Archive for the ‘Bike Week’ 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 Edinburgh, cycle parking, Maps, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, citycycling, paths, commuting, cycling world, walking, Safe Routes to School, Bike Week, Sustrans, Spokes, EducatedTravel, Core Path Network, Spokes maps, Peak Oil, Climate Change, Active Travel, Cycling Scotland, Physical Activity and Health,, openstreetmap | 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.”

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,, 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 »

Government Relies on Spokes Statistics

Posted by chdot on August 5, 2009


UPDATE: A civil servant has suggested that the headline should say “Holyrood Relies on Spokes Statistics”. “Cycling in Scotland” is produced by the Scottish Parliament not the Scottish Government. It’s assumed that the report’s author looked for statistics from the SG first. It’s also assumed that the SG relies on the best available statistics. If there are better statistics than those compiled by Spokes, Spokes would be keen to have them.

SPICe, the Scottish Parliament Information Centre, has published a concise briefing document titled “Cycling in Scotland”. Many of the statistics quoted have come from Spokes (The Lothian  Cycle Campaign).

Not only does it indicate that Spokes’ surveys of spending on cycling in Scotland are regarded as comprehensive/accurate, it also suggests that no-one in Government is keeping their own tally!

The figures have been compiled for many years by Dave du Feu who has doggedly dealt with Local Authorities – collecting survey answers and compiling the results (and interpreting where necessary). Most Scottish LAs supply information. Getting details from the Government is more difficult.

As “Cycling in Scotland” indicates

Transport Scotland told SPOKES that it was impossible to disentangle the cycle element of trunk road expenditure, but later told Mike Pringle MSP that it amounted to £2m for financial year 2007-2008, so it is assumed that this amount is spent each year on cycle related projects”

This is a footnote from the detailed table produced by Spokes, but its inclusion in this briefing document is significant. As Spokes reports on its own web site “The Spice Research Briefings are intended as impartial documents to inform MSPs and others involved in the work of the Scottish Parliament. They are independent research publications for the entire Parliament, not decided by or controlled by the party which is in government.”

Overall “Cycling in Scotland” is useful background information for MSPs, campaigners and anyone interested in encouraging more people to cycle. Usefully it distinguishes between the two key areas of cycling as they relate to Government policies –

Cycling takes two main forms:

• a form of transport

• a sport, including track and road cycling, mountain biking, BMX, cycle speedway and cyclo-cross

and explains:

This short briefing focuses on cycling as a form of transport. It outlines the legislative and policy framework governing cycling, identifies key organisations and provides cycling related statistics. It goes on to look at sources of funding for cycling projects and the national cycle network.”

This is a useful division and highlights the convention that cycling is either ‘transport’ or ‘sport’. However it is likely that in future a third division will be necessary/desirable.

It is increasingly being recognised that exercise is necessary for good health – physical and mental. There’s a lot of discussion about diet and obesity. Chris Hoy is “Scotland’s first ambassador for mental health“. But money for ‘cycling’ largely comes from ‘transport’ or ‘sport’.

It is quite reasonable to encourage people to cycle to school, shops, work etc. and (as much as possible) record statistics for this, but it probably largely misses the people who cycle for a bit of exercise or to take their kids along a cycle path to the swing park – or just for the fun of cycling!

More importantly the emphasis on ‘transport’ and ‘sport’ perhaps makes it harder to get to people (statistically the majority) who hardly ever cycle – and get the funding to try to encourage them to cycle.

Cycling in Scotland highlights the CAPS (Cycle Action Plan Scotland) process. This is a comprehensive look at ways to increase cycling in Scotland. (YOU can contribute until the 20th of August.) This paragraph outlines some of the intentions

3. For people to have the confidence and the right information to make cycling a realistic choice for some journeys: Provide access to adult and child cycle training and cycle maintenance courses with well trained instructors. Promote the bike-to-work scheme and encourage employers and education providers to become cycle friendly. Produce cycle network maps and an online cycle journey planner.

“Cycling in Scotland” also manages to highlight Spokes’ concerns about funding and future commitment to funding.

