Newsletter - April 2011
|Welcome to the April edition of Portsmouth Cycle Forum's newsletter. We hope you find the articles to be of interest and, as always, we welcome your contributions. Please send your news to [email protected]|
The CTC, the UK's National Cyclists' Organisation, has criticised a back-bencher's bill to increase the sentences for dangerous cycling, branding it a "distraction". Fatal collisions involving cyclists are rare compared with deaths involving drivers. During 2009, no pedestrians were killed in collisions with bicycles but 426 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles.
Judges issued prison sentences to both of the cyclists who killed pedestrians. By contrast, the courts have tended to hand down small fines or community sentences to drivers who kill. Only last week, lorry driver Tony Smith received a 100 hour community sentence and a one-year driving ban for killing Vera Chaplin, a 89 year old cyclist in Essex last summer.
Department for Transport data shows that only two out of 70 road casualties involving pedestrians on footways also involved a cyclist during 2005-2009. The remaining 68 involved motor vehicles. http://bit.ly/eFcEJH
We have also been involved in the PCC polite cycling campaign which is looking to produce a range of leaflets that promote and encourage safe and considerate cycling. We know there are many issues out there on the roads but we would like cycling to be seen in a better light and improve the image of cyclists locally. The first of many observations and counts has started to see what really is happening and then to try a new way of getting the message across. We'll update you of progress in future newsletters.
The beauty of the bicycle is here to see in many different forms through many different images www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12668503
Beauty and the bike
This is a short but inspiring film from Darlington, one of the cycle demonstration towns, about how to get teenage girls back on bikes www.youtube.com/watch?v=M88sF-rvul0
Oxford Bike Co-op
More inspiring stuff from Oxford about their bike co-op http://youtu.be/zDf6C4g66VM
|Bike week 2011 - 18-26 June
Check the PCC website for all this year's rides and events - come on the ice-cream ride or our own very popular Portsmouth Cycle Forum 'fish and chip ride'. www.portsmouth.gov.uk/living/17958.html. For Bike Week events across the UK see www.bikeweek.org.uk.
|Traffic signals pedestrians, cycles and trunk roads
We have been in discussions with Portsmouth City Council about its recent review of the city's traffic signals and have been suggesting that the lights are less than fair when it comes to letting cyclists and pedestrians cross the road. We even went so far as to suggest the they should be given a higher priority on the roads especially when it comes to crossing fast flowing rivers of traffic. We were told that our comments had been taken into account and that they were welcomed. We had also requested a meeting so that we to could enjoy a tour of the city's high points as far as signals go (few and far between you would have thought). One thing we have learned is that the DfT's Manual for Streets that states that pedestrians should be the first consideration with cycles a close second does not apply to trunk roads. Luckily we only have two such roads in the city (the A27 and the A2030 - Eastern Road) so maybe we can look forward to a vast improvement on the waiting times at the rest of the city's signals.
|Gosport Ferry Pontoon
The new ferry pontoon on the Gosport side is due to be installed over a weekend in May. Whilst work is in progress, ferry services will be diverted to Endeavour Quay in nearby Mumby Road. Please note that bicycles will not be carried for this two-day period as the temporary facilities will not allow the safe loading and unloading. Watch the local press and Gosport Ferry web site for details. www.gosportferry.co.uk.
|Stokes Bay Cycle Route
The new cycle route at Stokes Bay in Gosport is taking shape and could be open in time for the BHF Round The Harbours bike ride on 5 June. The mile-long off-road route will run alongside the narrow and busy Stokes Bay Road between Anglesey Road and Bay House School.
|Regeneration of North End
We were recently invited to view the plans for the redevelopment by North End Neighbourhood Forum. The drawings indicate that some positive improvements are on their way with widened footways, parking removed along the main road and a ban for large vehicles. This should improve cycling to and through North End and make it much better for shoppers too.
|Private Hire Vehicles in bus lanes
At the recent Traffic and Transportation Decision Meeting meeting, Councillor Jason Fazackarley gave the green light for the next stage of allowing the Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs) into the bus lanes with along with buses and bicycles. The Hackney carriages (taxis) have used the lanes for some years and are fewer in number (approximately 250) and the drivers more responsible as there are much stricter rules for getting a Hackney license. We feel that allowing the city's 928 PHVs into the bus lanes would be a disaster - definitely not a progressive move for improving road safety for vulnerable road users.
