All posts by TonyR

Derby Clean Air Proposals – Where is the Cycling and Walking?

Derby’s Clean Air Preferred Option was out for consultation until today. The proposal failed entirely to provide any new infrastructure for cycling which, by enabling more people to cycle, would have helped reduce car travel and improved air quality.

But it went further than that.

It proposes that two pieces of cycle-specific infrastructure be removed: a permissive right turn from Friar Gate into Brick Street and a dedicated bus/cycle lane leading to the bus/cycle gate on Friar Gate at the junction of Bridge Street. Furthermore, wherever motor vehicles are to be prevented from making certain manoeuvres on Stafford Street and the Mercian Way roundabout, cyclists will be prohibited from making the same manoeuvres.

         All in all, a very short sighted approach, in our view.

Derby Cycling Group has submitted proposals for enhancements to the council scheme to make it much more cycle and pedestrian friendly. Read our response here:

Clean Air Preferred Option – DCG Response

We hope the Air Quality team will take these enhancements on board; we don’t see any reason why they should not because with only one exception, they do not take any road space away from motor traffic, and yet deliver fantastic benefits for those who travel by bike and some for pedestrians as well.

Previously we made a press release expressing our general issues with the initial proposal:    Press Release

A38 Derby Junctions – Consultation: Ask for Better Cycle Routes

Highways England have a project to create “grade separated” junctions at the Kingsway, Markeaton and Little Eaton Islands on the A38.  That means the local roads will be at ground level, but the A38 carriageway will be either above or below the local roads, on a bridge or in an underpass. DCG have been campaigning to make the scheme deliver good quality cycling and walking routes alongside and crossing the A38 as well as the “improvements” for motorised traffic. It is important that the A38 becomes less of a barrier for cycling and walking than it is today, and that this project enables more local journeys to be made without a car.

The project is out for consultation now, please submit a response supporting the cycling schemes already being proposed but also asking for even more and better improvements than these.

Deadline: end of Thursday 18th October, 2018

There is an online form where you can answer pre-set questions :  A38 Online Response Form

and you can also e-mail the project team with your own ideas at.   A38DerbyJunctions@highwaysengland.co.uk

We recommend you fill in the form, AND send an e-mail if you have other points which you wish to make that are not covered by their questionnaire.

DCG is submitting a formal response to the cycling elements of the scheme, here is the draft of that response:                                                        A38 Derby Junctions Consultation – DCG Response Oct 2018

A38 Consultation Page and Documents

In April 2018, DCG met with Highways England’s agents, AECom. We presented a list of requirements and after the meeting, marked up how well the project was planning the deliver them; see the results in theDCG A38 Derby Junctions Checklist .

The A38 junctions project always has had some intent of delivering better cycling and walking routes than exist today; they made some significant improvements by the time of our meeting in April and have made other improvements prior to this latest consultation.

However, there are still issues to address:

  • The project is not committed to segregated cycling and walking routes (ie where the cycling and walking paths are separated from each other).
  • Some routes are not direct, others are not continuous and at least one is ridiculously narrow.
  • There is great potential for better cycling routes leading to/from the new facilities proposed alongside/across the A38, but many have not been realised in the designs so far. There must be a plan to maximise the cycling and walking benefits from the A38 Junctions project by building these “nearby” feeder routes.

Completing the Consultation:                                                                          When you make your response, please ask the project to fulfil the following general criteria when they submit their final plans and the planning application:

  • The scheme must enable more people to travel locally without a car, specifically enabling more cycling and walking journeys
  • The scheme must provide continuous, direct, segregated cycling and walking routes, separated from the main A38 carriageway and its slip roads.
  • Where cycling and walking routes cross the A38 or its slip roads, signal controlled crossings must be provided.
  • All cycling and walking routes must be off-road, must be safe enough and feel safe enough, for parents to allow their children to use them to get to school or to visit friends.

