Category Archives: Campaigns

Hayling Ferry Saved

A new day for the Hayling Ferry
A new day for the Hayling Ferry

We are very pleased to be able to write that the Hayling Ferry service is no longer under threat – PCF has been notified by Cllr Jason Fazackarley that PCC will not be cutting the subsidy.  Cllr Fazackarley said:

“It [the ferry] is saved, I have removed this [the proposed cut] as an offered saving by officers so Portsmouth contribution towards the ferry operation will remain unchanged. I cannot speak for any changes that the County Council may decide to make but Portsmouth City Council will NOT be making any cut to the subsidy.”

Great news.

Take action to save the Hayling Ferry!

Hayling FerryThe proposed city council budget for 2011/12 onwards proposes that the subsidy currently offered to the Hayling Ferry be cancelled.  This will more than likely spell the end for the ferry service which provides a great route into and out of the city for cyclists and pedestrians.  The budget will go to the vote at council on tuesday 8th February.  If you would like the service to be saved then please phone, email or write to your ward councillors to ask them to oppose the motion to scrap the subsidy.

Find your ward councillors here

Some reasons why the ferry needs to remain:

  • The Hayling ferry provides vital access to a rural area to the residents of Portsmouth.  This is one of the very few rural areas that is accessible to the people of Portsmouth without requiring access to a car.  Our MP, Mike Hancock, spoke very eloquently on the breakfast news on this week about how vital public access to rural areas is to the wellbeing of a community and how he was therefore, in opposition to his government’s plans to sell off woodland.  He was absolutely right to make this stand but it will be prove pointless if means of accessing such rural areas are removed.
  • Despite the assertions made in appendix C of the budget report, the Hayling ferry is widely used by citizens of Portsmouth.  It is used daily by workers at Hayling, Havant and Langstone (and further afield) who commute by bike.  It is heavily used by people who wish to visit the beaches or to use the popular Billy Trail by foot or by bike.  The Hayling Ferry link is part of the UK national cycle network route 2 and as such is used by cyclists from across the UK to get into Portsmouth.
  • The major transport challenge Portsmouth faces is surely the fact that most of the city is on an island and there are very few access routes.  Removing one of these routes is surely, at best, extremely unwise?  This will increase pressure on the already extremely congested Eastern Road and will remove, at a stroke, the most pleasant way onto and off of Portsea Island.
  • The Hayling Ferry is good value.  It’s annual subsidy of £15,000 is only about 1.3% of what the pyramids is costing the city this year.  In terms of the value of the leisure and travel opportunities it presents it is punching well above its weight.

‘No Entry – except cycles’ is on its way

In September 2009 we reported that PCC had agreed to introduce two-way cycling on new one-way roads in the city. This came about in large part as a result of lobbying from Portsmouth Cycle Forum. The DfT’s rules have meant that the council has had to either use elaborate engineering measures and create a dedicated contraflow cycle lane at the entry point to the one-way street or use ‘no motor vehicles’ signs. However, it is often claimed that motorists do not understand what the ‘flying motorcycle’ means. You may have noticed some of the new one-way roads with two-way access for cycles in Oxford Road, Mariners Walk and Ringwood Road.

At the time that we reported the PCC decision, the Government was conducting a trial use of ‘no entry’ with the ‘except cyclist’ plate (as they have in other European Countries) in Kensington and Chelsea.  As a result of the success of that trial, according to London Cycling Campaign (LCC) –  ‘a change to the DfT’s signing rules will make it easier for councils to allow cyclists to travel in both directions along streets that have been converted to one-way’.  So the rule that prevents PCC from simply adding an ‘except cyclists’ plate to existing ‘No Entry’ signs is expected to be removed in 2011. This is great news and will allow the easier and less expensive retro-fitting of both existing one-way roads as well as new one-ways.

http://www.lcc.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=2165

City Traffic Light Review

PCC Traffic Light ReviewAs you may have read in the Portsmouth Evening News, the City Council is conducting a review of traffic signals across the city with the aim of removing ‘failing’ signals.  The News reported on 31 December that Councillors Fazackarley (executive member for traffic and transportation)  and Stubbs (conservative group spokesman for traffic and transportation) have toured the city with taxi drivers to understand their views on which junctions work and which don’t.

