18 03 Cyclox Circular

Cyclox Circular March 2018

Do you want to contribute or comment? cyclox.circular@cyclox.org

Most recent On Yer Bike

Forthcoming Events

March is proving to be a busy month for Cyclox events.

Tuesday March 20th – Baffled by Bike Hire? Speakers from the different companies and the city council. St Michael’s at the Northgate7.30pm

Thursday March 22nd 7pm Cycle Shorts Film showing and competition Common Ground Café Little Clarendon St

We now have reached the point when the films are ready to be judged and viewed. Will Gompertz will be one of the judges on the day.

Friday March 23rd  Anneliese Dodds MP speaking on Climate Change Friday 7.30pm Rose Hill Community Centre

Anneliese Dodds will outline her vision for a low carbon society. We are running a Cyclox stall and one of the discussion groups will be on cycling. While Cyclox does not espouse any political party there is no doubt that cycle journeys are part of the solution to reducing our carbon emissions.

Tuesday 27th March Presenting petition for segregated cycle routes 10am outside County Hall

Many of you have supported the Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon petition for continuous, segregated cycle routes in Oxford – they have 1300 signatures and still counting ….

We would like a big crowd – preferably on bikes!
10:00 meet in front of County Hall with a placard for the photo shoot
10.20 enter Council meeting chamber for a 10.30 start
10:40 petition will be presented and speech made
There are cycle racks at County Hall.and seating for 25 in the public gallery.
If all places in the public gallery are taken, there will be another room with a videolink.  Please spread the word!

Public Meetings in 2018

We are making progress with our plans for talks and rides during 2018. Members and non-members are welcome. Refreshments are available.

Tuesday 20th March 7.30pm Baffled by bike hire? St Michaels at the Northgate
Thursday 22nd March 7pm Cycling Shorts – film screening & prize-giving Common Ground Lt Clarendon St
Friday 23rd March 7.30pm Anneliese Dodds MP averting climate change Rose Hill Community Centre
Tuesday 27th March County Hall Petition for Iffley Rd segregated route
Tuesday 17th April Electric bikes – all you’ve ever wanted to know St Michaels at the Northgate
Tuesday 15th May Oxfordshire County Council Planning dept St Michaels at the Northgate
9th – 17th June

Date to be agreed

Sunday, 17th June afternoon

Bike week

Bike ride with County Councillors

Family cycling afternoon

18th September All about Broken Spoke and the Claudia Charter St Michaels at the Northgate
16th October Women and Cycling in Oxford  – Isis Cyclists – 10 years of success St Michaels at the Northgate
20th November – AGM Speaker to be confirmed St Michaels at the Northgate

Abingdon Cycle Festival – 22nd April 2018

Based in Abingdon Market Square until 13:00 then Dalton Barracks Airfield in the afternoon this one-day festival will feature:

  • Eighteen (free) rides, each with a leader & sweeper, leaving between09:00 and 11:00
  • 10 road bike rides of 10-50 miles and at different paces
  • 4 off-road (MTB) rides of 10-20 miles, mellow to medium-quick
  • 4 family rides of 5 miles on local and National Cycle Network cycle paths / quiet lanes
  • Live Music, Stands featuring local cycle shops and organisations, Food stalls and pop-up bar, Bike races at the airfield

Campaigns and Consultations

Pavement Parking

Cyclox has identified pavement parking as a campaign priority for this year. We feel it is further evidence of the dominance of the car and often the cycle lane is used as a parking place for the half of the vehicle not on the pavement, since the space is only used by cycles so won’t inconvenience car or van drivers. OxPA have been campaigning on this for many years and the City Council supports people using their stickers. We are planning a ‘Pavement Plonker of the month’ photo slot in the newsletter. If you can find a moment to take photos, please send them to us with the time and location and we will compile them for the county highways dept. to comment.

Iffley Rd and Donnington Bridge Rd junction

While we are supportive of improving safety for cycles at junctions it is essential the work is done to full CSR and OCDS standards.

