Cycle Campaign News November 2014
Cycle Campaign News November 2014
From the Editor
According to the Government’s draft Cycling Delivery Plan, partnership funding opportunities for local authorities are on the way (at least in theory!).
Given cycling and walking's very high value for money - now officially recognised (see New Publications) - this should be an exciting prospect for councils all over the country.
Working with the willing always makes financial sense, though, so we think now is a particularly good moment to note how many councillors in each of England’s Core Cities have pledged their support for Space for Cycling (see Headlines).
Well done Newcastle! [Photo right: Shannon Robalino]
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CTC and local campaign groups have published a league table ranking the support for cycling from English ‘Core Cities’, based on the number of councillors backing the Space for Cycling campaign outside London. Newcastle is top with an impressive 67%, while Liverpool and Sheffield still have quite a lot of catching up to do.
- Newcastle: 67%
- Manchester: 41%
- Nottingham: 31%
- Bristol: 26%
- Birmingham: 16%
- Leeds: 16%
- Liverpool: 12%
- Sheffield: 11%
Space for Cycling calls on councillors to make cycling a safe, convenient and enjoyable option for day-to-day journeys for people of all ages and abilities.
Last month, we reported that the Department for Transport (DfT) had published a consultation version of its draft Cycling Delivery Plan for England. We have now looked at the document in detail and responded to the consultation, emphasising our main call for a commitment from the Government to fund cycling to the tune of at least £10 per head per year – not just ‘explore’ the possibility.
We also feel that the Plan’s cycle use target isn’t ambitious enough: in fact, we calculate that its goal to ‘double’ cycling from its current level of 0.8bn trips to 1.6bn trips by 2025 isn’t a doubling at all, because it fails to account for population growth and the expected increase in cycle use in London. In reality, the target equates to a 74% increase in cycling trips per person outside the capital – and we’d probably only reach Dutch levels of cycle use just before the start of the 23rd century!
CTC has also delved into the draft’s minutiae, highlighting its good aspects, flaws and omissions, whilst presenting constructive suggestions to make it more robust and fit for purpose. Amongst them is a recommendation that the Active Travel Consortium (ATC), if properly supported and funded, could form a valuable mechanism for reporting, monitoring and facilitating progress.
Due to the large volume of responses it received, the DfT has now moved the consultation deadline forward to 27 November. You’re welcome to make use of CTC’s submission to inform your own response.
A recent Westminster Hall debate on the sentencing of dangerous driving offences seemed to be the perfect arena for an official announcement on a date for the promised dangerous driving sentencing review but, unfortunately, this didn’t happen.
A number of MPs took the chance to raise some important points, however: Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) reminded everyone that the legal system and drivers need to recognise that when they get behind the wheel of a car, they are “in charge of a lethal weapon”; while Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West) highlighted the Crown Prosecution Service’s propensity to dismiss a charge of dangerous driving in favour of the lesser charge of careless driving.
Speaking in response to the debate, Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims, Mike Penning MP, confirmed that there would be an extensive public consultation on sentencing. He also said: “I will not pre-empt the review but I agree that we need to look carefully at whether the punishment fits the crime.”
The debate was initiated by Reading West MP Alok Sharma, who is pressing for tougher sentences for dangerous driving following the deaths of two of his constituents, John Morland and Kris Jarvis, killed whilst cycling by driver Alexander Farrar Walters last February.
CTC believes that the courts need to be much more willing to use long driving bans as a sentencing option, with long custodial sentences being reserved for really serious cases. This approach helps protect the public and deters people from bad driving in the first place.
Lower blood alcohol limit for Scotland
In a welcome move, the Scottish Parliament has voted to lower the blood alcohol limit for drivers from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg/100ml. The new rules should come into force on 5 December. Northern Ireland is expected to lower its limit shortly too. This will leave England & Wales and Malta as the only countries in the EU with the higher limit.