Tells Us What You Think

It is obviously vital that the views of cyclists and pedestrians are adequately and fairly represented in this process.  Traffic lights are there for the safety of all road users, not just to maximise the earning potential of cabbies.  Portsmouth Cycle Forum has written to the Councillors to request that they conduct both a cycling and walking tour of lights in company with members of the cycle forum.  In order for us to effectively plan this we need to know what traffic light controlled junctions you think are a problem for cyclists/pedestrians and why.  Please use the “Contact Us” page to do this.

Pro-Bike Pro-Walk Conference 2010

Share the Road Sign
A message to the motorists in Chattanooga

I recently attended the Pro-Bike Pro-Walk Conference organised by the US National Center for Biking and Walking and held in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  I was attending on a professional basis and manning a stand in the exhibition hall so was unable to attend the talks but did get to look around the poster sessions and pick up a lot of useful information.

What was really interesting was how strong the sustainable transport movement has become in the US and what has been achieved.  There was evidence that drivers in Chattanooga really were giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists at non-signal controlled junctions.  This is quite unnerving to a brit, grown used to a bit of argy bargy in these situations.

Admittedly Chattanooga is one small town in a big country, but the signs were positive.

I did take a bunch of photos of the various posters on display at the Conference, but need to check they are legible first.

In the meantime here is a list of publications I picked up – if anyone wants to borrow/copy any please let me know.  I will bring the whole lot to the next open meeting.

