18 04 Cyclox Circular

Cyclox Circular April 2018

Membership renewal – Thank you to all who have paid already. Members who have a standing order need not do anything. If you usually pay by PayPal and haven’t done so yet, now is the time to do so – or change to a standing order – see www.cyclox.org/join_us/ . If you haven’t had an email about renewal or are not sure whether you have paid please email membership@cyclox.org

Most recent On Yer Bike

Forthcoming Events

Electric Bikes – how can they help you? Tues 17th April 7.30pm St Michael at the Northgate
Cyclox member and e-bike enthusiast, Steve Unwin, will tell us about e-bikes and we will share the experience of e-bike users. If you have an e-bike, come along and tell us about your experience. Refreshments. All welcome.

Rose Hill Bike Day Sunday 17th June – volunteers please!
In conjunction with Rose Hill community group we are running an afternoon of events to encourage people to start cycling. Among other activities we will have some e-bikes to try out.  We would like some enthusiastic members to join in and help make it a success. For more details emailevents@cyclox.org

Air Quality in North Oxford 7pm Wed 18th April Baptist Church 198 Woodstock Rd
Low Carbon Oxford North are holding a talk on reducing air pollution and have invited Tim Chatterton from UWE. Given the pivotal role of cycling as a mode of transport, this promises to be of interest. Open to all.

News and Reports

County cycling officer? Nearly. Applications welcome
This advert has appeared in relation to LCWIP ‘… will be responsible for managing the development and approval of a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan’. One of the tasks is to ‘prioritise a programme of infrastructure improvements for future investment’.

Dockless bikes – a qualified success in Oxford?
At the Cyclox open meeting last week we heard from the managers of our different dockless bike companies in Oxford and from Councillor Louise Upton, City Cycling Champion. There will be a more detailed report but thanks to good preparation and a voluntary code of conduct, this innovation has been generally positive with few bikes damaged or left obstructing pavements. Cyclox would like to hear of individual user’s experience of the bikes.

Cyclox Cycling Shorts Film Competition
Last week also saw the public viewing of the entries for our film competition. Thank you to our generous sponsors Oxford University, Warlands Cycles and Bainton Bikes for the prize money and to Will Gompertz for joining the judging panel. The overall winner was Chain Reaction, and you can view all the films here.

Cyclox at Rose Hill Climate change meeting
Anneliese Dodd spoke at this meeting and Cyclox were asked to run a group to identify the priorities for increasing cycling (and thereby reducing carbon emissions) were:

  • Create segregated routes
  • Change of law to presumption of motorist fault – presumed liability
  • Bikeability training. Child education
  • Remove conflict between buses and bikes
  • Ban parking on pavements
  • Ban cars from residential areas
  • Revise residential road design guides
  • Residential street – filtered permeability
  • Creating open streets car free days
  • Electronic road pricing and workplace parking levy
  • Renewing road marking and signage
  • Every driving instructor to have Bikeability training
  • All people taking driving test to have Bikeability level 3

Isis Women’s Cycle group is one of the best
Cyclox is delighted to congratulate Isis Cyclists who have been named among the 10 best cycling groups for women in the UK! You can see the full list hereThey point out they are sporting a lot less lycra than anyone else!

Safer Cycling Petition
An estimated 100 cyclists attended the Rose Hill and Iffley Community group rally and petition presentation at the County Council with 1700 signatures on the petition. Leader of the council, Ian Hudspeth received the petition.

Close pass enforcement comes to Oxfordshire
Safe overtaking is another piece in the safe cycling jigsaw puzzle and last week the police ran a Close Pass campaign in south Oxford with Susanne Bartington, county cycle champion helping.

