsterdam.  I’m not sure what that tells you about the managers here!  Another straw poll says that our shared view on why mass cycling is so popular there is that it’s partly down to long habit – the Dutch never lost their habit of cycling – and partly due to the restrictions on motor traffic in the city.  That’s an oversimplification, of course, but it gives an idea of our view on the subject. Gordon

We have endless problems trying to get bikes on trains. What progress is / has been made on this? Reg B

Improving cycle-rail came out as the number one campaigning priority in the last membership survey, so we know it is a big issue for our members. One of the problems is that although rail travel (and, to a lesser extent, cycling) has boomed in the last few years, capacity for passengers has barely increased. Thus trains have become busier and train companies have started to clamp down on cycle carriage in repsonse, while the Department for Transport have forced train companies to sacrifice cycle space (and even luggage space) for more seats for passengers.

Another problem is the heterogeneous nature of cyclists, their needs, and the types of trains they wish to use. What is good for a commuter isn't always brilliant for long-distance tourers. Any policy needs to balance the needs of these different users. So, long distance trains (such as East Coast, Virgin or Cross Country) need to have adequate reservable space, while shorter distance commuter trains should have some reservable and lots of flexible space.

CTC has lobbied to ensure that procurement of new rolling stock has better provision for bikes. We objected to the Crossrail Act when it was passing through Parliament, arguing that bikes be permitted to be carried through the tunnels. Since then we've had discussions with those who will be running the trains and understand that bikes will be better provided for. Finally the new replacement rolling stock for the 'High Speed Train' fleet may be better than we had at first feared, but more pressure will be needed to ensure that reservation systems are better, and more flexible. Chris Peck

Re the one from Reg about bikes on trains: Reg – just one thing to add – we’re helping to judge cycle-rail facilities for some awards run by the train operating companies this autumn.  So, although I know there’s plenty to complain about, if you know any really good examples of facilities for carrying bikes on trains, or for bikes at stations, do let us know.  Gordon

I read on CTC’s website: “We are in talks with train operating companies to try and improve the situation.” Has there been any progress on this, and if not, shall we start a petition so that cyclists can register their discontent with the arrangements? Becky R

While many train companies are imposing partial bans (particularly around the weekend of the cycle road races on the 27/28th July) the worst company by far is Southern. They have agreed to reduce the restrictions slightly during the Olympics, but bikes will still not be permitted for the Brighton-London mainline route, particularly north of Gatwick, for much of the period between the 27th July and the 9th September, including the two week period between the Olympics and Paralympics. CTC has also been in correspondence with Caroline Lucas MP, who has raised the issue locally, but I am sure that a local petition or further letters to MPs in the area will assist. We will also keep our website on this subject up to date as the Olympics approach. Chris Peck

Closure of Horse Guard's Road in London which is forcing all cyclists into traffic chaos on Whitehall and Trafalgar Square. There is no alternative route marked and it's now a nightmare trying to get across London even before Olympics start. I think CTC could play a vital role in lobbying for safer routes during the Olympics. I've signed your petition but roads have been closed and don't know if cycling groups like yours have been contacted about implications for cyclist safety or advising us on best alternative routes as I could not find any safe alternative yesterday. Can CTC talk to Boris Johnson on this urgent issue. Anyone else frustrated about lack of alternative safe routes for cyclists during Olympics? Kathryn Bullock, London via Facebook

The local CTC campaigner has also commented that the closure of the Horse Guard road, by the Royal Parks has made it very difficult for cyclists; he uses this route regularly himself.  This route will be used for transporting set up equipment before and after the Olympics, so the road maybe closed until September, a while after the Olympics have finished! The local representative is keen to talk to you about this issue, so I will be in touch to give you his contact details. One positive thing is with the Olympic road closures, although motor traffic will be limited, cyclists may be able to continue to use some of these roads! We may see a lot more cyclists this summer! Laura Brooks

Is it law for motorists and cyclists to indicate their intentions, or just a courtesy thing. If more people indicated their intentions life would be a lot more easy and less dangerous, especially for cyclists. Terry W

It appears not, from the fact that wherever signalling is advised in the Highway Code, this is prefaced by 'should' rather than 'must'. Failure to follow advice in the Highway Code, even when it's merely advice, may nevertheless be taken as evidence of negligence in case of a collision. So it's a bit more than a courtesy thing. Chris Juden

What, if anything, is CTC doing about campaigning for presumed liability in the UK, which would bring us in line with most of Europe? Grahame C

Will you back Cavendish in his plea for the law to change to make motorists liable in accidents as in most of Europe? Bob M