Publications

Title Originator Format Notes
Making the Link from Transportation to Physical Activity and Obesity Active Living Research Academic Research Brief Overview of research work on active travel.
The Way We Want to Live Active Transortation Alliance Glossy Brochure 2010 Annual Report
Walk Across Illinois – Get Active and Get Going Active Transortation Alliance Glossy Brochure Encouraging physical activity in Illinois.
10 Fast Facts about the United States Bicycle Route System Adventure Cycling Association Single Sheet Facts about the developing US national cycle network, includes map.
US Bicycle Route System – Getting It Done Adventure Cycling Association A3 single sheet Update on progress in faux-newspaper stylee.
US National Cycle Network Map Adventure Cycling Association Single Page Map Single page map of the US national cycle network.
Advocacy Advance Alliance for Biking and Walking Trifold Leaflet Appears to be about a US-based funding source. May be some useful info.
Alliance for Biking and Walking Alliance for Biking and Walking Trifold Leaflet Introduction to the Alliance for Biking and Walking
Top 10 Advocacy Tips for Bike Retailers Alliance for Biking and Walking Trifold Leaflet What should you local neighbourhood bike shop be doing to promote safer & better cycling?
Top 10 Tips for developing grassroots bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations Alliance for Biking and Walking Single Sheet Thought provoking and useful list of hints for starting and running a campaign group.
Alta Planning and Design Alta Planning and Design Glossy Brochure Marketing leaflet for Alta, a very influential US sustainable regeneration consultancy.
The Next Mile: Indiana 1st America Bikes Single Sheet The next mile project is a to do list of infrastructure projects across the US.
Bcycle Bcycle Trifold Leaflet Marketing leaflet for Bcycle hire bikes as used in Denver.
The Crank Bike Denver Glossy Newsletter Newsletter of bike Denver – Spring/Summer 2010.
Bixi Bixi Trifold Leaflet Marketing leaflet for Bixi hire bikes as used in London, Montreal and many other cities
Bicycle Commuting Cascade Bicycle Club Trifold Leaflet A guide for commuters.
Cascade Bicycle Club Cascade Bicycle Club Glossy Brochure Propaganda about the huge Cascade Bicycle Club
Go by Bike Cascade Bicycle Club Trifold Leaflet One of a number of leafelts promoting safe, responsible and law-abiding biking. This one written from the cyclist’s point of view by the 12000 strong Seattle based Cascade bicycle club.
How to get around town via bike Cascade Bicycle Club Glossy Magazine A great guide to urban cycling
Bike/Walk Pilot Profile – Marin County, California Federal Highway Administration Report A report in a bike/walk pilot project.
Bike/Walk Pilot Profile – Minneapolis Federal Highway Administration Report A report in a bike/walk pilot project.
Bike/Walk Pilot Profile – Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Federal Highway Administration Report A report in a bike/walk pilot project.
Roundabouts Federal Highway Administration Trifold Leaflet A pamphlet introducing Americans to the concept of roundabouts, and why they are better and safer. I got this mainly ‘cos I’m a euro-snob and thought it was funny.
State of Texas Bicycle Laws Houston City Laminated Card A quick reference to cyclist’s rights and responsibilities in Texas.
2010 Bicycle Friendly America League of American Bicyclists Glossy Magazine Publication listing & ranking bicycle friendly businesses and communities across the US.
2010 State Rankings League of American Bicyclists Trifold Leaflet Ranking of the 50 states in decreasing order of bike-friendliness. Do go to Washington state. Don’t go to Alabama.
American Bicyclist League of American Bicyclists Glossy Magazine July-August Edition of the US version of the CTC’s mag. Contains a very clear and useful outline of the organisations goals.
Becoming a Bicycle Friendly Community League of American Bicyclists Trifold Leaflet An initiative for making communities bike friendly.
Creating a bicycle friendly University League of American Bicyclists Trifold Leaflet How and why a University should make its campus bike friendly.
Help us build a Bicycle Friendly America League of American Bicyclists Trifold Leaflet Join the League of American Cyclists.
Is your College or University bike friendly? League of American Bicyclists A5 flyer Questionnaire for inmates to asses the bike-friendliness of their place of incarceration.
Make your business a Bike Friendly Business League of American Bicyclists Trifold Leaflet The Bicycle Friendly Business programme promotes active, healthy lifestyles for employees.
Share the Road Marin County Bicycle Coalition Trifold Leaflet One of a number of leafelts promoting safe, responsible and law-abiding biking.
What you need to know to safely ride the roads Marin County Bicycle Coalition Trifold Leaflet One of a number of leafelts promoting safe, responsible and law-abiding biking.
On Common Ground National Association of Realtors Glossy Magazine American Estate Agent’s trade mag tackling some unexpected ground including ‘Changing Travel Behaviour’ and ‘Dealing with Water Scarcity’.
Increasing Physical Activity Through Community Design National Center for Biking and Walking Glossy Magazine This in-depth publication deals with the problems of obesity and how to tack it through better street design to encourage people into active travel. Very useful, US-centric in parts. Cost me $5 so am keen to keep tabs on this one!
Safe Routes to School across the US National Center for Safe Routes to School Single Page Map Map of US safe routes to shool schemes.
Nevada Safe Routes to School Calendar Nevada Department of Transportation Calendar Calendar for families to record how they travel to school each day and record monthly totals
Bike Smart NYC Department of Transportation A6 Booklet One of a number of leafelts promoting safe, responsible and law-abiding biking. This one is a cut above the others.
Bring your Bike Inside NYC Department of Transportation A6 Flyer Introducing the “Bikes in Buildings” law in NYC. Allows employees to bring their bikes inside.
NYC Cycling Map 2010 NYC Department of Transportation Fold-out map New York City Cycling map. Interesting to compare how the mapping is done.
Bicycle Safety Rules Palmetto Cycling Coalition Bookmark One of a number of leafelts promoting safe, responsible and law-abiding biking.
Cycling Safely Palmetto Cycling Coalition Trifold Leaflet One of a number of leafelts promoting safe, responsible and law-abiding biking.
Active Transportation Consulting PedNet Coalition Trifold Leaflet A campaign group from Columbia selling their expertise. An interesting model.
Active Community Transportation Act Rails to Trails Conservacy Single Sheet Information about a proposed federal active transport law
Active Transportation Trivia Rails to Trails Conservacy Single Sheet Some active transport stats from the US
Safe Routes News Transportation Authority of Marin Colour Booklet Newsletter for Marin County Safe Routes to Schol Schemes
Various Bumper Stickers Various Various Stickers with bikey slogans to stick on the bumber of your car, or elsewhere. Free to any type of home at all.