In addition, the following specific requirements are important:

  • Retain the “curly bridge” over Queensway into Markeaton Park – this is planned to be replaced, make sure they know it’s important.
  • Build a good quality cycle path from Little Eaton to Pektron Islands alongside the A61 to replace the horrendously narrow path which is there now; buy land to enable a segregated path to be built.
  • Create a signal controlled crossing over the A61 onto the existing cycle path so you can cycle out of Breadsall without taking your life in your hands
  • Build the section of the Derwent Valley Cycleway from Haslams Lane to the A38, alongside the River Derwent.
  • Ensure existing cycle paths remain open AT ALL TIMES during the construction of the A38 junctions, including the provision of diversion which are ACCESSIBLE TO ALL riders and walkers.
  • All construction traffic must be required to have all the current cyclist detection technology fitted and operational, and work site entrances should employ Trixie mirrors to ensure drivers entering/leaving the site can see cyclists crossing on the cycle paths or on the road.

St Peters Street and Cornmarket – Cycle Access 5pm to 10am

At Derby Cycling Group we have argued for many years that banning responsible cycling in the city centre suppresses the number of everyday journeys made by bike in Derby, because the north/south route through the city centre is the most direct one to get many people from where they live to where they work, and no suitable alternative routes were available. We are therefore really pleased to confirm the new arrangements for cycle access on St Peter’s Street and Cornmarket, even though they are only in “off-peak” times.  This new access means that between 5pm and 10am there is a complete route from The Spot, along St Peters Street, Cornmarket, Irongate and Queen Street, for access to and travel through the city centre.

Here is a summary of the new arrangements for cyclists access to St Peter’s Street and Cornmarket as we understand it (the rules on other streets have not changed, but are shown below for information):

The Rules for Each Street

Street Cycle Access
 St Peters Street     Cornmarket General access 5pm to 10am everyday. Motor vehicles have access for loading only.
 Market Place                       Tenant Street                   Irongate                                   Amen Alley  General access 24 hrs a day, 7 days a   week.                                                                   Motor vehicle access is more restricted.
 East Street                               Exchange Street                           St Peters Churchyard    Sadler   Gate No access for cyclists or motor vehicles on these one way streets, at any time, except for loading between 5pm to 10am.
St James’s Street

 

No access for cyclists or motor vehicles in either direction, except for loading   between 5pm to 10am.

Legal Standing:

The changes to access rules on St Peters Street and Cornmarket are covered by a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) which is a statutory document and therefore cyclists have a legal right to use these streets between the stated times.

The new TRO gives cyclists access at the same times that HGVs, vans and cars have always had for loading, so there should be nothing controversial about that. If cyclists shouldn’t be here at those times, HGVs certainly should not.

Note that the access only applies when entering the pedestrianised area via St Peters Street and Cornmarket. There is no contra-flow cycling on one way streets (eg Albion Street, St Peters Churchyard & East Street); there is no cycling on St James’s Street or Sadler Gate

Signage:

The signs being used to inform the kind of access to streets in the city centre are descrided in a separate post:

                        City Centre Cycle Access Signage

The slabs with the shared use logos, inserted into the paving on St Peters Street, caused confusion and concern when they were removed because no reason was given. It turns out that they were not to specification, and slippery in the wet. Somebody had slipped over on one. We have been told that replacement, non-slip, versions will be provided by the supplier at their cost and will be re-inserted into the street when they arrive.

Responsible Use of Shared Spaces:

Whatever the ins and outs of the limitation of access to “off-peak hours”, or the clarity of the signage, the bottom line is that cyclists now have access to these streets; it removes a crazy anomaly that the vehicles posing most risk of any sort were allowed in, whilst those vehicles posing less risk were barred. Derby Cycling Group celebrates that and welcomes the opportunities for more urban cycle journeys that this provides. Our biggest desire is that everyone who uses these streets does so responsibly and safely and with respect to everyone else. We endorse the principle of the hierarchy of responsibility where those using a heavier, faster vehicle is most responsible for the safety of those using lighter and slower vehicles. However, everyone has responsibilities to use the space considerately and courteously. We hope that the new access regime will be enhanced in the future; whether that happens is in many ways in the hands of the cyclists who use these streets.

Derby City Centre Cycle Access – Signage:

Here is some guidance on our interpretation of the signage in use in Derby City Centre regarding the use of streets for cycling. We hope it is useful and informative. It is not a definitive legal definition, but is intended to help people understand the principles of the access which each sign is intended to convey.

Only the rules as they apply to cycling are described.

