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Newsletter - March 2011
AGM and Membership Reminder
Portsmouth Cycle Forum will hold its annual general meeting at the next open forum on Thursday 10th March at 7.00 pm in Meeting Room 1, Guildhall. Elections will be held for the Chairman, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Membership Secretary plus 5 committee members.
We aim to make the Forum as accountable and democratic as possible, and invite members to put themselves forward for these posts. Executive meetings are generally held once a month to discuss relevant and topical issues related to the Forum and cycling in general. They need not be onerous or time-consuming jobs - only if you want them to be!
Just as importantly, annual membership subscriptions are due for renewal at the modest fee of £5. This fee helps to pay running costs for the Forum including insurance for events and rides. The Treasurer will be taking subscriptions at the AGM. Alternatively cheques (made out to Portsmouth Cycle Forum) can be posted to:
Joe McGannan, 27 Thurbern Road, Portsmouth, PO2 0PH.
Cyclenation and strict liability
Cyclenation, the national group representing local campaign groups, is calling for support to get fairer liability regulations in the UK. The idea is to make sure that the burden of proof is on the heaviest vehicle (it does not necessarily imply any blame). For example, in the event of a collision between a pedestrian or cyclists and a car driver, the car is most likely to inflict the most severe injury or even death.
This system is in operation in all European countries except for the UK , Ireland, Malta and Cyprus. We have sent a letter to our MPs and you can do the same to add weight to the argument. A sample letter can be found at http://bit.ly/ggKB94
How do cyclists, pedestrians and the disabled get around road works?
With quite a lot of difficulty in Portsmouth, but there is hope that this may change. We attended a meeting with Colas (the city's roads contractor) to look at the issues and try to find a way forward so that the needs of vulnerable groups are taken into consideration. Currently you wouldn't be blamed for not realising that the Government's new Manual For Streets emphasises the importance of making travel for pedestrians, cyclists and the disabled as easy and problem free as possible. The blocking of cycle lanes, cycle paths and footpaths by signs and 'footpath/cycleway closed' signs and traffic signs that are directed at vehicles is common practice.
One of the first actions agreed at this meeting was that we would encourage our members to report 'bad practice' to the city help desk whenever they came across it so that Colas would be aware of it and given the chance to rectify it and learn from it. So if you are inconvenienced or put in danger by some badly and inconsiderately placed barriers, signs or cones please help by contacting the help desk on 023 9283 4869 or e-mail [email protected]
Cyclestreets - ever helpful
Are you aware of Cyclestreets, the on-line cycle journey planner for and by cyclists?
Its a fantastic way to plan a journey by bike, from anywhere to anywhere in the UK.
As part of the process of setting up the resource individuals can add routes and information. Take a look at www.cyclestreets.net
Local council elections in May
It's not long until the local elections where one seat in each of the city council's 13 wards will be contested. Don't miss your opportunity to ask the candidates what they are you going to do about your burning cycling issue or just about cycling in general.
BMX/broomstick hybrid
This is a broomstick bicycle that uses a uses a system of discreet steering rods to allow the rider to change direction simply by leaning on the broom handle. What a shame its passed Halloween, maybe next year ;>)
Excellent Brompton ad
This is a fabulous way of making a point about how more bikes = less cars. Well done Brompton and we understand it will available as a poster soon… http://twitpic.com/3w5ah4
Upcoming rides:
o Tower-to-tower - Sunday 27 February, 12pm. Meet at Langstone Campus, Furze Lane
o Family bright ride - Sunday 13 March, 5:30. Meet at Southsea Skate Park (suitable for
young children)
o Family Nelson Ride - Sunday 20 March, 11am. Meet at the Mountbatten Centre (suitable for young children)
o Metropolis ride - Sunday 27 March, 11am. Meet at the Guildhall Square
*For more information on any of these rides see www.pompeybug.co.uk
Group Membership deal at the Pyramids
The new health club at the Pyramids in Southsea is offering corporate membership to groups of 5 or more at the special rate of £27 per month. If anyone wishes to take advantage of this offer please contact [email protected] . For details of the leisure centre see www.pyramids.co.uk or telephone 023 9279 9977.
Why not crochet yourself a skirt guard
This would make a beautiful addition to any bike, true Dutch Cycle Chic.
If you're a wiz with a crochet hook take a picture of your hand made cycle accessory and upload it onto our Facebook page
Traffic and Transportation decision meeting
At the Traffic and Transportation decision meeting on 27 January we challenged the proposal to put yet more echelon parking into the already cramped city streets. In this case the decision went against us but we did receive assurances from Cllr Jason Fazackarley that PCC were not going to be installing echelon parking on a large scale.
The good news was that approval was given for a 7.5 tonne Weight Restriction (except for loading) for much of North End although the police said that they have no resources to enforce it - a rather strange attitude for an organisation tasked many responsibilities including reducing road casualties. There has been much campaigning in London and elsewhere for action to raise awareness of large vehicles in city centres and the threat they pose to vulnerable road users like cyclists. Check these sites for information :
Private Hire vehicles in Bus Lanes?
A recent press article has revealed that the City Council is considering allowing Private Hire vehicles to use bus lanes. (Private Hire vehicles are like taxis but you cannot hail them in the street - you have to phone to book a ride). Cycles and taxis are already able to use these lanes which are designed to let buses bypass traffic hold-ups. We're interested to hear your views on the subject.
PSAG - Portsmouth Sustainability Action Group
We were asked to contribute our thoughts to how the group could be more effectively organised in the coming year. We suggested that they widen their net and try to engage with the public more as they are unknown outside of the people that attend, but overall we felt it was an effective networking and ideas sharing forum.
Portsmouth Cycle Forum ...
... is a voluntary group working to make cycling safer, easier and more enjoyable throughout the Portsmouth area. We'd be pleased to hear from you and perhaps you will join us. For more information contact [email protected], telephone 07787 550655 or visit our Web page at www.pompeybug.org.uk.
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