14 12 Cyclox Circular

December 2014  Cyclox Circular

Saturday 6th Dec – join Cyclox at the Green Fair in the Town Hall
We would appreciate a few extra helpers at the Green Fair next Saturday – if you can help, please either contact us directly via (kathryn@kmcnicoll.co.uk or visit slottr to put your name down for a session at the stall  www.slottr.com/sheets/58333.

Act now, it may save your life
Tell Robert Goodwill MP Transport Minister that we need safer lorry design now, not in 12 years’ time. The deadline is Monday 1st so click that mouse! See www.bettertransport.org.uk/better-transport/lorries-action and CTC background at www.ctc.org.uk/news/eight-year-wait-for-safer-lorry-cabs.

Danny Dorling at the AGM
The prospect of Danny’s presentation ensured a sell-out AGM and indeed it was standing room only, so apologies to later arrivals that there were no chairs. Danny spoke so sensibly and imaginatively he held the audience spellbound, and for those who missed it you can see the slides and hear the talk on our website. He explained the link between housing policy and transport policy, so that a sensible housing policy will mitigate the current gridlock in Oxford and around. He produced a 1927 map showing that 90 yrs ago Oxford planned to expand into the (then undefined) green belt. At present there are an unbelievable 40,000 cars that drive or use the park and ride into Oxford each working day.

The official business of the AGM was quickly dealt with. The committee has some changes with Sue Rowe, Richard Mann and James Styring standing down (Sue hopefully only for a while), Cecilia Fry taking on the treasurer post. Graham Smith is now a full member again having taken a reduced role because of his CTC position. Kathryn McNicoll as stalls co-ordinator and Jonny Ives helping with communications are not full committee members. There were no objections to the idea of honorary life membership, and the two proposed members, David Jaques and Priscilla Waugh, were approved.

Member experience of ASL intrusion wanted
Oly Shipp contacted the police about the problem of drivers failing to stop in front of the advanced stop line designed to give cyclists a safe head start when the lights change. Oly got an encouraging reply from Andy Thompson, neighbourhood Inspector for Central and North Oxford http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/faq-answer?id=Q806 who offered to look at dealing with poor drivers. He asks for details of particular problem locations so let Oly know of your worst junction and he can pass them to the Inspector oly@shipp.org.

More government money for Cycling in Oxford
Simon Hunt, Cyclox Chair, has given this initial response to the announcement this week that Oxford was one of eight cycling cities that would be getting a share of £114m from a Funding4Cycling initiative: “The direct network routes within Oxford city are at present very fragmented, cobbled-together as poorly-designed afterthoughts.  They are woefully shoddily maintained. They aren’t designed as they should be for Inclusive Cycling, that is, for all kinds of cyclist.  They should be more segregated or part-segregated from the carriageway than they are. They are heavily used.  Examples are the Botley and Woodstock and Banbury roads; the London Road through St Clements out to the initial part of Marston Road; the Cowley Road; and the B4495 inner ring from Summertown through Headington to Cowley and Donnington Bridge.   All of these have appalling sections.  Cyclox thinks the new money over the next 2-3 years would be best spent on well-surfaced, joined-up, pot-hole-free, mainly segregated cycle paths designed for inclusive cycling along these routes.  However, although so vitally needed, schemes like these would sadly not provide a glitzy nugget for an eye-catching photocall when they’re finished, of the kind that politicians like.  For specific shiny new projects, Cyclox would strongly support (1) better access to Old Road campus and Churchill hospital sites from the South-East direction (2) attractive and inclusive cycle access into the planned new Oxford rail station from West Oxford, for instance by adding walkways and cycleways on both sides of the roadway to the nearby bridge over the Thames; and (3) attractive and inclusive routes out to the new Oxford Parkway from North Oxford.”

CTC’s Roger Geffen has commented: www.ctc.org.uk/blog/roger-geffen/camerons-cycling-revolution-one-pedal-stroke-forward-long-long-way-go

Oxford Transport Strategy
Meanwhile Oxfordshire County Council has released its transport strategy at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/oxfordtransportstrategy
The enlightened comment from Ian Connick in the  transport dept says: The central challenge of the strategy is how to improve Oxford as a place, whilst also improving access to it. We know that as the city and county grow, demand for travel to and from the city will increase substantially. Without decisive action to transform transport infrastructure and travel options, the city faces serious consequences:

  • Housing and employment growth in Oxfordshire could result in 38,000 additional journeys in Oxford by 2031, a 43% increase from 2011. 
  • Without improvements to the transport network and changes of travel behaviour, this could result in approximately 17,000 more commuter car trips each day.
  • Even if the bus mode share remains the same as now, bus flows into the city centre could grow by over 40%, putting substantial strain on the historic core.
  • Even the current Local Plans allocations are forecast to result in a 16% increase in traffic on Oxford’s radial roads and 21% on the ring road in peak hours. 
  • Car journey times from the surrounding Oxfordshire towns would increase on average by 18% to the city centre and 14% to Headington.

Cyclox Rangers
A bit like Sustrans rangers, we would like interested Cyclox members to adopt their local area to report on cycling needs. Using ward boundaries probably makes sense, since local councillors have a v small budget (usually around £100 p.a.) they can spend how they like, and we need to press the needs of cycling. We have had one volunteer already and would like to hear from others with an interest in summarising the cycling needs of their patch.

Improving Summertown cycle facilities
Neil MacLenann is convener of the Transport Group of Summertown St. Margaret’s Neighbourhood Forum. He asked me to clarify my article in the last newsletter on routes through the ward.  He would value your views on cycle paths in the area because the localism rule means that what is put in the plan may be very important. In the context of ever increasing traffic in and around North Oxford, sustainable transport, cycling and local and connecting cycle routes are very important. If you want to contribute to the Neighbourhood Plan to improve cycle facilities in the area, his email is nsmaclennan@gmail.com.

London by contrast…
Graham Smith went to the Cyclenation conference hosted by LCC and the presentations were inspiring – available here: https://storify.com/london_cycling/annual-cyclenation-ctc-conference-2014

And finally…
Graham found this telling graphic from the Economist in 1981. We can only hope that they now know what can fill  the transport gap. (In case the picture doesn’t show clearly, the grey curve between walking and car says ‘Gap –  Minitram?’.)

Horses for courses

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