Countdown to Carmageddon: Park Lane Cycleway almost finished, pop-up cycle lanes planned for Westminster; Prom Wars: Merseyside Edition; Radical alternative to Strava; More on Rod Liddle's "piano wire at neck height" column + more

Today's live blog with Alex Bowden (daytime) and Simon MacMichael (evening)...
28 May 2020, 15:43
Countdown to Carmageddon

Regarding the swift completion of the Park Lane Cycleway (see below), London Cycling Campaign (LCC) is warning that London will be “in real trouble” if plans for emergency safe cycling infrastructure are not implemented quickly.

June 15’s the date…

28 May 2020, 15:23
North Parade, Hoylake (via StreetView)
Prom Wars: The Merseyside edition

Last week we reported how Bournemouth council leader Vikki Slade had warned cyclists they had “one more weekend” to prove they could ride responsibly on the town’s seafront path or face a ban.

She has since said that the council has no plans to ban cyclists from the prom “at this stage” but will continue to monitor the situation.

The Liverpool Echo reports on a similar story from the Wirral, where a number of local residents near North Parade, Hoylake, have complained that cyclists have been “taking over” the front during the lockdown.

“My partner drove along the front and was faced with 10 cyclists coming towards him and not in a rush to move out of the way,” complained one on Facebook.

“I’ve never seen it like this and that’s a long long time of knowing the prom,” said another. “Can’t have cyclists at speed with kids and elderly people. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Councillor Andrew Gardner, who represents Hoylake and Meols, said the last seven weeks had seen a “big increase” in the number of cyclists on North Parade.

He said many didn’t appear to realise it was a one way road, adding, “I have received reports from more than 30 households of near misses and collisions.”

North Parade is one way from the Kings Gap to Hoyle Road but there is a shared use path on the prom for both cyclists and pedestrians to travel in both directions.

Local cyclist Chris Malkin said that some were being criticised for riding on the prom, including the footpath section on the south side of the new RNLI station.

“This is a designated cycle route, part of the Wirral Circular Trail and cyclists are entitled to use it in both directions,” he said. “I suspect many local pedestrians are unaware of this.”

A Wirral Council spokesperson said: “We are currently reviewing locations where it may be appropriate to introduce measures identified within the Government announcement.

"But we would ask all road users to be considerate to others during this time and remind people it is essential that we follow the usual highway rules to ensure we all remain safe.”

28 May 2020, 14:20
Cycling in Ireland has more than doubled compared to this time last year
28 May 2020, 13:56
Remember how the big complaint about London's cycleways was that they took ages to build and "caused" congestion?

They started this two weeks ago.

> London 'in real trouble' if emergency bike lanes not built soon (+ gallery of new pop-up lane on Park Lane)

28 May 2020, 13:31
Thomas Street in Manchester's Northern Quarter to be closed to motor traffic
28 May 2020, 13:28
CityConnect (via Twitter).jpg
5.8km of segregated routes to be added in Leeds as part of CityConnect

Work on a number of planned segregated cycling routes in Leeds has been brought forward in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Work on a 1.3km route on Claypit Lane between Chapeltown Road and Woodhouse Lane has begun, while in the south of the city, a new 3km segregated route between Elland Road Park and Ride and the city centre will be started in the summer.

The existing segregated cycle route on Dewsbury Road will also be extended with a 1.5km section of new route between Garnet Road and Beeston Ring Road.

The schemes are being delivered as part of the Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme.

Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development, also said that the Combined Authority would be working with councils to make more road space available to people travelling by bike and on foot.

“During these difficult times, we’re working hard to make walking and cycling more attractive and natural everyday choices for exercising and commuting,” she said.

“We’re delighted we are bringing the construction phase of these schemes forward for new segregated cycle routes south of the city connecting Beeston, Holbeck, Hunslet and the city centre, as well as important work on Clay Pit Lane and Meanwood Road. Every new piece of segregated cycleway in Leeds gets us nearer to the 500 miles of cycle network we are aiming to deliver across the city.

“In this Covid-19 recovery phase, Leeds is creating many more new routes which offer improved safety for people who walk and cycle, offering convenience and championing health and wellbeing for our residents.

“Alongside improved segregated cycleways the scheme will improve the environment for pedestrians. This work funded through CityConnect will improve environmental sustainability, better air quality and reduce pollution of all types in and around Leeds. We look forward to seeing the schemes completed later this year.”

28 May 2020, 13:00
Latest Met Police speeding enforcement update

We tend to report on this in a 'there's loads more speeding' kind of way, but it's also a product of the fact the Met has increased enforcement in response.

28 May 2020, 11:45
Unwilling to splash out on a Strava subscription?
28 May 2020, 11:42
A relaxing and peaceful ride on Hammersmith Gyratory
28 May 2020, 11:37
Great Britain Cycling Team offers support to Blue Peter ‘Train Your Way To Tokyo’ challenge

British Cycling, Rowing and Athletics are teaming up with Blue Peter to cycle, row and run the distance between the Blue Peter studio in Salford and the Japan National Stadium in Tokyo in just 30 days.

Starting today, the ‘Train Your Way to Tokyo’ challenge will see Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell join forces with athletes from the three GB squads to cover the 9,448km distance – an average of 314km per day – completed either inside the home or outdoors within current government guidance.

