14 11 Cyclox Circular

November 2014  Cyclox Circular

Our newsletters are now on the website http://www.cyclox.org/supporting-our-members/cyclox-circular-october-2014/2012-archive/14-10-cyclox-circular/

Cyclox AGM is on Tuesday 18th at 7.15pm in St Michael’s by the Northgate. Prof Danny Dorling will be speaking at 8pm.
At this time of year we ask members who would like to help Cyclox during 2015 to get in touch.

Meetings manager

We are looking for someone to work with our events co-ordinator Ruth Davis to help run the evening meetings. As we get more people attending we need more helpers to meet and greet, check everything is in order for the speaker, get chairs and refreshments ready. We aim to have 5-6 meetings next year, perhaps more and it would be very helpful if we could have another person dedicated to this aspect. There wouldn’t be any need to introduce the speaker or deal with any of the booking side of the meetings.

Stalls helpers
Kathryn McNichol is our stalls co-ordinator and next year we plan to run 5-6 stalls. Helping out at these stalls is a fun way to support Cyclox. We get into some fascinating conversations with cyclists and non-cyclists and help people think positively about cycling in and around Oxford. No technical knowledge is expected, your opinions are as valid as others and it is as much about listening as telling. We have the Green Fair on Saturday 6th December.  If you want to try it out, let Kathryn know on kathryn@kmcnicoll.co.uk or andy.chivers@gmail.com

 Your committee is working differently
In order to spend our time more productively the committee are using alternate meeting times to split into three areas: Infrastructure and Campaigns; Communication and Member Engagement; Strategy and Policy. Members are welcome to attend these meetings. This is in line with Cyclox’s three aims which are: 1. Improving cycling infrastructure 2. Raising the profile of cycling in Oxford  3. Supporting our members. After the AGM we will share dates for these.

 For Sale
‘His ‘n Hers’ Dahon folding bicycles. Bought before the accidents of old age spoilt the plan!
Purchased in 2010 but used only about 6 times so virtually brand new. (photos available on request from andy.chivers@gmail.com or Penny)
Dahon Espresso.  large.      £275 (current price £425)
Dahon Espresso.  Medium. £275 (current price £391)
Email: penny@pennyjaques.com  http://www.evanscycles.com/products/dahon/espresso-2009-folding-bike-ec018482

Our next joint meeting with OxPA 7pm Thursday 27th Nov
Fiona Percy, Station master plan project officer for the city and county councils is talking at the Town Hall 7pm 27th November. It is hard to overstate the importance of this development to cyclists and the need for co-ordination between plans for Frideswide Square, Westgate and the station makes Ms Percy well worth listening to. See our comments on Frideswide at http://www.cyclox.org/improving-cycling-infrastructure/d-oxford-station-frideswide-square/

In other news…

Tips for cycling in Oxford is now on our website: http://www.cyclox.org/supporting-our-members/cycling-in-oxford/ (thanks to Oly Shipp)

Cyclox learned from an unexpected source:
An email from the County Council says: “The county council has recently appointed independent consultants Steer Davis Gleave to undertake a detailed audit of cycle route facilities across the city, including those at London Place and surrounds. The consultants will be using this information to develop cycle route improvements. In February/March next year, we will be consulting on all the cycle route improvements, so there will be an opportunity for the public to comment on and influence designs before final proposals are taken forward.” We look forward to seeing the report.

Wise words about transport in Oxford
Peter Headicar, transport specialist, spoke to the Summertown Neighbourhood group about transport.  In UK in 1939 there were 2m cars, now 30m. Since 1974 Oxon popn has increased by x1.2, the number of cars by x3.2, distance travelled by x2.7.  Oxford has had very few extra roads in that time, and the emphasis in the last 15 years has been to reduce access: 1999 Oxford Transport Stratgey closed the High St to through traffic; in 2010 Transform Oxford reduced bus use of Queen St to create a pedestrian area – sadly without cycling in the daytime. He is impressed that Oxford can empty High St and survive. He says the Northern gateway makes no sense since it will create a 60% increase in traffic in the already gridlocked area. In this context, Richard Mann’s letter to Oxford Times / Mail offers a radical next step in a different gridlocked area – close Botley Road to through traffic http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/yoursay/letters/11585797.Close_the_Botley_Road_to_through_traffic_to_really_tackle_congestion/