Stronger presumption that motor traffic is liable in crashes with vulnerable road users would certainly be helpful. This can be achieved in two ways - through changes to statute, or through changes to guidance (such as the Highway Code) and consequently the evolution of case law. The Department for Transport and Ministry of Justice are presently set against the former route, so in the interim we believe the best approach is the second route. Cases such as Phethean-Hubble v Coles may be useful in developing this. Chris Peck​

The advice in the Highway Code to wear a cycle helmet has implications that result in accident compensation being reduced for some cyclists. Should this advice be reviewed? Should a caveat be added to to the Code indicating that accident compensation should not be reduced because the evidence is not certain that helmets actually provide a benefit? Colin C

We've not heard any cases where contributory negligence has been established against a bareheaded cyclist, with the sole exception of an incident involving a race on a closed circuit (where the Highway Code is irrelevant). The legal situation on this topic is discussed at length by Martin Porter QC.

You are correct that the advice in the Highway Code is a potential danger and we will be seeking to have it removed in the next revision. As you will remember, the previous Highway Code revision was hugely controversial and we have no doubt that another revision will be similarly fraught. Chris Peck

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Cycling Development Questions

Barry_McCarthy@BarryMcCarthyIE  - How can we get more teenagers cycling without having to go through schools which are often busy and unpenetrable places?

CTC Bike Club has proven to be very successful at accessing diverse groups of young people outside of school hours. See some examples of work with community organisations and charities - www.bikeclub.org.uk . Tejesh Mistry, Cycling Development Manager

Barry_McCarthy@BarryMcCarthyIE  - How can we encourage parents to develop more positive views of their children cycling to school?

We feel the best way is simply to get them on bikes with their children. They'll see how enjoyable and safe riding can be, especially in groups. Tejesh Mistry

D.J.Cook@Downfader - Any plans to give talks and lectures to kids, schools and colleges on safe cycling, and what CTC can offer them?

We often give presentations to young people but our method is to promote cycling activities. We are currently supporting young people to develop their road cycling skills through the deployment of Bikeability. Tejesh Mistry

Alongside Bike Club and Bikeabilty training we also offer the Go MTB program for those interested in doing more off-road. This program is the off-road version of Bikeabilty with four core areas skills, leadership, first aid and the outdoors. It's a progressive program that see's riders working through levels from 1-5 to complete the qualification learning a lot on the way. CTC are a delivery partner and working with Cycling Scotland to roll out a network of Go MTB Trainers across the UK. Ian Warby

I am in the Isle of Thanet, pretty flat and you would have though ideal for cycling, but the number seems quite low. My idea was to invite a similar organisation in the Netherlands to send over a party of regular cyclists - leisure and commuter, preferably - to ride around our three towns (Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate), on the sort of utilitarian bikes the Dutch like in towns - and talk to our locals about the advantages of cycling. This would be best done in the summer (excluding Folk Week in August) They might like to comment on the sort of road facilities common in most towns in the Netherlands, and contrast it with what we have here. We have a new local Council who at last are determined to take action about the area, and they might well be interested. BBC and local papers could be got on board. Possible? R.L Symonds

It’s a great idea and certainly worth a try. We’re not aware of too many other examples of this approach but one excellent one is the Beauty and the Bike project run by Darlington Media Group as part of the their Cycling Town project. This programme examined the reasons why teenage girls in England stop cycling whilst their counterparts in cycle friendly countries carry on riding into adulthood. An exchange programme was set up over the course from a year with a group of girls from Darlington and a similar group from Bremen, Germany visiting each others' towns and experiencing the cycling conditions. At the end of the year, the English group had acquired a new found love of cycling and real desire to change condition in Darlington!

To kick things off you could try contacting Fietsersbond, the main Dutch cycle campaigning body and the European Cycling Federation who will be able to promote your idea and identify groups to take part. Good luck! Rob Fuller, Development Director

Barry_McCarthy@BarryMcCarthyIE : How can we get more teenagers cycling without having to go through schools which are often busy and impenetrable places?

CTC have been responsible for the design and build of a range of urban cycling trails (Mountain Bike and BMX Pumptracks, Trails and Skills Parks) known as Pocket Parks. These are a great way to engage teenagers in cycling and CTC have also been commissioned to design and build a number of trails on school grounds.

