All posts by TonyR

Getting Cycle Training on the National Curriculum

The link below takes you to a webpage where you can pledge support to have cycling included on the national curriculum for schools in England.

Put Cycling on the National Curriculum

The national curriculum is being reviewed and the nation is being consulted on what we would like to see changed. Adding cycling to it would mean that huge numbers of children would receive the fantastic Bikeability Level 1 and 2 training. This is the current national standard used all over the country, including by Cycle Derby.

I hope as many people as possible will join in the campaign to make this happen. The link asks you first to add your details, and then presents you with a pro-forma letter which you can send as-is, or edit to send your own personal message, maybe at the start where it is most noticeable. The campaign is being run by CTC.

Save Derby Velodrome Petition – 783 signatures

We have now printed off the 722 signatures from the Save Derby Velodrome online petition ready to hand to councillor Martin Repton on Monday 28th May. We also have 61 additional paper signatories from the market place rally, giving a total of 783 people who have signed to support the multi sports arena incorporating a velodrome and concert space.

What a fantastic response, we are so, so grateful to everyone who has supported this great cause and those who turned out in the market place to demonstrate how popular this project is in Derby.

We believe the new council will give it’s decision to the multi sports arena project at it’s first cabinet meeting on Tuesday 29th May. We hope that will be a forward looking decision and one which will give the city a fantastic new facility that it deserves.

Save Derby Velodrome

 

Derby Cycling Group and Derby Mercury Cycle Club send a huge thank you to everyone of the thousands of people who have expressed support for the Derby Multi Sports Arena incorporating the velodrome and concert space.

A lot of support has come from non-cyclists because this is not just a cycling project. We invite everyone who supports the DMSA for whatever reason, to join the campaign events outlined below:

1. Sign the “Save Derby Velodrome” petition: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-derby-velodrome.html

2. Come to Derby market place at 5.30pm on Monday 21st May to show your support. At 6pm there will be a short ride around the city centre for those on bikes. People from other sports may wish to play their own game on the market place at the same time.

Your letters so far have been a largely private correspondence with the council leaders and the above actions are two ways that you can demonstrate your support in a more public and quantifiable way.

Your voices have been heard, but so far we have had no reaction. We understand your letters have aggravated some councillors, filling their e-mail in-boxes, and we have been accused of orchestrating the campaign. This is of course simply democracy in action and we are simply surprised and delighted that this project meant so much to so many people that they have CHOSEN to support it.

If you are a Facebook user please click on the “like” button above in order to help spread the word. Thanks to all those who have already supported the campaign including past and present world champions.

Background: The incoming Labour council administration has opposed the creation of the velodrome in the past and they will decide whether to sign the contracts or not. Originally it was thought that they would decide over the weekend of the 13th May but they have now put off the decision until 23rd May. It is important to keep the pressure on.

The out-going council administration (who support the velodrome) has decided not to sign the contracts but to leave it to the Labour group.

Please write an e-mail to paul.bayliss@derby.gov.uk ranjit.banwait@derby.gov.uk and martin.repton@derby.gov.uk , the new leader, deputy leader and member for leisure services on the city council.

  • Write now to all three councillors and tell them you support the velodrome
  • Phone Radio Derby and tell them you want Labour to sign the contract to build the velodrome (01332 616161)
  • E-mail Kirsty Green at the Derby Telegraph to say you think the Velodrome should go ahead ( kgreen@derbytelegraph.co.uk )

Why do it if you won’t use it?

  • As well as providing a fantastic facility for local racing cyclists, the velodrome will boost Derby’s local economy by bringing thousands of people to the city from all over the UK who wouldn’t otherwise come here
  • They will spend money in our shops, hotels and other businesses keeping people in work as well as paying to use the velodrome
  • It has already attracted the attention of businesses looking for somewhere to locate factories and offices; it will set Derby apart from the crowd.
  • It will provide a unique concert and sporting venue with the velodrome track above and around the main sports hall/audience arena.
  • Cycle Derby plan to extend their hugely successful projects which get thousands of local youngsters cycling every year into the velodrome. Literally thousands of Derby children take part in BMX and cyclo-cross racing, keeping them fit and healthy, and giving them experience to also use their bikes for transport. They will be use the velodrome as well as part of their school-based activities.
  • Sporting cyclists often support the cycle transport schemes that we propose and this is our opportunity to help support sporting cyclists

Please act now to secure a landmark facility in Derby.