Oxford Civic Society and Cyclox member Neil MacLennan is thinking about how cyclists will assess the new Oxford Parkway station. He says: Sustrans route 5 is currently not well enough thought out or engineered and the desire route is down the Woodstock Road. He feels  that the route deserves a cycle superhighway approach without giving the impression that this is just for MAMILs. He would value your thoughts on how routes through N Oxford might work. Suggestions have to be practical and achievable but there is no harm, and possibly a lot of benefit, in a bit of blue-sky thinking.

Ben Willmore commutes daily through St Ebbe’s Street, New Inn Hall St and Gloucester St, along Sustrans route 5. There are three points where the cycle route is frequently blocked by vans or lorries making deliveries. At two of these (St Ebbe’s Street south of Queen St and Gloucester St at the market square), drivers park at the end of the cycle lane, and it seems this is actually the preferred parking spot . It seems that the drivers think that this is a good spot because they are parking out of the way of motor vehicles. At the other location (New Inn Hall St north of Queen St), it is common to find a single lorry parked in the middle of the road at the end of the pedestrian/cycle shared space (with a narrow gap either side), or two smaller lorries parked two abreast blocking the whole road (whereas a single lorry, parked to one side, would be passable).

It is disappointing that Oxford cannot provide a single North-South route through the city centre that offers reasonable safety and convenience to cyclists. I think the situation could be improved by:
1. loading restrictions at each of the three points. In all three cases, there is usually space to load without blocking the cycle lane, so all that is needed is a little encouragement for drivers to park in a more cycle-friendly spot
2. improved signage to clarify the fact that the cycle lane exists and should not be blocked
3. parking attendants giving tickets where loading/unloading is causing an obstruction (this applies elsewhere in the city centre too)

David Nimmo Smith and Grenoble Rd
Many members will have seen our transport lead’s quote expressing disbelief that anyone could cycle into town from Grenoble road. James Dawton helped him:
“The answer to your question can easily be found on the County Council’s own cycle map https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/sites/default/files/folders/documents/roadsandtransport/oxfordcyclemap.pdf For those who don’t wish to cycle on the direct but congested chaos of the Cowley Road, there is a quiet route via Rymers Lane to Bullingdon Rd, then to Iffley Rd with its on road cycle lanes. Your map will also inform you that it is only 25 minutes to cycle to Carfax (less if one was working on the eastern arc). A daily commute of that time duration exceeds the governments recommended daily exercise to halve your risk of heart disease.” DNS replied: “Thank you for putting me right about cycling to the city centre from south of Grenoble Road – although the paper took my comments out of context to make their story better.”

Draft National Cycling Plan
Deadline for responses now 27th November. And there are further open days – see the DfT website for details.  https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-transport.  And the evidence for funding cycle provision is clear: http://theconversation.com/hint-of-proper-funding-for-cycling-but-we-must-fight-for-it-with-evidence-33152

Roads were not built for cars – continued
As Jonny Ives puts it – Where Cyclox leads, parliament follows – following his great talk to Cyclox, Carlton Reid has been invited to talk to a joint meeting of the Parliamentary cycling and motoring groups. The next print edition of the book will be a revised one, and available early in 2015. The multimedia iPad version of the book has already been updated

DfT “Green Retrofit” of our major roads
One paragraph from this document gives hope: “We are very concerned [road planning processes] have focused only on increasing capacity and ignored the potential for improving existing major roads in other ways, benefiting people who are on bikes, on foot and on public transport, as well as reducing the impact on communities and the environment.” http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/sites/default/files/Roads_Retrofit_Proposals_FINAL_Sep2014.pdf

Space for Cycling
CTC’s campaign gathers momentum and Cyclox will clearly be supporting it in any way we can. http://www.ctc.org.uk/campaign/space-for-cycling


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