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Archive for the ‘Cycling Scotland’ Category

New Spokes Map

Posted by chdot on June 15, 2010

Should be available in your local bike/book shop.

Or on-line (post free).

Posted in Active Travel, Bike Week, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, cycle parking, cyclestreets.net, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Maps, openstreetmap, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, Safe Routes to School, Spokes, Spokes maps, Sustrans, walking | 1 Comment »

MAJOR New Report on “Active Travel”

Posted by chdot on March 26, 2010

The Scottish Parliament Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee has just reported on its “Inquiry into Active Travel”. (Call for submissions)

A wide range of organisations and individuals contributed evidence. The report calls on the Scottish Government to act in many areas and explicitly says that without significant action (and money) there is no change of the SG’s target of 10% of journeys by bike by 2020 being remotely possible.

Benefits of investment in active travel

191. Alex Macaulay of SEStran expressed the view that “the capital cost of providing for good-quality active travel is relatively modest compared to other major transport investment.” He went on to say that “…it seems to me to be a no-brainer that in times when money is tight we should put it where we will get a bigger bang for our buck.”

The concluding sentence in the report is – “Stronger, more effective and sustained leadership is required from the Scottish Government in order to implement improvements to walking and cycling policies in Scotland.”

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/ticc/reports-10/trr10-04.htm

Will Scottish Ministers – for Finance, Transport, Health, Education etc. actually sit down together to discuss this document?

Will Alex Salmond ever ride a bike?

Posted in Active Travel, bike shops, Bike Week, Bikes on trains, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, critical mass, Curriculum for Excellence, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training, cyclestreets.net, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, Safe Routes to School, Spokes, Sustrans, walking | Leave a Comment »

Cycle Training – any chance of progress?

Posted by chdot on March 10, 2010

Tomorrow Meadows/Morningside councillor Alison Johnstone is set to ask supplementary questions to follow up on the answers she has received to recent questions.

QUESTION NO 14 By Councillor Johnstone to be answered by the Convener of the Education, Children and Families Committee at a meeting of the Council on 11 March 2010
Question (1) How many children in P6 and P7 in City of Edinburgh primary schools are currently receiving cycle training?  Please provide the response in actual pupil numbers, and as a percentage of all P6/7 pupils.
Answer (1) 1,113 P6/P7 pupils received cycle training in 2008-9.  This is 16.2% of the total number of P6 and P7 pupils.
Question (2) Does the City of Edinburgh Council have a target number of pupils it aims to deliver cycle training to and a date by which it aims to reach this target?
Answer (2) The City of Edinburgh Council does not have a target number of pupils for cycle training, neither is there a national target.  Each school decides whether or not to offer cycle training, taking account of safety issues and costs for parents.

16.2% really is pretty unimpressive in the City that aspires to have 15% of all journeys by bike by 2020.

Some of the 90 pupils trained at
Sciennes Primary last year

Of course that initiative is from City Development, Cycle Training is the responsibility of  Children and Families.

The answers above show that the responsibility has been shifted onto individual Head Teachers. South Morningside Primary in Ms. Johnstone’s ward is one of the few schools in Edinburgh that makes sure that (almost) all pupils do CT in school time.

Overall responsibility for CT in Scotland is held by Road Safety Scotland. “Road Safety Scotland started its existence as the Scottish Road Safety Campaign and was founded in 1985. It is funded by the Scottish Government and its remit is to develop and co-ordinate Scotland-wide road safety initiatives and campaigns. Road Safety Scotland works closely with all local authority and police Road Safety Units in an attempt to ensure a co-ordinated approach to road safety in Scotland.

RSS develops and provides the resources for a range of road safety initiatives including the Scottish Cycle Training Scheme. In turn these are made available to all local authorities. In Edinburgh they are handled by the Active Schools Co-ordinators. Funding for the posts comes from sportscotland. Cycle Training is only a small part of their activity/sport responsibilities. In general they don’t deliver CT but train volunteers – if schools are motivated to ask for, and able to find, suitable volunteers – usually parents.

So it’s perhaps surprising that as many as 16.2% of Edinburgh’s primary school children get the chance to learn some basic road sense and cycling skills.

