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Archive for the ‘Sustrans’ 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 »

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 »

“Welsh Government guarantees cycle route cash”

Posted by chdot on February 2, 2010

“Following two years of campaigning by Sustrans, the Welsh Assembly Government has pledged to dedicate five per cent of its Road Maintenance Grant to the maintenance of cycleways.” BikeBiz

What will John Swinney do?

More info – walesonline.co.uk “Each local authority has £10,000 to improve on-road cycle lanes as part of new funding to repair roads which took a battering from the recent cold snap.”

Discuss on citycyclingedinburgh forum

Posted in Active Travel, Airdrie to Bathgate, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, connect2, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, Spokes, Sustrans | 1 Comment »

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 »

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

Scottish Parliament Committee Wants YOUR view on “Active Travel”

Posted by chdot on November 4, 2009

transport committee
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 Active Travel, Bikes on trains, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, connect2, Core Path Network, cycle parking, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, HEALTH, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, Safe Routes to School, Spokes, Sustrans, TryCycling | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Professor Criticises Council Practices

Posted by chdot on October 25, 2009


Photo blackpuddinonnabike

Writing in today’s Sunday Herald, Edinburgh University professor Michael S Northcott mentions the ‘cycle facility’ near his office.

“..when the new Missoni Hotel was opened earlier this year the cycle lane was ditched in favour of a publicly provided parking bay for the hotel and two lanes for motorists.”

It’s been like this since May. After lots of protests by locals and cyclists, the Council ‘promised’ to do something, that was in June.

Michael Northcott’s article says a few other things about the environment in Edinburgh.

“..the city council continues to favour speeding cars over slow pedestrians. At many junctions pedestrians have to walk hundreds of feet corralled by metal cages to designated crossing points away from their direction of travel.”

But it’s not just Edinburgh that’s mentioned in the Sunday Herald’s “Essay of the Week” which highlights Governments’ and other organisations’ confusion and hypocrisy over Climate Change and economic growth.

“The Scottish Government recently built one of the world’s most expensive pieces of motorway – an extension to the M74 – against strong local opposition, through a housing scheme to the east of Glasgow. The road raises noise and pollution for local residents to unhealthy levels and significantly reduces the quality of their environment. But it enables drivers who don’t live in the area to traverse it at 70mph on yet another fast motorway through the environs of Glasgow, a city already strewn with urban motorways.”

Posted in Active Travel, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, connect2, Core Path Network, cycle parking, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, Glasgow, Lothian Buses, Peak Oil, ride, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Spokes, Sustrans, technology, Trams, TryCycling, walking, What the papers say | 1 Comment »

“Less Traffic Equals Smarter Working”

Posted by chdot on October 7, 2009

less traffic
Sustainable Transport campaigners Transform Scotland today issued a new briefing paper – Less Traffic: How Scotland would benefit from Road Traffic Reduction.

The 8 page document (“supported by BT Scotland”) mentions cycling twelve times! It contains solid arguments for traffic reduction with Public Transport and car sharing (and cycling) as key elements. But it’s not just ‘save the planet’ rhetoric.

There’s a clear case in conventional economic terms – “It is a myth that economic growth must result in increased travel, and that measures to reduce traffic would therefore undermine economic development”.

Paul Tetlaw, Chair of Transform Scotland, said:  “Road traffic reduction is the most vital component of a sustainable transport strategy. Without policies, programmes and projects to cut traffic levels, there is little or no prospect of achieving crucial targets for reducing climate change emissions or creating a productive and just society.

“Transform Scotland is delighted to be working with organisations such as BT Scotland to evidence the vast financial and time savings offered by interventions such conferencing – audio, video and teleprescencing. Not only do these enable organisations from all sectors to reduce their need to travel, but they also generate massive productivity benefits.

“The most efficient use of the road network is through increasing car occupancy. Car sharing and car clubs have proven to be very successful at achieving an increase in car occupancy both here in Scotland as well as throughout Europe. And at the same time as increasing occupancy, they have also reduced car usage. If we increased car occupancy by 50%, we would see one third less traffic on the roads.

In support of this Transform quotes “A small rise in car occupancy can have a significant impact – raising occupancy by just 10% (to an average of 1.74) would reduce traffic on our roads by 9%. And an occupancy increase of 50% would result in a 33% drop in traffic”. Source.

Posted in Active Travel, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, cycle parking, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, HEALTH, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Sustrans, TryCycling, walking | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Pretty, but Waste of Money

Posted by chdot on September 26, 2009


Photo smsm1

Seems City of Edinburgh Council’s Road Services is on a mission to ‘restore’ some of Edinburgh’s pedestrian and cycle ‘facilities’. Recently it refurbished the gates at the mouth of the St. Leonard’s Tunnel by replacing the long absent hoop which impeded touring cyclists.

Predictable howls of protest (mostly by e-mail) from some of the many cyclists using the Innocent Route, resulted in the offending item being removed a week later. Councillors for the area have been told “instruction was to repair and re-paint the existing pedestrian guardrail and gate at the East Parkside entrance to the innocent railway tunnel.  It appears the hoop was installed by the workshops based on the original design of this feature and the remains of a metal post at this location.”

This would explain similar work at Brunstane (photo), but not the additional, attractive, paving. The litter bin is an added bonus, which should be repeated on all off-road paths – especially those near secondary schools (e.g. Trinity)…

However as smsm1 points out on flickr “there are a significant number of cyclists who are just avoiding the gates by going over the grass on the left hand side of this picture”. So no chance of discouraging illegal motorbikes then. Perhaps the money should have been spent on tarmacing this short section of Sustrans’ prestigious NCN1.

If you know of similar ‘issues’ in Edinburgh please comment below or add photo to barriers to cycling in Edinburgh flickr group.

Posted in Active Travel, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, connect2, Core Path Network, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, HEALTH, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, Safe Routes to School, Sustrans, walking | 1 Comment »