National Space For Cycling Campaign
Push Bikes is pleased to be supporting the national Space for Cycling campaign which is calling for conditions on our roads where anyone, of any age or ability, feels able to cycle safely, conveniently and enjoyably for any local journey.
Birmingham is lucky to have been awarded money last year to start the Birmingham Cycle Revolution (BCR). The goals of the BCR are to "make it much easier for people to cycle for everyday journeys to work, education and for leisure", and Birmingham City Council is working hard to ensure that the infrastructure designed is fit for purpose. But the revolution will only be delivered though if political and financial support continues.
That is where the national Space for Cycling campaign is important. The 6 key principles fit perfectly with the goals of BCR, and with cycle campaigners across the UK getting politicians to sign up to Space for Cycling, our chances of seeing the revolution achieved are much higher.
Survey of the Bristol Road Cycling Improvements
To assess the LSTF improvements along Bristol Road between Bournbrook Road and the Ring Road at Belgrave Road, Push Bikes conducted a survey of users and organised a ride to test the route.
54 responses were received, and it was found that the most serious issue was crossing at Priory Road which was considered particularly dangerous.
Crossing minor roads and entrances were also seen as problematic, but Bristol Road has relatively few minor road junctions. Good points were the flat nature of the route and that the pavements were sufficiently wide enough for shared use along most of the length. The surface was good for sections, but rough at others and not swept clean.
The full report can be downloaded here
What's happened to cycle commuting in Birmingham?
The CTC's Chris Peck has published figures from the 2011 Census showing that - since 2001 - cycle commuting barely increased its share of all transport However, this overall figure conceals huge variations.
In the West Midlands, the BCC leads with a staggering increase in cycling of 0.17% over 10 years. Wow.
The change in modal share from 2001 to 2011 for Birmingham:
- Public transport: -0.57% to 22.2%
- Car driver or passenger: -1.93% to 56%
- Bicycle: +0.17% to 1.6%
- Walking: +1.29% to 10.1%
The changes in cycling in the adjacent disctricts are even worse:
- Wolverhampton -0.55% to 2.1%
- Walsall: -0.46% to 1.6%
- Dudley: -0.11% to 1.2%
- Sandwell: -0.16% to 1.6%
- Bromsgrove: -0.17% to 1.0%
- Solihull: -0.16% to 1.4%
- Coventry: -0.18% to 2.7%
There are a few areas with significant increases: London by around 3% in the central suburbs, Bristol by 3.1% and Brighton and Hove by 2.1%. One common link is funding by the Boris initiatives and cycling towns and cities programme. Looks like it can be done if the council has the money and spends it on real facilities?
- FREE group cycle rides with experienced guides
- explore local paths & parks - Traffic Free!
- no bike? - borrow one of ours
- dodgy bike? - get a free check up
- worried about hills or fitness? - we'll walk/ wait
- nervous about bike skills? - get friendly advice
- length to suit you, enjoy a stop for drink & chat
John Bennett, Bournville resident & PushBikes member explains:
We will go at the pace of the slowest, will walk when necessary, stop for refreshments and a chat. Everyone welcome - young or old.
We will probably go out twice a week for a couple of hours. It will all depend on what YOU want to do, so please join in when you can.
There is a Gentle Cycling Ride each Saturday starting at 10am from Rowheath Pavilion, B30 1HH, and finishing about 12:30. We explore local quiet roads and parks at a leisurely pace usually with a coffee stop.
More details on the Bournville Gentle Cycling blog
Any queries? Ring John on 0121 459 9319 or email him
Download the leaflet here
Supported by Bournville Village Trust
Making Pinch Points safe for cyclists
PushBikes' next campaign?
We have all been there: cycling towards a central refuge with a vehicle rapidly approaching from behind.
- Will they wait or will they try to get past?
- Is there room?
- How should I react?
It can be very frightening.
On several occasions I've seen the driver divert round the opposite side of the refuge, and on one occasion go straight over the refuge shattering his engine sump!
The government has been criticised for a lack of leadership after the first increase in road deaths for nearly a decade.
The report by the Transport Select Committee also highlights the fact that road accidents are the main killer among 16-to-24-year-olds.
Launching the report, the committee's chairman Louise Ellman MP said: "It is shocking that road accidents are the main cause of death among young adults aged 16-24 and that so many cyclists continue to be killed or injured."
Our correspondent says the coalition ditched national targets when it came to power and instead told councils to take more responsibility for road safety, but the MPs found councils have a patchy record because of budget cuts and the loss of skilled staff.
The last paragraph says it all: cut public funding & and shift the blame to councils = more deaths, but only walkers & cyclists.
Sentences for dangerous, drunk, and careless driving getting lighter
Research by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) found that the average penalty for death by dangerous driving is currently four years in prison. This is 62 per cent shorter than being convicted for manslaughter.
Since 2001, the average charge for drink driving is down by 12.3 per cent in real terms to £240. The average fine for careless driving - £138 - is 27 per cent less in real terms than it was in 2001. By contrast, the average fine for dangerous driving is currently £518, a 30 per cent increase in real terms since 2001.
The IAM has also noted that the number of prosecutions for motoring offences have fallen! Doesn't sound like the much publicised "war on the motorist"?
The CTC, London Cycling Campaign, Sustrans and British Cycling have called on the Government to conduct an urgent review of sentencing in cases where drivers kill or injure cyclists.
The Cycling Lawyer blog has lots of interesting material about cycling safety & the law.
Helping PushBikes Campaign in 2014
The evidence on the ground provided by the Selly Oak bypass, Longbridge juction & Lordwood Rd/Hagley road junctions shows that the highwaymen put a low value the safety & convenience of cyclists & pedestrains suggests we'll need all our members help to promote people friendly travel in Birmingham 2012.
But it's not all bad, as detailed below we've had some recent sucesses.