Unusually, the CAPS consultation draft was launched without a Scottish Government press release or ministerial statement. Perhaps as a consequence of this, there has been almost no media interest or public comment by stakeholders. However, from what comment there has been it seems that the policy intentions of the consultation draft of CAPS have been welcomed, although concerns have been raised about whether they are backed by sufficient funding. For example Dave du Feu, lead organiser for SPOKES, has stated that “There’s good stuff in the action plan but if they’re not going to spend anything until 2011 – and even then there’s no guarantee that they will – I can’t see it making any difference” (The Herald 2009)

Perhaps the time has come to look beyond ‘transport’ or ‘sport’ for funding. Aren’t ‘health’ and ‘wellbeing’ the main responsibilities of the NHS?

Posted in Active Travel, Airdrie to Bathgate, Art, Bicycle Film Festival, bike security theft, bike shops, Bike Week, Bikes on trains, BikeStation, bikeweek, ChangingPace, Chris Hoy, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, Craigmillar Cycles, critical mass, CTC, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling on the Radio, Cycling on TV, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, ERC, European Moblity Week, Food, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, Glasgow, HEALTH, holidays, Maps, Meadowbank Velodrome, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Spokes, Sustrans, technology, TryCycling, walking, What the papers say | Leave a Comment »

“investment in walking and cycling is declining”

Posted by chdot on June 17, 2009

delivering climate change

That’s the sad, but very understandable, conclusion of Transform Scotland after reading the Scottish Government’s new Climate Change Delivery Plan.

Press release in full –

Responding to today’s launch of its Climate Change Delivery Plan, Transform Scotland have criticised the Scottish Government’s plans as being unambitious on transport.

Colin Howden, Director of Transform Scotland, said:

“Transport is the basket case of climate change policy. It is the second largest sector for emissions after heat, and it is the sector where things are still going in the wrong direction.

“The delivery plan does a good job of setting out the range of measures that could reduce emissions from the transport sector – including demand management, investment in active travel and Smarter Choices, and cutting speed limits. The problem is that Government action in these areas is small and stunted: investment in walking and cycling is declining, the budget for Smarter Choices is tiny, while there is little action to ensure the enforcement of current speed limits let alone reducing speed limits.

“All of this contrasts with the Government’s multi-billion road-building programme – which goes strangely unmentioned in this document. At £2,000 million, the proposed Second Forth Road Bridge on its own represents 100 years of Government investment in active travel at current levels.

“There remains a huge mismatch between Government stated aspirations towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and its own spending priorities. If the Government truly wants to deliver on its climate change targets then it needs to give top priority to low-cost and swiftly deliverable investments in active travel and Smarter Choices measures, rather than relying on the vain hope that technological change – mainly outwith its control – will come to save the day.”

Posted in Active Travel, bike security theft, Bike Week, Bikes on trains, bikeweek, ChangingPace, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, connect2, Core Path Network, CTC, cycle parking, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, HEALTH, Lothian Buses, Maps, paths, Peak Oil, ride, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Spokes, Sustrans, technology, TryCycling, walking, What the papers say | 4 Comments »

Free Breakfast – Courtesy of the Council

Posted by chdot on June 16, 2009

Spokes Bike Breakfast 2007s
In the morning (Wednesday) there’s the annual Spokes Bike Breakfast, at the City Chambers, as part of Bike Week. From 8.00 there will be orange juice, cofffee, bacon, rolls and scrambled eggs.

In addition there will be stalls from organisations like Spokes, Sustrans and Transform. There’s “free chain clean and lube from Edinburgh Bicycle” – the first 100 people to the Edinburgh Bicycle stall get a free gift pack. The first 20 arrivals to the Spokes stall will get a free Spokes map.

As well as food and information there’s usually some serious networking and lobbying by Edinburgh’s cycle campaigners as various Councillors and MSPs pass by. There will be speeches – including Councillors Paul Edie (Lib Dem), Convenor of the City Health Committee and Steve Burgess (Green).

Around 9.30 Cycling Scotland will lead a small group of MSPs on a short tour. (The current forecast is for heavy rain).

