We had a STACC committee meeting on Zoom on Monday evening. Later that night.... three huge announcements from the government.
PM kickstarts £2bn cycling and walking revolution - hmm, yes, using money previously announced, and that is not ambitious enough. Still the creation of Active Travel England could be a very good thing, the loss of Cycling England in the 'bonfire of the quangos' in 2012 was a setback to active travel. Details in the Gear Change plan. The first release of the £50 vouchers to get old bikes back on the road was heavily over subscribed.
Hot on the heels of that announcment was the release of the long, long, l-o-o-o-ong awaited deisign guide for cycling infrastructure, It is called LTN 1/20 Cycle Infrastructure Design Guide.
And then we have the proposed changes to the Highway Code to 'improve road safety of cyclists, pedestrians and horse-riders'. You can give your views, here is the link to the consultation. You have until 27 October to respond.
Here in Hertfordshire, please look at the County Council's Speed Management Strategy Proposals. The consultation is open until 16th September. The strategy is very resistant to widespread 20mph limit or providing the speed limits that residents want for their streets, it is based on existing speeds and (lack of) enforcement. So if traffic is currently going too fast on your street, the strategy would not allow for imposing a lower limit. This runs counter to Department of Transport advice on implementing 20mph zones. See item on 20mph below for some ideas on whe 20mph is a good idea.
We have been urging Herts Highways to come up with some good proposals for funding from the Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF). Their Tranche 1 proposals were not fully funded, as they were not making enough of a difference - see item below. Key requirements are re-allocating road space from motor traffic to active travel. The Department for Transport is encouraging councils to use Modal Filters to create Low Traffic Neighbourhoods - there were none of these in HCC's Tranche 1; we are pushing strongly to have some in Tranche 2. The High Street closure in St Albans is meant to be a modal filter but the barriers are not reflecting this. They extend all the way to the kerb, making it difficult for cyclists and mobility scooter users to use some of the access points. We have also made sure the highways engineers know about the suggestions made by members of the public using the Widen My Path website. Thanks to the Sustainable St Albans Schools group for their input.
As always, it really helps if you write to your County Councillor to express support for active travel and streets for people. We are getting some very encouraging signs of County Councillors being in favour of active travel, and it would good to applaud that commitment and encourage the waverers. We appreciate the modest monetary subscription that our member households give to the campaign - see below - but giving some time and energy to write to councillors is even more valuable. There is some vocal opposition to giving more roadspace to active travel, please be the voice of reason, especially if you are a voice with a vote! You can find your County Councillor contact information here
We are emphasisisng the County in this newsletter, since it is mostly Highways issues this time, but we are very aware of the contribution of District, Town and Parish Counciilors - thank you all.
County Councillor Annie Brewster, who represents Harpenden Rural and is a former mayor of St Albans, has launched a campaign for a segregated cycle lane along the A5183 Redbourn Road. This is very welcome, as even experienced cyclists can feel inimidated on this road, especially the section north of the Prae Hotel, which where the national speed limit applies - 60mph is the limit, but does every driver stick to that? You can read more about the campaign here in the Herts Advertiser of 25th June, which also contains two letters supporting better provision for cycling in Harpenden. You can assist the campaign by signing an online petition organised by Simon Barnes, owner of the bike shop & café in Redbourn. Note that the current signed cycle route from Redbourn to St Albans, which takes you along the Nickey Line to Harpenden, then along the cyclepath alongside the A1081, is 10.5 miles, whereas the direct route down the A5183 is 4.3 miles.
STACC has been asking for provision on the Redbourn Road for many years, as indeed have many people. It is wonderful to have whole-hearted support from the County Councillor and the public. Might cycle lanes and adequate footways happen soon with funding from the Department of Transport emergency fund?
Read on for more about the emergency funding and existing infrastructure news.
This is reaching you just as changes are made to the lockdown rules and guidance for England. For latest advice on individual and group cycling, check with Cycling UK and British Cycling.