As you can imagine these facilities are very popular both during school time and a great resource for clubs and groups running cycling activities at the school outside of school hours. We've seen an increase in teenagers cycling as a result of the Pocket Parks and we continue to work with a range of partners across the UK to build more. It would be great to see a Pocket Park network across the UK and we are sure that would lead to a big increase in recreational cycling use by riders of all ages and abilities. Ian Warby, CTC MTB Senior Support Officer

How about film as a medium to promote cycling a day in a Dutch cyclist's life. happy to offer to produce. Rob G

Hi Rob, interesting idea! You may recall the highly successful Cycle Hero film we made a few years which can still be seen on You Tube

See video

. Was this the kind of things you are thinking of? Rob Fuller, Cycling Development Manager

Shouldn't all children be trained to ride at school? (CNewman)

Yes, by training young people at an early age they will have better awareness, confidence and skills to be able to ride a bike throughout their lives. Training would also give them wider awareness of other road users and ensure there aren't gaps in the provision of the Bikeability cycle training that currently exist. As this is not currently mandatory training we have tried to fill some of those gaps in access to training through the Bikeability by Bike Club programme that reaches youth groups out of school hours. Tejesh Mistry (Cycling Development Manager)

When does the new bike shop open at Dalby Forest? (Lynne)
 The Dalby Bike Barn is already open and the CTC led rides and events will be available from the end of July onwards. Ian Richardson (Cycling Development Manager)

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Technical questions

I use a rear view mirror on my cycle and use it as I would when driving a car to see behind me.  In fact I have a picture of my cycle with a rear view mirror fitted, it was home made,  in 1954. I had two mirrors on my m/c before they were required by law.

Glancing over shoulder is all very well but while doing that things can change in front and often one gives a little wobble  - bad news. The response I get when I mention it to macco cyclists is worse than mentioning a helmet which, after four weeks in hospital when I was fifteen, Now I always wear a helmet. I would not wish the above two must haves to be a legal requirement but good publicity would be a good vehicle to encourage people to use them. Armagill

Sure, mirrors are useful (I have one on my commuting bike) and CTC policy is not steered by the macho cycling attitudes you refer to. But glancing over a shoulder is also a good idea – if you can do that without wobbling. Chris Juden, Technical Officer

Can the CTC do anything to support the growth and development of the British cycling industry including component manufacture? Alexander Johnston

Probably not. Where a good UK product exists I can, and do, recommend it to our members, but so long as government regards it as a "humdrum industry" (thank you Vince Cable) the opportunities for a cyclist to buy British seem unlikely to increase.

One small area where I'm helping right now is in response to the Red Tape Challenge, putting the case for a simplification of the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations. One nice result of that would be that the few lamps that ARE made in Britain these days, might actually be 'approved' for use on our roads! (Unapproved lamps may nevertheless be used - in addition to approved ones - that are now like hens' teeth.) Chris Juden

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Membership and events questions

Is the CTC vulnerable? If someone joins for the 3rd party insurance then it would be much cheaper for them to be part of BC.  If someone joins for the MG rides then they could do free rides with SKY.  Legal advice/representation is available directly from RJW.  Discounts at bike shops - most shops don't ask to see a CTC card or make discounts available to other clubs too.  Magazine - loved by some, immediately recycled by others.  Campaigning seems very much to focus on high level issues and ignores the grass roots concerns that directly impinge on the average member's day to day life (of course we do have the RTRs for this but they do seem to feel like second class citizens in the CTC's campaigning strategy). So the questions are: what is the CTC going to do to offer better value for money and 'member' benefits, and to safeguard its own future?  Why should I bother renewing next year when I can get everything (of value to me) that the CTC offers for less than half the price elsewhere? Simon D

I’ll answer on these three areas, Rides, Legal and Campaigning. For local rides, we have a well established network of simple groups and rides that are supported by CTC. In the case of other organizations we can already see there are major differences like online pre registration and salaried employees running rides. Our legal cover is best in class for cycling specific cases. CTC will take a case on a members’ behalf as well as 100% of the risk financially (solicitors fees, court costs for both parties) should you lose your case. If you did this yourself and lost, you would be out of pocket for all of everything. We are happy to say we have been campaigning for over 100 years, with many wins both locally and nationally. We have a dedicated team at National Office and local CTC members while the other organization only started campaigning this year. John Storms, Membership Manager

Why is it that there are never any CTC events in north east England? There are not even weekly rides here, despite the area having some of the most scenic roads in the UK. Les  R

Durham has a relatively small (252) number of CTC members. The nearest CTC member group is Bishop Auckland CTC and currently there are a few CTC affiliated local clubs that may be a good source for rides and events: Beamish Odd Sox and Bede & Byron Cycling Club. There are also a CTC North East region cycling development manager and CTC cycling development officers that can tell you more about what is going on in your area. Contact us at cycling@ctc.org.uk to get in touch with them. Chris Juden

May I ask the Chief Executive to comment on whether he is familiar with the support that CTC used to offer cycle tourist members? Clearly these services are no longer available from the Club, but I am interested to know whether he recognises that there is still a demand. Would he support the idea of a separate organisation, either within or outside the CTC to provide such a function? Mike Waite (South Bucks)  

Mike – thanks for your question.   I spoke to one of our longest serving members of staff to get his thoughts.  You’re right, a number of the services we used to offer to tourists are no longer available; I understand that this is because they were less in demand over time.  The Camping Carnet is one that was mentioned to me.  But we should be offering the services that cycling tourists want now, and I certainly don’t think a separate organisation is needed!

