Cycle campaign news October 2022
Cycle campaign news October 2022
As the clocks change and nights draw in, I find myself valuing more and more the opportunity to head out on the bike. In summer months, an evening ride can almost become a commodity, with complacency of everlasting daylight, warm and wet weather clothing always being left at home. Yet, as the leaves drop and temperatures dip, I must remind myself to not feel low, but embrace opportunities to ride as a privilege and start building the anticipation for spring all over again.
Whilst seasonal change encourages us to stay in, the world of cycle campaigning does all it can to keep us out. Imminently, world leaders will come together at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Last year, Cycling UK marched on COP26, in Glasgow - to tell governments that cycling offers huge potential to cut climate emissions, and active travel must be embraced as part of the solution to the climate emergency. In 2022, we renew this urgent call.
The stories in this month’s edition underpin this mission, whether that be campaigning for equitable traffic laws so our roads feel safer to cycle on, making noise to ensure active travel is sufficiently funded so the infrastructure is in place for modal transition, or even opening up the countryside to cycling so people can access local greenspaces and consider holidaying closer to home. Cycling won’t save the environment alone, but policies to enable its virtues would certainly help.
If you do one thing this month, ride out to your nearest march on 12 November, the Global Day of Action for COP27. We need you to fly the flag for cycling and its role to combat the climate emergency.
Campaigns News Editor
Human cost of exceptional hardship loophole needs to close, says Cycling UK
On 9 October, Cycling UK renewed its call on the government to close the loophole in the law which allows people to escape driving bans, and which has resulted in the death and serious injury of other road users.
This loophole allows drivers who have accrued 12 penalty points on their licence to avoid a driving ban by claiming it would cause them “exceptional hardship”, which has led to over 83,000 drivers in the past 10 years escape disqualification due to “mitigating circumstances”.
In October 2020, the Sentencing Council issued guidance for magistrates which was intended to reduce the number of offenders with totting up offences who avoided disqualification. Since those changes, the Council says it has been suggested by some magistrates and legal advisers that courts are too often imposing short discretionary disqualifications (of less than 56 days) where people have received 12 or more points.
Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, said: “The Sentencing Council’s report shows we now have a loophole within a loophole. The result is people who should be facing six month or longer driving bans are continuing to pose a risk on our roads, often with fatal results.”
Cycling UK launches a new long-distance cycling route for Norfolk – The Rebellion Way
On 13 October, Cycling UK launched the Rebellion Way: a 232-mile (373km) tour of Norfolk, starting in Norwich.
Using a varied mix of country lanes, bridleways, byways, cycle paths and forest tracks, the route should be suitable for anyone with reasonable fitness on the vast majority of bikes - designed as an entry point for people interested in multi-day bikepacking trips.
The Rebellion Way, which was funded through the European Regional Development Fund’s EXPERIENCE project, passes through Diss, Thetford, Castle Acre, King’s Lynn, Hunstanton and Sheringham as it weaves its way around the county.
The new route sits within Cycling UK’s wider goal to see the creation of a network of long-distance off-road routes across the length and breadth of Great Britain, taking in its amazing places and wild landscapes.
Help us save the cycling and walking budget in England
Two years ago, the government published ‘Gear Change’ – their ‘bold vision for walking and cycling’, supported by an increase in funding for active travel.
The increase was welcome, but investment in cycling and walking is still miniscule compared to other transport spending, even though the government acknowledges that the benefits of investing in cycling and walking are huge. It’s also not enough to enable every local authority to build the safe infrastructure needed, but there are now funding opportunities for some.
But instead of increasing the funding and moving up the gears this November, it looks like the government might back-pedal – cutting the active travel budget during a cost-of-living crisis, when people want and need cheaper transport choices.
Investing in active travel brings higher and quicker returns than any other transport investment – so it’s absurd for a government focused on growing the economy to throw a spanner in the wheels of active travel.
So, if you want to help us save the cycling and walking budget, please email your MP today using our editable template, to tell them that investment in active travel can’t be cut, because it makes money for the local economy, makes us less dependent on imported fuel, saves people money, is a green and healthy solution to other crises, and just makes sense.