There are three junctions involved:

  • Donnington Bridge Road / Ifley Rd where we feel they should install “Simultaneous green“/”all-green scramble” signal phase or at the very least full ASLs and advanced green phases for cycles.
  • Henley Ave / Iffley Turn where we recommend a two-stage right turn into Iffley Turn, possibly also converting existing Pelican to Toucan
  • Henley Ave / Church Cowley Rd junction which needs to facilitate uphill continuation towards Rose Hill.

We also think it is necessary to clear the parked cars in some areas, extend the current protected cycle lane eastbound off Donnington Bridge to Iffley Rd.

Banbury and Parks Rd junction

As part of its maintenance programme, the highway dept are inviting Cyclox to comment on how it might be improved without any actual funding above that required for the maintenance. Unfortunately this means that the corridor study will be ignored even though it is their own document.

A40 bus lane proposal

The technical notes for this proposal are now available and the road safety audit seem to have ignored cycling entirely. Cyclox has written to ask what action the county will take to remedy this revealing oversight.

Access to Headington

You are pleased to have cycled up Headley Way without too much conflict or wheezing and get to the pedestrian crossing after the JR roundabout to find the road suddenly narrows and once again you are in conflict with cars. Will this be sorted by A2H? We hope so, but aren’t holding our breath. However work is going on a the JR roundabout, so perhaps something will happen.

Osney Mead and former Oxford Power Station

On top of the plans for the university to redevelop Osney Mead, Cyclox is responding to proposals to use the former Osney Power Station on the east side of the river below Botley Bridge as an extension of Said business school. We think it should be a perfect opportunity to create a route across the railway and river south of the Botley Rd. A pedestrian bridge over the railway exists but only as steep steps, no ramp. This is even more pressing with the plans to create a transport hub around the new railway station.

News and Reports

Waltham Forest Cycle Safari

A dozen Cyclox Champions and committee members rented a fantastic community minibus run by Ox Swift to see at first hand how Waltham Forest borough had achieved a remarkable improvement in the liveability and active transport facilities over just a couple of years. Part of the secret was appointing a dedicated and knowledgeable officer to manage the process. They also encouraged staff to be innovative and the project became the one everyone wanted to work on. Also the funders from TfL looked at all the designs. If they thought the designs were not good enough, they said they would not pay for it. We felt this was in contrast with DfT who didn’t seem too worried about the Plain Roundabout details. Crucially the project was not a “cycling scheme” (which would get a lot of the usual hostility), it was part of an “Active Travel” scheme, so more acceptable to many more. Danny Yee has written a fuller report on his blog.

One thing several of us noticed was that drivers were patient and courteous – probably because they were driving in their own neighbourhood as effective road closures meant there was no through traffic.

In addition –

  • The borough was divided up into villages (~500 – 1000 houses(?)), with the intention of filtering each village to deter rat running, which seems to have worked.
  • Walthamstow employed professionals to do a lot of community engagement, particularly with local businesses.
  • Some of the hybrid/stepped kerb lanes which were OK to ride on were on quite narrow roads proving you can fit these things in on more roads.
  • A lot of the hybrid cycle lanes came about by removing bus lanes which could be a hard sell

We would like to record our gratitude to Paul Gasson and Dan Kelly, Waltham Forest cycle campaigners who organised a great tour, and Gary Neal our driver who patiently coped with us staying much longer than planned and drove so professionally. If any Cyclox member would like to support Ox Swift by volunteering to drive their minibuses for charities and deserving organisations like Cyclox please get in touch with us or them. Full training is provided.

Is our transport spending in need of adjustment?

Roger Geffen, Policy Director at Cycling UK writes on the current plans for huge spending on the strategic road network: “The main point of both the Cycling UK response is that the Government needs to substantially rebalance overall transport spending.  Far too much of our national transport spending is going into both new-build and maintenance of the Strategic Road Network, and far too little is going into local sustainable transport solutions (which might tackle the problems of obesity, inactivity, congestion), or indeed into maintaining local roads and streets (where people walk and cycle).

What’s even more alarming is that annual capital spending on the SRN is set to increase sharply (from £40 per person in England outside London in 2016/17, to £84 per person in 2020/21, and the threat of a further doubling in the next Roads Investment Strategy period post 2021).  Meanwhile the Government’s annual investment in its Cycling and Walking ‘Investment’ Strategy is set to nosedive over the same period (from £2.07 per person outside London to just 72p).

Bike clearing is not a myth

Spotted in Broad St, a good example of what your city council is doing for cyclists. Abandoned bikes in the constantly overfull bike racks along Magdalen St East had been tagged and were now being removed. The lorry was so full they were going to come back for more. Thank you, city council.

Snow clearance in Sweden

Following our exchange with the county council, we learn that Cambridge does have a cycle path snow clearing machine. This report shows that some countries (admittedly with more predictable snowfall than us) do prioritise pedestrians and cyclists and leave the cars until later. They justify  this on a social and gender equity basis – most cars are driven by middle class working age men, most users of pavements and cycle tracks are women, children and older people.

Manchester’s bid for active travel

As always Chris Boardman puts a persuasive argument for investing in cycling and walking. Wisely he emphasises that concentrating on making routes safe is not in itself enough to get people on their bikes, they must be attractive and efficient too.

Trams are the solution

Thomas Miles has made an extensive survey of bus and cycle provision between Summertown and Kidlington and concludes:
In the short term the surface used in repairs must be reinforced. Some examples of this can be seen on Saint Aldate’s. Longer term large-scale resurfacing should replace drains on the carriageway with drainage built into the kerb and a tram network is needed in Oxford. It is clear that volumes of public transport users on certain corridors have reached a point where buses are no longer the adequate mode. As they run on metal rails, trams will cause no damage to the road surface.

Isis Women’s Riding group winners

Isis has been leading women only bike rides for 10 years and has been instrumental in encouraging women onto their bikes. They have now been voted in the top 10 of women’s initiatives Cyclox congratulates them

And another thing

The future is here, just not evenly distributed

Odd snippets of good news for the new year. It would appear that fewer young people are driving in the UK. In anecdotal evidence from Germany – if you deliver your child to school by caryou can expect to receive a call from the Headteacher asking why your child did not walk or cycle to school that day. Comments after our On Yer Bike article and on our Facebook page point out the practical difficulties for some parents and the Daily Mirror offered this contrary view. Jesse Norman visited Seville to see how they had achieved a huge increase in cycle journeys ‘almost overnight’.

Where do people in the Netherlands park their bicycles when they are at home?

The answer is awe-inspiring: “It has been in the building regulations for over 50 years that every home must have a place to store bicycles. And for those living in older places, on street secure bike parking is the norm.

Compare and contrast

As Graham Smith (who provided the photos) says: : I would observe that most people in charge of motor vehicles choose to ignore this [Highway Code] Rule. In congested traffic and with many narrow roads the implication is that drivers must not overtake people cycling. Cyclox’ recent OYB article sums up the situation.

Paint your own road

Advocates of direct action suggest highlighting frankly unsafe cycle infrastructure with this emotive sign. We think it is illegal to paint signs in this way so don’t recommend it, but it is a powerful image.

Cycling with headphones on?

The Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research reports that no relationship was found between the frequency of listening to music or talking on the phone and the frequency of incidents among teenage cyclists. One could be forgiven for saying ‘that was there and this is here’ and perhaps teenagers wouldn’t be so safe on our roads. According to google, using a phone while cycling is not illegal in itself but you could be charged with careless cycling if something happened.

Close pass – the police begin to educate offenders

Danny Yee has written about this. We understand Oxfordshire has yet to use their close pass mat though they do intend to run a campaign.

Points mean … a black box?

There is a parliamentary petition proposing that drivers with points on their licence should have their car fitted with a black box recorder which has been shown to improve driver behaviour.

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