STACC is campaigning for cyclists in the St Albans area
The STACC Winter Public Meeting on Wednesday 22 November was a sociable and informative evening.
We began with an update on STACC's busy year. Our biggest effort in 2017 was helping the St Albans District Councillors' Cycling Task and Finish group review and update the district cycling strategy. We had an active spring: campaigning for Space for Cycling in the County Council elections, writing to candidates and leading a ride around the Green Ring. We continue to meet with HCC and SADC engineers to discuss schemes and priorities. The campaign field we would most like to develop is commenting at an early stage on planning applications, with regards to provision of cycle routes and storage for cycles on the premises.
Consultation on the HCC Draft Local Transport Plan, LTP4 has now closed. All documentation is still on the HCC website. and is well worth a look. It supports pretty well everything we as a cycle campaign would like to see happen - reduced car dependency, more active travel, more public transport. A key feature is the need for County and District / Borough Councils to work together to co-ordinate inter-acting strategies.
The evening continued with advice on winter cycling. In a nutshell:
Keep your bike as clean as possible; check it and look after it - we have many cycle repairers locally who can help you if you are not an enthusiastic home mechanic. In harsh weather and darkness you want a reliable machine. And good lights and reflectors.
Wrap up warm, but not too warm, you warm up on the bike. But can get very cold on the downhills!
Lastly, tips on roadcraft - the things to be aware of and watch out for such as low winter sun, likelihood of ice, the dangers of wind.
We are grateful to Neil of Addiktion Cycles for his support of the event and assistance with preparing the presentation.
Here are the 'tube maps' that we showed at the meeting, proper name Cycling Network Quality Maps. They are diagrammatic picture of conditions for cycling, not a route-finding map. They are a work in progress, both in terms of assessing the network and - we hope and campaign for - needing to be updated as conditions are improved. They are based on the CycleBath format, and the idea is to 'turn the map blue'. Or green if looking at the St Albans city map. Three different map-makers, so three different styles. Feedback and comments very welcome.
Following several delays, work to extend the 20-mph speed limit to the side roads east of Holywell Hill, should be soon underway. Herts County Council say "Although it was planned for the works to be completed at the beginning of this month, there were a number of issues on site in regards to access and existing underground services which delayed the project from being completed by our highway maintenance contractor, Ringway."
This announcement coincides with the publication of a study that calculated that the implementation of a 20-mph zone in Bristol has saved 4 lives per year.