Scotland - where an average of 20 people die every year in collisions involving drivers over the limit - has also launched a high profile public information campaign about the change.
Scotland’s Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill MSPsaid: “The vote received all-party support, backing from experts and road safety campaigners and the vast majority of the public are behind it. All the evidence from across Europe where the lower limit is in force suggests we will see convictions go down, reductions in drink driving and blood alcohol counts.”
So, how much has the DfT spent on cycling?
If you’ve been trying but failing to work out exactly how much of the DfT’s money has gone on cycling since 2010, it amounts to just under £438million, or around 0.71% of its total spend, according to a recent Parliamentary Question (PQ).
Here's the breakdown:
Financial years 2010/11 - 2014/15
Cycling Cities & National Parks Fund
Links to Schools & Linking Communities
Cycle Safety Fund
LSTF - Bikeability
LSTF - other cycling
CTC thinks the Government could (and should) do much better. Schemes for cycling and walking are excellent value for money, as three new reports from the DfT show. See New Publications for more.
Neglected bikes in their millions are lying about in domestic outbuildings all over the country, but CTC has helped to winkle some of them out for repair and get their owners cycling again, thanks to a pilot project supported by the DfT.
Hundreds of people recently dropped in to Big Bike Revival sessions in Ainsdale, Bradford, Hebden Bridge, Keighley, Leeds, Manchester, South Elmsall, Tameside, and Wigan, and left as happy customers resolving to cycle more often. As well as helping them repair their old bikes, experts were on hand with advice about cycle safety, cycle training, local routes, groups, training and rides.
CTC now hopes to bring the Revival, plus associated community bike recycling challenges, to many more towns and cities across England - and then to the whole of the UK.
New Forest grant recycled
The Government has decided to reallocate some of the New Forest National Park Authority’s (NPA) Cycling Ambition Grant, following the Park’s decision not to go ahead with a family cycle hire scheme.
Campaigners were dismayed by news that the NPA was planning to divert the money (£1.5m) to schemes that were not cycling-specific, but the DfT is going to put it towards other cycling projects instead. The NPA will still receive £2m to fund other elements of its plan, including upgrades for existing off-road cycle tracks and better cycling links to the park.
CTC’s Campaigns Director Roger Geffen said: “Given how the New Forest authorities were planning to misuse the Government’s cycling grant, it is regrettable but right that the Government should now withdraw it. With the consultation soon closing on the Government’s ‘Cycling Delivery Plan’, this shows exactly why we need long-term ‘funding for cycling’, not rushed projects when ministers suddenly find a bit of spare change."
Cycling in the media
Earlier in November, CTC’s Roger Geffen was one of the stars of BBC Breakfast’s week-long series of features, 'Cycling – The Road Ahead'. Pedalling through London behind the presenter on a tandem whilst being questioned about cyclists wearing headphones, Roger had just enough time to say how important it is to remember that cycling isn’t a particularly risky activity, and that there's no reason to believe it's any more dangerous for cyclists to wear headphones than pedestrians.
Another of the series’ contributors was Chris Boardman, who gave a practical demonstration of his top tips for cycling in the city. Subsequent criticism inspired him to explain online why he hadn’t worn a helmet for the piece, and expand on his unwillingness to let his eight-year-old daughter cycle on the roads.
- What did CTC make of all this media coverage? Read Sam Jones's blog.
Could you be the voice of cycling? CTC currently has a vacancy for a Communications Manager based at National Office in Guildford. Closing date for applications is midday 8 December 2014.
Welsh Active Travel Act delivery guidance out now
The Welsh Government has published delivery guidance on the Active Travel (Wales) Act, plus the formal designation of the areas where the Act's provisions apply. Design guidance will follow in due course.
Under this ground-breaking Act, Welsh local authorities have to map and plan for suitable routes for active travel; build and improve their infrastructure for walking and cycling every year; and consider the needs of walkers and cyclists and make provision for them. The Welsh Government and local authorities must also promote walking and cycling as a mode of transport.
