All posts by Slim Smith

MCC July monthly meeting – in person

MCC monthly meetings have been online since the pandemic. We will now be having an in-person meeting every quarter.

Monday 15 July 2024 at 6pm. 

Accessible function room on the ground floor at the Augustus John pub in the University of Liverpool precinct off Brownlow Hill – see link to Google map .

The address is Peach Street and a landmark on Brownlow Hill is the Blackwell’s bookshop – it is to the rear of the bookshop. There are enough Sheffield Stands for 14 bikes very near to the entrance of Augustus John pub – first come first serve! If these are all in use there are some more a little further away.

Pizza is available for those who wish to have something to eat.

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.

Presentations from the event can be downloaded HERE

10:30 Welcome: Eddy Taylor, Chair of Merseyside Cycling Campaign
The MCC are pleased to introduce
10:40 Simon O’Brien, Cycling Commissioner for Liverpool City Region and ATE.
Simon is an award-winning actor, TV presenter and lifelong advocate of active travel who was appointed Liverpool City Region’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner in 2019. Simon’s role is to provide help and expert advice to Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Combined Authority as they work to make the city region the best place in the country to walk and cycle. His excellent film ‘the art of the possible’ is not to missed
10:55 Ed Lamb, Green Councillor, long term cyclist.
Ed has demonstrated that he understands that environmental, social and economic justice are intimately entwined. He is working hard to prevent climate catastrophe, reform our democracy and promote a Green recovery. Active Travel is one area he is passionate about……
11:15 Simon Young, Wirral LCWIP Project Manager
Simon will delve into the wider proposed Active Travel Network for Wirral will be ‘live’ this month it is an opportunity to introduce that project as well.
11:50 Ed Gommon, Project co-ordinator for Zero Carbon Liverpool.
Ed Gommon says “Today ‘zero carbon’ is the mainstream view in high-level policy forums such as the IPCC. Ed is also lead for the Campaign on the LCC Active Travel Stakeholder Engagement Forum.
12:15 Helen Holcroft, Aigburth Community Cycling Club.
It’s been two years since Aigburth Community Cycling Club hit the streets of South Liverpool but already new hubs are up and running.
Q & A session with our speakers
Lunch – Our Pies today are made by the Community-Owned Bakery found in the shadow of Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield Stadium
13:30 Ellis Palmer
Not only is Ellis Palmer a journalist and broadcaster Radio Lancashire and BBC News Hour, he’s also an avid handcycling enthusiast. Recently talking to politicians across the country about Active Travel across the North West.
13:25 Stewart Walsh, Sustainable Travel Officer, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Stewart is working hard to bring the NHS into a progressive thinking when it comes to Active Travel.
14: 15 Danny Robinson, Peloton
His ideas for the Everton Mini Holland was launched last year, but what new projects are in the pipeline for this exceptional entrepreneur. Quote “positive cycling culture to create entrepreneurs, healthier communities and a world-class city.”
14: 35 Kad and team, Asylum Link Merseyside
Many who have fled from countries with conflict have found a bike in the UK brings freedom, independence and cheap travel. ALM have recycled bikes over the last ten years to help so many.
Q & A session with our speakers

15:00 Annual General Meeting, this hour will be devoted to the formal business of the Merseyside Cycling Campaign.
Agenda for Annual General Meeting
• Minutes of the last AGM.
• Election of Officers
• Officer Reports (e.g. Treasurer report)
• Area Reports (including Knowsley, Sefton, Wirral, Halton and Liverpool).
• Gary Clark Memorial Award
• Any Other Business

You are all welcome to stay to learn more of our activities, and perhaps even volunteer to help in some capacity.

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.