All posts by Slim Smith

Merseyside Cycling Campaign – Annual General Meeting 2024

Merseyside Cycling Campaign – Annual General Meeting 2024
Saturday 18 May from 10am.
DoES Liverpool, First Floor, The Tapestry 68 – 74 Kempston Street Liverpool L3 8HL.
Speakers include Simon O’Brien, more information to follow.
Lunch will be provided
Merseyside Cycling Campaign is using the app Spond to organise activities and share information. Open the link to join:

Back on my Bike

The highs and lows of resuming cycling for commuting and in-work journeys.

In March 2023, I decided to put my bike into hibernation because of the barriers I was encountering with not being able to build on the successful cycling mileage campaign in 2022.
After five months of travelling by bus and train to commute and complete in-work journeys, I decided to resume cycling in September. This was complemented by resuming research into the active travel policies of other local authorities such as Sunderland, Nottingham, Sheffield, and Vale of Glamorgan.

Cycle to Work Scheme
The quickest and cheapest way for me to get back on my bike was to get a new one through the Cycle to Work (C2W) scheme, as opposed to saving up to get my existing one repaired, which I got during the pandemic in 2020.
The total cost of my new bike and accessories was £660 but the C2W scheme means I’ll only end up paying £495 over 12 months because of the tax and NI savings. I was also able to save money by removing my existing accessories of a pannier rack, mudguards, water bottle holder, lights, and bell from my old bike to my new one because they were still in good condition.

Debut Cycle
The debut in-work journey for my new bike took place in September via cycling along the tranquil Loop Line to Broadgreen station and then bringing it with me on the train to Manchester to visit my client, which included us going to the fantastic Heaton Park for a picnic.
However, the joy I gained from taking my new bike to Manchester was soon replaced with frustration after what happened one morning when I got soaked in the torrential rain travelling from HMP Altcourse to my office, so I had to stay in damp and cold clothes all afternoon because at the time there were no secure lockers available to leave spare clothes, towels, and accessories in.
To bounce back from that disappointment and to dry off in the autumn sunshine, I decided to change my commute home via cycling along the Prom to experience the soothing sounds and sights of the Mersey!
My contrasting experiences in Manchester and Liverpool influenced my decision to no longer use my new bike for commuting until secure lockers were installed, so in the meantime I’d only cycle to complete my in-work journeys on my home working days.

Bikes on Trains
In September I took my bike on the train again for two out of city visits. The first visit was to London, which is one of my favourite places to cycle because of the safe cycling lanes, the community cycle parking facilities, and the beautiful park that my young client lives by.
Bringing my bike on the train also allows me to experience the contrasting cycle storage and booking facilities, so whereas the train to / from London involved a comfortable and relaxing journey, this wasn’t the case on the train to Wigan because I had to sit outside the toilet with my bike! However, one of the many benefits of cycling is it provides the flexibility to amend your journeys, so I decided to cycle straight back from HMP Hindley to Liverpool via the safe and serene cycling lane on the East Lancs Road.

Cycle Lockers
October was a superb month for cycling to my in-work journeys, especially the adventure I had on the Leeds-Liverpool canal for my visits in Aintree, Bootle, town, and Kensington! At the end of October I also received the fantastic news that cycling lockers had finally been installed, which meant I went into the half-term break very happy!
Gaining secure lockers provided me with the opportunity to resume commuting, so I embraced this because I find cycling home during the autumn nights to be an exciting experience.

Cycle Parking
Despite the campaigning achievements of gaining cycling mileage and secure lockers, an unresolved issue is not having anywhere safe and secure to lock my frame and wheels outside my work, which is a requirement of the bike insurance I took out with Bikmo via the C2W scheme. Whilst I wait for improved cycling parking facilities, I’ve been leaving my bike in the corner of a room.
My aspiration is for cycle parking facilities to become as good as those I experienced in November during my visit to my young client in Northampton, and at Liverpool Central Station ahead of getting the train to Chester and then bus to Ruthin as part of my three modes of transport visit to my client there. During my bus journey to Ruthin, I also observed great cycle parking in Mold town centre, then on arrival I noticed funky cycle stands in the local park.

Paul Windle

A580 East Lancashire Road Active Travel Route – St Helens

Closing date: Monday 27 November 2023.

The A580 East Lancashire Road Active Travel Route sets out the outline proposals which includes upgrading the existing shared surface pedestrian and cycle pathways to a protected cycle route with separated pedestrian footway, with some sections of shared surfaces. We are also proposing junction upgrades throughout the length of the route, with the potential removal of the footbridge located immediately east of the Kenyons Lane South junction, following the installation of a dedicated road level signalised controlled crossing. Alongside this, implementation of the Outline Design will require amendments to the existing speed limit along the A580 to achieve compliance with design standards.

