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CTC Cycle Digest 2009 - Issue 58

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CTC Cycle Digest 2009 - Issue 58CTC

CTC Cycle Digest 2009 - Issue 58

    CycleDigest is a publication of the CTC Charitable Trust (Registered Charity No. 1104324). The Trust is the charity arm of CTC, the UK‟s largest

    cycling membership organisation with 70,000 members and affiliates.

    Views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the policies of CTC. Material from the CycleDigest may be reproduced in any form

    for the purposes of campaigning and in the promotion of bicycle use, provided the source is acknowledged.

    Published by CTC, Parklands, Railton Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 9JX

    Editor: Cherry Allan • Tel: 0844 736 8450 • Fax: 0844 736 8454

    e-mail: cherry.allan@ctc.org.uk

‘Safety in Numbers’: CTC’s New Road Safety Campaign

    CTC President and broadcaster Jon Snow has launched CTC‟s

    „Safety in Numbers‟ campaign, which calls on the Government to aim

    for more as well as safer cycling as it starts consulting on a new Road Safety Strategy for the coming decade.

CTC‟s campaign is based on evidence that cycling gets safer the

    more cyclists there are. Hence more and safer cycling are entirely complementary aims, which also benefit our health and that of our streets, communities and the environment.

CTC was pleased to see that the Government‟s draft Road Safety

    Strategy (RSS) has already endorsed one of CTC‟s main demands –

    that the new targets commit to halving the risks of cycling measured as a risk of injury per 100 million kms. A target based on exposure rather than absolute numbers of casualties will signal to local authorities that they can encourage more cycling without fear that this could be contrary to their targets to reduce casualty numbers.

    However, the RSS lacks detail on how to achieve these targets, although it contains welcome proposals for more 20 mph zones and limits. CTC believes that the best way is simply to double cycle use, a target we called for in our New Vision for Cycling

    (www.ctc.org.uk/newvision). This in turn will require national and local government to tackle the fears that deter people from cycling: speeding traffic, irresponsible driving, hostile roads and junctions, and lorries.

    A Parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM No. 1431) has also been tabled by Gwyn Prosser MP in support of the „Safety in Numbers‟

    goal, and CTC urges all cyclists to email their MPs asking them to sign it. You can do this in a couple of minutes via the web-link below.

Launching CTC‟s Safety in Numbers brochure in Parliament, Jon

    Snow said: “My own experiences as a regular cyclist tell me that

    London‟s streets have started getting a lot safer, thanks to the growth

    in cycling over the past decade. We all know that more cycling is good not just for our own health but also for our communities and the environment. I hope decision-makers throughout the country will now

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heed CTC‟s message that more cycling will improve road safety too.”

    The Safety in Numbers brochure, supporting evidence and a link to the EDM are all at: www.ctc.org.uk/safetyinnumbers .

For paper copies of the brochure, call 0844 736 8450.

For the Government‟s draft Road Safety Strategy, see:

    www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/roadsafetyconsultation

‘Fill That Hole’ Re-launches!

    CTC‟s www.fillthathole.org.uk/ website has been re-launched with new features to make it even easier to report potholes and other road defects, plus it allows individuals to report back on whether the problem has been fixed. Cyclists who have been injured because of a road defect will also be able to answer an online questionnaire that will go to CTC‟s lawyers, who will advise on the suitability of

    making a claim for compensation.

    The Welsh Assembly Government has announced that Cardiff is the first Sustainable Travel Town in Wales. Over the next two years, the Assembly and Cardiff Council will spend ?28.5m on various measures, including free bicycle hire, free bus travel within the city centre, and a new walking and cycling bridge.

    http://wales.gov.uk / > news >11/3/2009

    New Cycling Targets for Wales, Scotland and Ireland The last few months have seen the adoption of ambitious new targets to increase cycle use in Wales, Scotland and the Irish Republic. CTC‟s Roger Geffen Reports...

    The first to be adopted was Wales's Walking and Cycling Action Plan, which aims to treble the proportion of children cycling to school and the proportion of adults for whom cycling is the main mode for travelling to work, by 2013 (compared with levels in 2006 and 2007 respectively) - a tall order! After its long gestation over several years, we are pleased that the enthusiasm of transport and environment ministers Ieuan Wyn Jones AM and Jane Davidson AM have led to the Plan's successful launch in February. Its actions focus on promoting travel behaviour change and cycle-friendly planning and design, integrating cycling with health and other policy objectives, and good monitoring to record success and learn from experience.

    http://new.wales.gov.uk/ > (search for title)

Meanwhile the Irish Republic has adopted Ireland‟s first National Cycle

    Policy Framework. It sets itself the challenging target of raising cycle use to 10% of trips by 2020, reversing a steep decline over the past two decades (from 7% of trips in 1986 to just 2% in 2006). It puts forward admirable proposals covering everything from cycle-friendly planning („hard

    measures‟), to awareness-raising activities and incentives („soft measures‟,

    including cycle training), as well as legislative changes. Crucially it promises to revoke the regulations that force cyclists to use pavement cycle tracks where provided, and to consider making 30 kmh the default speed limit for residential streets. www.transport.ie/pressReleasesList.aspx > 20/4/09

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The Scottish Government has now begun consultation on a draft

    Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS). Like the Irish Policy, its ambitious target (which had been announced beforehand by Minister Stewart Stevenson MSP) is for 10% of trips to be made by cycling by 2020. CTC has provided input into developing the strategy, and is pleased with its commitments on cycle planning and design, the focus on awareness-raising and promotional activities (e.g. cycle training), and particularly the suggestion to consider how the law might be changed to make it easier for cyclists to gain compensation from drivers who hit them. www.cyclingactionplanforscotland.org/

    With a Road Safety Strategy for Scotland also awaited, we hope both documents will follow the Whitehall Government's lead in setting rate-based targets to reduce the risk of cycle casualties per mile travelled. CTC will be responding to the CAPS consultation, which closes on 31st July, and the Plan is expected to be adopted in the autumn.