Posted in Active Travel, Bike Week, bikeweek, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, CTC, cycle parking, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Safe Routes to School, Spokes, Spokes maps, Sustrans | Leave a Comment »

Bike Week Film Festival Starts Today

Posted by chdot on June 11, 2009

Edinburgh’s Filmhouse plays host to the Bike Week Film Festival for the 4th time this year. 

Tonight there’s the chance to see Dave Sowerby’s sensational YouTube video hit, Inspired Bicycles, showing off the exploits of talented Edinburgh based rider Danny MacAskill on the big screen.

Danny is on a non-stop 24 day tour demonstrating his skills in person, but Dave is expected to attend. 

The main event is Mark Huskisson’s film Home which “combines a celebration of mountain biking with a passion for shooting in stunning landscapes”.

Afterwards Chris Ball of Dirtschool (who appears in Home) will lead a discussion on cycling – in Scotland (audience participation welcome).

Posted in Active Travel, Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, bikeweek, ChangingPace, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »

Will WNBR Happen In Edinburgh this Year?

Posted by chdot on June 10, 2009

Edinburgh isn’t very good at doing mass cycling events that are wildly successful elsewhere. On the last Friday of each month thousands take to the streets in more than 300 cities across the world in local Critical Masses. Here it’s just a few people, maybe.

Similarly with WNBR.  70 cities have citizens brave enough to take some, or all of their clothes off (‘official’ dress code is “As Bare As You Dare”). Last year (see photo) a few dozen people who were willing to show as much skin as might be seen on Porty beach assembled on Middle Meadow Walk by the Sustrans signpost. A few even contemplated revealing more, but Lothian and Borders Police have a very firm position on such things… 

This year no-one has been bothered to organise WNBR here. If you pass by at 3.00 you may see more Police than participants (you’ll be missing the Cycle Speedway International too!

Posted in Active Travel, Bike Week, bikeweek, Climate Change, critical mass, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Physical Activity and Health, ride | 8 Comments »

Cycle Speedway International Comes to Edinburgh

Posted by chdot on June 10, 2009

Cycle Speedway posters
Scotland’s only Cycle Speedway club, Edinburgh Falcons CSC, is hosting the Home International on Saturday.

Teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will compete elbow to elbow, (it’s a contact sport), at the red bleas Rebraes track (map).

Thrills and spills in fast four lap heats.

Tapes up 2.00 (admission FREE).

Posted in Bike Week, bikeweek, citycycling, cycle racing, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Physical Activity and Health | Leave a Comment »

Cycle East Lothian – Sea, Art, Food

Posted by chdot on June 2, 2009

3 Harbours Festival
Just east of Edinburgh is East Lothian. A county of contrasts, (once known as Haddingtonshire), it is mostly rural with rich arable on the flatter land near the coast and sheep grazing on the slopes of the Lammermuirs. The extensive coast has a fishing tradition which remains today and also fabulous sandy beaches.

Easy to access with relatively quiet roads away from the main A1 and an hourly stopping train service to North Berwick with room for 6 bikes. (Mainline trains also stop at Dunbar but booking is required). From Longniddry station there is an off road route gently rising on the old branch line to the county town of Haddington. Outside Drem station are country roads that lead to the large, douce, village of Gullane for dunes, sweeping bay, food and golf.

Prestonpans station is close to the coastal settlements that host the 3 Harbours Arts Festival.Which runs from 5th to 14th of June and promises “Art in Unusual Places” in Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Port Seton.

“Bigger and better than last year, the festival will bring an abundance of musical talent from the Lothians and Edinburgh, a creative mixture of dance forms including belly dancing and a plethora of visual art. Focusing on art in unusual places; highlights include a tremendous collection of artists in the Cockenzie Power Station, the Primary Schools Seafood Poster competition Prestonpans window trail, the model boats and Boatie Blest and the quirky open houses trail in the heart of Cockenzie and Port Seton. There is definitely something for everyone this year.  Also being served is the new addition to the festival – the Seafood Festival.”

Well worth cycling for.

Some routes on | Cycling info from East Lothian Council

Posted in Active Travel, Art, Bike Week, Bikes on trains, commuting, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Food, holidays, Lothian Buses, Maps, Physical Activity and Health, Spokes maps, Sustrans | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »