Merseyside Cycling Campaign at Skyride 2016

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Skyride was a great event, as always, with thousands of people riding around the city showing how popular cycling would be if it was safe. The MCC stall in Sefton Park, staffed by Lawrence, Don and Ian, was there to inform visitors about our campaign and cycling issues in general as well as to attract new members.

Everyone we saw was thoroughly in favour of the aims and the work of the MCC and enjoyed talking to like minded folk. Many left with new ideas about places to cycle in the surrounding area and how to build rail travel into accessing them. Lots of tales of near misses, potholes that need filling, wasted opportunities for cycle provision and cycleways that need maintaining were swapped as well as stories of long distance journeys in foreign lands, cycle camping, country pubs and just the general brilliant nature of cycling.

During the day forty two new members were signed up adding to the strength of our collective voice. The sun didn’t shine much but it didn’t rain and as ever it was a happy and rewarding day at this event.

How a Brompton Folding Bicycle is Made

ItF Brompton

A brilliant documentary on BBC2 about the production of this incredible machine. The programme is part of the Inside the Factory series and, like all the other episodes, is made with a good humoured outlook, high production values and covers a wide range of related topics.

Apart from manufacturing the bike the programme looks at the history of the folding bicycle, improving HGV safety, advice from Team GB on improving utility cycling efficiency, the role of the bicycle in promoting equality for women, a visit to the Brooks saddle factory and new cycle designs.

Definitely worth a look.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07pmyd6/inside-the-factory-series-2-4-bicycles

 

Crossing the River Mersey

Merseyside Cycling Campaign are currently collecting information on the numbers of bicycles currently carried across the Mersey using a simple survey form at: http://goo.gl/forms/IkDuWTskR5nxUm022 ….  Please spread the word amongst your networks to increase the numbers of responses.

Data of people with bicycles/ cycles using the trains and ferries to cross the River Mersey, in order to demonstrate on-cycle carriage usage and demand by rail and ferry passengers.  This evidence is required to support appeals for cyclist provision during the proposed wirral track closure in January 2017

Wirral Track Closure, Skyride, etc.

Wirral line closure: Major disruption starting January 2017:

See: http://www.merseyrail.org/news/network-rail-track-renewal-on-the-wirral-loop.aspx for information.  Whenever you travel across the Mersey by ferry or train for leisure or work, please fill in our survey form at: http://goo.gl/forms/IkDuWTskR5nxUm022.  We will then be able to provide Merseyrail of evidence of the demand for bicycle carriage across the Mersey, so will be able to hold an evidenced campaign for e.g. improved and more frequent ferry services at the time of the track closure or/and on-bus bicycle carriage.

 

Reporting tools: Near miss incidents:

Please use: https://bikemaps.org
Reporting tools: Potholes/ road issues:

Please use the tool at: http://www.cyclescape.org or/and Cycling UK’s site: http://www.fillthathole.org.uk, and of course your own Council reporting tools on the websites (e.g. http://liverpool.gov.uk/parking-travel-and-roads/report-an-issue/report-a-pot-hole/)

 

Upcoming events:

Liverpool Skyride Sunday 21st August: https://www.goskyride.com/liverpoolSkyRide.  We will also hold a promotional stall for this event – so if you would like to volunteer to help, please fill in our doodle at http://doodle.com/poll/m5s8xqx397uarxue or email merseysidecyclingcampaign@hotmail.co.uk

Have your say on improving cycling on routes within Liverpool

Please reply to merseysidecyclingcampaign@hotmail.co.uk by Monday 21st December!

If you use any of these routes and have any comments/issues from your experiences please let us know so that we can collate and forward your comments to Karen Stevens (Liverpool Cycling Officer) for inclusion in the new cycle audits for these routes, or alternatively email Karen but copy us in so that we know what are concerns/ issues about these routes .

A Edge Lane Drive -Phase 1 – Rocket to St Oswald’s Street Rocket to St Oswald’s Street
B Scotland Road/ Kirkdale Road Kingsway Tunnel to Smith Street
C Walton Hall Ave/ Walton Lane TBC
D Horrocks Avenue Speke Road to Long Lane
E Childwall Valley Road TBC
F Prescot Rd/ Kensington Low Hill to Prescot Drive

Also, we will be shortly be sending out online forms to all members (join here if you are not a member) to ask about specific issues within their local area and along routes they cycle regularly.  This information will help MCC campaign for improving cycling within those areas/ along those routes and help us to improve conditions for cycling throughout the whole of Merseyside.