Derby Politicians and Cycling: How do they stack up?

Derby Cycling Group asked all six of the political parties what their policies are regarding cycling ahead of the council elections on May 3rd. This is how we think they faired, in the order in which we have received the feedback (to be updated as more information comes in):

1. Labour

We received a copy of Labour’s Derby manifesto from Paul Bayliss. Only one item covered transport (relating to buses within the Green Agenda policies). Cycling is not mentioned at all, which is disappointing. In his covering e-mail, Paul Bayliss has however agreed that cycling would be part of the mix of initiatives to help achieve their Green Agenda. But this agenda is unfortunately vague and has few concrete proposals.

On cycling – Labour needs some positive, practical, policies.

2. Liberal Democrats

Hilary Jones for the Liberal Democrats set out a comprehensive vision for the return of a “cycle city” status to Derby. Her statement covers the need to consider cycling during the planning process, designing cycle routes and on-site facilities into new commercial developments, increasing safety by introducing 20mph speed limits and even details such as better cycle route signage and the introduction of non-slip manhole covers. She also expressed continued support for the new Velodrome (which “was a Liberal Democrat idea”).

We think there has been considerable thought relating to cycling by the Lib Dems, and the Velodome will be a huge asset to the city. We think – A job well done.

3. Green Party

David Clasby from the Green Party is a Derby Cycling Group member as well as a Green Party candidate. He has provided a very comprehensive view of the Green Party’s cycling policy, culminating with their aim to make Derby “the UK’s leading cycling city by 2020 with 20% of journeys by bike”. Their policy covers cycle friendly planning, making cycling the top priority in Derby’s Local Transport Plan, council funded cycle training for adults as well as children and the creation of safer streets to encourage new cyclists including 20mph zones, advanced stop areas at all traffic lights and more attractive cycle routes through parks and open spaces. They also advocate more controversial  policies such as opening pedestrian areas to cycling, contra-flow cycle lanes on one-way streets and look to allow turning left on red for cyclists at traffic lights. They do also point out the importance that “all users feel safe” (when travelling about).

This policy is thorough, it has aspiration and it has detail. Our verdict – The one to beat.

4. UKIP

Alan Graves for UKIP told us he has been a “strong supporter” of cycling locally in Alvaston, especially supporting cyclists at the Neighbourhood Forum, in relation to the creation and running of the national standard BMX race track in Alvaston Park and ensuring the new London Road rail bridge has more space for cyclists.  He thinks the council has a strong policy towards cycling which he would keep. We are very grateful for this support, but we would like to see positive policies from UKIP as well. We are however pleased that Steve Fowkes, the Derby UKIP leader, has offered to meet with Derby Cycling Group after the election.

For UKIP –  We look forward to working with them in the future.

5. Conservatives

Matthew Holmes, the incumbent cabinet member for transport, wrote to us about the Conservative’s cycling policy. It covers the inclusion of cycling in the planning of new developments with council and planners “encouraged” (we’d prefer “required”) to engage and consult with stakeholders and working with neighbouring authorities to extend cycle routes beyond the city boundary. Matthew too wants Derby to be a “cycling city” and supports many revenue based initiatives such as cycle training, travel plans and a route planning service, as well as capital funded facilities (cycle paths and lanes, including some contra-flow schemes, etc). The Conservative’s unique ideas in this review are a cycle hire scheme and a specific focus on increasing the proportion of commuting journeys made by bike.

Overall this is a focused approach with the potential to deliver good and measurable results – a good working policy.

6. BNP

Paul Hilliard from the BNP recounted his early years on his bike riding to work and the pleasure he derived from rides in the country. He went on the say he thought that encouraging children to cycle more to school, making people more aware of cycle routes around Derby (especially the off-road routes) and provision of more cycle lanes and cycle stands would all help with problems of congestion, pollution, health and obesity. He also noted that some of these things cost little money and could benefit anyone. Finally he said that if elected he would like to meet us to discuss what more the BNP could do to help cyclists.

In summary, a welcome appreciation of the basic cycling issues and the advantages that cycling can bring.

