Cycle Campaign News October 2014
Cycle Campaign News October 2014
From the Editor:
CTC really wanted to be able to say that the Government’s recently published draft Cycling Delivery Plan was entirely worth the year-long wait, but the document makes too glaring an omission for that: it fails to commit to firm funding.
Maybe the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement will come up with the necessary £££s instead? All will be revealed on 03 December. (See headlines below).
And, if you're looking for further material for your diary, go to our Diary Dates page for a particularly rich selection of events to help you keep up with the world of cycle advocacy.
Subscribe to our email bulletin telling you when the latest monthly Campaign News is online - and what's in it.
No Cash on Cycling Delivery Plan
A year after it was first promised, the Government has finally published its draft Cycling Delivery Plan. Unfortunately, it aspirations to increase cycling are not backed up by a firm funding commitment. Instead, it says: "working with local government and businesses, we can together explore how we can achieve a minimum funding packet equivalent to £10 per person each year by 2020-21."
Exploring is not good enough. It means that the Plan is glossing over the most important recommendation of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s (APPCG) Get Britain Cycling report, i.e. the creation of a cycling budget of at least £10 per head per year, rising to £20 as cycle use increases. This should be enough to help Britain catch up with Germany, the Netherlands or Denmark. Set against the Government’s £24bn for road building and £40.6bn for HS2, this ask is hardly unreasonable.
CTC was also disappointed to find the Plan falling short of other Get Britain Cycling’s recommendations, especially on cycle use targets, consistent high design standards/guidance for cycle-friendly road infrastructure and action on lorry safety.
Hope in the Autumn Statement?
To press home the funding point, last week CTC’s Funding4Cycling campaign urged cyclists to respond to HM Treasury’s public consultation (now closed) on what should be in the Chancellor’s forthcoming Autumn Statement on 3 December. We reached well over 12,000 people and we’re now keen to find out whether George Osborne has been persuaded to do the right thing by cycling and allocate meaningful and sustained sums of money to it.
See our Funding4Cycling page for the submission we made to the Treasury, prepared jointly with Sustrans, British Cycling, Living Streets and The Bicycle Association.
MPs debate the future of cycling ... and the Plan
The timing of the draft Cycling Delivery Plan’s release (16/10/2014) was something of a surprise – it happened mere minutes before the House of Commons was due to debate the future of cycling in Britain, giving MPs little time to absorb its contents. Nevertheless, over 25 of them made impassioned calls for a better deal for cycling - many armed with a briefing from CTC - and between them pointed out its benefits and expressed their dismay at the Plan’s funding deficit.
In response to the debate, cycling minister Robert Goodwill MP said: "This is the first time that the Government have included that £10 figure in a document, and I have to say that, having let the genie out of the bottle, I intend to do nothing to try to put it back." CTC certainly views this recognition as a sign of progress, so long as turns swiftly into the shape of real money, spent wisely.
Help improve the Plan!
The Cycling Delivery Plan is out for ‘informal' consultation until 13 November 2014, giving local authorities and campaigners a chance to suggest improvements to the final version. The DfT is also hosting a series of events throughout the country, offering an overview of current policy, an outline of the Plan, and interactive engagement sessions - space is limited though.
- CTC on the Cycling Delivery Plan
- Consultation details and DfT engagement events
- Live blog coverage of the House of Commons debate from CTC's Campaigns Director, Roger Geffen
- Full transcript of the debate
- Robert Goodwill’s Statement to Parliament
Academics say that Getting Britain Cycling is worth £billions
Coinciding with the Parliamentary debate and mentioned several times throughout, new research conducted at CTC’s request has demonstrated that meeting the Get Britain Cycling report’s targets for increased cycle use could be worth as much as £6bn annually by 2025 in health benefits alone, rising to £25bn per year by 2050.
In the era of 'evidence based policy', a condensed nugget of hard evidence on the matter can be worth reams of rhetoric.”
Dr Robin Lovelace
Co-author of 'Modelling uptake of cycling and associated health benefits'
The researchers, Dr Robin Lovelace (University of Leeds) and Dr James Woodcock (University of Cambridge) will now look at quantifying the additional benefits from the resulting reductions in congestion and emissions.
Read Dr Robin Lovelace’s blog about the research
- “As I turn out onto the main road on the newly-installed segregated cycle way, I reflect how in just six years this road has changed from a snarling snake of sputtering traffic packed in nose-to-tail to a largely empty road, graced only by the occasional hum of a low emissions vehicle… Nowadays, it is not uncommon to hear groups of young people discussing the merits of this bike over that, much like they did once upon a time when video games were more popular.”
CTC's Sam Jones considers what a day in the life of a cyclist might be like by 2020 - IF the Government had committed to Funding4Cycling in 2014, AND had been investing at least £10 per head annually for the previous five years.
