My day out in Bath as a Sustrans quality control technician…
With a to do list sagging under the strain of new documents landing on it, I did the sensible thing and allowed myself to be sidetracked by the latest Sustrans barrier design. Initially I was incredulous – hasn’t my (admittedly tiny) contribution to the sustainable transport charity’s barrier bureau been used to conjure up enough ways to disadvantage disabled bike users? Apparently not.
Well, aside from the beer, the chocolate and it hanging handily on the end of the high speed Eurostar line, Belgium, or at least the parts we visited, is a country in transition in terms of local transport. Add the fact that it’s home to both the European Parliament and the European Cyclists’ Federation and it’s no big surprise the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group should arrange a study tour to take in some of the best bike infra Belgium has to offer, along with some of the more challenging.
Following on from Part 2: Parking, pavements and potholes – dealing with the stuff you have little or no control over.
So, we’ve got our bike, our basket and our lock and we’re stood outside the shop/pub/café/jobcentre looking for the other half of the parking puzzle – a sheffield stand. Even in cycling nirvanas like Amsterdam and Copenhagen there aren’t always enough purpose made stands or suitable pieces of street furniture to go round, so for short term parking their answer is – take your own.
As part of the team working towards an inclusive cycling policy for London I gave a short presentation to the LCC Policy Forum this week. You’ll find the draft doc along with the other excellent presentations here.
This is what I remembered/meant/forgot to say.
Is there a connection between narrow, filtered permeability and the kind of imagery regularly used to represent cycling?
I’ve been looking for this since I saw it at the London Metropolitan Archives last year and some kind soul uploaded it to Youtube yesterday. It’s from 1984, 30 years ago…
Our Dave appeared to be promising us new cricket pitches for fracking this week – if we want them – but was far less generous with his announcement of cash for cycling. The nearest it gets to us is Oxford; precisely where OCC currently spends most of the county’s minuscule bike budget.
The new investment is being focussed, which is good, otherwise the (very approximately) £150 million over two years would be spread so thinly it wouldn’t stretch to an innertube each.
Bikes. Transport. Research. England. For the details check out the BBC report.
That’s bikes and transport. Not bikes and sport, or bikes and leisure, or bikes and recreation, or bikes and charity rides, but bikes with a place, and a space, in the transport network.
Just close your eyes for a moment and imagine sailing around Five Ways Roundabout in Witney, or anywhere else you might be trying to ride a bike, without having to mix with the cars, vans, busses, and lorries that are focussed on every other vehicle rather than you. Feeling relaxed? You can open them now.
What’s significant about this is that someone, somewhere, is taking responsibility for the safety of people on bikes. And it’s not just about bikes. Someone, somewhere, is also thinking about taking the stress out of driving around people on bikes.
Which is marvellous, because people can get on with riding their bikes without worrying about how dangerous it might be, or leave the house without worrying about crushing a loved one.
I wonder who’s responsible for the safety of people using bikes in Witney? They must be thrilled too.
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes of its face
The modern era of the bike
Continues on apace
Like the circles that you find
Riding rings around your mind
“I want more women cycling, more older people cycling, more black and minority ethnic Londoners cycling, more cyclists of all social backgrounds – without which truly mass participation can never come.”
Sweet words from London’s Mayor. Bravo Boris. Not.
Aw come on. What’s not to like?
Bike advocacy in the UK has been the perfect pastime for depressed optimists. A cycle of cresting waves of possibility constantly dashed against rocks of, meh, disinterest. A match made in a manic hell.
The Get Britain Cycling inquiry wrapped up yesterday – rather caught me out because I’d gotten used to the sessions being midweek! Anyway, let’s get back to that question raised a few weeks ago…
I think it was put by Sarah Wollaston MP and following through the letterbox of twitter I don’t recall anybody addressing the disabled aspect of it. With the benefit of some time to reflect on it, this is what I would have said given the opportunity…
During the first session of the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ inquiry on Wednesday the panel asked a question about getting some under represented groups in the cycling community out on their bikes, the disabled being one of them.
I have a whole other post lined up to address that question but coupled with a reminder about a chance encounter last year it drew a few other inclusive thoughts together. I’m not saying anything I haven’t said before, I’m just finding another way to say it because it continues to fall on deaf ears – every time I pick up a policy document or refer to some guidelines about cycling I see the same exclusive recommendations.
Cast your eye over Cycletopia for a minute. It’s a lovely, fun, graphical way to convey what a bike friendly world might look like. Click on the image to see it full size.
Tomorrow sees the beginning of the inquiry into ‘Get Britain Cycling’ and what could be a major step forward in turning dreams into reality. Campaign director Roger Geffen will be there presenting CTC’s evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group.