For the Future

It is very encouraging to find well presented policies from half of the local political parties. Some of the ideas are aspirational, others are more practical, but there is a good basis to deliver a better future for cyclists in Derby. If the Conservatives, the Green Party or the Liberal Democrats are running the council after the election, or have a share of it, Derby Cycling Group hopes to see rapid progress in developing these ideas because current practice and experience do not match these policy aspirations.

UKIP and the BNP have a good basic platform on which to build, but Labour do need to think hard about the benefits which cycling can bring to Derby, we think they do not yet have the whole picture. There is a need for these three parties to further develop positive policies, either on their own or by talking to organisations such as Derby Cycling Group about the issues cyclists and would-be cyclists face and what is needed to make things better. We are pleased with the offers made to discuss cycling further.

You can view the full text of each party’s reply in the article below this one.

Feedback from Political Parties: April 2012

Below is the full text of the correspondence we have received from each political party which is taking part in Derby City Council elections on 3rd May 2012, in response to a request by Derby Cycling Group for information on their cycling policies. Please be aware that the views expressed are those of the party concerned and do not necessarily represent the views of Derby Cycling Group.

From: Labour
Sent: 22 April 2012 21:09
Subject: RE: Cycling Policies in Derby

Hello

I have attached a copy of our manifesto for you.

Labour has committed itself to reducing the City’s carbon footprint and we would see cycling as part of the mix to help us to do that in our pledge on the green agenda.

So yes we would encourage more people to cycle and take up cycling, and I am sure that we would agree with you on that.

Should we take control of the council on May 3rd/4th having been out of power for four years we would have to get a good understanding on what specifically can be done when we know more about budget and the implications that the current Coalition, both locally and nationally, have inflicted on the City in terms of budget cuts.

There are of course further budget cuts planned and the council tax zero per cent increase subsidy falls out of the budget next year.

regards

Cllr Paul Bayliss | Leader of the Labour Group | Labour Councillor for Alvaston| Vice Chair of Derby Homes

____________________________________________________________________________

From: Liberal Democrats
Sent: 23 April 2012 09:45
Subject: Re: Cycling Policies in Derby

Dear Derby Cycling Group,
Thanks for the email and letter and the opportunity to say where Liberal Democrats in Derby stand on cycling.
Firstly I would like to say that I am married to a member of your group of 15 years standing and that Lib Dem Councillors past and present are also members along with other party supporters. I therefore appreciate your campaigning and commitment to cycling in Derby.
As we have run the Council as a minority administration and part of the current coalition, at every opportunity we consider the cyclists view on road layout, shared paths, improving signage and we spoke against removal of bus lanes.
The Velodrome (renamed by Conservatives Multisports Arena) was a Liberal Democrat idea and ensuring it continued was one reason we entered the current coalition in Derby.
In our current manifesto we mention 20mph speeds which would make cycling safer in the city.
Better signage would also help along with composite manhole covers both mentioned in the manifesto.
In planning future infrastructure such as Chellaston Business Park we would want to see better provision for cycling to encourage cycling to work whether that is on the road or cycle ways, storage for bikes or changing facilities at the work place.
In Mickleover ward for example we are using S106 money for cycling to replace a footbridge as shared walking/ cycle route and supporting cycle training in our local schools.
We would want Derby to regain its status as cycle city. I think that this is now something we would need to do independent of central government as I understand cycle city status has been disbanded. However it is a useful bench mark to achieve as a first step.
Finally, we agree that more cycling would reduce congestion and pollution whilst improving health and fitness.

Hilary Jones
Leader of Derby Liberal Democrat Council Group
____________________________________________________________________________

From: Green Party
Sent: 23 April 2012 18:35
Subject: Re: Cycling Policies in Derby

Dear Mr Roelich,

Thank you very much for contacting me with regards to the Green Party’s position with regards to cycling and sustainable transport. I have attached both my election leaflet and then a slightly more detailed version that appears on the web site.

As a party that puts sustainability at the centre of its thinking, walking, cycling and the use of public transport is at the heart of our transport policy. I ride a bike all the time and have been privileged to do a job that encourages others to do the same.

We would push sustainable transport and active travel up to be number one on the LTP agenda.

We would support the on going core funding of Cycle Derby and other DCC projects that promote active travel and public transport.

