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Sustrans National Cycle Network Update

If you live in the Portsmouth and Havant area you now have a choice of safe, well-marked cycle routes to Southsea and Hayling seafronts or up to the South Downs.  Roger Inkpen is a local ranger for Sustrans – the charity creating a national cycle network.  He says: “all of these routes follow cycle tracks, quiet city streets and country lanes, and are suitable for all types of riders – young, old, occasional or serious cyclist.  There are over 50 miles of routes marked out, all within a mile of where people live.
 
“The routes are all marked with Sustrans signs, fixed to existing signposts and fence posts.  Just follow the national cycle network number to your destination!”
 
If you would like to find more about cycle routes or volunteering with Sustrans visit www.sustrans.org.uk and click on ‘Get Involved’.

Sustrans routes SEHants
NCN2, NCN22 and NCN222 are now complete. More work is needed on NCN236.

Our Cycling Manifesto

With local elections approaching we dusted off our Cycling Manifesto we sent out to councillors at the last elections in 2012.  Last time we only sent it to existing councillors with limited response, but this time we’ve updated it and sent it out to every candidate in every council ward – that’s 77 in all!  We also gave them a bit more time to respond and we’ll update you on this nearer the election.

 

CYCLING MANIFESTO FOR PORTSMOUTH

Dear Councillor/Candidate

We seek your support for our Manifesto for better everyday cycling facilities in Portsmouth, for all ages, residents, workers and visitors.

Please would you be kind enough to let us know before the election what actions you would take to help Portsmouth Cycle Forum to achieve its goals.

We believe that the following would help to bring this about in Portsmouth:

  • Creation of a Strategic Green Cycle Network.
    • Corridors into the city centre.
    • Full signage of cycle routes.
  • Improved safety measures for cyclists in Portsmouth and Southsea.
    • Expanded use of cycling ‘contra flow’ systems.
    • Permitting cycling in Palmerston Road, Guildhall Walk and Commercial Road precincts outside business hours.
    • Expanding safe bike routes to schools.
  • Creation of liveable neighbourhoods.
    • Making local streets safer for walking and cycling.
    • A Cycling Charter.
  • Integration of bikes with public transport.
    • Promotion of ‘cycle & ride’ schemes.
    • Secure cycle parking at Rail and Bus stations.
  • Encourage cycling throughout Portsmouth.
    • Promote new activities i.e. cycling film festival, guided rides and events, adult cycle training.

We hope that you personally will send us a brief message of support for our Portsmouth Cycling Manifesto before the election on Thursday 15 May. Please do contact us if you have any queries at all.

Yours sincerely

Jon Spencer, Chair

Portsmouth Cycle Forum

 

Contact us: [email protected]

Space for Cycling

Space for CycliingCTC, the national cycling charity, has launched a new campaign called “Space for Cycling”. You may remember Roger Geffen of CTC briefing us on it at the our Open Meeting in February.  Cycle-friendly streets are the life-blood of safe, pleasant and healthy communities. They are good for everybody’s quality of life, whether or not they chose to cycle.

Space for Cycling calls on local councillors to pledge their support for high standards of cycle-friendly planning and design, and the funding needed to deliver this. Cycling needs to become a safe, convenient and enjoyable for people of all ages and backgrounds, for any local journey.

What Space for Cycling means will depend on the location, with different solutions for major and minor roads and junctions, in urban and rural areas alike. In general though, the answers are covered by the the Space for Cycling campaign’s 6 themes:

  1. Protected space on main roads
  2. Removing through motor traffic in residential areas
  3. Lower speed limits
  4. Cycle-friendly town centres
  5. Safe routes to school
  6. Routes through green spaces

Following his supportive comments at Portsmouth Cycle Forum’s open meeting in February the campaign is supported by leader of Portsmouth City Council and Vice-Chair of the Local Government Association Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who said:

“Cycling provides huge benefits for our health and that of our streets and communities.  Portsmouth has already done a lot to promote cycling, creating 20mph streets and a growing cycle network.  Providing ‘Space for Cycling’ benefits everybody in our society, whether or not they choose to cycle themselves. I would urge cross-party support from councillors throughout the country for this campaign.”