For advice for campaigners on the Act and getting the best out of it, see the presentations made at our recent training day in North Wales by Dr Richard Keatinge and CTC's Campaigns Director Roger Geffen.
Pro-cycling and walking amendment to Infrastructure Bill doesn't make it through Lords
Unfortunately, an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill that would require the Government to publish a binding 'Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy', and answer to Parliament if its ambitions were not met, was not debated by the House of Lords for procedural reasons. Instead, the House backed a more limited amendment from the Government on the need for the Highways Agency simply to consider cyclists' and walkers' needs. When the Bill returns to the Commons in due course, there should be another opportunity to press the case for the calls made in the amendment, which was put forward by six campaigning groups, including CTC, and tabled by Lords Berkeley and Judd.
Cycle Safety Action Plan for London now out
Transport for London's new Cycle Safety Action Plan has been published, following consultations on a revised draft.
Both the Plan and an associated analysis of police files on cyclist fatalities in the capital offer a useful insight into conflicts with other road users (especially lorries). The Plan includes a progress report on actions to date, and makes commitments to designing safe streets, improving vehicle safety and driver standards, awareness and enforcement, together with better communication and knowledge-building.
CTC felt that the revised draft was much better than the pre-consultation versions and, although some concerns haven’t been entirely addressed in the final – e.g. its not very proactive approach to 20 mph – overall, the Plan deserves a thumbs up.
London's Safer Lorries Scheme begins final consultation
Transport for London and London Councils have reached the final phase of consultation on the UK's first Safer Lorries Scheme, which would ban lorries from all the capital’s roads (except motorways) if they aren’t fitted with sideguards and mirrors designed to protect cyclists and pedestrians.
Subject to the remaining consultation on the relevant Traffic Regulation Orders, the ban could be in full force by next summer.
Superhighways consultation attracts record response
Over 14,000 people responded to TfL’s now closed consultation on the North-South and East-West Cycle Superhighways, and 80% were in support of them. This was one of the 'highest responses ever' according to TfL, and 6,300 of those responses were sent via LCC’s website.
Also, the CyclingWorks campaign enlisted the support of London businesses for the Superhighways, despite criticism from the Canary Wharf Group and the London Chamber of Commerce. Chris Kenyon from CyclingWorks is speaking at the CTC/Cyclenation Conference this Saturday (Nov 22).
The bereaved families of cyclists Andrew McNicoll and Sally Low have added their support to RoadShare, a campaign to bring Scottish civil law in line with the majority of other European countries by introducing a presumed (or ‘stricter’) liability law.
Under this system, instead of having to prove the other party’s liability, cyclists or pedestrians are entitled to full compensation from the driver’s insurance for their injuries unless the driver can show that the cyclist's or pedestrian’s behaviour fell well below the standard that could be expected of them. The UK is one of just five countries in the European Union which doesn’t have such a law – the others being Cyprus, Malta, Romania and Ireland.
The Road Share campaign was launched by the law firm Cycle Law Scotland and is now led by a multi-disciplinary steering group. Its ultimate aim is the introduction of a member’s bill in the Scottish Parliament. Adventure cyclist Mark Beaumont is also supporting the campaign.
CTC Councillor and all-round advocate of cycling, John Radford, has died. John, who was knocked from his bike by a car in July 2013, never recovered from his injuries and was left needing constant care. The loss of a man who "put as much into cycling as he got out of it" has been felt by many.
The driver of the car that hit John has been convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Leeds Crown Court and awaits sentencing. For that charge, he would face a maximum sentence of 2 to 5 years. However, following John's death, the police have alerted the Crown Prosecution Service to the possibility of a re-trial for a more serious offence. This could be causing death by dangerous driving (maximum sentence 14 years) or even manslaughter (maximum sentence life imprisonment).