It’s all a bit random and not a suitable system in a City and Country that want people (especially children) to be more active and also walk and cycle more. Many of today’s parents don’t cycle, so it’s not really surprising that schools find it hard to find volunteers.

Will Edinburgh’s Councillors show some leadership tomorrow?

Posted in Active Travel, Bike Week, City of Edinburgh Council, commuting, Core Path Network, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, HEALTH, Maps, paths, Physical Activity and Health, Safe Routes to School, Safety, TryCycling, walking | 3 Comments »

Another Report

Posted by chdot on February 23, 2010

Yesterday the Department for Transport launched its Active Travel Strategy (along with the Department of Health – under the Change4Life ‘brand’). The 64 page document is full of good stuff – current activities and future aims.

Though the CTC’s Campaigns and Policy Director Roger Geffen has already said: “The Active Travel Strategy is a supportive statement of warm words about cycling. Unfortunately, it cannot deliver the massive step-change in cycle use that it recommends alone. CTC wants government departments to tell us what they are going to do and spend to make this happen. To tackle obesity, climate change and congested roads we need more than a homily to the humble bike; we need an action plan with pound signs attached.” (Press release)

Generally DfT proposals like this don’t apply to Scotland, so it’s good to see the following -

1.16 Although this is a strategy for England, we are working closely with the devolved administrations to ensure that we can share best practice and promote measures that support our shared objectives.

Below are some other edited highlights.

Our vision for active travel

1.1 Cycling and walking are great for health and accessibility, and when replacing journeys by car they can also reduce congestion and emissions. We want to see more people cycling and walking more often and more safely. With about two-thirds of the journeys we make under five miles, we believe walking and cycling should be an everyday way of getting around.

1.2 We have, however, amongst the lowest levels of cycling and walking in Europe. We need to turn that around, so that we can reap the benefits which other countries have achieved through active travel for individuals, business and the wider economy.

The National Cycle Plan: the Decade of Cycling

So why is the Netherlands so different from England?

1.12 Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not the weather – annual rainfall in Amsterdam is higher than it is in Manchester, and it’s colder in winter. The answer is more that central and local government in the Netherlands have consistently integrated cycling into transport and planning decisions for decades to create an environment and culture where cycling is the natural choice for many journeys.

1.13 For decades, like the UK, cycling levels in the Netherlands were declining as car use grew. In response to the oil crises of the 1970s, amongst other things, the Netherlands took a conscious decision to develop planning and transport policies that favoured cycling over the car. Since then cycling has remained at the heart of planning and transport policies.

1.14 The Netherlands is not, however, an isolated example. Around the world, major cities are waking up to the potential of walking and cycling. In Copenhagen 36% of trips to work or school are cycled and by 2015 they aim to increase this to 50%. Paris launched its innovative and popular Velib cycle-hire scheme in 2007. London is following suit with its own scheme in Summer 2010, and is planning a network of cycle superhighways. And elsewhere in the UK places as diverse as Cambridge and Hull have successfully reached or maintained high cycling levels.

1.15 Even in the USA, where for so long the car has been perceived as king, the New York Department of Transportation has recently completed a three- year programme of cycling measures that added 200 miles of bike lanes and seen a 45% increase in commuting by bike, while the ‘Plaza Programme’ has enabled not-for-profit organisations to apply to re-claim streets that are underused by vehicles to turn them into vibrant pedestrian plazas.

Safety

2.10 Our roads are now among the safest in the world, but cyclists and pedestrians remain particularly vulnerable road users. Aside from the effect that casualties have on individuals and their families, pedestrian and cyclist casualties are a significant burden on local health services. Furthermore, safety concerns are often cited as a reason why people do not cycle or, for example, allow children to walk to school meaning that they are missing the opportunity to do more physical activity and improve their health.

5.2 DfT already provides over £1.3bn capital funding per year for small-scale transport improvement and maintenance programmes – alongside Formula Grant from Dept of Communities and Local Government – but historically local authorities have chosen to spend relatively little of this on supporting active travel. Where investment has been made, too often this has been in a piecemeal fashion rather than integrated effectively into a wider sustainable transport plan and co-ordinated with health and social objectives. This means that we are not realising the full potential of active travel to reduce local area carbon emissions and help the UK meet its climate change targets.

