Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner (Chris Boardman) has published his thoughts on what is needed to transform Manchester’s cycling and walking environment. As someone who generally talks a lot of sense (i.e. I agree with most of what he says!) Chris’ report is worth a read.
Download the report here. Only 17 pages with lots of pictures and graphs.
Amongst the quotes from Chris Boardman are,
“For too long our town and city streets have been designed around motorised vehicles, leaving them unsafe, unattractive and difficult to navigate on foot or by bike.
[The world’s happiest countries] prioritise walking and cycling
above all other modes of transport. But the fact is that people will only travel this way if it is easy and pleasant. Riding a bicycle or crossing a street should not require bravery.
We need protected space; uninterrupted, all the way from where
I am to where I want to be. Only with safe and attractive space will people that don’t walk or cycle now, venture out onto the road in significant numbers.”
The report is aimed at Manchester only but Derby could learn a lot from the approach. A lot of the proposed solutions for Manchester are also what are needed in other cities including Derby.
You have the opportunity to influence the extent and shape of the cycle network in Derbyshire as Derbyshire Council and Active Derbyshire work towards their goal of making Derbyshire the most connected county for cycling in England.
Councils around the country are currently defining what they would like their local cycle network to look like if money was no object. They then move onto examining which of the possible projects should be addressed as a high priority.
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).
Newark have identified a series of desired cycle routes throughout the town and have obtained funding to build some of the proposed routes. They have been collecting feedback on which should be the priorities.
Funding for the work has come from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) which can also provides funds for Derby and Derbyshire.
The Newark plans have the goals of:
make cycling to work a viable choice for a significant proportion of local residents
greatly improve the cycle infrastructure network by addressing gaps in the network which are a major barrier to accessing large employment and housing sites
create safe, direct, convenient, attractive and continuous cycle routes.
The proposals will also deliver other key benefits such as:
positive public health (more people exercising)
environmental – emissions and air quality reduced
reduce traffic congestion – modal shift to cycling.
It is accepted that not all the desired routes can be built immediately but the town has managed to put in place a long term strategy and this has directly led to some initial funding.
Let’s see Derby create a similar long term plan of what a future network should look like.
It was an interesting experience to sit in the cab of a HGV and see how the driver’s visibilty is so restricted. In particular, whilst I was aware of being very careful on the left hand side of the vehicle, I hadn’t appreciated how vulnerable cyclists could be in front of the vehicle (in, for instance, the cycling area created by an advanced stop line).
Loughborough University have done a lot of research on behalf of the DfT (see this link for full details) including the chart on the left showing the areas that drivers can see directly, those they can see in their mirrors, and those that are invisible.
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
. 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.
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.