You can contact your councillors and ask them to pledge their support via the campaign website:

http://www.space4cycling.org.uk/

Treasurer’s Report and Accounts 2013-14

Introduction

These are the accounts for Portsmouth Cycle Forum, financial year ending 28 February 2014.

Accounts

Income:  Our regular income solely relies on subscriptions from paid-up members, with occasional one-off donations.

Members:  There has been a decrease in paid membership for this year – down to 36 from 39 the previous year.

Costs: Without a regular ‘free’ venue at the Guildhall we now have costs for holding meetings.  We are grateful to Mario and the University of Portsmouth Students Union for the use of their meeting room free of charge for our last two meetings.  Previously in the last year we made use of free community spaces but these were poorly attended.  The UPSU room was not available today and we have a £50 charge for the hire of this hall.  Other regular costs are for printing, website hosting and subscriptions for national cycling bodies.

Subscriptions:   For the next year membership subscriptions will remain at £5 (with no fee for concessions).  Renewals can be made by cheque, cash or through Paypal via the Pompeybug website.

Important Note:  We need to make a serious effort to convert subscribers on our mailing list to paid-up members.  If we are to make use of central locations we need to increase the number of membership subscriptions and donations to offset the costs.  Additional income will allow the Forum to expand its activities through promotion.

Income

Subscriptions 2013-14                  149.68

Total Income                               149.68

Expenditure

Printing                                       148.70

Website                                       121.64

Hall hire                                        10.00

Subscriptions to CTC/CN               80.00

Total Expenditure                        360.34

2013-14 deficit                           £210.66

Assets

Bank                                            202

Paypal                                           60

Current Assets                          £262               (from £411 in March 2013)

 

Roger Inkpen

Treasurer, Portsmouth Cycle Forum 20 March 2014

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Safe Cycling in Bristol
Safe Cycling in Bristol

We have our next open meeting on Thursday 13 February at 7pm at the Student Union building on Cambridge Road.

At our last meeting we looked at how the Dutch have created cycle-friendly towns and cities.  Thank you to everyone who attended – we hope you enjoyed it and came away more positive about the future of cycling in Portsmouth.  As a follow-up, we’ll be looking at how we can do this in the UK and in Portsmouth in particular.

We’ll be joined by Eric Booth, chair of the cycle campaign in Bristol, which became the UK’s first ‘cycling city’ in 2008.  They’ve had a number of infrastructure improvements since, and now have ambitions to create their own Dutch-style cycle network of segregated lanes and tracks.

Can we do this in Portsmouth? Or is it too ambitious?  As an example of ambition, Hamburg – Germany’s second largest city – is planning to ban all cars from its city centre within 20 years.

Roger Geffen, the CTC’s national campaigns and policy director will also be speaking about best practice from across the land. Once again we will finish with a Q&A session with our guests plus Cllr Jason Fazackarley, the PCC cabinet member for Traffic & Transportation.

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Social Cycling Buddies

Social Cycling Buddies is a new group Portsmouth, aiming to encourage cyclists of all levels to get out on bikes. Portsmouth Cycle Forum members are welcome to join their events which are listed on Facebook and on their website. The next event on 30 November. All rides are casual, and always involve food at some point.

For more information visit portsmouthsocialcyclingbuddies.webs.com or search for “social cycling buddies” on Facebook.

 

City Centre Development – Our response

City Centre North Development
City Centre North Development

Portsmouth Cycle Forum has put together two responses to the development plans for the Northern Quarter redevelopment in the city centre.  The first deals with Portsmouth City Council’s plans to change the road system to support the new development.  We are concerned that cyclists and other non-motorised users are not adequately provided for in the proposed road network design.  For the road design to be successful it is essential that safe, attractive and convenient routes are provided for cyclists both to access the new development and to bypass it.  These routes should be well connected to the existing cycle network. In our view these aims are not achieved in the current design.

Read our full response to PCC on the road system plans.

We also responded to the developer Centros’s plans for the development itself.  We made it clear in our response that for the development to work it needs to welcome and cater for cyclists from the outset.

Read our full response to Centros on the development plans.

Please note that both of the above are at the pre-planning stage.  Full planning applications are expected early in 2014.

