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Archive for the ‘Maps’ 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 »

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 »

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 »

New On-line Forum for Edinburgh

Posted by chdot on November 19, 2009

CyclingEdinburgh.info and CityCycling (the Edinburgh based monthly on-line cycling magazine) have teamed up to create CityCyclingEdinburgh.info – a new forum “for people who cycle in and around Edinburgh” (though a wider view is welcome).

The idea is to create a site where any aspect of cycling (and particularly encouraging more of it) can be ‘discussed’, questions asked – and answered.

Various forum headings have been created but they are not definitive. The forum is designed to develop as more people register and post (including you? – please tell your friends). Anyone can view but registration needed before posting – just a username and e-mail (not publicly revealed).

Rules are simple “No personal insults. No swearing”. That’s working so far.

Posted in Edinburgh, TryCycling, cycle parking, Maps, Cycling News, ride, cyclingedinburgh, citycycling, cycle racing, cycle training, cycling world, HEALTH, Safe Routes to School, Sustrans, Spokes, ERC, EducatedTravel, Core Path Network, Climate Change, Active Travel, Cycling Scotland, Physical Activity and Health, cyclestreets.net | 3 Comments »

CycleStreets Gets Better

Posted by chdot on October 12, 2009

cyclestreets features

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.

Dublin Street profilehttp://edinburgh.cyclestreets.net/journey/85010

returnhttp://edinburgh.cyclestreets.net/journey/85011

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 Active Travel, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, CTC, cycle parking, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Maps, ride, Safe Routes to School | 2 Comments »

Bike Friday Routes

Posted by chdot on September 17, 2009

Bike Friday 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 »

Government Relies on Spokes Statistics

Posted by chdot on August 5, 2009

SPICe

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 »

New Midlothian Map

Posted by chdot on July 30, 2009

MidlCover 2009m
The Lothian Cycle Campaign, Spokes, has just published its latest map – a brand new one for Midlothian.

This is first update for seven years. One addition is the recently opened Dalkeith Bypass which slices through Dalkeith Park.

Unfortunately Spokes has also had to add a short section of “proposed cycle link” – from Millerhill to the new road (because Midlothian Council didn’t think about cyclists enough when they were planning the new road).

The map covers all of Midlothian (apart from the extreme southern tip around Soutra). In addition the southern and eastern extremes of Edinburgh are included – plus East Lothian as far as Prestonpans, Pencaitland and Humbie.

The other side of the map has enlarged, detailed, maps of Bilston, Dalkeith, Danderhall, Gorebridge, Lasswade, Loanhead, Mayfield, Newtongrange, Penicuik, Rosewell and Roslin.

PLUS photos and descriptions of some of the many “Places of Interest” in the ‘county of Midlothian’ – which historically included Edinburgh.

In short the map is a must for residents of Midlothian (including Edinburgh) to help you plan commuter or leisure journeys.

Available now in most bike shops and good book shops and on-line (£5.95 post free – or any 4 Spokes maps for the price of 3).

Posted in Active Travel, bike shops, commuting, Core Path Network, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, holidays, Maps, Midlothian, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, Shawfair, Spokes, Spokes maps, Sustrans, walking | 1 Comment »