Bike Week is coming up, all on line, from 6th to 14th June. Find out more.
The coronavirus lockdown has seen a huge increase in the number of cyclists on the roads, including many families. Levels of cycling in Scotland have doubled! The government has of course encouraged walking and cycling for personal health, with consequent public-health benefits of fitter people coping better with infection and reduced levels of air pollution. It is great to see so many people out cycling, on their own or with their families. It shows that people are willing to cycle if motor danger is removed. As cycle campaign supporters, let's encourage and support these new or returning cyclists! Let them know about STACC....
There has been a corresponding surge in bicycle sales this year, and local cycle shops are very busy. Some of the bikes seen on the roads look as though they have not seen daylight for decades and are being pedalled by inexperienced riders (tell-tale signs: saddles too low, tyres too soft, squeaking chains, pedalled in gears that are too high, etc). We hope the riders take advantage of the voucher scheme incuded in the package of measures announced on 9 May by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (MP for Welwyn Hatfield). Perhaps let the man in the attached Punch cartoon know about it!
Pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors will be created in England imminently, as part of a £250 million emergency active-travel fund. The cash is the first part of the £2 billion bundle – itself part of a wider £5bn announced back in February. Vouchers will be issued for cycle repairs, to encourage people to get their old bikes out, and plans are being developed for greater provision of bike-fixing facilities, so said the press statement. That move may well have been inspired by the government of France, which is offering €50 vouchers to its citizens to fix their bikes.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the path through Gorhambury has been closed. However, this should not be a problem to those cyclists on their daily-exercise rides as the A4147 Hemel Hempstead Road is very quiet.
Following advised restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak, meetings and events have been cancelled, however we do have several topics to report on.
Every member of STACC who has paid their subscription for 2020 should now have received their membership card, togther with a new edition of the St Albans City & District Cycling Map. If you have not, please let us know your current address in a reply to this e-mail.
We have been very busy trying to digest the South Central Herts Growth and Transport Plan. We are working with other cycling groups and individuals in the south central area to produce a thorough response. If you would like to give your own feedback to the County Council, click through to their Consultations page.
St Albans district falls into both the South Central and the South West areas for Growth and Transport Plans. The South West GTP was out for consultation in 2018 (we responded). Six Councils (Districts / Bororughs and County) in SW Hertfordshire are now working together on priorities for the future and to tackle challenges around transport, healthcare, schools, infrastructure and quality of life. They are seeking residents' views:
STACC is consulted by Hertfordshire County Council as a stakeholder group in Highways schemes, Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) and Greenspace Action Plans (GAPs). We have recently given feedback on proposals for the Buncefield Lane Quietway in Hemel Hempstead, roads around the new Katherine Warrington School in Batford, the Codicote Road roundabout in Wheathampstead, the Ayot Greenway GAP and the Jersey Lane GAP.
One area that we struggle to find enough time to deal with is reviewing Planning Applications and commenting on accessibility and parking / storage space for cycling. Could you help with this? Please get in touch or come to a committee meeting if you could contribute to the vital campaigning on this or any other concerns.
Our next committee meeting is on Monday 30th March at the Civic Centre.
STACC AGM - will be on the evening of Wednesday 3 June in St Albans. It is a registered SustFest event. SATCC will also have a stall at the SustFest Market Takeover on Sunday 24 May.
Our Punch cartoon this month illustrates one of the Community Safety Partnership priorities that we feel needs emphasis - see section below.
Your regular news bulletin will be out soon. But we are sending these two items out ahead for your immediate consideration and action.
1. Ladder Roads and beyond parking consultation - closes 28th February.
If you regularly use the Green Ring on-road section along Jennings Road and Woodstock Road you will have noticed the side effects of parking restrictions. Jennings Road was not too bad, then narrowed by wall to wall parking, then empty again when resident-only bays introduced. Woodstock Road has always been tricky but since commuter parkers have been displaced from Jennings Road it has become very difficult, only a narrow channel left between the parked cars combined with poor sightlines and no passing bays.