5.3 In an increasingly budget-constrained world, Local authorities will have to do more with less, focusing on low-cost, high value measures that can support a number of objectives. With new Local Area Agreements and Local Transport Plans due to start in April 2011, the latter looking as far as 25 years ahead, there is an unmissable opportunity for health and transport professionals to work together to make sure cycling and walking are a core part of their area’s plans.

Getting the built environment right

“We need to remember that however people reach town centres, the main purpose of their journey – shopping, meeting friends, sightseeing – is actually achieved on foot. Yet too many of our streets and urban spaces have been given over to road traffic, at the expense of pedestrians and deliveries and we need to restore the balance for town centres to prosper.”

Getting Into Town: A guide for improving town centre accessibility.

British Retail Consortium

5.11 Cycle and pedestrian facilities are a cost effective way of meeting sustainable travel and accessibility objectives of new developments, and should be a priority for local planning authorities when considering agreements with developers. Engagement between planners and developers at an early stage will make it easier and more cost

5.14 Many towns and cities – for example Oxford and Portsmouth – have already introduced 20mph speed limits across residential streets. DfT has committed to revising its guidance to local authorities to encourage them to introduce over time 20 mph limits or zones into their streets which are of a primarily residential nature and in streets where pedestrian flows are particularly high, such as around shops or schools where they are not part of any major through route. Our ambition is to see local authorities introduce 20mph zones and limits into more residential streets.

Actually Edinburgh has been quite good at this, the challenge now is to extend the speed limit to some (all?) ‘main’ roads that are also shopping streets. The fact that many are also tenemented clearly means that they are “residential” but the longstanding perception is that they are “roads” and the free flow of (motor) traffic is the most important thing.

5.24 High quality training in how to walk and cycle safely puts people at less risk on our roads than those who have not had such training. Kerbcraft improves children’s skills and confidence when crossing roads, and Bikeability gives them the skills and confidence to use the road safely on foot and by bike. Local authorities should make training a core part of promoting safe, active travel.”

That last sentence is most welcome to anyone who has tried to get cycling training taken more seriously by the Council in Edinburgh.

At present the official line is to “ensure the Scottish Cycle Training Scheme resources and practical training is promoted in every school, particularly in areas of deprivation and promote adult cycle training city-wide.

But “promoted” is not enough. It has to be DELIVERED in every school. It needs to be in school time and for all pupils. At present only three Edinburgh primaries do all in pupils in a year group (P6 or P7) in school time – as part of the curriculum. This could change with the  Curriculum for Excellence – “Sorry, no results were found for “cycle training” in Curriculum for Excellence.”

Posted in Active Travel, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Curriculum for Excellence, cycle parking, cycle training, cyclestreets.net, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, DfT, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, HEALTH, Maps, openstreetmap, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Sustrans, TryCycling, walking | 2 Comments »

Snow on the Tracks (Help Please)

Posted by chdot on January 21, 2010


It’s nearly two weeks since the thaw set in, so it’s surprising/disappointing to find that there is hard-packed snow forming a slippery surface on a walk/cycle path that is a key link to a primary school.

But it’s not just ‘minor’ paths – even the mighty Innocent is untouched by council staff.

Over on CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum these and others are being recorded – do YOU have any to add? Photos a bonus but not essential.

Please also add paths that were untreated, even if snow has now melted.

Posted in Active Travel, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, cyclestreets.net, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, HEALTH, Maps, openstreetmap, paths, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Spokes maps, TryCycling, walking | Leave a Comment »

Scotland Years Ahead of Denmark!

Posted by chdot on January 13, 2010

Photo by [Zakka / Mikael]

Can’t be often you read that, especially when it relates to cycling! The fact remains that the £3 bike charge on ScotRail was abolished in 1998 to coincide with greatly improved cycle capacity on most routes. (Bikes still have to be booked on some long distance routes.)

“Danish State Railways [DSB] will allow bicycles to travel free on the red S-trains that serve Greater Copenhagen and suburbs. It is a test period that starts this Friday and that will last for the rest of the year. DSB hope to make everyday journeys easier for Copenhageners and encourage more people to use their bicycle.” (Story from copenhagenize.com.)

Wouldn’t it be nice if trains in the UK marked the bike spaces so well! (And had more of it – though Scotland is generally much better than other parts.)