Disappearing cycle lane
The county council admitted its error in painting a cycle lane impossibly close to a wall along Marston Rd and promised to correct it ‘soon’. Danny Yee points out that when a cycle track is right next to a wall there should be an extra 50cm width so this lane is almost a negative space.
While the county were quite dismissive, the Urban Design Group view is that “If a highway is not inspected appropriately and maintained to a reasonable standard as laid down by court precedents, the highway authority will not be able to mount the statutory defence under S58 of the Highways Act 1980 and will have to pay compensation to a party that suffers loss or injury.“

GDPR coming to a database near you soon
On 25th May all organisations holding personal data must comply with the latest European regulations. A note about this has gone to members in the renewal notice, but just to say that Cyclox will be fully compliant. If you have any concerns about your data in our hands, please contact us.

Campaigns and Consultations

Pavement parking
Pavement parking is a priority for Cyclox this year, partly because drivers often use the cycle lane for half their vehicle. Cyclox Champion Mark Utting recently emailed the County’s Parking Enforcement team to ask about the recurring illegal parking on Between Towns Road. They confirmed that they do deploy enforcement officers to this area on a daily basis and since January 2018 the following activity had been undertaken:  648 Visits 52 Penalty Charge Notices issued 3 Vehicles Driven Away.  Mark estimates that on average there are at least half a dozen cars illegally parked. If on each of the 648 visits there were 6 cars parked illegally and these were noted, based on the number of penalty charge notices issues, there is just over a 1% chance that these illegally parked cars will get a ticket.  Mark asked why the number of penalty charges issued was so low, and was told that there Oxfordshire CC parking policy has an observation time, during which the driver may leave. The details surrounding observation times can be found in Appendix 13, Para 4.  The policy surrounding footway and verge parking is pretty shocking – concentrating on traffic flow with little concern for the safety of other road users. Indeed, the need to ensure adequate width of the footway for other users appears just an afterthought (and no mention of blocking cycle lanes anywhere!). Mark suggests that this policy needs updating! Key parts to look at are Paragraph 6.9 and appendix 10. And if this report on creating better streets is to be believed, our streets will one day prioritise the right users!

Phil Jones Associates report
Oxford Civic Society has now published its assessment of the recent PJA report and like us concludes that it is good for cyclists but their detailed analysis concludes it would be unworkable for buses. The main challenge is to achieve a significant reduction of car traffic through the city centre but that is politically difficult. All has gone quiet and we have yet to see the much-anticipated report on cycling in Oxford from Andrew Gilligan, so things still feel up in the air.

Oxford Direct Services score a direct hit in the snow
Louise Upton, North ward city councillor and cycle champion was discussing how to clear snow from cycle tracks and one of the council officers suggested that the Parks team have capacity when it snows because they can’t do their usual gardening work so could be deployed to clear cycle tracks. The recent heavy snow in the Beast from the East was the first time this new policy had been used and the benefit has been noticed on at least one route. Cyclox champions and members are asked to nominate cycle routes that could benefit from this intervention. As Louise says, this is another advantage of having an in-house team at the City Council rather than a contracted company.

And another thing

Oxford’s ‘expensive incrementalism’ versus New York’s experimental radicalism
Danny Yee blogs on the Old Road ‘improvement’ which achieves nothing for cycling or walking and a doubtful benefit for car drivers. Contrast this with the story from New York’s transport commissioner who used anything she could lay her hands on to trial protected routes for cyclists, filtered permeability, etc etc.

How much cycling actually goes on?
Cyclox chair Simon Hunt responded to a question about relative cycling activity between cities. While Oxford remains the second highest in terms of commuting modal share, he feels we get hung up on these simplistic and uninformative headlines – much more interesting are various statistics fromCycling UK and Sustrans as well as information about social attitudes.

Cycle lane with a difference
How do you make cycling fun for a kid? If space is no object, this parallel track offers a great alternative experience.

Cycling Silk comments on new law
An interesting interview with Martin Porter the “Cycling Silk” on the proposed “Death by dangerous cycling law”. And looking at the problem from another perspective, why are cyclists demonised so readily by the press? N+1 is a blog by two keen cyclists who write sensibly about this issue.

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