All posts by LucyC

I have been a regular cyclist from childhood and still choose to cycle for most journeys around Derby for speed and convenience, though I do also drive or walk (or catch theh bus) on occasion. I was treasurer and newsletter editor for Derby Cycling Group in the early 1990s, and then spent 17 years as an elected councillor on the County and then City Councils. This period included four years as the Cabinet Member with responsbility for transport. I also stood for parliament in 2005 and 2010 and am a chartered engineer.

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.

Let’s improve our roads!

 

A drain - or "gulley" clearly in need of clearing!
A drain – or “gulley” clearly in need of clearing!

It’s easy to grumble about the pot holes, overhanging branches and – in wet weather – drains that aren’t taking the water away.  It’s almost as easy to do something about it.

A priority pot hole for attention - in my book at least!
A priority pot hole for attention – in my book at least!

  

 On the routes I use, I’m trying to improve the situation for all cyclists (and others), by reporting the worst examples of repairs that are needed.  It feels really positive when I see a change later!

Halfway: The council has marked this pot hole for repair.
Halfway: The council has marked this pot hole for repair.

 

Within Derby you need to contact the City Council; email streetpride@derby.gov.uk or phone 0333 2006981 (local rates apply) or 01332-293111 (option 1).  Outside the city Derbyshire County Council is responsible for roads and the borough/district council for litter. 

Job done!  A completed repair.
Job done! A completed repair.

    Working together we should be able to make the roads safer for everyone!

  

Help make Derby a more cycle-friendly place

...or more queues of traffic? Now's the time to say!
Do we want more queues of traffic…

Derby City Council is consulting on its ‘preferred option’ for the new Local Plan until just before Christmas.

As Derby is now built almost up to its boundaries, Derby City Council is working with Amber Valley and South Derbyshire Councils to have a coherent plan for the wider area.  This will identify where new homes and businesses will be built for years to come – and what we say now can influence how cycle friendly the new development will be.

Do we want new safe cycle facilities with new development, or...
… or new safe cycle routes? Now’s the time to say!

Developers will be expected to make other investment in the area to help prepare for more people.  If Derby’s Local Plan says that sustainable travel – like walking and cycling – is the priority, then it will be more likely that changes will help support these modes rather than more cars.

The Council’s website has details – and I’ve also said more about this on my blog.

Lucy Care

Cyclists as Trunk Road users

Today I attended my second meeting of the “East Midlands Road Users and Environment Committee” of the Highways Agency (HA) in Leicester on behalf of Derby Cycling Group.  This is a way that the Highways Agency, that oversees the trunk road network, liaises with non-motorised users of its network – including cyclists, pedestrians and horse-riders. 

Today’s meeting included a briefing on the way they judge whether improvements meet their aims, which is done by consultants to give some independence to the assessment.  We also had an update from one of the HA’s traffic officers.  These patrol the network responding to issues causing delays with the aim of keeping traffic moving.  They work closely with the police, who lead on more serious incidents.

A number of other issues were raised, including operational issues like litter-picking, and environmental ones like air quality and noise.   They had appreciated the award we’d given them for their good management of cycle routes during the Alvaston bypass construction works!

There was quite a lot of discussion on the A52 going into Nottingham – more on this on my website – and we also had a discussion on the consultation being planned for raising the motorway speed limit to 80mph.

Council Budget Consultation

Derby City Council has published its consultation document for its next three years’ spending.  It is available here.  Now is the time to respond to what it says – or what appears to be missing.  This is the time in the budget-setting process when people are most able to alter what will happen, so although it doesn’t seem exciting, please help to make a difference.

The part of the budget that deals with highways and transport issues is “Neighbourhoods” starting on page 51, but it is helpful to read the ‘Introduction’ as well.  This mentions in section 6 the Council Plan.  Referencing one or more of its aims in your response to the Council may give your comments more weight – and the council officers and councillors more pause for thought.  Of particular relevance to cycling might be “A thriving sustainable economy”and “Good health and well-being”.

The budget (see the table on page 56) includes a cut of over £500,000 from the highways maintenance budget and a promise to replace £500,000 of this from the highways capital budget (see not on page 60).  This will mean that there is less money for small scale improvement schemes.

Also of particular note are the final two paragraphs under ‘Budget Prioritisation’ on page 53 which really says that some services will not be able to be provided due to reductions in the Local Transport Plan funding unless we get Sustainable Transport Fund money – the bid for this has not yet even been written.  With reference to this point it is worth asking the council to ensure that there is funding for cycle training and travel planning in schools, to help meet the ‘aims’ mentioned above.  The cut to road safety work might also be mentioned here (page 60)

You may also be concerned about the further cut of £50,000 to the Climate Change Unit (page 58) which had in the past been able to run events like Ecofest and has done a lot of work to cut the Council’s fuel bills, including by pushing for a council travel plan.

Of course it’s fine saying ‘don’t cut this’, but the budget does need to balance.  Where might extra money be found, or other savings made?  They proudly state that street lights won’t be switched off (which some other councils are now doing during the early hours), but should this be reviewed?  They don’t intend increasing Council Tax, is this the right decision. 

The online consultation form is here, but you can also write or email to your local councillors directly, which will carry more weight (as not many people do this!).  If you do, it would be wise also to copy in the Strategic Director of Resources, Roger Kershaw.