 

Liverpool Propensity to Cycle – Hackday

We are organising a hack day for 23rd of January. This is targeted at hackers with an interest in mapping, as well as planners and of course cycle campaigners. The idea to this event developed after Dr Robin Lovelace’s talk on the CycleNation Conference we hosted in October. Please find more details over on eventbrite, where you can also book a free ticket. A brief summary below:

The National Propensity To Cycle Tool comes to Liverpool. We will work with the main developer Dr Robin Lovelace to make this tool available to planners and cycle advocates in Liverpool, for Liverpool.

The event will be of equal interest to open source hackers with an interest in GIS, mapping, open data and statistics; highway engineers and decision makers involved in the planning of cycle infrastructure; people who move through the city by bike and who want to see more and better cycle provisions on the routes they use.as well as businesses with a reliance on good cycle provisions throughout their operational area (couriers, cycle hire, cycle training, tour operators) .

The aim for the day is to have the propensity tool working for our city and be able to visualise where people are cycling now, and where they want to cycle, for various scenarios with an increase in the number of trips made by bicycle. We will be able to see in form of heatmaps where cycle infrastructure would be most needed. Planners and cycle advocates will be able to understand the inputs and how to use the tool.

Opinions on Cycle Strategy and it’s implementation

In a recent council meeting (1st October 2015) of the Regeneration, Housing & Sustainability Select Committee Andrew Barr, a council officer who is the Divisional Manager (Highways & Transportation) gave a statement on the cycle strategy of Liverpool. The minutes of that meeting can be found here.

Our member Ian Downing gave this as his opinion to Andrew Barr’s statement.

“Just some random observations. As ever I don’t really know who all these people are and what Andy Barr’s agenda is but looking at the minutes it was odd to see that he reminded us of the targets behind the cycling agenda (10% of journeys, 45,000 people cycling regularly by this December) but didn’t see the meeting as a suitable venue for informing others of progress towards them (I couldn’t find the RAG analysis in the minutes).”

The RAG (That is Red-Amber-Green Analysis) can be found here. Ian goes on to say:

“I felt that the traffic light detection of cyclists to give them a head start at traffic lights related solely to on road provision which is acceptable (just) for cyclists but the targets relate to encouraging people of all ages and abilities to become bicycle users; that 10 second head start will not be very encouraging for parents deciding whether to allow their ten year old to cycle to school. Perhaps they need to unravel their Cycling Strategy priorities as well as the transport modes.
It was nice to hear about the improvements at the Princes Park Roundabout but as I cycle around it, on the road, I just think of it as a roundabout with wide pavements. I don’t recall a champagne buffet at the Baltic Fleet to celebrate its introduction or even being involved in any consultation (it may have been before my time). The description of it as having “clear benefits for cyclists and road users” says a lot. Andy seems to see the two groups as separate but then specifies very little infrastructure that keeps them that way. It was probably a Freudian omission of the word “other” but it may be that he accepts that cyclists use the road but are somehow different from “road users.”
The last point was a complete mess; “there was a questioning of striking the most appropriate balance between differing road users”; were people questioning if striking a balance was the right thing to do or whether we just spend it all on motorists? If the word intended was “question”, great stuff, but why no description of the balance that had been struck? It then goes on to say “Some locations and key arterial routes by their nature were unsuitable for on-street cycling provision and for which works were being undertaken to parallel routes frequented by cyclists to further enhance these and promote further increases in cycling.” Which translates to “We don’t want to detract from Liverpool being an anachronistic example of a city in which one can drive with relative freedom by narrowing or removing traffic lanes, instead we are going to put signs up on quietways that are of little use or interest to anybody because they don’t take them where they want to go”. Remember Liverpool feels that there is no room for segregated provision on a 17m wide single carriageway (Netherfield Road).
Tom Crones questions were useful and sought to shed some light on the realities of the situation.
I found Tim Beaumont’s comments to be apologist but perhaps they represented his concerns as a cyclist rather than as a councillor trying to institute policies that would encourage people to become bicycle users. In fact I couldn’t see why he felt he needed to disclose his interest as a cyclist in the Declaration of Interests when nobody else had declared themselves as motorists, or perhaps they had all walked there. (is he a motorist as well? if so would that imply that he sees motoring as akin to walking, something everyone does?) He, and others, could perhaps do to understand that supporting policies that would encourage the 95% of the population who do not engage in regular functional bicycling to become regular bicycle users would be to everyone’s advantage, even cyclists! It would be interesting to see how well the make up of the council reflects Liverpool’s car ownership demographic (53%); perhaps councillors should make such declarations whenever transport is discussed.

Ian”