Some Interesting Websites

National Center for Safe Routes to School

League of American Bicyclists

Bikes in Buildings

American Bicycle Network

Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals

Pedestrian & Bicycle Information Center (Bicycle Web site)

Pedestrian & Bicycle Information Center (Pedestrian Web site)

Rails to Trails Conservancy

National Center for Biking and Walking

Southsea Seafront Cycle Route On-Hold

Southsea seafront contraflow cycleway at South Parade
Southsea seafront contraflow cycleway at South Parade

We have learned today that Phase 2 of the Southsea Seafront Cycle route has been placed “on-hold” as a result of spending cuts within Portsmouth City Council.

This is a very disappointing announcement from an organisation which is supposedly committed to encouraging healthy and sustainable travel. The phase 2 costs pall into insignificance when compared with the £6million or so being spent on the Trafalgar Link Road at Mile End.

Cyclists will have to endure the awful conditions on Clarence Esplanade where the out-dated and dangerous echelon parking will continue for some time to come.

Elsewhere, London Mayor Boris Johnson is implementing Cycle Super Highways to encourage commuters to travel and from work by bicycle. His bicycle hire scheme starts soon. Prime Minister David Cameron is a keen cyclist and wants to encourage others to cycle to reduce their carbon footprints and improve their health. Havant MP David Willetts is also a keen cyclist and is campaigning to keep posties on their bikes.

Please, Portsmouth politicians, think again. Healthy people cost the NHS less than unhealthy ones. The seafront cycle route should be the jewel in Southsea’s crown bringing more people to the seafront without the need for cars and car parking.

Seafront Cycle Route FAQ

Seafront Cycle Route
Alfie Perry-Ward on the Seafront Cycle Route

In response to the lively public debate about the virtues of the new seafront cycle route we have produced a set of frequently asked questions and answers to address some of the most common concerns.  The document can be found in our infrastructure section or by clicking this link.

Portsmouth’s Cycle Forum believes that the new cycle route makes a massively positive contribution to the seafront and the city and is in whole hearted support of it. If you haven’t tried it yet then we can only suggest you get your bike out and go for a ride.

Seafront Cycle Route

Southsea Seafront Contraflow
Southsea Seafront Contraflow

Most of you will have noticed by now that the first phase of the seafront cycle route is being built – indeed a long stretch of it is all but complete.  You will also noticed that there has been considerable criticism of the route in the local press.  It is vitally important that we show Portsmouth City Council how popular this route is  – otherwise there is a great risk that the decision makers will get cold feet when asked to approve phase 2.  Therefore could we please ask all of you to write to Simon Moon, head of traffic and transportation at Portsmouth City Council expressing support for the seafront cycle route.

If you are not sure what to write or are short of time then we have created a form with which you can automatically email Simon Moon.  Click here to find it.

However, a unique letter or email always has more impact so if you have time to write one Simon Moon’s Contact details are:

Simon Moon
Portsmouth City Council
Civic Offices
Guildhall Square
Portsmouth
Hampshire, PO1 2BG

email: [email protected]

Love Your Bike

The University of Portsmouth and Portsmouth City Council have joined forces to stage Love Your Bike on the 30th May 2010. The event will take place throughout the day at Southsea Skatepark and on into the evening at Parmiter’s Antiques and Little Johnny Russell’s on Albert Road.

Bike culture is an important part of cycling and regaining the streets. Love Your Bike Portsmouth aims to encourage participants to fully embrace the possibilities of connecting with their bikes and explore the many ways that they can improve it’s appearance and design. The event will feature workshops, bike demo’s, bike polo, marketstalls, bike artwork, bike safety and a showcase bike arena.

More information is on the Love Your Bike website.

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Hilsea Station Victory

Hilsea Station
Hilsea Station

Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee today approved plans for a shared pedestrian and cycle route linking Devon Road in Copnor to Hilsea station.

