Derby NHS Trust Endorses Space for Cycling Campaign

We are delighted to announce that the Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Royal Derby Hospital and other health services in the city, is enthusiastically endorsing our Space for Cycling campaign, supporting our aims to get better cycling routes and facilities across Derby to enable more people to choose to make everyday journeys by bike.

We are very grateful that our local NHS Trust recognises the benefits that Space for Cycling can bring and for Chief Executive, Gavin Boyle’s supporting comments:    “Hundreds of our staff cycle to work in our hospitals each day, and it’s important that we have the proper infrastructure to support that. As a cyclist myself I know the roads in Derby can be a little scary when you’re out on your bike, so improvements to the network would be very welcome indeed. Let’s  make it easier for everyone to get on their bike to travel around our city, rather than see them discouraged because they feel unwelcome on the roads.”

The Carbon and Sustainability Group at the Trust enthusiatically endorsed our campaign when it was presented to them by Andrea Shaw from their travel planning team. The Chief Executive, Gavin Boyle, uses a mixed-mode transport to get to work: bike-train-bike, so his sustainable travel credentials are high; his Brompton was tucked neatly in the corner of his office on a cold and frosty morning at the end of December, when he kindly met Ian Dent and myself to hear about the Space for Cycling campaign. We look forward to working with the NHS Trust and the City Council in the future to create more space for cycling in Derby and enable more people to get more healthy by making more everyday journeys by bike.

Exercise helps mental wellbeing as well as physical health so cycling can be an integral part of a rounded,  healthy, life style. However, many people are too frightened to ride a bike on the road. We need better quality facilities to help cyclists feel safe enough to get about. Our Space for Cycling campaign urges city councillors to give cycle transport a higher priority and make policies which enable a proper cycle network to be created in Derby, one which is joined up and enables anyone to cycle anywhere more safely across the city. The support of our local NHS Trust is important to us for raising the profile of active travel with our councillors.

Council Deputy Leader, Martin Rawson, Signs Space for Cycling Pledge

Councillor Martin Rawson

It is our very great pleasure to announce that Martin Rawson, the deputy leader of Derby City council has signed our Space for Cycling pledge – agreeing with us that more needs to be done to improve cycle transport in the city. Derby is a city which is very much suited to cycling and very many more people would cycle if the cycle network was more connected and of a better quality. At the moment it is unfortunate that too many people say and believe it is too dangerous to cycle on the road. At DCG we don’t believe this is true, but the road often feels like a hostile place, especially to inexperienced riders or to people considering whether to start cycling and that stops people cycling.

We look forward to working with Martin to help make things better for everyone who wants to make everyday journeys by bike. Our aim is to get full, cross-party, support for our Space for Cycling campaign. So far UKIP, Liberal Democrat and Labour members have signed our pledge. We look forward to Conservative members joining them and completing the picture so we can start developing new strategies and projects with the certainty that they will have long term political support.

Midlands Connect Strategy

The 72 page Midlands Connect Strategy: Powering the Midlands Engine has recently been published. This document sets out a 25 year plan to improve transport links and reduce transport delays in the Midlands region.

Nowhere is cycling mentioned! The closest is on the final page of the report where it says “Local projects will not appear in the Midlands Connect strategy, but the partners in Midlands Connect do recognise their significance and urge the Government to maintain a significant flow of funding for local transport schemes.”

The focus is on large scale trunk road improvements and improved rail links and speeds. Whilst appreciating that the focus of the report is on long distance connectivity (trunk roads, HS2, etc.) it is disappointing that an emphasis on reducing localised road transport (e.g. by encouraging cycling and public transport) is not seen as part of the solution for long distance travel.

Duffield Road Cycle lane unusable at school closing time

Shows the line of parked cars from the bus stop to the school entrance
Parked cars obstructing the cycle lane

The cycle lane on Duffield Road is unusable around 3pm each day as cars gather to pick up children from the school. Cars park up with drivers still inside (reading papers, using phones) for up to half an hour before the school finishes. The photos show the extent of the problem. As all the parked cars fill the cycle lane, any cyclists are forced towards the middle of the road and the overall effect isn’t encouraging students / parents / teachers to cycle to school.

The local councillors are aware of the problem but there seems to be little that can be done as the cars are legally “picking up or setting down” rather than “parking” even though any reasonable person would assume being stopped for 15-30 minutes counts as parking!

Campaigning for cycle provision in Derby since 1979