Can we now hope that the Whitehall Government will overcome its

    fears of setting targets for increasing cycle use, and decide it's time for the growth of cycling seen in London and elsewhere to become

    mainstream?

For further news from Scotland, see Page 5

From the Editor

    I would say this (wouldn‟t I?), but I think my colleagues in the Campaigns Department here at CTC are doing cycling a major favour by pointing out the power of the „safety

    in numbers‟ effect (see front page). Putting graphs, tables and pie charts aside for

    the moment (bringing back my schooldays a bit there), my daily cycling commute personally tells me that this theory is backed up in practice. There‟s something really

    good about numerous cyclists riding alongside me or gathering at the lights in a reassuring bunch. It feels like a statement and it‟s – well, for want of a better word,

    „cosy‟. „Cosiness in Numbers‟? Good thing that I wasn‟t asked to

    name the campaign, but do you know what I mean? Cherry.allan@ctc.org.uk

Local Transport Plan 3 Guidance the View from CTC

    CTC has responded to the draft guidance for the next round of Local Transport Plans (LTPs). The guidance continues the theme of handing ever greater control from Government to local authorities. This is, of course, a good thing for those local authorities who are performing well. However, CTC‟s response has suggested that

    there are several key areas where the Department for Transport must ensure minimum standards from councils. CTC is concerned that cycling, which many local authorities treat as a marginal transport mode, will fall further by the wayside if the Department does not provide more solid support, especially in the form of up-skilling local authority officers and contractors to deliver cycling schemes and integrate cycling into wider projects.

    In the response to the guidance CTC has also raised concerns that the monitoring regime for LTPs in general, and especially for cycling, is weak. Instead of allowing local authorities to do what they want and adopt their own targets and measuring systems, the Department must ensure that minimum standards for monitoring are

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    developed. Cycling England is currently developing a more robust mechanism for monitoring use in the Cycling Towns but there is little sign that other local authorities will voluntarily meet this standard.

    CTC will be producing a guide to improving cycling in the next round of the LTPs later this year.

For CTC‟s response see:

    www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Campaigns/0903_CP_LTP_guidance_rpt.doc

Clubbing It!

    Bike Club is CTC‟s new ?2.5m Cycling England-funded project to develop new

    cycling clubs and cycling opportunities in after-school and youth club settings. Working in partnership with UK Youth, the leading national youth charity, and ContinYou, the experts in extended services provision, the CTC Charitable Trust will be employing 10 staff across England to deliver the project over the next two and a half years. By the time you read this, recruitment will be well under way and we hope that the first staff will take up their posts during June, with a formal launch scheduled for early July. For more information on Bike Club, where the projects will be based and what the team will be doing, please see www.ctc.org.uk/bikeclub .

School Travel Report

    The House of Commons Transport Committee has published a report following its inquiry into school travel. While cycling and walking receive pronounced backing and there are calls for more funding for them, school buses aren‟t viewed with quite such favour. The report also says that there is no single „magic bullet‟ solution for school travel and that the education, health and transport departments must work more closely together. www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmtran.htm

Bikeability 2009

    Over 200,000 more school children in England will be given the chance to take Bikeability training this year thanks to ?10m of Government funding. ?5.4m will go to local authorities to provide the training; ?4m to the Youth Sport Trust for instruction through the School Sports Partnerships; and ?500,000 for bursary grants to help fund 1,600 new trainers. www.bikeability.org.uk/

Trainers Ready to Train in Wales

    The first 40 of 110 National Standards Cycle Instructors in Wales are now qualified to train children to National Standards.

    Gwenda Owen, CTC‟s Cycle Training Development Officer for Wales, said: “The National Standards give parents and children the confidence to make their daily journeys by bike under real conditions. These instructors will lead the way to more children cycling making them healthier and happier, with fewer cars on the school run in Cardiff.”

    Working with CTC and the Sports Council, the ?250,000 funding over three years will be used to get the National Standards adopted across Wales alongside Bikeability (see above). www.ctc.org.uk/wales

School Cycle Train

    A 'School Cycle Train' run by Sustrans Volunteer Ranger Mark Kiehlmann at St Matthew's Primary School in Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire has won a Cycle

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Friendly School accreditation from Cycling Scotland. Mark will also be running a

    CTC-style Bike Club there over the summer. The headteacher is now buying himself

    a bicycle so that he can join in and will be including pupil work on Sustrans‟s canal path maintenance schemes as part of the school's 'Curriculum for Excellence'.

News in Brief

    ; ?Ms for new research centre

    A centre to undertake long and short-term research into sustainable transport is to be set up with ?7.75m from the

    Department for Transport, the Economic and Social Research Council, and the

    www.dft.gov.uk Scottish Government.

    > press release 5/3/09

    ; Hire bikes for Oxford

    Oxfordshire County Council is planning an 18-month pilot hire-bike scheme for Oxford, starting in 2010. Cabinet members have agreed to form a steering