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
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 »
Posted by chdot on November 5, 2009
Last Sunday’s planned cycle speedway open session was severely rained off. The track was only suitable for seagulls.
Edinburgh Falcons will be hoping for better weather this Sunday (8th) – currently (Friday morning) the forecast is quite promising.
If it’s not raining too much why not ride along to Redbraes and take part (bikes and equipment provided) or watch the fun.
“Start time is 1pm with a registration period open from 12:30pm”
Posted in Edinburgh, Cycling News, ride, cyclingedinburgh, citycycling, paths, cycle racing, cycle training, City of Edinburgh Council, Safety, ERC, EducatedTravel, ChangingPace, Core Path Network, Active Travel, Physical Activity and Health, openstreetmap | 4 Comments »
Posted by chdot on November 4, 2009
The Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee is “holding an inquiry into Active Travel – walking and cycling”.
Yesterday the Committee took evidence on the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2010-11 from John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (in private).
According to Spokes (via Twitter) Des McNulty MSP asked Mr. Swinney about the Spokes Budget submission and “JS said will look at any proposals by the cttee”.
The 10 page proposal from Spokes was also considered by the Committee (again in private) – along with other written submissions (TCICC agenda and written evidence).
The Spokes document is, as usual, a comprehensive and thorough argument for (modest) increased spending on cycling in Scotland. It points out many policies, targets and “warm words” that still have to be backed with action – and cash.
The Spokes proposals (if adopted) would mean that spending on cycle projects would roughly double but still only be around 2% of current Scottish spending on Transport. The Scottish Government has indicated that it would like to see 10% of journeys being by bike by 2020. Edinburgh is aiming for 15%.
It is expected that the Committee will question Mr. Swinney further on his Government’s intentions on “Active Travel” and ask him to include some (or all) of the Spokes suggestions in the forthcoming Budget – or justify his refusal for the second year running.
The Committee (convened by Green MSP Patrick Harvie) is calling “for views on walking and cycling in Scotland“. It wants answers to six straightforward questions. “Respondents are invited to structure their responses around the issues identifed by the Committee. You are free to answer as many or as few of the questions as you wish.”
Closing date for submissions – Friday 11 December 2009.
Posted in Edinburgh, TryCycling, cycle parking, Cycling News, Bikes on trains, cyclingedinburgh, citycycling, paths, cycle training, commuting, City of Edinburgh Council, cycling world, HEALTH, Safe Routes to School, Sustrans, Spokes, European Moblity Week, EducatedTravel, ChangingPace, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, Core Path Network, connect2, Demonstration Towns, Peak Oil, Climate Change, Active Travel, Cycling Scotland, Physical Activity and Health | Tagged: The Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee | Leave a Comment »
Posted by chdot on October 12, 2009
CycleStreets is the UK’s best cycle journey planner. It’s probably the only one that covers the whole of Great Britain and has a good understanding of where the cycle paths are. The underlying mapping is from Open Street Map which is the work of hundreds of volunteers (YOU could be one too).
CycleStreets originated in Cambridge where two members of the Cambridge Cycle Campaign created a cycle journey planner for the city using their computing skills and the dedicated mapping of a small group of residents. It seemed like a good idea to try to do the same for Edinburgh. A small amount of money was granted by the Scottish Government.
This helped to create edinburgh.cyclestreets.net and led to creation of a service that now has 1500placenames.cyclestreets.net.
One significant difference between Cambridge and Edinburgh is that Cambridge is mostly flat. (Edinburgh is actually a lot flatter than many non-cyclists realise – at least for many east/west journeys.) Initially, estimated journeys times were the same for both directions of a route. So The Mound to Canonmills ride was said to take the same time as the return trip!
Now, after many months of hard work, CycleStreets can estimate the expected time of journeys in any direction – try it for yourself. Not only does the CycleStreets software understand gradients – and estimate fairly accurate journey times – it now produces gradient profiles for all suggested versions of the same journey – so you can easily see if the “quietest” route is also the hilliest.
Enjoy! (and feedback if the proposed routes seem ‘strange’)
You can also vote for CycleStreets – and help it get some more development money.