|Then to top it off - echelon parking
We have also visited PCC recently to talk to senior officers about the correct direction and layout for echelon parking. As the markings along the Clarence Esplanade are being replaced after resurfacing we have asked that the bays be marked out in the correct direction as per Department for Transport standards (and the way they have recently marked out the bays in other locations in the city). We want them to do this to make it safer for all road users so that exiting vehicles do so with the flow of the traffic and not against it. This makes it easier to see cyclists instead of reversing into them, not to mention other vehicles. Anyway a PCC report presented to us has found that the markings should be put down exactly as they were before. The arguments put forward are insubstantial and unfounded. We have challenged these and we await a reply.
|Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) - money for cycling in Portsmouth?
As previously reported, the Government has launched its Local Sustaibnable Transport Fund (LSTF) and Portsmouth is putting in a bid. We were invited to speak to council officers about the bid and suggest some ideas to for it. We made a great case for a cycle hub (among other things) and we are fairly certain that this idea will form a part of the bid. Check the hubs in Leeds, Edinburgh and Chicago
For more info on LSTF see the Department for Transpoprt Web pages at http://bit.ly/fobUeh
|Big wig safer than helmet research
We have known of this research for some time but if you weren't aware of its findings then you can catch up on the ETA website - makes for amusing reading http://bit.ly/dSFa5l
|Community Cycle Centre at the Stacey Centre, Copnor
We attended the March open day at the Stacey Centre and had a great time with lots of local people visiting. We are in the process of setting up a bike recycling scheme which we have 'inherited' from the Healthy Pompey Project. Watch this space for more exciting news about the bike recycling Portsmouth Cycle Forum style soon. See also http://bit.ly/e52HTv.
We took part in the Healthy Pompey Bright Ride, one of the last rides under the Healthy Pompey project which sadly came to an end this month. We'd like to thank all the team for a fabulous string of events and some tireless efforts to promote and encourage more cycling in Portsmouth. Thanks to Owen and Steve the Active Travel co-ordinators and driving force behind the access to cycling, pedal power, guided rides and bike recycling elements of the project. As a last farewell and a celebration of the bright ride we've included a picture taken by Hilary.
At the Annual General Meeting in March, officers and committee for the Cycle Forum were elected to serve for the next 12 months. All members of previous committee were willing to stand and were duly elected. In adition, Owen Devine has joined the committee. The Cycle Forum's officers are: John Holland, Chairman; Jon Spencer, Vice-Chairman, Hilary Reed, Secretary; Roger Inkpen, Treasurer.
|Healthy Pompey Guided rides will continue
Portsmouth City Council hopes to continue to offer some guided rides and is looking for new ride leaders. If you are interested please could you send your details to [email protected] including name, e-mail address and contact number and they'll be in touch with a details of a free one-day training course. Please pass this message on to anyone who leads rides or who may be interested in leading rides or any other groups that may want take members or community groups out for rides.
After our article about skirt guards last month we received this message:
Hi, a friend of mine showed me your newsletter of March, in which you
asked people to show their crochet skirt guards. If you are
interested, I made a pattern which is available in my Etsy-shop : www.etsy.com/listing/67541988/pdf-crochet-skirt-guards .
For people who cannot crochet, the skirt guards are also available
kind regards, Dorien (Just-Do)
This just proves that someone does read the newsletter so it isn't all for nothing!
|Southsea Skate Park - Under New Management too
Southsea Skatepark transfered to its new management at the beginning of April and they celebrated with a special open weekend. We wish the social enterprise the best of luck and massive success, long may the skate park flourish and prosper. www.southseaskatepark.com
|Cycle Forum Meeting 12 May
Our next open meeting is on Thursday 12 May at 7pm in meeting room 1 at Portsmouth Guildhall. We hope to have presentations on the City Council's Access2Cycling programme plus the Local Transport Plan (LTP3) implementation plan.
|Local Election 2011 – Question Time 21 April
Several organisations have worked together to arrange an Question Time where you will be able to quiz some of the candidates in this year’s local elections. The meeting is on Thursday 21 April at 7pm in Room F at the Portsmouth Central Library where the focus will be on greening Portsmouth, the local economy, the city’s wellbeing and the city’s sustainable transport policies.
|How to mend a puncture, courtesy of the ETA
This useful video explains how to repair a punctured tyre - in easy steps! http://bit.ly/hhS8Eb
|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.