Midlands Connect Strategy

The 72 page Midlands Connect Strategy: Powering the Midlands Engine has recently been published. This document sets out a 25 year plan to improve transport links and reduce transport delays in the Midlands region.

Nowhere is cycling mentioned! The closest is on the final page of the report where it says “Local projects will not appear in the Midlands Connect strategy, but the partners in Midlands Connect do recognise their significance and urge the Government to maintain a significant flow of funding for local transport schemes.”

The focus is on large scale trunk road improvements and improved rail links and speeds. Whilst appreciating that the focus of the report is on long distance connectivity (trunk roads, HS2, etc.) it is disappointing that an emphasis on reducing localised road transport (e.g. by encouraging cycling and public transport) is not seen as part of the solution for long distance travel.

Duffield Road Cycle lane unusable at school closing time

Shows the line of parked cars from the bus stop to the school entrance
Parked cars obstructing the cycle lane

The cycle lane on Duffield Road is unusable around 3pm each day as cars gather to pick up children from the school. Cars park up with drivers still inside (reading papers, using phones) for up to half an hour before the school finishes. The photos show the extent of the problem. As all the parked cars fill the cycle lane, any cyclists are forced towards the middle of the road and the overall effect isn’t encouraging students / parents / teachers to cycle to school.

The local councillors are aware of the problem but there seems to be little that can be done as the cars are legally “picking up or setting down” rather than “parking” even though any reasonable person would assume being stopped for 15-30 minutes counts as parking!

Interested in becoming a Sustrans volunteer?

Sustrans (the charity responsible for the National Cycle Network,  amongst other things) are currently looking for volunteers in the local area.

See the Derby recruitment leaflet for more information.

Dan Robertson (the local volunteer co-ordinator) would be happy to explain more about the roles. Contact him on Volunteers-MidsEast@sustrans.org.uk or 07785 27 37 40. Whilst the leaflet gives some ideas for the roles available, there is a wide set of requirements and it is worth speaking with Dan to explain your particular interests and to see how they can best be accommodated.

What sort of cycle parking should we have?

When the Aldi store on Uttoxeter New Road opposite the Royal Derby Hospital was extended last year the cycle parking was changed.

The cycle parking at Aldi by the Royal Derby Hospital

The new scheme means that the parking is nearer to the main door, and it has been given a cover.  We are going up in the world!

I ride a Brompton and use a D-lock and find the ‘wheel clamp stands’ as installed difficult to use effectively.  I prefer a ‘Sheffield’ type large stand to lean the cycle against and lock my frame to.

When I raised this with the planning department, I was shown a picture of the installation agreed between Aldi’s agents and the council.  It showed the roofed structure and a row of Sheffield stands.  The agent then agreed to talk to Aldi about replacing some of the wheel clamp stands with Sheffield ones.

This was last year.

I’ve now been told that, as the cycle parking is well-sited, covered and well-used, it is not ‘expedient’ to ask for any changes.  What’s your view?

I see more cycles locked to the supports at the ends of the shelter than using the wheel clamp stands, so it’s not just me!

If you use this store and think a mix of Sheffield stands  and wheel clamp stands – or even just Sheffield stands – is worth fighting for, please email the planning officer, Julia Stewart at Derby City Council with your view:   julia.stewart@derby.gov.uk

Thank you.

Campaigning for cycle provision in Derby since 1979