Dartmoor: beastly bylaws rebound from 1998
“Somewhere on the edge of Dartmoor on 23 August 1998, a Sunday, trailing a cluster of riders I could barely see in the clammy, twirling mists ahead, I resolved:
- Never to cycle uphill in clammy, twirling mists in thick jeans again
- To invest in a bicycle with working gears
- To work for the Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC, now Cycling UK).”
In August 1998, Cycling UK's Cherry Allan joined a mass protest over bylaws discriminating against cycling. Hear why recent stirrings of a similar kind have brought it all flooding back.
Link up your campaign group to the Cycle Advocacy Network
Get on the map and be part of the movement for cycling in Scotland and in Wales. Contact us to give your campaign group or your cycle campaign the wider recognition it deserves. Go further and benefit more by linking your group with us and becoming a Cycle Advocacy Network partner group.
How the Cyclists’ Defence Fund has been standing up for you
The Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF) helps fight significant legal cases involving cyclists and cycling, especially those which could set important precedents for the future and could affect the safety of all cyclists. Whether this be defending a cyclist prosecuted for delaying the traffic, taking councils to court for unlawfully removing cycle lanes, or fighting for greater off-road access for cyclists.
Head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore outlines how, through the CDF, Cycling UK has been fighting for cycling and cyclists, and why we need your support.
University of Edinburgh study finds slowing city traffic cuts road deaths by a quarter
Restricting a city’s speed limits to 20mph reduced road deaths by almost a quarter and serious injuries by a third, new research reveals.
A team from the Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge, East Anglia, St Andrews and Bristol and Queen’s University Belfast collaborated with walking and cycling charity Sustrans.
Accident rates across Edinburgh fell even without extra traffic-calming measures and police patrols – making the scheme cost-effective. The relatively modest cost of replacing speed limit signs not only improved road safety but also enhanced quality of life for residents, researchers say.
Prior to the new restrictions, 45 out of 100 cars in Edinburgh travelled above 25mph – one year later, the figure had dropped to 31. Average speeds on affected roads also fell, according to the study – the UK’s most extensive evaluation of 20mph speed limits so far.
Researchers say the number of collisions in one year fell by 40% to 367, and there were 409 fewer casualties – a drop of 39%.
A breakdown of the casualty figures reveals that fatalities dropped by 23% and serious injuries fell by 33%.
The study shows that city-wide speed reductions can reduce collisions and casualties and that they were increasingly accepted by the local community.
Brompton Bike hire comes to Cardiff
Brompton Bike Hire launched three new docks within Cardiff city centre on 12 October.
The new dock locations are Cardiff Central Station, located just outside the railway station, Cathays Station, by Cardiff University and Whitchurch Station.
Julian Scriven, managing director of Brompton Bike Hire, said:
“The benefits of cycling are clear to see, and we’re so pleased to bring Brompton Bike Hire to the thriving city of Cardiff, where residents, visitors and students can experience the benefits of riding our bikes as an alternative and affordable way of getting around. Not only is cycling great for wellbeing, it also reduces carbon emissions and supports Cardiff’s aims in decreasing traffic congestion and reducing pollution levels.”
The bikes can be hired for £5 a day, fully insured for all. Customers can download the Brompton Bike Hire app, and then hire from a locker that’s convenient to them and return when finished.
A student subscription service is also available, with a fixed subscription for the academic year for £30 per month or a rolling monthly subscription (which can be switched off depending on needs) for £45 per month.
Campaigning to stop motorists parking in cycle lanes in Northern Ireland
Cycle lanes should be for people cycling, but there are many reasons why cyclists still have to use the road. Dedicated cycle spaces commonly full of cars being one. Cycling UK's engagement officer for Northern Ireland, Andrew McClean investigates.
Investment into ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ in Glasgow
Contracts worth almost £600,000 have been handed to two consultancy firms for work redesigning streets across Glasgow.
Glasgow City Council’s ‘Liveable Neighbourhood’ plans will allow people to meet their daily needs within 20 minutes of their home by walking or cycling. It is hoped the schemes will reduce car dependency and make streets more attractive to residents.
