Down by the River ……………….

Derby City Council have started work on some improvements to the cycle path between the Silk Mill and Darley  Fields, this being part of Route 54 of the National Cycle Network and is on both sides of Handyside’s Bridge which crosses the River Derwent. From there, the narrow path which runs along the river bank beside Parker’s Piece, off City Road, is being widened and re-surfaced. New tarmac is being laid on the other side of the bridge and the board walk which passes beneath St. Mary’s Bridge is being replaced. See photo. We have asked for the graffiti on the bridge to be cleaned off.  Whilst the work is in progress an alternative route using Sowter Road is available and this has been signed.

 

 

Cycling to the Train

We’ve received a video from Alistair Clark who thought other members might be interested in viewing it. You can give yourself a small test of how well you know Derby when viewing it to see if your recognise all the locations!

Any other budding film directors are welcome to submit their work. All members can create their own posts together with the video.

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.

The Big Pedal 2012

Aimed at all schools in the UK, The Big Pedal is back and this time it promises to be bigger and better than ever before. The organisers have made some improvements to the race – including the participation of scooters!

The race is open to every school in the UK and takes place between 5-23 March 2012.

It’s completely free to enter and there are some brilliant prizes up for grabs.

To guarantee your school’s place in the race, please make sure that you pre-register your school now

 

Folding cycles on buses

Folded Brompton

I regularly take a folded Brompton onto buses in Derby and Nottingham and, until recently, have always found it really easy. However, a couple of recent episodes have caused me problems. These were:

  • I was evicted from the Medilink service (between the 2 hospitals in Nottingham) as the driver said “bikes (folded or not) are not allowed on the service”. I’ve taken this up with the service provider and they have agreed on a policy which allows folding cycles in the future but with a lot of restrictions – e.g. must be in a bag, must be able to be carried in one hand, must be with the passenger at all times, driver has final say, …
  • Trent Barton Red Arrow driver informed me that folded cycles would only be allowed inside the coach if enclosed in a bag. Generally I’m happy to store the bike in the lockers underneath the coaches but Derby bus station now has barriers preventing access to the lockers and some of the Red Arrow coaches have dangerous lockers which cannot be used (and which have been broken for months!). Further discussion with Trent Barton has not resulted in any definitive policy.

In general, I see a general trend from the bus companies in trying to find reasons not to allow the folded cycles onto their services rather than actively trying to encourage more passengers to combine the use of cycles and buses. I hope to see this trend reverse in the near future.

One tip for Brompton users is that the IKEA large blue plastic/fabric bag (cost of 40p each from the checkouts) is large enough to place a folded Brompton into.

I should say that, apart from the recent incident with the Red Arrow, I have found Trent Barton to be very accomodating to me and my folded cycle and hope they can continue this excellent attitude.

Derby Neighbourhood Forums

Derby City Council hold regular Forums to gain feedback from local people on the issues that matter most to them. Details on the planned meetings are here

A great way to engage in local democracy and have an influence. Go and argue the case for cycling at a local level. Even better get on the board for your ward, they have money to spend on local facilities for local people!! If you are able to represent the DCG at any forums then please let the Campaigns Co-ordinator know.

Campaigning for cycle provision in Derby since 1979