With this in mind I’d be grateful for views from you and everyone reading this about what services touring cyclists would find most useful.  I’m at the York Show on Saturday and I’ll take the chance to ask for ideas.  Providing services for members will be an important part of the new strategy (we’re working on it now) so advice would be really helpful. Gordon

D.J. Cook ‏@Downfader #askCTC now you're a charity, will you be advertising in any capacity in national newspapers like oxfam and co have?

DJ – thanks.  Being a charity won’t make a difference to where we advertise.  We don’t generally use the nationals for any of our advertising (eg for membership or recruitment) – partly because they’re so expensive (big charities like the National Trust can often negotiate cut price deals, but that’s harder for us) and partly because they reach such a wide audience – it’s more cost-effective for us to aim our messages at cyclists via the specialist media. Gordon

Following the recent change of the CTC's aims to become a charity, rather than an organisation run for its members,  what actions will the CTC take to retain its members - most of whom joined a members' organisation rather than a charity?  In short, how will CTC continue to provide value to its members? Simon L

Simon - thanks for your question.  Retaining our members, and encouraging more cyclists to join us, is probably the most important challenge facing us.  Becoming a charity doesn't affect this - I used to work for the RHS, so I know that there's no conflict between working as a charity and providing value to members.  The National Trust is another example.

Happily we're still growing (right now we have around 69,500 members, the most in our history) but there are 26 million cyclists in the UK, so we have no reason to be complacent!  Members join and stay for a mix of reasons, some emotional and some practical, so there are a number of things we need to do to make sure we're providing value - right now we're working to strengthen our support for local campaigning, checking the value of the insurance product and improving the website, for example.  I'm always keen to hear ideas about what members would like to see us doing, so please let me know if there's anything specific you have in mind. Gordon

Question from Downfader via Twitter: Any plans on getting celebrity endorsement, spokesmen/women?  Dave Gorman and co ride bikes and it’s working for British Cycling.

Downfader – the short answer is “yes” You’re right, having celebrity supporters can be helpful when you want to get noticed by the media. Gordon

It feels like there are a growing number of cyclists organisations - LCC, British Cycling etc. Do you collaborate? Rob O

Rob - we certainly do, especially on campaigning and trying to influence government policy.  All the major cycling organisations have been working together to support and inform the current campaign by The Times (Cities Fit For Cycling) - we suggested getting cyclists themselves to highlight the junctions in greatest need of improvement, and we hope to see results from that in the near future.  And we also work together through the government's  National Cycling Forum - although we don't all have identical views, of course, it's important that we try to work together if we're going to make an impression on ministers. Carol McKinley

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Insurance questions

Historically a number of the local cycling clubs in our area have affiliated to CTC. Primarily to take advantage of the insurance cover provided. Having said that, CTC is now in competition with British Cycling who promote the availability of insurance as a benefit of membership. And there have been problems in the past with the operation of the CTC affiliation arrangements most recently with the non launch of the ctcclubs website. What can I say to our local clubs to encourage them to affiliate to CTC, which I am sure we would all want them to do. Reid A

There are differences between the 3rd party insurance and legal support packages offered by B.C. and CTC. Some of these are member on member claims and claims versus a bike manufacturer. For affiliated clubs we can set up a web page for individuals to join and takes just a few hours to build. If this is of interest, then the club secretary should contact membership services, membership@ctc.org.uk or 0844 736 8455. John Storms – Membership Manager

Is it true the CTC insurance cover is void if an incident takes place away from a right of way for bicycles ? Simon B

Specific insurance questions have to be answered by an FSA certified insurance seller / provider. If you were riding your bike in a location where you aren’t supposed to, then I would think you are at risk. Best bet is to call the insurance provider directly: 08447 64 64 64.  -John Storms – Membership Manager

Hi again Simon, our 3rd party insurance is the best in the market place. For specific case insurance questions, only an FSA certified insurance seller can answer your question. We review the 3rd party insurance annually, partially based on recent feedback from CTC members. For a more in depth discussion on rights of way, best bet is to call the membership information team after the web chat, 0844 736 8450. John Storms – Membership Manager

As a 'foreign' member here in Canada the insurance benefit is clearly seen as a significant CTC membership benefit, yet it is not available to me.  I can speculate on the possible reasons, but could you explain please? Graham K

CTC reviews our insurance products annually and takes into consideration questions and feed back received from CTC members throughout the year. Overseas related queries as it stands are about 5 per year. The third party insurance is the same policy for every member, should we want to have it changed, it changes for all 68,000 policies. John Storms, Membership Manager

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