The contracts are for tranche two of six planned ‘Liveable Neighbourhood’ programmes and cover four areas: Pollokshaws/Strathbungo, Gorbals/Pollokshields East, Sighthill/Hogganfield and Yoker/Whiteinch.
New research shows multiple benefits for parents and carers when their children cycle
Unique new research conducted by Cycling UK shows that when children cycle, it brings a variety of benefits to their parents and families as well as to the children themselves.
The research, which was commissioned by Transport Scotland, is believed to be the first of its kind in the world on this topic.
It shows that having children that cycle helps families juggle activities and time pressures, creates quality time together and saves money, amongst other benefits.
Parents reported that when children cycle independently it saves time and reduces stress, both on the school run and for journeys after school, on weekends and during holidays.
It also helped children and families to access more non-school activities and gave parents fewer pressures when working, which particularly benefited parents of multiple children and single parent households.
Want to get involved with local campaigning in your area and connect with others across the country?
Let's get Caerphilly cycling - Thursday 10 November, 6.30-8.30pm
Caerphilly Cycle Campaign need you and your ideas to help make Caerphilly great for all who want to ride a bike.
Join us at Caerphilly Miners to help create a vision for cycling in Caerphilly so that the whole county can be a place where everyone who wants to can get about by bike. Tea, coffee and cake will be available. We look forward to seeing you there.
COP27: Day of Global Action - Saturday 12 November
November 12 will see mass mobilisations across the country and put thousands of people on the streets to demand Climate Justice in solidarity with the Global Day of Action called by Egyptian groups at COP27. Find your local protest
Surgery session - November - Cycle Advocacy Network - Thursday 17 November, 12.30-1.30pm
This is an opportunity for you to have a one-to-one consultation online with Cycling UK campaigns team staff. If you have a) a specific question you’d like to discuss, or b) a more general area you’d like guidance on how to proceed with then this could be for you.
Online: Mass rides and campaigning kids - Thursday 17 November, 7-8pm
Kidical Mass and Bike Buses are simple but effective ways you may have heard of for amplifying the voices of children. Hear the stories of those who are organising kid-friendly campaigning rides in the UK and their potential for influencing decision makers and the wider public conversation. Followed by a chance to ask questions, as you consider whether you can do something similar for your community. This virtual gathering will take place on Zoom. Contributors include:
- Kat Heath - Kidical Mass UK
- Emily Farquar & Ewen Maclean - Blackford Bike Bus
Help us save the cycling budget in England
Cycling UK and other organisations involved in active travel are increasingly concerned that active travel funding in England may be significantly cut as part of the review of spending and fiscal plan on 17 November. Help us save the budget by using our editable template to write to your MP, today.
Active Travel route consultation - Waycock Cross to Rhoose
Phase one of the consultation in Wales for a proposed active travel route connecting Barry to Rhoose has launched and will be open until 1 November 2022.
Cycling Framework for Scotland
The Scottish Government wants your views on a Cycling Framework and Delivery Plan for Active Travel. This follows the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland which ended in 2020. Cycling UK aims to provide a guide to responding to this consultation in the coming weeks.
Welsh transport appraisal guidance (WelTAG) 2022
The Welsh transport appraisal guidance (WelTAG) helps plan transport programmes, policies and projects. The Welsh government has updated the guidance to reflect Llwybr Newydd, the new Wales transport strategy 2021. They are consulting on the new draft guidance.
Influence your Union to campaign for active travel
Read (and be inspired by) Jill's story and then work out how you can use her proposal to the National Education Union as a starting point in your own union or professional body.
Call for new housing to be cycle friendly
Cycling UK is concerned that the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill risks missing vital opportunities to create a planning system that provides genuinely affordable housing as well as protecting the climate, nature, and our future prosperity. Cycling UK is therefore calling on members and supporters to write to your MP.
Research and recover lost rights of way
Thousands of historical rights of way were recorded incorrectly when councils were compiling their official maps in the 1950s. However, the public’s right to ride on them still exists. It hasn’t just disappeared because they’ve been marked incorrectly on a map. Discover and recover lost rights of way near you.