- CTC's Robbie Gillett investigates where the main political parties really stand on funding for cycling.
Help researchers study near misses
We hope you don't have any close calls when you're out on your cycle, but if you do, you can help with some academic research into them.One Day Diary survey, to see how many injuries or near-misses are reported on any day between 20 October and 2 November. You can nominate the day yourself, and it’s very easy to register.
The Near Miss project complements the Bespoke study we mentioned last month. This is a London-focussed, Barts Health Trust exercise to gather data on near misses involving cyclists. Using an app called ‘Collideoscope’, it aims to quantify the emotional and financial impacts of really serious cycling injuries, to help make the case for greater investment in safe cycling conditions.
New law fails road crash victims
RoadPeace has learnt from the Ministry of Justice that the victims of summary motoring offences (drink/drug driving, speeding, careless driving, hit and run) will not be covered by a new law guaranteeing key rights for victims of crime, previously set out in the Victims Code. This, says RoadPeace, represents yet another missed opportunity to end the discrimination against road crash victims.
Changing Gear in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland has just hosted its first government cycling seminar, attracting over 180 delegates and a range of international speakers to share their cycling expertise and experiences. Transport Minister Danny Kennedy said, “The response from the public to this event is simply outstanding and it clearly demonstrates the growing interest we have in cycling. […]. I am convinced that Northern Ireland has the potential to develop a mature cycling culture similar to that enjoyed by many of our European neighbours who benefit from improvement in health and the environment.”
The ‘Changing Gear’ seminar was held in conjunction with the public consultation on the Department for Regional Developments draft Bicycle Strategy, launched at the end of August. (Consultation deadline 21 November).
Cycle-rail fund application guidance out
The DfT has issued guidance for train operating companies on applying to the £15 million Cycle-rail fund 2015 to 2016. The money is for improving cycle facilities at railway stations, and will be allocated via the Cycle Rail Working Group.
Volvo Truck develops 360 scanning technology for goods vehicles
Volvo Truck has developed new technology allowing drivers a 360 degree scan of the vehicle’s surroundings. The system fuses sensory input from cameras, radars and other sensors positioned on all sides of the vehicle. Volvo says that “The vehicle evaluates information from multiple sources simultaneously, functioning much like the human mind does, and suggests actions to avoid any incidents. The technology is now in the test phase and may become reality five to ten years from now.”
CTC advocates research into all measures that have the potential to make the interaction between cyclists and HGVs safer, but believes that direct vision, good driver training and bans on lorries altogether on the busiest roads at the busiest times are especially vital. See our briefing on goods vehicles.
You can (and should!) report potholes and other road defects through CTC's Fill that Hole site any time of the year, of course, but with winter coming up and lots of rain about already, now is a good time to be especially diligent.
Kathryn Stewart & Adrian McHale (Transport Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University)
Based on the information collected from an instrumented bicycle, this research looks at how much room drivers leave cyclists when overtaking them in the urban (30 mph/40 mph) environment.
Shows that “when a driver encounters a cyclist mid-block (i.e. not at a junction), there are more significant variables than the presence of a cycle lane that determines the overtaking distance. The three most significant variables identified are: absolute road width, the presence of nearside parking and the presence of an opposing vehicle at the time of an overtaking manoeuvre.”
Interestingly, the analysis also demonstrated that “there is a larger unknown factor when it comes to overtaking distances. We postulate that this unknown variable is the driver himself and will vary by area, site and even time of day (i.e. different driving cultures, congestion, or frustration during peak times, etc.) making it difficult to quantify.”
Published in Transport, 29:3, 307-316, DOI:10.3846/16484142.2014.953205
Reports on off-street trials of cycling infrastructure (TRL)
During the last couple of years, TRL has been carrying out a large programme of off-street trials of cycling infrastructure for Transport for London (TfL). The first sets of reports from these trials are now available online:
- A trial of the use of a red cycle aspect on conventional ‘high level’ traffic signal units - provides evidence to support on-street trials for the Cycle Red signal, and sufficient confidence that the trials of Low Level Signals could progress safely too.
- Two literature reviews looking at signalised junction designs:
- Cyclists turning right (looking at provision for cyclists turning right at a signalised junction);
- Fully segregated junctions, Dutch style (an approach involving cyclists turning right on a green stage signal from a segregated cycle track in either a single movement or in two).
- Three reports on segregated cycle lanes:
- Trials of segregation set-back at side roads (how far before a junction physical segregation within the carriageway should end);
- Tachistoscopic testing of different markings through a cyclist priority junction (what road markings should be used to continue cycle lanes past a side-road turning);
- Alternative separation methods for cycle lanes (considering different methods for physically separating cycle lanes from other traffic.
