Investing in cycling nationally

The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) held its latest inquiry into England’s first Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) earlier this week as Cycling UK’s #morethanmilk action scored a result with over 50 MPs writing a letter to The Times backing Cycling UK’s five key asks.

Government funding for cycling is set to fall to 72p per head (the equivalent of just two pints of milk) for residents in England outside of London by 2020/21, compared to funding of £86 per head for motorways and major roads (equivalent to a magnum of champagne per person!). Since the launch of #morethanmilk over 1,800 emails have been sent to MPs in England, asking them to support a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP. One of Cycling UK’s members wrote: “We used to ride on the left of the road. Now we ride on what’s left of the road.”

Cycling utopia?

Could Britain be brave enough to commit to a fundamental rethink of its transport policy? 
Drastically reduce pollution, road deaths, get people more active and healthy, reduce the burden on the NHS and make our island a more pleasant place to be?

Not too much to ask is it?

Removing centre lines on roads

Just as happened recently at Corbridge, white lines are being removed from busy roads in various parts of the country as a measure to slow down motorists and make it more likely to expect to see cyclists in advisory cycle lanes (ACL)  i.e. a lane with a minimum width of 1.5 m with dashed white lines which vehicles can straddle when not occupied by cyclists. Highway officers say blank roads introduce a sense of uncertainty that encourages motorists to drive more cautiously especially when faced with oncoming traffic.
Listen to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03hdgwx which is an extract from the a recent Today programme to hear Tracey Jessop, Assistant Director for Highways and Transportation at Norfolk County Council where the concept is being trialled. Edmund King, President of the AA then confuses the issue by talking about a cruise control feature optionally used by autonomous cars on motorways in the future which are satellite-directed and tries to link them to ACLs.
Lets hope this timely media coverage which supports the Corbridge change will helps educate Corbridge drivers.

National Walking and Cycling Strategy

The Government published its mission statement for the forthcoming Cycling and Walking Strategy (CWIS) on the 17th December, the last day of Parliamentary business in 2015. However, CTC, the national cycling charity, believe there is a “yawning chasm” between the Department for Transport’s admirable aims and the funding available following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Rail franchise – policy on cycles

Here is a link to the DfT announcement of the intention to award contracts to Arriva Trains North and First Transpennine:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/massive-boost-to-rail-services-brings-northern-powerhouse-to-life

Neither this nor the related statements issued this morning mention improvements to provision for cycle users or continued consultation with them. The Secretariat is seeking further information, in particular on what promises may have been made in the Arriva bid concerning provision for cycle users or dialogue with them. Watch this space for more info when it becomes available.

Making cycling safer east of Corbridge

After several years of campaigning for the centre line to be removed on the B6530 (the road immediately east of Corbridge) and Advisory Cycling Lanes to be installed, its fabulous to see this has been done! A HUGE well done to NCC Highways for doing this. Hopefully, the drivers who have increasingly parked on the side of this road to further narrow the carriageway and make this vital cycle link an unhappy experience, will start to use the free parking on the south side of the bridge and actually walk back across it. Lets hope this 860 meters of safer cycling is just the start and Hexham Tyne Bridge and Ferry Road will follow very soon with others to follow.

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