Portsmouth Cycle Forum held another well attended open meeting on Thursday 11th September. The meeting was very kindly hosted by the Southsea Coffee Co and we’d like to thank them very warmly for their generosity. We were delighted to welcome Claire French of Portsmouth Evening News to the meeting and are delighted that she published an article about the meeting the very next day – rather faster than we’ve managed.
Asha Lal of Portsmouth City Council gave an overview of the Wheels4All project. This aims is to give access to cycling via adapted bikes to those with physical and mental health issues, who could not manage to ride a conventional bike. They take individuals and groups and train them to use the bikes, usually for a day. The project is based at Bransbury Park and has lottery funds lasting up to July 2015, with the intention of opening another site at Mountbatten Centre. The project is run purely to give training on the adapted bikes and their insurance does not allow for the equipment to be taken off site.
The main focus of the evening was for Tom Hart to present our research into cycle safety in Portsmouth. Tom’s analysis identified the 21 most dangerous spots in the city and looked at the common factors:
- 19 of the 21 Cycling Casualty Hotspots are on Portsmouth’s notorious A-Roads, with many being intersections with linking routes and rat runs.
- High traffic volumes combined with split-second manoeuvres across fast traffic flows, predictably result in high casualties.
- Driver’s error or reckless behaviour, are the most common contributory causes to these accidents, yet only three of these 21 junctions are controlled by traffic lights.
- Seven roundabouts were casualty hotspots. Roundabouts are the most dangerous junctions for cyclists, with casualty rates up to 15 time higher than for car occupants! These roundabouts show widespread deviation from DfT’s recommendations, designed to ensure motorists navigate roundabouts with care.
The evening concluded with a wide-ranging debate of cycle safety. Once again PCC’s assistant head of service for Transport and Environment, Marc Griffin, gave up his evening to attend and provided much useful information to the discussion.
A full report of the meeting is here.