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.

Members’ Meeting Minutes, November 2011

Minutes of meeting Derby Cycling Group Tuesday 1st November 2011 Brunswick

Actions in italics!!

Present:

Tony Roelich, Dave Clasby (Chair),  Les Sims, Martin Aldred,  Lucy Care, Martin Quarton, Ian Alexander, Ian Dent, Nigel Aspdin, Ian Care.

Apologies

John Palmer, Mark Crossley, Dave Waldram, Vijaya Ramisetti.

Minutes of  meeting

Minutes of the October meeting were read and agreed, except that Martin Quarton was not at the October meeting.  DW was to contact the British Motorcycle Federation as a balance to MAG.  Agenda is being sent out by the Chair of the next meeting.

Actions Arising

Signage round Holmes Bridge LC/ DC to draft signs, cable ties available, extra copies in case of vandalism and removals.  On going.  DC to contact DT when competed

Website links – MC to contact all political groups to have our weblink on their websites. On going

Cycle Liaison MeetingTR to send an email asking for meeting. On going

Cycle Forum Matt Holmes invited to Cycle Forum DC to do that. On going.

Cathedral Quarter – Issue for cycle forum and TR/DC to arrange meeting with Matt Holmes. On going.

EmailMC to ensure outside organisation send emails to secretary@der…. Which can then be redirected to relevant committee members.

Parking Provision – LC has had an email exchange with Motorcycle Action Group who are interested to work with us on parking issues.

City Centre car parking – DC raised at the Board and unregulated car parking is recognised and Council might take action.

Cathedral Quarter BUG: DC has talked to

Hannah Fox we are interested in principle in taking up offer to run event at Silk Mill, but project developing is to have cycle powered end to Olympics.

Council Question: Council meeting is 23rd November, question has be in earlier.  LC and DW still to develop a question. DW to ask the question – on-going.

Station Notice Board: MA to keep it updated.

Website: ID now an administrator on Facebook.

CCTV camera: IA to write to Everards about installing a camera outside the Brunswick because of stolen bikes outside the pub.  On-going.
Continue reading Members’ Meeting Minutes, November 2011

A New Barrier

At Shelton Lock a new school is being built, and an access road has been constructed crossing the nearby Cycle Path.
The photograph was taken on NCN Route 6 between Alvaston
and Shelton Lock, looking towards Derby, with the school to the right and
Jubilee Road to the left.
There is  a man controlling the gate, which prohibits the passage of  pedestrians and cycles when there is motor traffic on the access road.
The gate is left open outside working hours.
Completion of the school is due in September 2012 and both the gate and the access road will then be removed.

 

Traffic Signs policy paper

The government have published a document detailing a new policy for traffic signs (93 pages of bedtime reading!). There is some interesting content regarding cycling including the approval of the contraflow cycling sign (for allowing cycling the wrong way down one way streets).

Full report can be downloaded from here.

Campaigning for cycle provision in Derby since 1979