16 12 Cyclox Circular

Cyclox Circular December 2016

Forthcoming Events

Christmas Café

Sunday 11th December 10am – 2.30pm at Fairspear House Leafield OX29 9NY. Kath Cochrane is running a drop in café for cyclists to support the Windrush Bike Project so you know where to go to warm up on your ride.

Joint Winter warmer 31st January 17 7.30pm

Each year we hold a joint meeting with Oxford Civic Society and OxPA to consider our policy differences and similarities. Space is limited so we ask interested members to let us know if they are interested and we will confirm numbers. This year we also plan a light-hearted debate comparing the health benefits of cycling and walking. Email kath.cochrane2@gmail.com

News and Reports

 

AGM

We had a good turnout for the AGM and a great presentation by David Cox, chair of Cycling UK who talked about the challenge of turning Birmingham from Motor town to Cycle town. Your committee was re-elected with the exception of our treasurer who has moved to Penrith so asks to be relieved of the job (not too oneous now she has set things up so well). If any members are interested in helping us with what is really very basic book-keeping please get in touch (we are not a charity or a limited company so simple probity is our only requirement).

 

Oxfam and Green Fair stalls

Thanks to the members who responded to Kathryn’s call for help at the stalls. We had a busy time at both, with several new members and lots of interesting conversations. Thanks to Walton St Cycles who gave us some of their stock to sell on a sale or return basis, sharing the profit 50:50. The bells and horn meant ours was definitely the best heard stall.

 

 

Campaigns and Consultations

 

A40 – Eynsham to Oxford

There is a consultation by Oxfordshire County Council on changes to the A40 and the A40 cycle path.   OCC are looking to put in a bus lane running from a new Park and Ride near Eynsham to Dukes Cut, with the intention of making it attractive to get a bus from Eynsham to the city or to Headington. There is one more open meeting: Thursday 15th December from 12.30pm – 7pm at St Leonard’s Church, Eynsham, 21 High Street, Eynsham, OX29 4HE.

 

Option 4 describes their preferred changes to bike facilities which are to remove the bike path on the south of the A40 and put a two-way path on the north side.

We intend to object to the removal of the lane on the south side because:

1)      Commuting patterns mean that for much of the year, most users will be cycling into headlights which is dangerous and unpleasant.

2)      Most bike travellers will have to make two additional crossings of the A40 on each journey

3)      These proposals discourage cycling. We don’t believe large numbers of people who could already park and get the S1/S2 or train from Hanborough are likely to swap modes.  Encouraging cycling is a more effective way to reduce congestion.

4)   In addition, we will say that this is an opportunity to push the B4044 cycle path to give a safe alternative to the A40.

Responses are required by 12 January. Cyclox will respond and you are invited to as well:

https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/A40BusLane_ParkandRide/consultationHome

Please use the link to comment and let us know your views to help us shape the formal response from Cyclox.

 

 

Rights and Responsibilities

The launch of our Rights and Responsibilities document has stimulated a thoughtful debate on ‘equivalence’ – are we treating cycling in the same way as other transport modes?

Kevin Hickman, national campaigner for inclusive cycling says:

“This idea of equivalence, or lack of it, reminds me that we discussed something similar to rights and responsibilities about four years ago. Then it was being referred to as Bike Polite, which was a campaign that had been run by Spokes, the cycle campaign organisation in Edinburgh in partnership with local police.

“I think I was fairly ambivalent about it at the time but that changed when Paul Cullen argued against it. I think that issue of equivalence to driving or ‘busing’ was part of his argument. Reminds me how much I miss his input too.

Here’s my two-penneth…    https://cantstandupforfallingdown.com/2016/12/08/rights-and-responsibilities/”

 

Bike Parking

One of the position papers we are working on is about bike parking. The importance is well-described as cycling’s glass ceiling in this link: http://www.ecocycle.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/The-Cycling-Revolution.pdf. Facilities need to be suitable for different bikes, in the right place, and in adequate numbers to allow everyone to find a space. They need to be regularly checked for abandoned bikes. Discussions in committee meetings and the forum have revealed pet hates and favourites amongst stands. What we won’t be getting is this: http://www.ecocycle.co.uk/about-us/ . One has been installed in London, but though ingenious, we can’t see panniers and baskets going through that system. Some people find Sheffield stands unhelpful so we are looking at alternatives. Ones we would like to be considered are the Dutch tulip design http://tinyurl.com/tulip-bike-racks

 

Queen St cycle trial

Thank you for responding to the consultation. With the re-opening of Queen St buses are now using the street again, and concerns have been expressed about the safety of this.

The online questionnaire was overwhelmingly in favour of permitting 24 hour cycling on Queen Street (experimental) – 67% (143) support, 26% (55) object, 7% (15) neither. Simon Hunt presented to the county transport committee to argue for 24 hour cycling and pointing out the problem of bus overcrowding, but the outcome is not yet known.

However the effect of removing buses from Queen St will have a bad effect on St Aldates which will need more bus stops in an already crowded part of town which is very difficult to navigate on a bicycle. Oxford Civic Society has decided not to support cycling, which is disappointing but we do all agree on the problem with the buses in St Aldates. http://www.oxcivicsoc.org.uk/queen-street-closed-buses-taxis/
Magdalen St East bus parking

At this time of year the road outside Boswells in Broad St is a chaos of shoppers, buses, taxis and cyclists. The situation is made worse by the buses parking right up to the junction removing visibility for anyone trying to cross the road. Cyclox wrote to the bus companies some years ago asking that they park a few metres back from the junction. That had some effect for a few months. Danny Yee has written about this problem: http://wanderingdanny.com/oxford/2016/02/walking-central-oxford/

 

Air pollution

We have often pointed out that minute for minute, car drivers are exposed to higher levels of air pollution than cyclists or walkders. But this article: http://tinyurl.com/znpy2ld explains that though this is true, the slower movement and heavier breathing means the cyclist needs to be further away from the centre of the road to avoid the worst of air pollution.

 

Workplace parking levy

The county is debating the options of a parking levy in the city or a congestion charge  to reduce car journeys through the city centre. Here is their report: http://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/workplace-parking-levy-to-be-discussed/

 

And another thing

 

How to help drivers see you when cycling

At this time of year, everyone is offering advice about how to be seen while cycling in the dark. They mostly discuss hi-viz clothing, reflective fittings and lights, but very rarely do they mention road positioning. Cycling UK’s cycle instructor Julie Rand explains how where you cycle on the road helps drivers to see you. http://www.cyclinguk.org/be-seen-bike

The Cowley Rd

Gridlock is an all too frequent experience along the Cowley Rd and this video of cycling through it points out the impossibility of anyone encouraging children or less experienced riders to use it. https://www.facebook.com/Cycloxfanpage/videos/1056597347782279/ And though there is the Florence Park – Cricket Rd alternative that can be pretty chaotic at the end of the school day

 

As it was World Philosophy Day recently, we’ll finish with this thought: “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a bicycle and that’s pretty close.”

 

 

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