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"Turning point" in cycling says CTC, but "no time for resting on our laurels"...

Parliament has moved another step closer to requiring the Department for Transport to plan for active travel with the inclusion yesterday of a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy amendment in the Infrastructure Bill.

The amendment was the result of lobbying by numerous cycling organisations including Sustrans, Campaign to Protect Rural England, CTC, Living Streets and Campaign for Better Transport. The support of health lobby organisation the Richmond Group seemed to resonate with a number of MPs, campaigners say.

After CTC published research suggesting that increased cycle use would be worth £248bn to the economy by 2050, over 5,000 CTC members and supporters emailled their MPs in support of the amendment.

In Parliamentary discussion of the amendment, Department of Transport minister John Hayes said "It would be ironic to have a road investment strategy without having a walking and cycling strategy alongside it."

Acknowledging the positive comments about the amendment made by Chris Boardman, Hayes added: "Government have to take difficult decisions, and not everything we do is universally popular, but when one gets such acclamation, one has to — I will not say milk it; that would be wrong — draw it to the attention of the House in a measured and humble way."

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert, who proposed the amendment, said: "On behalf of everyone else from the all-party cycling group, others who supported the new clause and all the organisations who have worked on this, I thank the Minister for the Government agreeing to do this, because it will make a big difference."

The CTC said the amendment was a turning point for cycling, but the task was now to get the parties to commit to funding after the election.

Roger Geffen, CTC Campaign and Policy Director said: "Acceptance of the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy amendment is a turning point for cycling in the UK. Credit must be given to the Government backing of it, MPs such as Dr Julian Huppert who fought so hard for it, and the thousands of people who worked so hard to make this happen.

"Now is no time for resting on our laurels. With the general election only months away CTC will be looking to secure commitments of how much funding each party would put into the investment strategy."

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

10 comments

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dodgy [235 posts] 2 years ago
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What we need now is a design manual that makes sense, I would politely suggest that Sustrans take part, but be 'supported' by experts with proven experience in the Netherlands.

Please, no ironwork at junctions that force you to slow down to negotiate an arbitrary chicane.

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Initialised [330 posts] 2 years ago
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Now can we have a bill that enforces the use of collision avoidance systems in commercial vehicles.

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ibike [166 posts] 2 years ago
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Committing to spending the money is the first step. Spending that money on well-designed infrastructure is the next hurdle to overcome, something we don't have a good track record of in the UK...

The Dutch CROW manual is a good place to start.
http://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/wiki/dutch-cycle-infrastructure
http://www.crow.nl/publicaties/design-manual-for-bicycle-traffic

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jacknorell [995 posts] 2 years ago
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Sustrans should most definitely not be involved in creating a design manual, given the horrors they keep signing off as cycle-friendly.

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bikebot [2118 posts] 2 years ago
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Sustrans already have a published design manual, and it is often used by local planners. It could (and should) be a lot better.

If you're interested, read it in full here -

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/sites/default/files/file_content_type/sustran...

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mrmo [2096 posts] 2 years ago
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bikebot wrote:

Sustrans already have a published design manual, and it is often used by local planners. It could (and should) be a lot better.

If you're interested, read it in full here -

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/sites/default/files/file_content_type/sustran...

and here is the DfT's guidance, published in 2008 I believe!

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fil...

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wycombewheeler [1246 posts] 2 years ago
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bikebot wrote:

Sustrans already have a published design manual, and it is often used by local planners. It could (and should) be a lot better.

If you're interested, read it in full here -

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/sites/default/files/file_content_type/sustran...

Interesting; page 7 shows that the minimum space between kerb and vehicle for safe cycling is 2.5m, and yet page 12 states the minimum cycle lane width at pinch points should be 1.5m. bringing the side of the vehicle into extremely close proximity with the cyclist.

It seems that their intent is for the cyclist to use right up to the cycle lane line, but drivers interpretation is that they can use right up to the line.

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bikebot [2118 posts] 2 years ago
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wycombewheeler wrote:

It seems that their intent is for the cyclist to use right up to the cycle lane line, but drivers interpretation is that they can use right up to the line.

It's like armrests on planes.

It's a case where infrastructure can cause problems by creating a false impression. Irrespective of the lane marking, the following doesn't change.

1) the driver should be thinking about the passing distance to the other road user. 2) the cyclist should normally be riding about 1m out from the curb.

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P3t3 [422 posts] 2 years ago
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bikebot wrote:

Sustrans already have a published design manual, and it is often used by local planners. It could (and should) be a lot better.

Yes - you are right - its a piece of junk sadly.

For some reason everywhere needs a design manual for cycling (try googling cycling design manual). If we just had a decent set of national standards (like CROW) I am sure we could save a vast amount of the money that just disappears into cycling schemes.

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Housecathst [618 posts] 2 years ago
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One of the best things they could do at very little cost is remove the central line on most roads.

IMO, drivers think about more about on coming traffic and don't feel they have to squeeze themselves between you and the line without crossing it.