Thursday, 4 March 2010

Cycle Strategy

It is a while since I posted on the blog. this is due mainly to being rather immobilized by a damaged tendon in my foot - I turned the foot on an edge and have undergone x-rays and other investigations.  it improved and then suddenly flared up again. 
So not able to really get about and take the photos i wanted to include in the reports.
So a truncated couple of items, with I hope photos to follow.

Local transport Plan for Warwickshire 2011
All local Authorities in England are at present compiling a Local transport plan and part of this is the Cycling Strategy. In the past these were re-written every 5 years but this one is intended to last for 15!
Whilst the objectives set out at the beginning seem very positive;

"to bring about an increase in the amount of utility and recreational cycling in warwickshire by improving the safety and quality of the cycling environment and promoting cycling as a healthy, sustainable and attractive transport choice"

Worthy words but hardly supported by the action plan which states such things as -

Develop dedicated cycle infrastructure on key links to town centres, employment sites, educational establishments and public transport interchanges in the following towns (see cycle network plans and area strategies for priority routes):
Leamington Spa / Warwick / Kenilworth
Nuneaton / Bedworth
These are seen as short term.

The actual Action Plan is abysmal with the majority being short to medium term with no real vision. Remember  this will form the basis for all action on cycle infra structure for the next 15 years.

No real vision, no focussed ideas and no numbers to enable measurements of any success.
With such weak vision there seems little hope that we will move to catch up on Assen at any time in the next 15 years.
Compare these proposals with those produced each 10 years in the Netherlands see david Henshaws blog for details on past 10 year plans.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Women want cycle paths

An interesting story about a petition which was handed into the transport minister here in the UK signed by 9000 women.
The Motion for Women was launched in September in response to research from sustainable transport charity Sustrans that showed 79 percent of women in Britain never cycle.
'Not feeling safe' was the most common reason for not cycling cited in the Sustrans survey, with a majority believing that more segregated cycle lanes are needed.
Many womens organisations were consulted including  the charity Mind, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, the Townswomen’s Guilds and Women in Rural Enterprise.

What is really concerning are the responses on the Bikemagic site, most I assume from experienced cyclists. They range from "Personally I don't think cycle lanes are the answer.

Cycle lanes do nothing to address the problem of wreckless, irresponsible drivers, or cyclists who don't concentrate or improve their bike skills. In fact once we are all shoved into a cycling lane they think that is problem solved ignoring the fact that - people park in them, they get full of rubbish, cars drive in them anyway, lull cyclists into a false sense of security etc etc. By the way I am a woman cyclist."
Through "It's not about the roads - personally I'd prefer they sort out potholes than provide cycle lanes - but about how to deal with riding in traffic"
To "cyclelanes in my experiance actually make things worse! "
What chance do we have to improve the facilities when cyclists themselves are so against them? You don't hear motorists saying they don't want roads!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Snow and more snow!

Happy New Yera - it has been a while since I posted as the festive season took over! we were spared the initial snow falls in leamington but had a lot of ice. then the snow came and it is still here.
for those of you who follow David Hembrow - - you will know he has dealt extensively with how they deal with snow in the Netherlands, cleared cycle paths and carry on cycling.
well it is a different story here, the roads get cleared, at least the amin ones. but paths and cycle routes are not cleared at all.
Here are some photos taken yesterday of some tracks in leamington:

Yes there is a path under there somewhere, a tarmac shared use that is part of the National Cycle Network route 41.

this is the path that leads up to the previous photo via the swimming pool and Gym.

i must confess to not having ridden this week as it is just too hazardous, even if the roads are clear the gutters aren't so road width is much reduced and being sprayed with slush is no fun. the off road bits are generally so slippy that especially on small wheels - i ride a Moulton - they are also very difficult. So as I have no reason to go anywhere, I am retired, I have walked to shops and any other places i have needed to go.