Meanwhile in California bikes go free too – but there’s room for more of them.

Photo richardmasoner

Posted in Active Travel, Bikes on trains, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, EducatedTravel, holidays, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health | 2 Comments »

Councillors Rejected Gritting Plan

Posted by chdot on January 13, 2010


In November officials in the Council’s City Development Department submitted proposals to councillors that, if approved, would have meant that the city’s main cycle commuting (and leisure) routes would be added to the priority gritting list.

Purpose of report

1 To advise the Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee of the results of the review into increasing the scope of treatment to the roads and pavements in Edinburgh to include the main off-road cycle paths in the city and to advise of the potential cost of such treatment.”

Currently only Middle Meadow Walk is on any priority list – “Pavement Category 2″ which means being dealt with ‘when resources permit’ – in spite of being a major walk/cycle route with a continuous slope at the north end.

Councillors were told that “the additional cost of treatment would be between £ 70,000 -£100,000 for which there is no current budget provision.” Presumably this included some capital spending rather than just salt and labour(?)

Councillors, not supplied with crystal balls to predict the last few weeks, decided that this was too much money to find.

If you disagree – particularly if you have experienced dangerous paths due to ice or frozen ‘tramlines’, or had the experience of being forced into roadside slush by impatient motorists – you might like to contact the Chair of the TIEC Gordon Mackenzie and/or your local councillors.

Comments on CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum

Posted in Active Travel, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Spokes, Sustrans, technology, walking | 1 Comment »

What Should be Done with Princes Street?

Posted by chdot on December 14, 2009

Princes Street re-opened to bikes and buses two weeks ago. There have been quite a few cyclists grounded by encounters with the tram tracks. One early one was caught on video and sent to You Tube and resulted in Evening News and BBC stories.

Yesterday training was held on the section that is still coned off but there are still no warning signs or road markings to alert people to the dangers. One improvement would be a new Advance Stop Line at the junction with Waverley Bridge.

Discussion on CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum

Posted in Active Travel, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Core Path Network, cycle training, cyclestreets.net, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Lothian Buses, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, Safety, Spokes, Trams, What the papers say | 1 Comment »

YOU can help CycleStreets

Posted by chdot on December 12, 2009

CycleStreets is the premiere UK-wide Cycle Journey Planner. It got a boost last year when Edinburgh based ChangingPace (interest declared) got Scottish Government money to help create the Edinburgh version.

Cambridge based CycleStreets (created by people involved in the Cambridge Cycling Campaign) is looking for help -

Test routes in the Journey Planner

Add photos to the Photomap

Fundraising – donate / fundraise!

Contribute map data to OpenStreetMap

Become a feedback reviewer

Coding: join the coding team

Spread the word

That one is easy

Designer needed

Write us an iPhone app!

“We’d love to have an iPhone version of CycleStreets, but we don’t have the code expertise yet. Quite a tall order, we know, particularly as we don’t (currently) have funding!”

Discussion on CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum

UPDATE – Now an Evening News story

Posted in Active Travel, ChangingPace, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, cycle parking, cyclestreets.net, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Maps, openstreetmap, paths, Physical Activity and Health, Safe Routes to School, technology | Leave a Comment »

Ride Planet Earth on Sunday

Posted by chdot on December 3, 2009

Ahead of the Earth Summit in Copenhagen next week thousands, maybe millions, of cyclists will be riding to show their support for measures to combat the effects of Climate Change. (http://rideplanetearth.org)

In Edinburgh the normal monthly Spokes Ride is to be a RPE event. It sets off as usual from the Usher Hall at 10:00am. “We will be stopping for lunch at Out of the Blue in Dalmeny Street at 12:30 where we will be joined by longstanding Spokes memberMark Lazarowicz MP [Edinburgh North and Leith] who will give a very short speech about the climate negotiations, and accept a letter from Spokes to the Energy Secretary.  He will also join the remainder of the ride after lunch.”

Lunch will cost £6.50 and you must book lunch in advance (soup, sandwiches, tea, coffee, cake).   Book by emailing spokes@spokes.org.uk , or phone 0131 313 2114.”

More info.

Posted in Active Travel, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, Edinburgh, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, Spokes | Leave a Comment »

 
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