The plan will give cyclists and pedestrians a much needed safe route to the station.  John Holland deputised in support of the proposals by PCC at the planning meeting.

There were two deputations against the proposals on behalf of local residents, who raised concerns about commuters parking in residential streets and using the new route to get to Hilsea station.

Councillor Luke Stubbs spoke effectively in support of the plan which was approved by a narrow majority.

Open Meeting

Portsmouth Guildhall
Portsmouth Guildhall

The cycle forum met on the 14th January.  The minutes from that meeting are not yet available but in the meantime here are two of the presentations from the meeting.

Chairman’s Presentation – Portsmouth Cycle Forum 14 Jan 10 (Powerpoint File)

Roger Inkpen – Seafront Cycle Route Phase II (Powerpoint file)

Unfortunately Barry Rawlings of Portsmouth City Council was unable to attend so there was no presentation on traffic signals.  The other agenda item was the new web site  – this is it!

Lakeside Planning Application Approved

1000 Lakeside
1000 Lakeside

The deferred planning application for a new business development at Lakeside, North Harbour was approved at the City Council’s Planning Committee on 9 December.

Councillors on the planning committee expressed the view that it was not incumbent on the developers to provide any further sustainable transport infrastructure.

They did however, agree that cycle infrastructure at Portsbridge is fundamentally inadequate and that something must be done. The implication would seem to be then that PCC will take some action itself.

Councillor Luke Stubbs (Conservative) spoke in favour of the proposals stressing the need for more jobs in the city.  He made no mention of the need to reduce dependence on the car for travel to and from the site.  He proposed that the application should be passed by the planning committee.

Councillor Jacqui Hancock (Liberal Democrat) was silent throughout the proceedings with the exception of seconding Cllr Stubbs proposal.

Councillor Jim Fleming (Liberal Democrat) sympathised with the objectors but felt that the developers had made efforts to accomodate the wishes of the city planners.

Councillor Donna Jones (Conservative) shared Cllr Phillip’s view.  She said that it was a case of risk vs reward – the risk of increasing Portsmouth’s carbon footprint vs the rewards of people having jobs in order to be able to buy bicycles to enjoy cycling.  She quoted a letter form a constituent who asked “if there were no more cars in Portsmouth, would the threat of flooding from the sea recede?”

Portsmouth Cycle Forum (PCF) committee member Mike Dobson made an impassioned plea to the committee not to approve the scheme.  Whilst PCF does not object to the development per-se, we have grave concerns that the transport plans make little provision for pedestrians and cyclists.

This view was backed-up by CTC Right-to-Ride representative Jon Spencer.

Whilst we are disappointed that the Lakeside development has been approved with inadequate sustainable transport provision, the developers, Highcross, have agreed to an open dialoge with us.  We look forward to a useful and constructive relationship which will bring benefits to pedestrians and cyclists.

Strategic Cycle Routes in Portsmouth

Strategic Cycle Routes

In conjunction with the CTC, Portsmouth Cycle Forum has produced a detailed assessment of the current strategic cycle routes in and out of Portsmouth.

The document provides an objective user’s view of the key cycle routes in to and out of Portsmouth. It assesses their safety, their usability by all types of cyclist and how well they meet the Department for Transport (DfT) and Portsmouth City Council (PCC) aspirations for cycle infrastructure.

PCC aspires to produce a cycle network interconnecting all locations in the city – good quality arterial routes in and out of the city are an essential element of any such network.

This document therefore provides a baseline to assist planning and development of Portsmouth’s cycle network.

The document is split into two sections – the main body which presents an overview and assessment of each route and appendices which provide detailed analysis of each route. Both are available for download:

Seafront Cycle Route Gets Green Light

Southsea Seafront Contraflow
Southsea Seafront Contraflow

Portsmouth City Council approved the first phase of the Southsea Seafront cycle route at the Cabinet Meeting on 9 November.

The route will be on the road between Eastney Swimming Pool and South Parade Pier, next to the promenade. The dangerous echelon (angled) parking bays will be replaced with spaces parallel to the road.

Portsmouth Cycle Forum welcomes this decision and we look forward to the opening of the route in the spring of 2010.