Russell said: “Though I’ve completed many Blue Peter challenges, I’ve never taken on a multisport challenge quite like this. It’s daunting but I can’t wait to train with these incredible athletes and hopefully show what can be achieved by working together, all from our own homes.”

Reigning Olympic and world champion Elinor Barker will mentor Russell for the cycling part, with other members of the Great Britain Cycling Team, including Dame Sarah Storey and Neah Evans, counting their kilometres covered in training over the 30 day period towards Lindsey’s total.

Barker said: “I’m enjoying being part of the Train Your way to Tokyo challenge with Blue Peter and already in our first week, myself and my Great Britain Cycling Team teammates have clocked up a good number of kilometres in training to help Lindsey on her way. Hopefully, we will help to inspire the audience to take up more activity themselves especially as we’re in this difficult period of lockdown.”

The group effort runs until June 16, with the final film being shown on Blue Peter on June 18 (5.30pm) on CBBC and on iPlayer.

28 May 2020, 10:35
Police tape (CC licensed by freefotouk on Flickr)
Police appeal for information after cyclist is killed near Lymm

Police have appealed for information after a cyclist died on Tuesday following a collision near Lymm the day before.

The Warrington Guardian reports that the incident occurred at the junction of Dunham Road, Paddock Lane and Warburton Lane, at around 7.30am.

The cyclist, a 42-year-old man, was taken to hospital with serious injuries and has since died.

The motor vehicle involved was a Red Ford Tourneo Connect.

PC Neil Dalley of GMP's Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: "This was a devastating collision which has resulted in a man losing his life. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.

"Enquiries to establish the full circumstances surrounding the collision are continuing and I would appeal to anyone with information or dash cam footage which may assist us to contact us as soon as possible."

Anyone with information should contact GMP's Serious Collision Investigation Unit via 15638 [at] or 0161-856-4741 quoting Log 704 of 25/05/20.

You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555111.

28 May 2020, 09:31
Gravel shorts. For gravel...

‘Gravel-specific’ clothing has actually been a thing for a couple of years now.

Rapha launched their explore collection in March 2018 following 'the world's first gravel-specific shorts' courtesy of Pedal ED.

French cycling apparel brand Café du Cycliste launched their gravel range later that same year

28 May 2020, 09:25
Been turned away from the tip because you were on a bike? Try this workaround

We’ve had a number of reports of people being turned away from their local recycling centre during the coronavirus crisis because they were on a bike.

The first instance we reported on was in Hereford, where the council explained that cyclists cannot offer “mutual protection” by winding up a car window when entering the facility.

We reported on another example in Devon on yesterday’s live blog and there were a number of replies indicating that it’s something that’s happening up and down the country.

But how’s this for a workaround?

28 May 2020, 08:56
Ned Boulting doesn’t think the Sunday Times is publishing his complaint about that Rod Liddle column

Over the weekend, Rod Liddle said the notion of stretching piano wire at neck height across roads used by cyclists was “tempting”.

Yesterday, the Sunday Times said the column was “not intended to be taken seriously” – the exact phrase that Cycling UK said yesterday would be an “inappropriate” defence of it.

Ned Boulting apparently got the same response after he wrote to complain about the column.

The ITV cycling commentator had said: “When I ride, I am both tolerant and vulnerable and I believe most people are, most of the time. So, when Mr Liddle jokingly calls for the garrotting of cyclists, he is playing the simplest, basest game of appealing to the lowest common denominator.

“It would be funny, were it funny. It would be fair, were it fair. And it would be right, were it right.

“It would be harmless were it not tediously dangerous. Apart from that, I can find no fault with it.

“Have a word, will you?”

28 May 2020, 08:41
Pop-up cycle lanes planned for Oxford Street, Regent Street and Piccadilly

Westminster Council has announced plans to widen pavements and install pop-up cycle lanes on “some of the most iconic locations in the world” – Oxford Street, Regent Street and Piccadilly.

28 May 2020, 08:32
"Ride a bicycle and keep well"

Pretty sure we've run this at least once before, but hey-ho.

An old Bicycle ad during the influenza pandemic. from r/bicycling

28 May 2020, 08:26
broken bike.jpg
Yorkshire club riders say hit and run driver aimed for them after one suffered broken back

A York cyclist who was left with a broken back believes the hit-and-run driver responsible for the collision deliberately aimed for him.

The BBC reports that John Bennett, club secretary at Barnsley Road Club, was riding with friend Martin Townsend on the B122 Naburn in York between 10.30am and 10.50am on Monday when they were hit from behind.

"The car came behind us and I could see in my peripheral vision that the driver seemed to be aiming at us," said Bennett.

The motorist drove off, leaving the two men on the ground.

"I was in a state, with blood pouring down my face,” said Bennett. “Thankfully a woman pulled up and rang the ambulance."

Townsend suffered only bruised ribs and cuts, but Bennett faces 12 weeks in a spinal brace with possible permanent damage to his back.

He was previously injured in another hit-and-run while riding in Sheffield last year.

Anyone with information on the collision has been asked to contact North Yorkshire Police.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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