Hearing that a proposed cycle lane in Leicester was under threat because of a petition against it, the local campaign group launched themselves into action, using media interest constructively and staging a demonstration in support of the lane in particular, and for Space for Cycling more generally.
Elizabeth Barner, CTC’s Cycling Development Officer in Leicester said: “The petition has been turned into the opportunity to have a city-wide discussion about how its citizens want the streets to be, now and in the future.”
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint made by the Brighton and Hove cycle campaign Bricycles, against a pro-motoring group who placed newspaper advertisements criticising the Council's 20 mph speed limits. The ASA has told 'Unchain the Brighton Motorist' “… to ensure they did not make claims, including implied claims, about the relationship between speed limits and casualties in future if they were not in a position to substantiate them.”
The ad appeared in The Argus in July and implied that there was a relationship between 20 mph speed limits and an increase in casualties.
Becky Reynolds of Bricycles said: “We don’t want to see the public misinformed about a crucial area like road safety. Far from an increase in casualties, the data in Brighton and Hove for phase 1 of the 20 mph area show that there has been a decrease in both the number of casualties and the severity of injuries when the figures for 8 April 2013 to 7 April 2014 are compared with the previous three years. Collisions are also down.”
Rising to a challenge from a local councillor, Portsmouth Cycle Forum has set out its vision for a city “where cyclists and pedestrians who live, work, study and visit Portsmouth can be safely accommodated alongside drivers. 'A City to Share' has been greeted with enthusiasm by city leaders, and the launch event at the beginning of November was attended by representatives from local schools and businesses, as well as many councillors and parliamentary candidates.
Jon Spencer, Chair of the Forum, said: “Only about 4.6% of commuting journeys in Portsmouth are made by bike, which is significantly lower than the 16% seen in Cambridge. We believe that with the right infrastructure in place, Portsmouth could be an ideal city for cycling, and aim to see the percentage of commuting journeys rise to 10% by 2020, and 20% by 2025.”
Seventeen community cycle groups in London now have £44,000 between from TfL’s Community Cycling Fund, which is administered by London Cycle Campaign. The grants go to a variety of projects, including Core Cycling in Hackney to help adults with severe mental health issues; Lewisham Cyclists’ Grove Park Mend and Ride scheme; and Greenwich Islamic Centre to encourage more cycling and offer led rides.
Another world for many, but coming soon for Manchester ...
Fly through an excellent animated video showing how Manchester's Oxford Road bus priority scheme will look - a fascinating demonstration of plans to help harmonise bus, cycle and foot travel in a busy urban setting.
How do the numbers compare with supporters in England’s Core Cities (see headlines)?
Have a look at our who’s signed up and where map to find out if the political will in your locality needs a nudge from you.
As decisions on transport investment are largely informed by a scheme’s projected benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR), it's vital to ensure that the impressively high financial returns of putting money into cycling and walking aren’t overlooked.
A BCR of between 1.5 and 2.0 is officially considered to represent ‘medium’ value for money (VfM), whilst anything above 4 is ‘very high’. According to three new reports from DfT, cycling and walking schemes are, on average, well able to meet and often exceed these figures:
Claiming the Health Dividend: A summary and discussion of value for money estimates from studies of investment in walking and cycling
By Dr Adrian Davis
Based on detailed case studies and other findings, the report concludes that:
“The volume of literature on CBA[Cost Benefit Analysis]/BCR of interventions to promote routine walking and cycling has grown in recent years and reveals that the economic justification for investments to facilitate cycling and walking has been undervalued or not even considered in public policy decision-making. Yet, almost all of the studies reported within this review cite economic benefits which are highly significant, with BCRs averaging 5.95 (UK and non-UK).
“Consequently, environmental and other interventions to facilitate increased population physical activity through cycling and walking are likely to be amongst the ‘best buys’ across many areas of public policy i.e. public health benefits, cost savings for health services and for transport planning.”
An analytical summary of the returns expected by the eight Cities and four National Parks who, in 2013, successfully bid for cycling grants worth (with local contributions) about £150m.