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A short walk on Albert Road

I took a walk along Albert Road earlier today – buying gift-wrap for my Mum’s birthday as it happens.  As always, Albert Road was choked by illegally parked vehicles.  It always is and I am always shocked by it, but today I decided it was time to start making some noise about it.  In the short walk from the Haslemere Road junction to the King’s Theatre area I spotted at least 15 different offending vehicles. It is obvious from the quantity of offending vehicles that motorists consider the chance of being caught and fined to be minute.

I am hoping that if I (and hopefully some other people) start complaining about this then some Community Safety Officers will be tasked to deal with this.  So – next time you walk down Albert Road grab some pics and send them PCC’s parking office, and to your local Councillor.  That’s what I’ve just done.

The Rogue’s Gallery

Outside Sainsbury’s near the junction with St Ronan’s Road.  Always a trouble spot these days.  Three cars are parked on the double yellow lines despite the plentiful availability of legitimate spaces opposite.  In mitigation the red car does have a disabled badge, neither of the others do though.

Outside Sainsbury's
Outside Sainsbury’s
Opposite the Wedgewood Rooms this 4×4 driver has decided to use the bus stop as his personal parking space.

Opposite the Wedge
Opposite the Wedge
At the traffic lights this taxi driver has parked on the double yellow lines to use the post office. He had no fare at the time.

At the lights 1
At the lights 1
facing the other way at the lights these two vehicles have parked on the double yellow lines and completely blocked the cycle lane.

At the lights 2
At the lights 2
I appreciate loading and unloading is permitted on double yellow lines, but surely there is a better way than this?  Parking vans and lorries half on the pavement on a busy street in the middle of the day just seems wrong.

Unloading
Unloading
This 4×4 driver simply can’t be bothered to reverse into the nearby space and has opted for the double yellows.

Outside Gold for Cash
Outside Gold for Cash
Two cars stopped to do their shopping at Tesco.  The one in front is a taxi – that’s the driver with his bags.

Outside Tesco
Outside Tescos
On the way back past the new Sainsbury’s there are even more vehicles.

Sainsbury's again
Sainsbury’s again
Stopped for a break on the double yellow lines outside Craneswater School.

Craneswater
Craneswater
Once again, why bother reverse parking when you can just use the double yellows?

Brompton Road area
Brompton Road area

Celebrate the Street in Chichester

ChiCycle LogoOur friends at ChiCycle, the Chichester cycle campaign group, are running an event called “Celebrate the Street” in Whyke on Sunday 30th June from 12.00 to 4.00 pm.  It will see neighbours coming together around the theme of the street:

Bike Boulevard: Try out an electric bike (thanks to EZ Green and Filarinskis), Try out a Cargo Bike – safe and great for transporting children (thanks to Family and Kids Cycles of Christchurch), Mobility Scooter Races, Obstacle Races, Slow Bike Races etc

Tandem Terrace: Try out a tandem (with or without a blindfold to experience what the street is like as a blind person) to support the work of 4Sight.

Cake Close: Cake Competition on a cycling/walking/20 theme to be judged by Whipped and Baked. Prizes!!

Flower Way: Flower Arrangement Competition on a cycling/walking/20 theme (Prizes!!), arrangements to be auctioned off for our charitable good causes*

St George’s Square: Balloon Launch (4.00 pm) and Scooter decorating Competition (1.00 pm) on a cycling/walking/20 theme, 3.15pm Join in with Morris Dancing

Amusement Alley – themed games for the young and young at heart including Skip Street, 20’s Plenty stocks, 30 mph Pinata

Memory Lane – Look at old photos of Chichester’s streets, thanks to Ken Green local historian, find out about the origins of our street names, take part in our quiz about local streets, share your memories in our “Book of Memories” of how our streets used to be, Tea Dance

Art Avenue – community led projects eg guerrilla knitting (with help from Clothkits on the Hornet), Pearly Kings and Queens (with help from the Button Company, Terminus Road and Sandra’s Vintage Clothing Shop, the Alms Houses, The Hornet), Join in our community collage and design your ideal street (with the help of Mini Craft Club), Street Feet Video, Bike Art (after the event), Pavement Chalks…

Recycle Road: Table top sale and Bikes from Stonepillow’s Restore Project (£5.00 for a small table and £10.00 for a large one) http://stonepillow.org.uk/

Pamper Parade – foot massage, toe nail painting and chill out on our sofa and bean bags on the street.