  1. Cycling allowed between 5pm and 10am only.

A bicycle is a vehicle, therefore the “no vehicles” sign prohibits bicycles except at the times shown.

St Peter’s Street and Cornmarket

 

2. Cycling allowed 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.

The sign excludes motor vehicles, and because a bicycle is not a motor vehicle it is allowed to be ridden on this street. E-bikes are not classed as motor vehicles, so these can be ridden where motor vehicles are prohibited.

Irongate and Amen Alley

3. Cycling allowed between 5pm and 10 am everyday.

Here, at the bottom of Irongate, motor vehicles cannot access Cornmarket, so the “exception” sign is slightly different to some other places.

 

4. Cycling not allowed at any time, except for loading and unloading between 5pm and 10am.

A bicycle is a vehicle and is therefore prohibited from this street unless delivering or picking up items to an address on the street, or an address accessed from it,  between the times shown. In Derby many of these streets are one-way, and there is no cycle exception to this.

East Street, Exchange Street, St Peters Churchyard, Sadler Gate, St James’ Street

5. Cycling not allowed at any time

This is a one-way street, and no vehicles (which includes bicycles) can enter. Bicycles may be able to come in the other direction, that depends on the signage at the entry point to the one-way street.

Exchange Street off Albert Street; St Peter’s Churchyard from Green Lane direction; Sadler Gate off Bold Lane/Strand.

Darley Park Multi User Path – APPROVED

The mud will be history

At the city council planning committee meeting on 15th February, the planning application to build a 3m wide multi-user path alongside the river in Darley Park was passed. It is believed the majority was 9 to 3 in favour of the path. That is great news for active travel in Derby and thanks to the great work by the council team who have developed a good plan, and to the 70% of planning application respondents (well over 80 in number) who  supported the planning application and wrote to the planning committee to say so.         Thank you if you were one of those people, you have made a real difference here with positive and well reasoned arguments.

Apart from the dire need for a path to assist those with mobility issues, certain disabilities, families with small children, buggies and so on, this will be a really important link in Derby’s cycle network. It adds to the overall permeability of this part of North Derby for cycle transport, and will create an obvious route for the start of the Derwent Valley Cycleway as that is developed in the future. Travelling from the Silk Mill, the obvious route is through Darley Abbey, to view Darley Abbey Mills from the prime vantage point over the river with it’s picturesque weirs. Having visited the mills and maybe bought something at one of the businesses there, you would then continue in the same direction further along the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site.

A major point that Derby Cycling Group made in mitigation of the objections to a path shared by pedestrians and cyclists is that there already exists such a path all along the river from Elvaston to Darley Park. This sharing of the path is nothing new, it is just an extension to a path which is already safely shared everyday by hundreds and hundreds of people on foot and on bikes.

Support City Centre Cycle Route: Mercian Way, Abbey Street, Curzon Street

 

Terrible junction will be much better for cyclists and pedestrians

A new cycle route and pedestrian improvements are planned by Derby City Council between Mercian Way and Curzon Street. They will make this area much more accommodating for cycling and walking. There is one big change that DCG have asked the designers to make but we urge you to use the link below to support the plan but also to propose this amendment before 1st December.

The scheme is part of a strategic route which will eventually link the city centre and Royal Derby Hospital, enabling more of the 10,000 people who work there to cycle to work, so it is a really important piece of cycle route and you must support it if you would like to see cycle transport move on in Derby.

At DCG we like the plan, but we have asked that the part between Mercian Way and Abbey Street be made into a two-way segregated cycle path, with the part along Abbey Street to Curzon Street being a one-way, segregated cycle path. We have asked that the end of Monk Street be made into a pedestrian and cyclist priority crossing, utilising the recently approved Parallel Crossing (like a Zebra with a cycle crossing next to it with the same rules on priority as a zebra – commonplace in Europe but only recently approved for use in the UK).

Please use the link below before 1st December to send an e-mail to support the plan but mention this amendment to it:   Traffic.Management@derby.gov.uk

We believe a dedicated cycle path is better than a shared pavement because:

  • It provides much better continuity for the cycle route than a shared path
  • It gives pedestrians and cyclists their own space, which is needed because cyclists will be travelling through this area; it is not a major destination in its self.
  • It provides a better crossing for cyclists and pedestrians across Abbey Street into Macklin Street and the end of Monk Street
  • Cycle infrastructure today needs to move beyond shared pavements; cycling needs to be designed-in as a primary form of transport, not an after thought.