Please look at the proposals and give comments :
Scroll down to the Consultations bar and click on the yellow down arrow to find the documents. The Parking strategy is slanted towards residents, of course, it has to be. But it is not obvious that the needs of local people using the roads to walk and cycle have been considered.
The address to send comments to is firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Community Safety Partnership priorities consultation - closes 29th February
All the priorities are of themselves good for everyone in the community. But this is an opportunity to raise the profile of cycling aspects of the priorities - theft of cycles to be specifically mentioned in item 2 and close passes in item 3 for example. If you are subscribed to OWL neighbourhood watch emails you will already have read the following, which outlines the priorities and gives links to the strategy and to the survey.:
Each year the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) consults with the public and local groups on its plans to tackle crime and disorder across the District. The survey seeks residents' views on whether the Partnership's priorities are correct and how you think we should tackle these issues. This survey will support the development of action plans for the CSP in the coming year. It might be helpful to read the draft strategy before answering the questions in the survey.
Our mission statement this year is Working for a safer St Albans and our priorities are focussed on achieving this. The CSP has identified five main priorities for the year 2020-21.
1. To establish an effective response to violent crime including knife crime, gangs, drug dealing, robbery and criminal exploitation engaging with cross border partners.
2. To focus on crime that acquires possessions including burglary, motor vehicle crime, cyber crime, scams and rogue trading.
3. To assist landowners, businesses and the community by tackling rural and heritage crime such as flytipping, anti-social behaviour, road safety concerns and specific wildlife crime.
4. To support victims of domestic abuse, tackling repeat perpetrators, raising awareness and educating people around healthy relationships and personal safety.
5. To promote health a physical and mental well being for all by tackling hate crime, alcohol and drug misuse, homelessness, street drinking and by assisting vulnerable people both at home and in the community.
The survey can be accessed https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CSPstrategy2020 and will be open from 1st February 2020 until 29th February 2020.
We welcome your views on our plans for the coming year.
The draft strategy can be viewed at
Any questions please respond back to email@example.com
Calling STACC members!
Headway Hertfordshire are organising a Spinathon in St Albans to raise money to help people with brain injury and their carers, and they seek our support in helping them fill 112 one-hour cycling slots.
The event is run by Marian Ferguson, Headway Hertfordshire supporter and wife of James, a member of Verulam Cycling Club until he had a serious cycling accident in 2015. Both Marion and James are members of the St Albans Cycle Campaign.
The Spinathon is on Saturday 29th February 13:00 – 17:00,
at Everyone Active Westminster Lodge, St Albans, AL1 2DL.
The sign-up fee is £25 pp per one-hour slot and tickets can be booked via their Eventbright web page, details of which will be emailed to you once you have reserved your place by calling Marian on 07870 236 931.
The event is open to anyone over the age of 16 who can cycle for an hour.
A flyer is attached.
Headway Hertfordshire helps those who have suffered an acquired brain injury (ABI) through a trauma or a stroke, and their carers. Brain injuries happen suddenly and can have catastrophic effects on the patient, their partners and families. Headway Hertfordshire aims to improve health and wellbeing, reduce social isolation and give carers support and respite. Headway Hertfordshire is there to help them live their life the best they can. They work throughout Hertfordshire and ensure that every person they support gets the help that they need.
Headway Hertfordshire also asked us to send you information on the London Prudential Bike Ride 2020, for which Headway Hertfordshire has three places available - flyer attached.
Happy New Year! Some good news first - a new cycle route, see below.
We have two file attachments at the end of this e-mail - a Punch cartoon and the latest update regarding the redevelopment at St Albans City station. And there is quite a lot of news in the other sections.
