Cycle Campaign News Jan 2019

Places designed for cycling and walking are healthier and safer for everyone.

Cycle Campaign News Jan 2019

Cycling UK's round-up of recent campaigning news

From the editor

It certainly feels like spring has suddenly appeared after a glorious Easter weekend. Hopefully you managed to get out on your bike and enjoy the sunshine!

Unfortunately Campaign News hasn’t quite caught up – we’ve had a bit of a reshuffle in the campaigns team and it rather fell by the wayside. We’re very sorry about that and will do our best to catch up with the next few bumper double editions.

The next issue will be a round-up of updates from February and March, and the final double bill will bring you up to date with news from April and May.

In the meantime, grab a cup of tea and enjoy this whistle-stop tour of highlights from the beginning of the year.

Sophie Gordon

Campaign News

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Headlines

Government recognises importance of active travel in Clean Air Strategy

“Air pollution is a health emergency”, was how Health Secretary Matt Hancock launched the Government’s latest Clean Air Strategy.  “Cycling or walking short journeys instead of driving not only helps our own health, it reduces the health risk to others by helping cut air pollution”.

Despite these promising words and an excellent infographic in the report illustrating the benefits, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore was disappointed by the lack of a clear vision for how to increase cycling and walking.  He said: “If the Government wants walking and cycling to be the obvious choice for shorter journeys, they‘ll have to invest more to achieve this.”

If the Government wants walking and cycling to be the obvious choice for shorter journeys, they‘ll have to invest more to achieve this.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK's Head of Campaigns

Cycling and air quality infographic

… But still in danger of missing cycling and walking targets

Giving evidence to the House of Commons Transport Committee inquiry into Active Travel, Cycling UK, Sustrans and Living Streets emphasised the power of embracing cycling and walking to tackle the public health crisis and asked where the money was to make this happen. 

The charities are urging the government to increase investment in active travel from 2% of the transport budget currently to 5% by 2020 and 10% by 2050.  If not, the target set out in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy of doubling cycling by 2025 seems unlikely to be met.

Cycling UK’s associate director of policy Roger Geffen described cycling as a “miracle pill” and said: “It’s not the people currently cycling who will benefit from more funding, but rather those who feel forced to drive those short distances to school, work or the shops due to having no suitable alternative.”

Too Close for Comfort shortlisted for FirstCar Young Driver Road Safety Award

West Midlands Police

After our Kickstarter campaign for our Too Close for Comfort close passing initiative raised an amazing £17,000, we now have virtual reality headsets being used by around 30 police forces up and down the country, with more to come.   Thanks to everyone who donated!

The campaign has been shortlisted for the FirstCar Young Driver Road Safety Awards, which recognise innovative projects to improve young driver safety.

With our 360° close passing film, the headsets will be used as an educational tool to put drivers who pass too closely ‘in the saddle’ and help them understand why it can be a scary experience for cyclists.  The film is available on YouTube to be used by campaign groups, driving instructors and anyone who wants to put an end to close passing.

Greater Manchester kick-starts work on cycling and walking plans

Lady cycling over bridge

Greater Manchester is one of the first Combined Authorities to secure funding to start putting its Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan into action.

Three schemes have been prioritised to improve or create routes in Salford, Wigan and along the Bridgewater Canal.

Whilst this is good news, many other councils are still struggling to find the money to get going with their plans.  That’s why Cycling UK is campaigning for a dedicated pot of funding to make these plans a reality on the ground.  If you haven’t already done so, add your voice by emailing your MP and council leader and help transform your local area.

Road characteristics more important than signs for reducing speeds, says DfT report

20mph sign

A report released by the Department for Transport has found that introducing signed-only 20mph speed limits on residential streets without additional traffic calming measures does not lead to a significant reduction in road casualties.

The new limits did lead to a small overall reduction in speed, but only by up to 1.6mph.  The researchers concluded that it is the road characteristics that have a greater influence on driver speeds, rather than whether the road has a 30mph or 20mph limit.

Campaign group 20’s Plenty for Us have criticised the DfT report, claiming that it does not address its original objectives and is limited by a lack of data.

4,758 road offences recorded during ‘Operation Vision Zero’

Metropolitan police car

Metropolitan police in London made 176 arrests during a two-week crackdown on unsafe driving, for offences including drink or drug driving, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.  507 motorists were stopped for using their phone at the wheel, and 559 were caught driving without insurance.  519 cycling offences were also dealt with such as red light jumping.

The operation formed part of London’s Vision Zero strategy to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on the capital’s roads by 2041.

 

Other stories

Decarbonising transport essential to combat climate change

Cargo trike

One of the conclusions from the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, was that reducing carbon emissions from transport has a big part to play in taking global action on climate change.  This includes using new technology to make transport methods more efficient and shifting from private cars to active travel.

Work starts on Cambridge Chisholm Trail after two decades of campaigning

Cyclists on Coldhams Common

Cycling UK affiliated group Camcycle (Cambridge Cycling Campaign) are celebrating as work officially starts on the Chisholm Trail, first proposed by trustee Jim Chisholm 20 years ago.