Everybody active, every day: An evidence-based approach to physical activity (Public Health England)
Report looking at the extent of physical inactivity, the problems it causes and how to address them by “embed[ding] physical activity into the fabric of daily life, making it an easy, cost-effective and ‘normal’ choice in every community in England.” One of the solutions, the authors say, is to “Create safe and attractive environments where everyone can walk or cycle, regardless of age or disability.”
Everybody active, every day: What works – the evidence (Public Health England)
Sets out the evidence base for what works to get people active at a population-scale, highlighting the potential both of ’direct’ interventions (e.g. referring people to ‘led’ walks), as well as those that focus on the wider determinants of health (e.g. improving the environment to make walking and cycling easy and safe). Identifies key options for action at each level of the public health system which could, if implemented at scale, achieve the shift needed to improve both individual and population health and wellbeing.
Says: "Pedestrians, cyclists, and users of other modes of transport that involve physical activity need the highest priority when developing or maintaining streets and roads. This can mean re-allocation of road space to support walking and cycling; restricting motor vehicle access; introducing road-user charging and traffic-calming schemes; and creating create safe routes to schools. Improving or adding green spaces and tree cover improves air quality as well as making spaces feel more welcoming.Such changes have prompted substantial shifts from car transport to walking and cycling."
Note: Both the above publications should appear on the PHE website soon (they were due for publication on 23/10/2014)
Following up on the main results published in June, this is the full collection of road casualty and safety statistics tables, including data on vehicle involvement, contributory factors, casualty rates for different modes of travel, drink-driving and the cost of collisions and casualties.
By Owe Carter
An inventive and entertaining online presentation from Confused.Com considering the question of car dependency in cities, and the suggestion that it’s reached its zenith. With contributions from a range of experts, including Bath University’s Dr Ian Walker of cycling research fame; and before and after maps of Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast, all of which show a proliferation of ‘vibrant public space’ and cycle provision in the ‘carless concept’ future.
31 October - 11 November
An important series events across England giving delegates the opportunity to engage with the Department for Transport on the Cycling Delivery Plan (see Headlines). The series will end with a web chat hosted by DfT on 12 November at 11am
The events will include an overview of current policy, an outline of the Cycling Delivery Plan and interactive engagement sessions, finishing with a Q&A session with DfT officials. Spaces are limited.
1 November, Llandudno, North Wales, 12.00 – 17.30 (Craig Y Don Community Centre)
Gain the knowledge and tools you need to campaign effectively for Road Justice and Space for Cycling. This event is free.
Road Danger Reduction and Enforcement: How policing can support walking and cycling in London
1 November, 10.30am – 3.45pm (hosted by LB Southwark at 160 Tooley Street, London)
Conference to highlight what the Metropolitan Police Service and TfL are doing to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety, and what changes campaigners would like to see. Aimed at non-professional road safety campaigners, councillors, and transport, health and road safety professionals concerned with safety on the roads.
Chaired jointly by Lord Berkeley, President of the Road Danger Reduction Forum and Vice-President of CTC, and Baroness Jenny Jones MLA.
Organised by RoadPeace, the Road Danger Reduction Forum; CTC; and the London Cycling Campaign.
Free of charge. To register, please send an email giving your name and email address to TLELondon@lcc.org.uk
London Cycling Design Standards training (Urban Design London)
4 and 20 November
Training sessions looking at TfL’s new LCDS in detail and how to apply them. N.B.: Most places go to the organisation’s members, but where there’s space, others may be able to book for a fee.
UDL are also offering training events on the Mayor’s cycling vision and cycle scheme evaluation and site visits.
Designing-in walking and cycling (Landor Links conference)
6 November, London SE11
An event looking at how walking and cycling can support transport needs and improve the economy, health and well-being.
22 November 2014, Lambeth Town Hall 9.30-18.00 (hosted by the London Cycling Campaign; sponsored by Lambeth Council)
Come along 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, the event will be an un-missable opportunity for local and national cycling campaigners to learn from each other on how to campaign effectively to promote cycling, and to get up to speed on the most topical political, policy and technical issues.
- Andrew Gilligan, Mayor of London’s Cycling Commissioner
- Jennifer Brathwaite, Cabinet Member Environment & Sustainability, LB Lambeth
- Lucy Saunders, Public Health Specialist, GLA/TfL Transport and Public Realm team
- Rachel Aldred, Senior Lecturer in Transport, University of Westminster
- Kevin Hickman, Inclusive Cycling Forum
- Phil Jones, Phil Jones Associates, contributor to Welsh Active Travel Bill
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.
Cost: £25 - online booking now open.
Cycling Briefing: Understanding the Government's Cycling Delivery Plan (Westminster Briefing)
3 December, London (postponed from 21 October)
An event to consider the Government's recently published 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)