Harper Lane, north of Radlett, is a section of road that few cyclists would wish to use due to the frequent passage of juggernauts, but an alternative route is the cycle path through the new housing development on the former Harperbury Hospital, which is now open. This makes a good traffic-free route from Salisbury Hall through Old Parkbury and on to Frogmore. However, beware of cars parked on the cycle path on the section alongside the B556, Harper Lane.
The following file is attached:
Harperbury hospital route.pdf (1.31Mb)
Seasons Greetings to all our members.
Please delete your previous email from us, it was not quite ready to go.
See you in 2020!
NEW!! STACC cycle rides - first one is on Sunday 8th December.
Graham Trent will be leading a joint ride with SPOKES (the Watford-based cycle campaign) from St Albans Abbey Station on Sunday 8th December 2019 starting @ 9:30. The ride will go through Gorhambury then quiet lanes to Flamstead to pick up NCN 6 to return via Harpenden. Total distance is about 24 Miles. The ride will be medium pace (9 to 11 mph) and is suitable for any bike. There are no planned café stops, however we could visit the Inn on the Park or Westminster Lodge café at the end of the ride.
If you would like to join the ride please email: firstname.lastname@example.org including a mobile number in case we need to contact you on the day.
Future rides will be posted in the Ride with STACC section of our website.
Over 80 people attended the STACC public meeting on the last day of September on creating a cycle network in St Albans & Harpenden in a presentation by Brian Deegan. You can see a brief summary of his talk and slides from the presentation here.
The meeting included a brief AGM - our Chair John Metcalf reported on another busy year of active campaigning (see below), the accounts were approved and the committee members were re-elected.
Your local Safer Neighbourhood team and officers from the Britsh Transport Police will be at St Albans City Railway Station between 5pm and 8pm on Thursday (24 October) offering crime prevention, advice and the opportunity to have your pedal cycle marked with a bike register security code.
We are looking forward to many of you coming to our public meeting incorporating our (very short) AGM. This is in Committee Room 2, St Albans City and District Council, Civic Centre, St Peters Street, St Albans AL1 3JE on Monday 30th September. Doors open at 7.00pm and the meeting starts at 7.30pm.
|The speaker will be Brian Deegan, who will discuss how to develop a collaborative and feasible network plan in St Albans and Harpenden, and design, deliver and monitor it to create a lasting cycling culture – and how to do it quickly.
Brian is one of the UK’s leading street-design engineers and an inspirational public speaker. He was co-author of the London Cycling Design Standards and is currently principal design engineer with Urban Movement, and cycling infrastructure lead for Greater Manchester Combined Authority. He has lived in Harpenden for 10 years, and knows the challenges and opportunities of creating a cycle network for the district.
Cycle networks, where people of all ages and abilities can cycle safely, are key to significantly increasing the numbers of people cycling, with benefits for all of improved air quality, reduced congestion and making our towns greener, healthier and more attractive places to live, work, play and do business.
Entry is free and all are welcome, but please register in advance on Eventbrite (https://stacc-agm.eventbrite.co.uk) so we have some idea of numbers.
A copy of the poster for the event is on our website.
STACC AGM - date and speaker now confirmed!
We are delighted that Brian Deegan will be our guest speaker. Brian is an internationally renowned expert on street design and helped to develop the Healthy Streets Checker when he worked for TfL - we heard about Healthy Streets from Caroline Russell during SustFest19. Brian is currently the Cycle Infrastructure Lead for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, where he is supporting Comissioner Chris Boardman and Mayor Andy Burnham to develop and create the Beelines, a network for cycling and walking.
Date is evening of Monday 30th September. Venue and precise timing to be finalised.
This email is being compiled during a heatwave, so our Punch cartoon is slightly out sync, before breakfast is currently the only comfortable hour for cycling. Having said that, cycling is the coolest option for getting about in hot weather with that self-generated wafting breeze. Sensible tips from us:
- Drink little and often
- Pick the shadiest possible route
The new edition of the St Albans District Cycle Map has just been published, council press release here.
At time of writing the council website has yet to be updated, but paper copies are known to be available at the Old Town Hall.