Posted in Edinburgh, cycle parking, Maps, Cycling News, ride, cyclingedinburgh, citycycling, commuting, City of Edinburgh Council, cycling world, Safe Routes to School, CTC, EducatedTravel, ChangingPace, Core Path Network, Climate Change, Active Travel, Cycling Scotland | 2 Comments »
Posted by chdot on September 17, 2009
“Looks like a lot of fun” Tom Morton Radio Scotland
Tomorrow Edinburgh will have three “Bike Friday” rides. This is the first time that the city has tried to run such organised commutes. Billed as “Edinburgh’s social cycle commute” it will be interesting to see who turns up – and in what numbers!
Similar events have been run in Manchester and London and attract a mix of regular commuters looking for some company plus ‘new’ riders who welcome the security of having other riders with them.
It’s not a Critical Mass, trying to take over the streets once a month and (reasonably) assert that bikes have a right to the streets too. It’s certainly not a race.
The rides will be led and marshalled by experienced riders who will set a reasonable pace and (in places) probable be faster than the ‘rush’ hour traffic. (Yesterday’s Commuter Challenge proved that bikes are a pretty good way to get around the city quickly). Parts of the routes will be on quiet roads and pedestrian/cycle only sections. The routes have been chosen with care with an understanding of likely traffic in the morning. Not the fastest routes or most scenic – a mix of real life riding in Edinburgh. (Other routes are available… Find your own using edinburgh.cyclestreets.net.)
The route from South Gyle hardly has to deal with traffic until Haymarket.
The ride from Gracemount uses Ellen’s Glen Road (local traffic only) and then busy roads (with bike and bus lanes in places) to The Grange and on through The Meadows.
From Portobello it’s along The Prom and (mostly) wide roads until Holyrood Park then ‘underneath’ Edinburgh via the Cowgate and Grassmarket where bikes are likely to be able to ‘rush’ past the motor traffic.
All rides start at 8.00 and finish in Festival Square roughly 40 minutes later. There will be a Spokes stall for advice and info (you could make you own way there). You can swap commuting tales and, perhaps, arrange to run your own Bike Friday/Thursday/Wednesday/Tuesday/Monday.
If you fancy coming along for part of the ride, that’s fine. Check the routes but note that they are likely but not guaranteed. Also (apart from the 8.00 start) timings are not precise but expect to see a group of cyclist passing through Holyrood Park, Roseburn Park and The Grange round about 8.15.
Bike Friday is being organised by ChangingPace as part of European Mobility Week with funding from City of Edinburgh Council.
If these rides are successful/popular they may become regular events. Perhaps more/different routes, perhaps starting in the city centre. If you want to ride in a smaller group (or just with another person – or even carshare) why not register with the SEStran TripShare/BikeBudi scheme.
Posted in Active Travel, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, critical mass, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, HEALTH, Maps, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Spokes, Spokes maps, Sustrans, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »
Posted by chdot on September 16, 2009
First arrival at St. Andrew Square in today’s annual Commuter Challenge was Richard Bloodworth (left) on a minimalist recumbent. He covered the four miles from The Royal Infirmary in just 15 minutes – half the time of the bus.
A tandem was the first arrival from Ocean Terminal – again twice as fast as the bus. Though even the bus passenger was quicker than the father/daughter carshare team – finding a legal parking space takes time!
The fastest average speed from all four staring places was 21mph on two wheels – but with the benefit of an engine. Second fastest was the train and Brompton combination from Queen Margaret University (Musselburgh station).
The flat out fastest cyclist managed 16.1mph on the 7 miles from the park and ride at Ingliston.
BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland reporter David Miller did a live report from QMU then drove to his office in Holyrood Road and walked to the finish to broadcast interviews with CC organiser Maggie Wynn and Alex Macaulay, Partnership Director of event sponsor SEStran. SEStran is involved with public transport and also encouraging people to walk, cycle and carshare.
Photos from the finish can be viewed on Flickr.
Posted in Active Travel, Bikes on trains, ChangingPace, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling on the Radio, cyclingedinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, Lothian Buses, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safety, tandem, walking | Leave a Comment »
Posted by chdot on September 11, 2009
Next Friday three groups of cyclists will set off from different parts of Edinburgh and head for Festival Square (off Lothian Road).
