Charnwood tenants told to keep bicycles in bedroom
Maureen Clarke who lives in Syston has written to Charnwood Borough Council about their latest ruling on the storage of bicycles by tenants.
“Again we have the perennial attacks on the cyclist. If it’s not the LCC making the roads oh so delightfully suitable for the speeding motorist that it can only result in misery for cyclists and pedestrians, it is Charnwood Borough Council telling tenants in flats to keep their bikes in their bedrooms (after carrying them up stairs) or get rid of them. Not very encouraging when we’ve all been told that cycling is the healthy thing to do, for individuals, society and the planet.
Charnwood even have a picture of a bike in a bedroom, in their magazine, just in case tenants are too stupid to know what a bike inside the room they sleep in looks like!
Councils are very good at telling us what we can’t do. We can’t have plants in pots, or sheds or make the gardens nice (where do we keep the tools?) We can’t keep a buggy or a motor scooter or a bike or a shopping trolley or a Zimmer frame, in fact anything useful, in a suitable and appropriate place to keep it, in case someone falls over it. No-one at the council ever comes up with a solution which allows us to have the things we need to live healthily. And now I have to give up cycling because my bike is considered a health hazard.
I realise that in ‘the provinces’ we can’t expect to find a champion like Boris to help us, but surely you can see how absurd it is to lay down cycle routes and make a big splash in the local paper of Councillors Bloggs and Smith, with their families, using them and then tell tenants in flats there’s nowhere to keep their bikes.
Before it occurs to you (as a non-cyclist) that I could leave my bicycle outside, let me ask you if you would expect a gardener to leave his or her precious lawn mower outside. Both are valuable machines that can rust. Ask an Olympian cyclist. Or perhaps you think my cycling is less valuable because I’m not likely to win a bit of tin for doing it?”
Maureen reports that Charnwood have set a deadline 22nd November for all cycle owners in the flats where she lives to find alternative storage for their bicycles. No alternative storage has been offered even though there is space available. In reality, for many, this is a dictat to get rid of their bicycles. Maureen (a mature lady) tried carrying her bicycle upstairs but found her hands couldn't hold it and it fell down the stairs nearly taking her with it.
The reason for this initiative is given as “fire safety” and it would appear that a regulation is being introduced without consideration as to whether or not it is sensible in each location. Looked at sensibly, the cars parked in the area next to this block almost certainly present a far worse obstruction and the Fire service would struggle to get a tender near the building. However nothing is being done to prevent cars being parked in the area.
Maureen would hate to see her bicycle go to the tip, so if nothing changes, we may be emailing out an offer of a sturdy and usable bicycle to members shortly.
Inner Ring Road Parking Strips
from Michael Forrest
Observant cyclists (aren't we all, for it saves lives – ours) will have noticed the proliferation of parking strips provided for tired motorists along the new and misguided inner ring road. They will also have noticed that these parking strips are about two feet too narrow for modern cars. Indeed, some motorists have already complained to LCC that these widespread parking strips are too narrow.
Of course, they are not parking strips but nascent cycle-paths. And despite the extraordinary cost of this new road layout, they are not proper cyclepaths, but just a few feet carved of the edge of very wide new roads, protected from encroaching cars by dotted lines so that drivers may legally use the cycle-path if it suits them, leaving the despised cyclists frightened and fuming attempting to climb the kerb or falling off. Or dead.
The LCC Liaison Officer tells me that the requisite TRO for reinstating the former double yellow lines has not been implemented (ie someone at LCC has forgotten it) but the yellow lines will ensure that motorists realise this is not a free parking lot but inferior provision for cyclists, and will give them a wide berth.
It really is extraordinary that a new road layout, to take heavy traffic out of the town cetre, should not have incorporated the very latest and best in provision for the cyclist, wanted in large numbers to ease traffic flow and reduced vehicles/pollution/danger from our streets.
Of course, it is not surprising for despite the rhetoric, the authorities never have been serious about encouraging cycling, have they?
Buses through Market Place
The County Council is consulting on whether buses should be allowed to travel through the Market Place once the town centre improvements are completed and is seeking views on three possible options for Market Place.
The consultation will last until 8th December and is available online at leics.gov.uk/lborobustrial.
There will also be a public exhibition on 21st, 22nd and 23rd November at Loughborough Town Hall, where staff from the County Council and bus company representatives will be on hand to answer questions.
Mince Pie Run
Sunday 22nd December 2013
David Horton and Andy Salkeld will be giving a talk at Secular Hall, 75 Humberstone Gate, Leicester LE1 1WB on Sunday, 19 January 2014 at 18:30. All welcome. Refreshments. Admission is free, although Leicester Secular Society welcome contributions towards expenses.