Media Coverage of Stripping away our safety protest

Great media coverage for the protest on Friargate objecting to Derby City Council’s ridiculous approach to improving air quality by removing cycling infrastructure.

Derby Telegraph gave some publicity for the event the day before and then reported on the actual event a week or so later – see here (and ignore the normal moronic comments which are nothing to do with the subject matter of the article.

Coverage on the BBC web site.

Saturday”s East Midlands Today news round up led with the protest. A clip of the program can be seen here (you might need to download this file and then open an appropriate video playing app on your computer – about 50MB to download).

National coverage from the road.cc news website.

Lots of photos to be seen on the Derby Cycling Group Facebook page.

Twitter included a lot of coverage including tweets from Chris Williamson MP and Councillors Martin Rawson and Nadine Peatfield

Excellent work by all the organisers.

Keep the Friar Gate Cycle Lane

The safety of vulnerable road users must be paramount

This cycle/bus/taxi lane on Friar Gate is to be removed by Derby City Council and turned into a second, faster, lane for cars and lorries as part of their Air Quality Preferred Option.

These changes will increase the risk to cyclists using this route into Derby and that is not acceptable.
Derby Cycling Group objects to these proposals in the strongest possible terms.
Please help us to keep this cycle lane and the right-turn protected space in front of the traffic island,

and this right turn facility which is also to be removed,

E-mail or write to the local councillors to object to the removal of these cycle facilities:

Please write before 15th February, 2019.

The councillors below represent the two wards where the facilities are located. They do not necessarily support the removal of the cycling facilities.

Mackworth Ward:
                Diane Froggatt:                  diane.froggatt@derby.gov.uk
                Adrian Pegg:                      adrian.pegg@derby.gov.uk
                Paul Pegg:                         paul.pegg@derby.gov.uk

Darley Ward:
                Lisa Eldret                         lisa.eldret@derby.gov.uk
                Martin Repton                   martin.repton@derby.gov.uk
                Jack Stanton                     jack.stanton@derby.gov.uk

Please also contact the council cabinet members most involved with decisions regarding Derby’s clean air proposals
Council Leader Chris Poulter christopher.poulter@derby.gov.uk
Deputy Council Leader Matthew Holmes         matthew.holmes@derby.gov.uk

Full contact details for all councillors are on the council website: Derby City Councillors

If you use either of these facilities, then please tell the councillors why it’s important for them to be retained or, even better, improved and tell them why NO highways scheme should make cycling (or walking) infrastructure worse and more dangerous.

If these facilities are not in your area, think that your local cycle path or lane could be next to go. Please inform your local councillors, or the councillors above, that you think they should be retained and why. 

Some of Derby Cycling Group’s opinions:

  • We believe facilities like these should either remain unchanged or be upgraded to something better, but not removed.
  • The cycle/bus lane is a “safe haven” for getting access to the cycle/bus “gate” onto lower Friar Gate, it enables many people to cycle along here into the city centre.
    • Removing the cycle lane will make the road more dangerous for cyclists. The changes will force cyclists to ride into the outside lane, into faster traffic, to get onto the lower Friar Gate cycle lane.
    • We are concerned that a road safety audit would be critical of the revised road layout.
    • At the very least it will make this manoeuvre feel dangerous and many people will simply stop cycling here.
  • The facility opposite Brick Street is poorly designed, but it is used. This was witnessed by DCG on a site visit with council officers. A better alternative should be installed instead of removing it altogether.
  • Derby’s clean air strategy must encourage more cycling and walking; the council’s proposal will reduce active travel by removing infrastructure which supports it.
  • More cycling and walking are the best way to reduce pollution and congestion. This is recognised both by the council, Public Health England and DEfRA.

Derby Cycling Group has proposed improvements to the city council’s Air Quality Preferred Option to make it better for cyclists and pedestrians: Clean Air Preferred Option – DCG Response

We had a lengthy site visit with the air quality team to view and discuss our suggestions and to talk about other options. We have heard nothing about the proposal since the visit, so we assume nothing has changed.

We have asked that a road safety audit of the scheme be conducted and for the findings of the audit to be made public.

We have asked if any of the discussed changes will be adopted into the clean air proposals, but have not been told anything. We have not been told if a road safety audit of the scheme has been carried out or not.

Please help to keep these important features in our cycle network.

Please look out for further action and campaigning by Derby cycling Group on this issue.

Stripping away our Safety

Derby City Council are planning on degrading and removing cycling infrastructure on Friargate between Brick St and Bridge St.

The plans will see the removal of a bus/ cycle lane to create space for two lanes of cars.

The plans will increase the number of cars, increase pollution and increase the danger to road cyclists.

We want you to join us at this protest. Bring a bike, a placard, an instrument or just yourself.

We are going to organise bike rides around the infrastructure and have invited local councillors to join us.

We want to inform the public of these dangerous changes that will strip away our safety. Protest starts at 11am and at 11:30 members of the group’s committee and anyone else who wants to join us will strip down to their underwear in protest. Protest likely to end around 12 noon.

Surprisingly the media will also be invited. Meet before 11am on Saturday 16th Feb at junction of Friar Gate and Vernon Street.

The council’s plans are unacceptable and dangerous.

Submit video footage to the Police

Derbyshire Police are now encouraging people to submit dash cam or other video footage of road traffic offences for them to review and process as appropriate (warning, prosecution, etc.).

More details here

It’s good see in the police information that “It’s vital to remember that the vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders are at much greater risk of serious injury and death than those in cars. Our priority should always be to protect those most vulnerable.”

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

New cycling offences: Government plans and consultation

New cycling offences: causing death or serious injury when cycling

In August 2018 the Government announced the consultation Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy safety review: proposal for new cycling offences. To address the few high profile incidents of cyclist causing the death of pedestrian, the Government propose to introduce new offences for causing death or serious injury by dangerous or careless cycling. This consultation seeks views on the new offences and the associated penalties, the consultation closes 11.45pm on 5 November 2018.

The Government instigated a review of the laws relating to cycling offences which was undertaken by Laura Thomas, a Barrister at Birketts LLP. The review considers the existing law applicable to cycling and driving, together with the respective penalties that may be applied; specific attention being paid to the offences of causing death or serious injury. The author concluded that disparities exist between the offences relating to cycling and driving, also in the penalties applicable to the respective offences.

The report puts a compelling case for the review of cycling offences and alignment of the penalties. However, the final clause states; ‘Considering the wider impact of legislative change, this review is focused specifically on cycling. However, some of the issues outlined above would apply in respect of all non-mechanically propelled vehicles such as horses, horse and carriages etc. This is particularly so if, rather than setting out new legislation specifically for cyclists; there was an amendment to existing legislation to remove the “mechanically propelled” stipulation.’ This suggestion would apply a consistent set of offences to all road users, not just focusing on cyclist. Continue reading New cycling offences: Government plans and consultation

Campaigning for cycle provision in Derby since 1979