Official Opening of our 20mph streets by Alan Chaplin, Mayor of Chichester and Margaret Whitehead, Chair of Chichester South County Local Committee and local residents who will sweep away confetti from our 20 mph roundels.

* Any donations we make to the national 20’s Plenty for Us organisation and children injured in car crashes via Brake.

There are 4 other community events taking place on the day in Chichester and we hope that people will be travelling between the different events to “celebrate the street”.

Tour of Traffic Lights

Traffic Light Tour Party
Traffic Light Tour Party

On Wednesday 12th June Portsmouth Cycle Forum took a bike tour of traffic light controlled junctions in the city in the company of Councillor Jason Fazackarley, the Portsmouth city council cabinet member for Traffic and Transportation. Also along on the ride were Simon Brownlie, PCC road network manager and Jayne Rodgers, PCC Active Travel officer.

We cycled 18km around the city and visited some 18 junctions, highlighting numerous issues that impact cyclists at each of those junctions. Cllr Fazackarley agreed to review the current programme of junction enhancements and incorporate issues raised according to priority.

Immediate action was promised to rectify sensors at the junction of Airport Service Road and Eastern Road which fail to detect cyclists and can leave them stranded at the junction. PCC reports that this has now been done although we have yet to test it ourselves. If it is now working properly this is an impressively speedy response.

A potential enhancement to the junction at Milton Road / Velder Ave was also proposed by PCC. This would allow access for cyclists to the junction from Alverstone Road. This is subject to design feasibility and affordability but the officers seemed optimistic.

PCF were pleased to note that timings at the traffic lights at Elm Grove / Grove Road have been adjusted to give more time for cyclists to clear the junction when a light changes to red. Previously, only 3 seconds had been allowed between one arm of the junction going to red before the next arm changed to green. We were given hope that there may be changes to the timings and layout at the Elm Grove / Victoria Road South junction which are currently hostile for cyclists.

PCF Open Meeting

Boris and Arnie go biking
Boris and Arnie go biking

The next meeting for PCF is on Thursday 9 May at St Lukes Church Hall, next to Charter Academy, starting at 7pm.

RASPBERRY PI ON A BIKE

On the agenda this time we have guest speakers Rich Boakes and Craig Snyder from the University of Portsmouth. They’ll be talking about their ‘Magic Bike’ which uses sonar and a Raspberry Pi computer to detect passing vehicles and how close they are passing.

YOUR VISION FOR CYCLING

Following on from Mayor Boris Johnson’s Vision for Cycling in London, we want you to tell us what should be the cycling vision for Portsmouth. So get your thinking caps on!

There’ll also be a roundup of events for Bike Week in June and an opportunity to have your say.

Note: access to the hall is from the car park entrance in Greetham Street – map here.

A Tube Network for the Bike?

Mayors vision for London
Mayors vision for London

Cycle routes named after tube lines, better cycling infrastructure and increases to cycle parking at mainline stations are some of the proposals in the Mayor of London’s Cycling Vision which was released in March.

The Vision has been developed in consultation with cycling groups with an accompanying budget of £913m. The vision focuses on high-quality segregated infrastructure, including a central East-West route.

New routes parallel to and named after Tube routes, such as the ‘Bakerloo Superhighway’ will be built, as well as ‘Quietways’ using back-streets. In addition, ‘mini-Hollands’ are proposed for outer London, with redesigned town centres, cycle hubs at railway stations, and a cycle route to central London.

The document points to the success of ‘filtered permeability’ in Hackney, where streets have been transformed into high quality cycle routes through closing roads to motor traffic, but retaining cycle access.

Plans for new infrastructure will also focus on junctions – where 75% of cycle casualties occur and some 20mph limits will be introduced.

Other measures include a new ‘Superhub’, with space for thousands of bikes to be parked and hundreds of hire bikes available, which will be constructed at one of the mainline stations. The cycle hire scheme will also be extended, increasing the number of bikes available to 11,000.

Thus is breathtakingly ambitious plan – particularly compared with the national picture. The document can be downloaded from www.london.gov.uk/publication/mayors-vision-cycling.