The trail will eventually provide an almost traffic-free route between Milton Country Park in the north and Trumpington Meadows Country Park in the south.

Bournemouth and Preston added to shortlist for Transforming Cities funding

Bournemouth

Bournemouth and Preston join 10 other cities in England in the running for a share of a £2.5bn Government fund to improve transport connections and make moving around cities faster and easier.

Cycling UK’s policy director Roger Geffen said: “This funding could enable our cities to improve the health of their citizens, their environments and their local economies, by delivering high-quality cycle networks”, but added that long-term investment in cohesive networks throughout the country is key.

London’s Cycling Action Plan

Cycling in London

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Transport for London have launched a new Cycling Action Plan, to make London “the world’s best big city for cycling by creating an environment where everyone who wants to cycle can do so.”

The plan includes targets to improve safety at junctions, create new quality standards and merge the Cycle Superhighways and Quietways into one coherent network. 

TfL has also announced there will be a new Cycle Superhighway in south-east London heading out towards Greenwich and Woolwich.  Construction is due to start in 2019.

Cardiff bike share scheme to introduce adapted cycles

Nextbikes

Nextbike has announced plans to introduce adapted cycles for disabled people into its bike share scheme in Cardiff.  Since the scheme started in March 2018, there have been 32,000 registered users, and the number of cycles available will double to 1,000 by summer 2019.  Cardiff Council has acknowledged the need for more safe cycle routes in the city.

RoadPeace develops new policing dashboard

Roadpeace police dashboard

RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims, has developed a useful online dashboard that draws together and visualises information about motoring offences and road traffic collisions for each police force in England and Wales.

Roads should prioritise people over vehicles, says public health watchdog

Visualisation of Union Road in Aberdeen

NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) is asking planners to design for walking, cycling and public transport before private vehicles when roads are built or upgraded, to encourage more active travel in towns and cities.

Physical inactivity is responsible for 1 in 6 UK deaths, so making it easier for everyone – including older people or those with limited mobility – to move more during their everyday journeys is essential.

Cycling UK agrees that designing our streets for people rather than cars makes them healthier, happier places to be. If you feel the same way, write to your MP and council leader to request that they ask Government for more funding to make your streets better for cycling and walking.

Zero Emission Zone in Oxford to tackle air pollution

Cycling in Oxford

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council have published proposals to create a Zero Emission Zone in Oxford city centre.

Plans involve introducing emissions requirements for vehicles entering the city centre, and gradually increasing restrictions to reach zero emissions from transport in the city by 2035.

Getty off my land!  Fence plans across Chilterns bridleway dropped

Twigside Farm, Ibstone

A plan to erect deer fencing and electronic gates across a bridleway in the heart of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has been dropped following strong objections by Cycling UK and others.

The bridleway crosses the estate of Twigstone Farm in Ibstone which is owned by Tara Getty, grandson of oil tycoon J Paul Getty.  He proposed to erect 1.8m-high deer fencing alongside and across the bridleway, diverting and narrowing it in places, and to install several electronically-controlled gates.  Mr Getty has since withdrawn his planning application.

More cycling could prevent 34,000 life-threatening illnesses in seven UK cities by 2040

Cyclists on Baldwin Street in Bristol

A new report by Sustrans highlights how the health, economic and environmental benefits of cycling in seven UK cities could stack up by 2040. 

Focusing on the Bike Life cities (Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Greater Manchester and Newcastle), the research predicts the impacts of doubling cycling levels every 8 years between 2017 and 2040, as seen in London. 

This could prevent an estimated 34,000 incidences of life-threatening conditions such as diabetes and depression and save the NHS £319 million over the 23-year period.

Latest transport statistics published

Cyclist

The Department for Transport has published this year’s Transport Statistics Great Britain report.  Key cycling stats include:

  • Cycling made up 2% of journeys in Great Britain in 2017
  • 42% of people in England own or have access to a cycle
  • 17 cycle trips were made per person by bike in England in 2017, about the same since 2002
  • The average distance cycled over 2017 was 60 miles – a 54% increase from 2002
  • Read the summary report

 

In this issue

Headlines: Government recognises importance of active travel in Clean Air Strategy; … But still in danger of missing cycling and walking targets; Christmas came early for police forces thanks to Cycling UK; Greater Manchester kick-starts work on cycling and walking plans; Road characteristics more important than signs for reducing speeds, says DfT report; 4,758 road offences recorded during ‘Operation Vision Zero’

Other stories: Decarbonising transport essential to combat climate change; Work starts on Cambridge Chisholm Trail after two decades of campaigning; Bournemouth and Preston added to shortlist for Transforming Cities funding; London’s Cycling Action Plan; Cardiff bike share scheme to introduce adapted cycles; RoadPeace develops new policing dashboard; Roads should prioritise people over vehicles, says public health watchdog; Zero Emission Zone in Oxford to tackle air pollution; Getty off my land!  Fence plans across Chilterns bridleway dropped; More cycling could prevent 34,000 life-threatening illnesses in seven UK cities by 2040; Latest transport statistics published

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