The council design document can be seen here:   http://www.derby.gov.uk/transport-and-streets/cycling/abbey-st-consultation/

Enlarged plans: Abbey Street – Curzon Street Plan

The DCG letter to the design team is here:  Abbey Street-Curzon Street Letter

Aspirations for Cycle Transport in Derby

On 17th October 2017, we presented our vision for how Derby can plan to grow cycling as a means of everyday transport across the city to the city council – lead  Active Travel Forum.

Our presentation defines how Derby Cycling Group would like to see the forthcoming Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) shape up in Derby and Derbyshire. We are worried that progress towards defining the aspiration for our LCWIP is too slow when we all know what needs to be done, we just need to get on and do it.

Local authorities must have a LCWIP before they can apply for funding for active travel projects (cycling and walking) from the government. Funding for active travel is now becoming available through various government sources, so it is essential that Derby and Derbyshire has a good LCWIP so we can bid for this money.

You can view our presentation using the PDF link below.                 DCG Benchmarking and Standards for Cycling Infrastructure . Because it’s PDF you don’t see the photo slides in the middle section as they were presented, so apologies for that.

We will be discussing our ideas, policies and strategies regarding LCWIP at our monthly members meetings. If you would like to hear more or get involved, do come along and join in. You can also contribute by e-mailing campaigns@derbycyclinggroup.org.uk .

Support the Proposed Darley Park Multi User Path

End the Mud Bath

Derby City Council have submitted a planning application for the building of a multi-user path through Darley Park running from near the Abbey Inn to the rowing clubs by Handyside Bridge. Derby Cycling Group is strongly in favour of the creation of this path and would like to ask all members to register their personal support for the plans as well.

This path will enable a whole range of new cycling opportunities both for everyday journeys, leisure cycling and for tourism. It will create a circular route with the Darley Fields path which will enable families and people new to cycling to begin riding in a pleasant and peaceful environment and will hopefully help to get more people cycling in Derby.  Please connect to the council website and express your support

The application is open for comments until 26th September (deadline extended); the planning reference is 05/17/00567 and you access it via this link: https://eplanning.derby.gov.uk/online-applications/ .

When viewing the documents, the key ones are:

. Design and Access Statement

. Proposed Plan (with details of the path design and alignment)

The Council have already held consultation events and well over 90% of the respondents were in favour of the plans. However, when similar plans were submitted a number of years ago, a very small but vocal minority managed to get the ear of the planning committee and have the plans voted down. We don’t want this to happen again!

It is important that the Council decision makers can see the overwhelming level of support for the creation of the path, not only to give better connectivity of Darley Abbey to the city’s cycle network, but also as the next (first?) part of the aspirational off-road cycle route all along the Derwent Valley between Derby and Matlock connecting together all the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site locations. Visit the Derwent Valley Cycleway website for more details: http://derwentvalleycycleway.org.uk/

The proposed path was discussed at the DCG Members Meeting on Tuesday 5th September,  and as ever there are one or two areas of detail which we will be discussing with the design team; these relate to the surfacing of the boardwalk – which must be non-slip in the wet – and the width of boardwalk. However the benefits of this scheme for cycling are huge and we urge you all to support it please.

 

Bike Ride – The Great Derby Get Together: 11:00 Sunday 18th June

The Great Derby Get Together is a bike ride from the Riverside Gardens behind Derby Council House to Elvaston Castle, in celebration of the life of Jo Cox, in conjunction with National Bike Week, National Clean Air Day, Refugee Week, and The Big Lunch. It brings together multiple faiths and cross party politics with families who enjoy riding their bikes and celebrating the things which we all have in common.

 The event was instigated at the suggestion of the Derby Multi Faith Centre, and many local policiticans including the new Mayor of Derby, have signed up to come for a ride and have a picnic at Elvaston Castle. We hope that you will be able to come as well; it is free, just bring a picnic and join in the celebrations. It would be great to have a big crowd to show support for one or more of the associated campaigns, for cycling as transport, or just to enjoy a sociable day in the saddle.