These outline proposals are at an early design stage, with no implementation funding or delivery timescales currently secured. However, we are asking you to help us shape the project and have your say about the proposals at this early stage to ensure our emerging scheme meets the needs of the communities it will serve.

Should anyone like to meet in person, the Council and design team are holding a series of in-person drop-in sessions attended by Council Officers at the following locations. Please do therefore come along to discuss the proposals. 

In person drop-in session for everyone (residents, businesses, visitors, stakeholders etc)

Costco, Haydock, Andover Rd, Haydock, Saint Helens WA11 9FA on Tuesday 14 November 2023 from 17:00 to 19:00

Consultation on the Liverpool Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP)

End date:  Monday 13th November 2023

To help encourage more cycling and walking Liverpool City Council is to develop an accessible and connected cycling and walking route network. The first step in achieving this is through the development of a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan. An LCWIP is a document that highlights where new or improved cycling and walking facilities would be most beneficial within an area. 

Once agreed, these routes and areas will be the priority for improvements in the future, although as improvements are developed and routes are looked at in more detail, it is possible different alignments will be selected from those shown here, but linking to the same places.

World Car Free Day 2023

World Car Free Day is 22 September 2023 and so the Merseyside community is putting on a weeklong series of events encouraging people to ditch their cars – and embrace fun, friends, family and freedom – by choosing fossil-free ways to get around.

With the help of the Merseyside Cycling Campaign, on Sunday 24 September the week culminates with a free, family friendly festival at Wavertree Mystery Park.

This will include live music and entertainment, stalls and workshops, and ends with an all-ages bike ride to the new urban parklet at Mann Island.

Schedule for the day

  • Starts at 9am with the regular junior Parkrun
  • At 10am market stalls will open and there’s a Love Wavertree ‘run a mile’ event
  • Fun all day with Childwall Emporium on arts and crafts and Living Streets family activities, bike skills sessions for kids, treasure hunts, playground, plus Rainbow Rebels from 2pm and Liverpool Magic Circle member John the Great magician at 3pm
  • Free Dr Bike sessions where local bike mechanics will give your bike the once over from 11am to 3pm
  • Free bike maintenance workshops with Hollie from Energise Cycles at 12pm and 2pm
  • Live music every hour from 11.30am, including Merseyside band Johnathan Kopf (11.30am), Liverpool’s Cheery (12.30pm), Ukulele Club (1.30pm), local solo act Andrew Stride (2.30pm) and Dog Brainz (3.30pm), who have just released their release their second album of “good time northern pop punk”
  • Family bike ride leaves on National Cycle Route 56 to the town centre at 4pm – register for the ride by signing up the Aigburth Community Cycling Club here.

The event is being supported by Cycling UK and local councillors.

On the day we’ll have help from Aigburth Community Cycling Club, Cycle Liverpool, GoodGym, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Liverpool John Moors University, Living Streets, LitterClear Volunteer, Love Wavertree, the Merseyside Cycling Campaign, ParkRun, Peloton Liverpool, the Penny Lane Wombles, Plastic Tactics, St John’s Ambulance, Sustrans, Transition Liverpool, Women on Bikes Liverpool, Zero Carbon Liverpool and more.

Even more events

Wednesday 20 September:
Ignite Liverpool is hosting a one-off special of their regular quick-fire talks series, asking people to speak to the theme ‘Merseyside 2030 – Zero Car City?’. Register to speak here. Register to attend here.

Friday 22 September:
Peloton Liverpool will be running a special student ‘Joy Ride’ on World Car Free Day itself, happening this year on 22 September. Sign up the Peloton group here and keep an eye out for details.

St Cuthbert’s primary school is also planning to open a playstreet for the day on Church Road in Old Swan.

Sunday 24 September:
Merseyside CTC will have a ride on Sunday 24 September leaving at 9.45am from Calisa coffee shop, 84 Childwall Priory Rd, Liverpool L16 7PF. It will arrive at the Mystery around 1pm. Full details on the club’s ‘Runs List’ here.

If you know of any more events happening, drop us an email to

Consultations in Merseyside

Childwall-Wavertree-Centre Active Travel route consultation
Liverpool City Council is asking the public for their feedback on the proposed active travel route, which would run from Childwall through Wavertree and into the city centre.
Download a PDF of the plans here
Fill in the consultation form here
Consultation closes: Monday 31 July 2023

20mph in the Wirral
Wirral Borough Council is consulting on new 20mph speed limit schemes with the public being asked for their views on the proposals.
These schemes will cover the roads in residential areas and parts of roads running through suburban district centres.
More information here:

Lark Lane questionnaire
Liverpool City Council has secured £750,000 of funding for redeveloping Lark Lane and there is now a questionnaire for people to make their suggestions on the scheme.
The information provided will help the city council produce a draft design for the redevelopment of the Lane. This will be followed by a wider consultation to see what people think of the draft design and any changes that are needed.