Cyclists excluded from Swan Street
Leicestershire County Council have given notice that when the construction work is completed in the autumn, Swan Street from George Yard through to Baxter Gate is to be pedestrianised and an experimental traffic order will be placed on the roads in the Town Centre for a trial period of 18 months. This will stop all traffic using this part of Swan Street between 10am and 4pm. Outside of this time only vehicles making deliveries, and cyclists, will be able to access it.
This appears to mean that cyclists will be excluded for most of the day, something that was not highlighted during the consultation. We were advised that cyclists would be allowed to cross the town centre via this route at all times of day.
We will be raising this issue with the County's officials. It would appear that cyclists are expected to have to take a longer route around the ring roads, where the facilities are patchy to say the least, and disappear in many places (usually where you most need them). Please contact your County Councillor about this issue.
Sentencing guidelines for driving offences
The Government has committed to reviewing driving offences and penalties as well as sentencing guidelines for serious driving offences.
Please urge the Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling, to use this opportunity to end the complacency towards bad driving and ensure drivers who endanger others on the roads receive appropriate punishments.
You can use a facility to email him prepared by the CTC at http://goo.gl/pAIhd1. This takes you to a form which your complete and click 'send'. You will then be taken to a page with the draft email to which you can add your own comments.
Making Space for Cycling guide launched
Cyclenation have published “Making Space for Cycling”, a guide for new developments and street renewals. The guide is sponsored by the cycle industry through its Bike Hub funding scheme backed by the Bicycle Association and independent cycle dealers. The guide describes ways to achieve higher levels of cycling, for new developments and when redesigning streets, to create family-friendly healthy environments, productive employees and profitable shops, together with relaxed public spaces and attractive streetscapes making efficient use of space.
The guide has been endorsed by many leading cycling groups include British Cycling, CTC the national cycling charity, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, London Cycling Campaign, Cambridge Cycling Campaign, and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
The guide was launched at Cycle City in Leeds on May 1st. We are expecting to receive some paper copies and is also available at www.makingspaceforcycling.org. If you would like a paper copy (possibly to share with your councillor) please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Space for Cycling calls on councils to improve our streets so that anyone can cycle anywhere. But what does that mean in practice? CTC wants photos and examples of infrastructure that's good or bad to explain to councils what works, and what needs improvement.
If you've got photos of examples of infrastructure for cycling - whether good or bad - CTC wants to see them. Your photos can now be uploaded to a map with categories so that they will be easier to search in future.
Cycle use falling nationally (but not locally)
Overall, across England, the proportion of people cycling once a month or more has fallen from 15.3% to 14.7% in one year - a reduction in over a third of million people. The data, published by the Department for Transport, comes from the Active People Survey, a large survey of people's physical activity habits compiled by Sport England.
However, in Charnwood the proportion who cycle once a month has increased by 2.7%, taking it once more above the 19% seen in 2010/11 to 19.5%. This places Charnwood in 47th place out of 326 local authorities in England. The census however showed that bicycle commuting in Charnwood fell from 4.1% of such journeys in 2001 to 3.8% in 2011 (a fall of c.7%). The use of public transport also fell from 7.4% to 6.6%, with the shift being roughly half and half to cars (68.1%) and (more encouragingly) walking (10.8%).
In her annual report on the state of the nation’s health, the Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies says: “I believe that encouraging more people to engage in active travel, such as walking and cycling, is crucial to improving the health of the nation and reducing the prevalence of obesity.”