As a package, the Cycle City Ambition Grant is expected to deliver around £5 of benefits for each pound invested, with individual schemes' benefit cost ratios (BCRs) ranging from just above 2:1 to in excess of 30:1. The National Park schemes as a package are expected to provide more than £7 of benefits per pound invested, with the individual BCRs ranging between 3:1 and 13:1.
Increased physical fitness accounts for the majority of benefits estimated for both the Cities and the Parks (60% for the cities).
Report summarising the findings of the assessment of the value for money (VfM) for the large projects funded by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF).
Concludes that the 12 projects, which were given £225m to spend between them, represent a combined return on investment of at least 5:1 – i.e. £5 back for every £1 spent. The report says that this “…demonstrates that investment in local sustainable transport projects represents very high value for money. The value for money assessment of the smaller bids suggested that, as a package, these also represented high value for money.”
Other new publications:
By Rob Gallagher and John Parkin
These guidelines from the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation say that cycling is an important, but neglected form of transport and explain how to release its potential by organising public spaces and other rights-of-way appropriately.
Includes sections on: cycling characteristics, behaviour and trends in the UK; benefits of cycling; current conditions and challenges; legal and regulatory context; cycling strategies and plans; planning cycle networks and routes; promotion; and monitoring and evaluation of cycling schemes.
Making Road Safety Pay: Building a safe road transport system for Britain (Road Safety Foundation)
Report making seven recommendations to “set the UK on a track to achieving zero road deaths within the next decade and reduce the cost of road crashes to the economy estimated at 2% of GDP.”
The recommendations include: developing a ten-year 'Towards Zero' strategy for road deaths; Social Impact Bonds to finance new safety programmes; a National Older Driver Strategy; Low-speed Autonomous Emergency Braking for all new cars; Minimum inbuilt safety levels of 4-stars for the busiest national roads and minimum 3-stars for all other national roads by 2025; independent Road Safety Inspectorate and raising the safety of local authority 'A' roads to a 3-star minimum level by 2030.
The speech Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill MP made at the launch of the report provides a useful update on the Government’s current activity on road safety. “We are always mindful of the need to improve the safety of cyclists,” he said.
How safe are you on Britain's roads? - 2014 results (Road Safety Foundation)
Report that measures and maps the differing risk of death and serious injury faced by road users across the British road network, tracking which roads have improved, and those with persistent and unacceptably high risks.
Developing a measure of traffic calming associated with elementary school students’ active transport
By Lisa M. Nicholson et al
Results of a study from the USA concluding that “traffic calming measure was strongly, significantly, and positively correlated with the percentage of students reported as walking or biking to school.” Published in Science Direct.
Although this 14-page briefing doesn’t mention cycling in particular, it does emphasise the known links between aerobic fitness and academic achievement and notes that physical activity improves classroom behaviour.
By B Joseph et al
The results of a study to determine how much protection bicycle helmets offer against intra-cranial haemorrhage. Concludes that “Bicycle helmets may have a protective effect against external head injury but its protective role for intra-cranial haemorrhage is questionable. Further studies assessing the protective role of helmets for intra-cranial haemorrhage are warranted.”
The researchers reviewed a total of 864 cyclists admitted to a treatment centre with traumatic brain injury, and compared helmeted and non-helmeted bike riders for differences in the patterns of injury, need for intensive care unit admissions and mortality.
Published in the European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
22 November 2014, Lambeth Town Hall 9.30-18.00
Hosted by the London Cycling Campaign; sponsored by Lambeth Council
It’s this weekend coming up, but not too late to book for a unique insight into the political dynamics of cycling at local and national level. With an exciting list of speakers and expert workshop leaders, this is an opportunity for local and national cycle campaigners to learn from each other how to campaign effectively, and to get up to speed on the most topical political, policy and technical issues.