At the Council meeting on 10 July, there was unanimous vote to approve a proposal that the Council recognises that there is a Climate Emergency. Minutes are on the Council website.
This is one of the items in the proposal:
- how the Council's emerging Local Plan can be used to deliver net zero carbon outcomes, for example with Passivhaus homes, zero carbon homes, requirements for new homes to have electric car charging points and tree canopy targets;
Sadly, nothing about new homes to have cycle and pram spaces. STACC has submitted some proposals for active travel measures to Cllr Chris White - Environment Portfolio Holder and Cllr Simon Grover, chair of Environment Action Group.
Whilst electric cars are an improvement on diesel in terms of emissions, they are not a top priority. Enabling and encouraging active travel ie walking, cycling and public transport is a top priority for reducing pollution. STACC suggestions include 20mph, build-outs and other treatments to make it easier for people to cross the road; modal filters ie allow people walking and cycling to get through but stop rat-running by motor vehicles; 'school streets' ie temporary road closures around schools at start and end of school day; requiring new homes ot have secure cycle spaces and provision of on-street secure cycle parking for residents in the existing housing stock. All these measures are 'healthy streets' measures, as we heard from Caroline Russell at our spring meeting - report on our website. At our AGM we will hear from Brian Deegan about creating networks for cycling and walking.
MEMBER ACTION: do let your district and county councillors know that you support active travel and ask for walking and cycling to be prioritised, both in the budget and on the ground.
Wow! Caroline Russell delivered a superb talk on Healthy Streets on 29th May, and the report of the excellent #SustFest19 meeting is attached.
||Report on STACC meeting - Healthy street for healthy communities 29-5-19.pdf
478.19Kb View Download
Thanks to John, Graham, Steve, Peter and Nick for staffing the STACC Bike Week market stall on Saturday 8th June. We had a good position near Waddington Road and plenty of old spanners to ballast our maps in the gusty breeze.
SustFest continues, and (in our view!) the highlight of week three is on Wednesday 29th May - the STACC Healthy Streets meeting, with Caroline Russell. The venue is Marlborough Road Methodist Church St Albans AL1 3XG. Doors open 7.30pm, talk starts 8.00pm. You can hear STACC's Nick Clarke being interviewed about Healthy Streets on Radio Verulam's Environment Matters show via the podcast. Flier is attached.
We had a great day out at the Market Takeover, got lots of feedback and handed out so many maps we had to go and get some more. STACC's Rona Wightman was one of a number of people at the event who was interviewed by UK Health Radio's Mike Dilke, available to listen to from Tuesday.
Who needs a map if you have a long dress and nerve though - see Mr Punch cartoon attached!
Another reminder: #SustFest19 free event with Caroline Russell, on Healthy Streets. The meeting is on Wednesday 29th May, 7.30 for 8.00pm, at the Methodist Church, Marlborough Road, St Albans. We will have lots of flyers for the Healthy Streets talk at the Market Takeover in St Peters Street, St Albans on Sunday 19 May. Do come along and pick up some flyers. Listen out for an interview with STACC on Radio Verulam Environment Matters on Wednesday 22 May.
If you have time to help on the STACC stall, that would be great. It is fun and not too demanding. We are sharing a stall with the South Herts Cyclists - our combined stall will cover both sustainable transport and sustainable holidays, with advice on local routes and cycle touring. We will be featuring our proposals for improving the cycling network in St Albans, and will be seeking comments and suggestions
We also highlight the Harpenden Neighbourhood Plan Group #SustFest19 event in Harpenden on Tuesday 21st May, 7:30pm about the Neighbourhood Plan that was completed in February. The event is also free but does require booking at www.sf19nplan.eventbrite.com.
There are lots of events in #SustFest19 programme, covering a wide range of sustainability issues. There are walks, talks, cycle rides, visits, demonstrations and opportunities to get involved in all sorts of activities. More on the Sustainable St Albans website.