We would want all new road schemes and improvements to be audited to ensure that they improve the experience for sustainable transport users. All new developments would have to have as a planning condition provision for people to walk and cycle to work i.e. routes to the development, secure cycle storage and facilities in the building including a shower where appropriate.

We would look again at motorised vehicle access to the city centre and remove cars as much as possible.

We would make enforcement of TRO’s where they ban cars a priority for example Victoria and Albert St.

We would have a default 20mph across the city starting in residential areas, near schools and roads with out a cycle lane.

We would allow contra flow cycle lanes on one way streets and look to allow turning left on red for cyclists.

We would install Advanced Stop Lines at all junctions with lights.

We would open up pedestrian areas to cyclists following consultation and take the necessary steps to ensure that all users feel safe.

We would actively encourage local firms to adopt the bike to work scheme.

We would make adult cycle training free to all and maintain the free provision for children in schools.

We would want to establish a cycle courier business to deliver council documents.

We would actively discourage out of town shopping and look to improve bus services and provision of bus lanes across the city.

We would open up our parks to cycling and encourage parks to establish cycling facilities in all green spaces.

We would look very positively on schemes such as congestion charging and workplace parking levy to reduce traffic levels.

We are fully in support of schemes that aim to reduce traffic speeds in particular use of speed cameras. Break the law, get a fine.

We would aim to be the UK’s leading cycling city by 2020 with 20% of journeys by bike.

I think that will do for now.

Pedal on

David Clasby

Green Party candidate Darley Ward.

____________________________________________________________________________

From: UKIP
Sent: 24 April 2012 15:02
Subject: RE: Cycling Policies in Derby

Hello Tony

I can offer the following:

Here in Alvaston I have been a strong supporter of the work the Cycling Group(s) do within Alvaston Park and advocated the building and more recent upgrading of the BMX track not only as an activity but also as a way of encouraging people, especially children, in taking up cycling. I have also supported members of your group at our Neighbourhood Forum with issues, in particular, to the National event coming up later this year.

As for general cycling in the city I think the council has a strong policy in favour of cyclists and I wouldn’t want to change that emphasis.

I hope that helps

Regards

Alan Graves

____________________________________________________________________________

From: Conservatives
Sent: 27 April 2012 16:52
Subject: RE: Policies on Cycling in Derby

Hi Tony,

Ok here goes:

We must ensure that all major developments and public realm has cycling infrastructure considered and implemented where ever possible. Council officers / planners will be encouraged to ensure they work in consultation with partners and groups when designing and delivering schemes. This will create an attractive environment where people will choose to walk/cycle through rather than use the car.

We need to look at any links that can be made in the cycle network that would encourage uptake and enhance options for those already cycling in travelling across the City. We also need to work with neighbouring authorities to take that principal outside of the City coming and in and out.

We will look to develop and promote the travel plan initiatives including posters, giveaways & incentives for walk2work, cycle2work, public transport 2 work etc, installing a cycle pod, an additional motorcycle shelter, gates have been fitted to existing cycle shelters to make them more secure. Work on increasing commuting cycling is a priority.

Ensure the close partnership continues with Sustrans, CTC, Groundwork and colleagues in Leisure services to ensure Derby is a ‘Cycling City’.

Look to secure negotiated discounted services and promotions with cycle retailers and ensure people are offered cycle training and awareness to give them confidence to commute-to-work etc. Continue to promote cycle training in schools.

Cycle hire in the City is something we want to look into as well as a website with cycle mapping.

Cycle lanes will also be installed where ever possible either retrospectively or during new construction. Contraflow cycle lanes will also be used where viable.

Kind regards,

Matthew.

Matthew Holmes | Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group | Cabinet Member for Planning & Environment

____________________________________________________________________________

From: British National Party
Letter Received: 1st May 2012

Dear Mr Roelich

Thank you for your letter regarding cycling.

I myself was a cyclist from a very young age until my early 20s where I used to ride to work and also take rides out into the countryside where I got a great deal of pleasure which you do not get from driving.

When I was at school a lot of people used to ride to school but I don’t believe this to be the case anymore which is a real shame.