- Robert Goodwill (recorded statement), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, DfT
- Naomi Green, Head of Cycling Policy Team, DfT
- Andrew Gilligan, Mayor of London’s Cycling Commissioner
- Prof. David Cox OBE, ex-chair of South Birmingham Primary Care Trust and Chair of CTC
- Jennifer Brathwaite, Cabinet Member Environment & Sustainability, LB Lambeth
- John Richfield, Urban Cycling Transport Designer, Bristol City Council
- Chris Kenyon, Co-founder of Cycling Works
- Brian Deegan, TfL's lead on the London Cycling Design Standards
- Lucy Saunders, Public Health Specialist, GLA/TfL Transport and Public Realm team
- Paul Tuohy, CEO of CTC
- Rosie Downes, Campaigns Manager, London Cycling Campaign
- Rachel Aldred, Senior Lecturer in Transport, University of Westminster
- Kevin Hickman, Inclusive Cycling Forum
- Phil Jones, Phil Jones Associates, lead author of the design guidance accompanying the Active Travel (Wales) Act
- Paul Gasson, Waltham Forest LCC
- Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign and lead author of the Making Space for Cycling guide
Panel discussions with leading figures from across the UK will include:
- Building political commitment for cycling
- Design standards: background and scope for development across the UK
Workshops will include the following topics:
- Public Health: working with local authorities in their new duties
- Accessibility/Inclusivity of Cycling: towards a Cyclenation Inclusion Policy
As usual, there will be social events and rides including drinks/dinner on Friday and Saturday nights and a chance to join social rides led by local groups of the London Cycling Campaign on Sunday 23 November.
Tickets cost £25 and online booking is still open. If you plan on tweeting from the event, this is the hashtag to use: #CNconf14
22 November, Edinburgh
While the AGM is a CTC members' only event, all interested parties are very welcome to attend the day's presentations, roundtable discussions, networking opportunities and lunch, starting from 11am.
Keynote speakers include:
- Trevor Parsons, Coordinator - London Cycling Campaign in Hackney
- Donald Urquhart, CTC Scotland Secretary - Road Justice Campaign
With roundtable discussions on:
- Play on Pedals
- CTC membership
- Bike Club
- Belles on Bikes network
- Road Justice campaign
Cycling Briefing: Understanding the Government's Cycling Delivery Plan (Westminster Briefing)
3 December, London
An event to consider the Government's Cycling Delivery Plan - and the infrastructure & policy issues it examines. Offers the chance to discuss how to respond, plan and prepare; the ways in which the new plan differs from previous Government initiatives; and how the work of local authorities will be affected.
For stakeholders working on cycling-related areas, including active travel, local highway authorities, infrastructure and asset management, transport planning etc. Discounts for readers of CTC’s Cycle Campaign News are available.
- Pauline Reeves, Deputy Director, Sustainable Accessible Travel, DfT
- Roger Geffen, Campaigns & Policy Director, CTC
- Cllr Heather Acton, Cabinet Member for Sustainability & Parking, Westminster City Council
- Dr Kevin Golding Williams, Public Affairs and Policy Manager, Living Streets
- Helen Ramsden, Head of Travel Choices, Transport for Greater Manchester
- Peter Zanzottera, Associate, Steer Davies Gleave (Chair)
5 & 6 February 2015, Birmingham
The 3rd in a series of annual events, this conference is for representatives and stakeholders from the Smarter Travel Sector, including new technology entrepreneurs, local and central government departments and representatives of all Local Sustainable Travel Fund (LSTF) awarded regions. It’s an opportunity to share knowledge, good practice and discuss effective implementation of future projects.
Confirmed keynote speakers include:
- Baroness Kramer, Local Transport Minister
- Paul Zanelli, Chief Technology Officer, Transport Systems Catapult
- Geoff Inskip, Chief Executive, CENTRO
The conference format includes 'Speed Networking' case study discussion forums, workshops, panel discussions, case study and key-note presentations taking place over the two days.