It will be Edinburgh’s first organised ride for cycling ‘commuters’. It’s an event in Edinburgh’s European Mobility Week and is a mixture of social fun and confidence building.
Similar rides already exist in Manchester and London. The rides will be led and marshalled by experienced cyclists and will take routes that involve quiet streets and some busy roads.
A good turnout is expected – helped by Edinburgh Bicycle telling all its customers in the weekly email newsletter.
In Festival Square Spokes (The Lothian Cycle Campaign) will have an information stall.
Spokes does a cycle count on Lothian Road twice a year. It records that bicycles are a growing percentage of the ‘rush hour’ traffic.
Posted in Active Travel, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, critical mass, cycle training, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, Lothian Buses, paths, Peak Oil, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Spokes, Spokes maps, TryCycling | 3 Comments »
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
“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 »
Posted by chdot on July 15, 2009
Cycling promoters ChangingPace have organised the third Green Passport Day on the North Edinburgh Path Network. This one is designed to encourage people to walk or cycle to this year’s TreeFest.
On Sunday (19th July) ChangingPace will have a stall where people can bring their Passport for entry into a prize draw. ChangingPace will be offering advice and also hosting a bike obstacle course for children and a basic Dr. Bike safety check.
There are lots of different ways to reach Inverleith Park some suggested routes on EveryTrail (with photos along the routes) –
From Red Bridge (Ferry Road) using NEPN as far as Ainslie Park
Along NEPN from Russell Road (Dalry/Roseburn)
From Raeburn Place Stockbridge
Bellevue via Rodney Street Tunnel and Rocheid Path
There are nine places along the route (map below) with a Pass Port Number to mark on your Passport (distributed to school children in Edinburgh If you want another PRINT THIS).
Posted in Active Travel, Art, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, Core Path Network, Cycling News, cycling world, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Maps, paths, Safe Routes to School, Spokes, Spokes maps, walking | Leave a Comment »
Posted by chdot on July 9, 2009
UPDATE – TEXT OF SPEECH NOW ONLINE
The sight of a well heeled, white, Western, very conservatively dressed man hardly conveys the impression of eco/class warrior or radical anti-capitalist.
Prince Charles’ appearance on last night’s Dimbleby Lecture will have reassured some and turned off others.
But it’s the words that count. They were delivered with the assurance of a well practiced public speaker who actually knows his script and believes what he is saying.
He has advisers (including Jonathon Porritt) and no doubt the 50 minute lecture was not written solely by Charles. However many hands were involved behind the scenes the result was a well crafted, and wide ranging summary of the issues facing the natural world and the role of the human population involved in it.
The delivery was confident, the passion mostly hidden, though he clearly cares about the loss of the rain forests – pointing out that the Greenhouse Gas consequences are greater than those caused by all the world’s transport.
There were wry references to a genetic interest in architecture (and the trouble it has caused him). The tone and content was about questioning the apparent assumption of “business as usual”. He pointed out that “there can’t be capitalism without capital” and added that ultimately all capital comes from the earth whether as raw materials or food (etc.) derived from sunlight/plants.
He reminded his audience (mostly white, well dressed and not particularly young) that he had previously warned that ‘we’ had 100 months to make changes or there was a serious chance of irreversible (and undesirable) Climate Change. He told the audience that it was now 96 months.
But it wasn’t just a call for a return to a simpler life where pubs and post offices were still open. He talked about how such “community capital”items and the value of people interacting was not just difficult to measure, but also largely unmeasured, in a world primarily concerned with GDP. He called for ‘balance’ and argued for a marriage of older ‘values’ and new technologies which he sees as the best way forward.
Prince Charles has been seen on a bike in the past, but the photographic evidence has previously been used to mock his ‘greeny’ interests.
Catch the lecture for 7 days on iPlayer
Posted in Active Travel, ChangingPace, Climate Change, Cycling News, Cycling on TV, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, EducatedTravel, Peak Oil, technology, walking, What the papers say | Leave a Comment »