If I were elected on May 3rd these are the ways in which I would be able to help –

  • I would like to see the building of bike sheds for schools and children encouraged to ride to school to make them more healthy and alert for lessons and also cut obesity.
  • Where possible put in bike lanes so we can ease congestion which will help cut pollution and improve public health.
  • Make cyclists aware of places around Derby where cyclists can go for rides out like the disused train lines and canal paths which harbour lots of fantastic wildlife and many birds that most people don’t even see in their gardens anymore.
  • More cycle stands

Some of these things can be done with little money but others would obviously have to be done when there are available funds. Far too much money is being wasted by the council like translations of documents into sixteen different languages which costs thousands of pounds and council tax payers having to foot £1100 of the £1400 cost to build concrete waterproof tombs for Muslim burials, which may or may not still be going on, but its is wrong, unfair and unacceptable and does not benefit the wider society. I firmly believe that money would be far better used towards cycling schemes because it would benefit everyone no matter what age, colour, creed or race they are.

If elected I would like to have a meeting with the cycling club to see what we could do for you because no one knows better about what cyclists need most, but cyclists themselves.

Yours sincerely

Paul Hilliard

Derbyshire Organiser

British National Party

Party Policies on Cycling

Derby’s councillors have shown vision and aspiration with their approval for the reworking of the Council House, but do they have the same vision when it comes to a mode of transport that can transform the lives of Derby’s citizens, making them fitter and more healthy, and saving them money while also being enjoyable and fun?

We are talking of course about Cycling, and I am preaching to the converted.

However our councillors need converting and below is the letter which DCG has sent to each of the political parties asking for their policies towards cycling. We will let you know what they say.

Our Letter: April, 2012

Derby Cycling Group would like to know what your party’s policies are in relation to cycling in Derby.  Derby Cycling Group is one of the largest local cycling campaign organisations outside London and has regular meetings with the city council.

Cycling is growing in popularity in Derby, the number of children cycling to school has increased dramatically and everywhere you go you see adults travelling by bike, day or night. Derby is a very attractive location to develop the potential of cycling even further and cycling is an answer to many problems within the city:

  • Reducing congestion and pollution
  • Improving people’s health and fitness
  • Reducing the effects of obesity and heart disease
  • Reducing travel costs for individuals and families
  • Benefiting the local economy with a healthier, more productive work force which has more money to spend on things other than petrol or bus fares.

Many more people would like to cycle but don’t because:

  • They think our roads are unsafe due to the density and excessive speed of traffic
  • That there are not enough facilities for cyclists whether they be cycle paths, cycle lanes and cycle stands to keep them safe and their bikes secure, or cycle training to teach them how to ride and to become confident at it.

We would like you to tell us what you would do for cycling and cyclists in Derby so that we can share this information with our members and with others.

Yours Sincerely,

Derby Cycling Group

—————————————————————————————–

In the meantime, if you have not done so already, write to them and the other candidates  and ask them what they will do for cycling in your area. Follow the link below to get the contact details of candidates in your area. Use the councillors link to get your councillor’s e-mail addresses.

Candidates :  http://www.derby.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/councillors-democracy-elections/local-elections/#page-downloads

Councillors : https://cmis.derby.gov.uk/cmis5/Councillors.aspx

Support £5million Sustainable Transport Bid

Derby City Council are bidding for £5 million of funding from the Department for Transport for developments in sustainable travel.

To help secure the funding, the project needs letters of support from the people of Derby and from businesses which operate there.

Please write today to Rachel Harvey at the address below to express your support for the project:

Rachel Harvey
Transport Planning Group Manager
Neighbourhood Directorate,
Derby City Council,
Saxon House,
Friary Street,
Derby,
DE1 1AN

The bid covers several themes, engaging with local employers large and small to develop better integrated walking, cycling and public transport initiatives.

Continue reading Support £5million Sustainable Transport Bid

Velodrome – Fantastic

On Wednesday evening I saw plans for the new Derby Multi Sports Arena, which incorporates a Velodrome, a sports hall big enough for 12 badminton courts, a 125 item gym, and outside a 1.5km closed cycle road circuit. It is absolutely fantastic. The sports hall is below the velodrome, but the velodrome is open in the middle. So while you are playing badders or basketball or five a side footie down below, the bikes are whizzing round above your head. I expect the effect will be absolutely stunning. The arena will be next to Pride Park Stadium, the road circuit will go round the outside of the nature reserve next door. There will be a direct cycle and walking link with the Riverside Path. All we need now is for our esteemed council planning committee to approve the plans.