We spoke in support of the proposals at the meeting along with the CTC and the Portsmouth Disability Forum.

Southsea Seafront Traders were concerned that the loss of 150 parking spaces would impact their businesses, however the figures presented showed that these spaces were full on very few occasions during the year. At the busiest times, overflow parking will be available on Southsea Common and councillors agreed to look at other sites to replace the spaces that will be lost.

The permanent Park and Ride system will provide much needed relief to the parking problems in Portsmouth and Southsea when it comes on-stream.

The route for Phase 2, from South Parade Pier to Clarence Pier, has yet to be decided.

We will be working with Portsmouth City Council and other interested parties to ensure that it will be safe and practicable.

PCC to decide on Seafront Cycle Route on 9 November

Southsea Seafront Contraflow
Southsea Seafront Contraflow

Phase 1 of the Southsea Seafront Route Cycle Route will be decided by the Portsmouth City Council Cabinet at their meeting on 9 November.

You can read report and see plans on PCC Website.

More information will be added to this article soon.

Portsmouth Cycle Forum thinks that this route is a really good step forward.

The report ans plans are available here:

http://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/yourcouncil/16930.html

Cycling group criticises Lakeside development plans

Portsbridge Roundabout
Less than generous provision for cyclists at Portsbridge

The delayed planning application for a new business development at Lakeside, North Harbour was deferred at the City Council’s Planning Committee on 14 October. The developers, Highcross, boast that the flagship scheme will have excellent ‘green’ credentials and claim that the it will encourage people to use sustainable travel (walking, cycling and buses). The Portsmouth Cycle Forum is one of many organisations objecting and has pointed out that the plans for the pedestrian and cycle routes to Lakeside are seriously inadequate.

Government climate change carbon reduction targets mean that Portsmouth needs to encourage people to leave their cars at home and use sustainable transport options instead.

But the few improvements planned for the shared pedestrian and cycle paths will not be enough to provide safe and attractive routes that will persuade people to travel sustainably.

Highcross have assumed a steady growth in the numbers of people wanting to drive to Lakeside and they plan to widen the roads and the Portsbridge roundabout to take this growth in polluting motor traffic.

However, Consultants Capita Symonds have made no allowance for the increase in cycling that the Council wants.  The plans do nothing to remove a major bottleneck on the main pedestrian and cycle route from Portsea Island to Lakeside and the plans won’t provide enough light controlled road crossings for cyclists and pedestrians to cross the Lakeside access roads in safety.

Portsmouth Cycle Forum urges the developers to think again and make improvements to the pedestrian and cycle infrastructure.  This must be a truly sustainable development and not just one that ticks boxes on a sheet of paper.

Portsmouth Green Fair

Green Fair Poster
Green Fair Poster

Portsmouth Cycle Forum attended the Portsmouth Green Fair in the Guildhall Square on Saturday 5 September.

We spoke to many people including counillors, prospective MPs and cyclists – one of whom was on his way from Birmingham to Bilbao – by bike of course!

The day ended with a Q and A session on Southsea Seafront cycling with PCAN’s Alan Burgess posing questions to Gerals Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Centre.

More information at the Portsmouth Climate Action Network web site.

Southsea Seafront Cycle Route draft plans revealed

Southsea Seafront Contraflow
Southsea Seafront Contraflow

Phase 1 Plans Revealed

Portsmouth Cycle Forum was invited to look at the draft drawings of the first phase of the cycle route along Southsea seafront. This section extends from South Parade Pier to Henderson Road along Southsea Esplanade and Eastney Esplanade.

Having seen these drawings and after clarification on some of the plans, we submitted our comments to councillors for consideration.

Our concerns

We are particularly concerned that cycle lanes are shown to pass directly behind the echelon car parking for much of the way.  In our view this is very dangerous since drivers reversing from them simply cannot see cyclists approaching.

We are also concerned that the route is designed for experienced cyclists only.

Anyone new to cycling or returning to cycling will be reluctant to negotiate busy roads with parked cars. This is not a good proposal for children and other vulnerable cyclists.