Rights of Way - very important! STACC members are invited to a FREE seminar on mapping rights of way - see item in this newsletter for more detail.
The SPACE FOR CYCLING campaign is stepping up again. This is especially the case in London, with local and mayoral elections coming up.
Here in Hertfordshire, STACC is working on an update of our Space for Cycling briefing document, now with a cycle schemes appendix. We are maintaining a working-version long list of cycling schemes, but our top schemes are now in the briefing document.
MEMBER ACTION: You can check via the Cycling UK Space for Cycling webpage to find out if your County Councillor has already signed in support of Space for Cycling, and then either thank them or ask them to sign. They will be receiving STACC's briefing soon.
February has been as it often is, a short month with horrible weather. Not a lot of STACC news in this short month, and elections and the referendum will shortly be disrupting much of everyday life. Our next Committee meeting is on Monday 29th February, 7.30pm in Committee Room 2 at the Council Offices, just off St Peters Street. Your committee does a lot, but more help is needed if we are to achieve more for cycling. If committees really are not your thing (even a committee as informal and focussed as the STACC one) then do please help out by writing letters to local newspapers and responding to consultations.
It has been great to have some additional support for the committee recently, do come long to a committee meeting if you are interested in finding out what goes on. We have just had our last meeting of 2015; we take a break in December and resume on Monday 25 January, 7:30 pm at the Council Offices, St Peters Street.
There are a few Member Actions you can take over the next few weeks, see the items following.
Our AGM was attended by sixteen people, formal business was quickly concluded. Relatively quickly that is, the chair had a lot to report, it has been a busy year.
The meeting continued with a presentation on the St Albans Cycle Study (SACS) and the Space for Cycling campaign. SACS was commissioned by Herts County Council in 2011, STACC was consulted, but it was never published. STACC committee has however recently been issued with a draft, which we were able to discuss with HCC's Cycling Strategy and Programmes manager, which has been helpful to all concerned.
STACC has compiled a Briefing Document on Space for Cycling, which relates the national campaign themes to our local conditions. We are finalising it and it should be formally issued soon.
After the presentation and discussion, and an update from Cllr Sandy Walkington on the Cottonmill Level Crossing, those present able to peruse the latest STACC Suggested Cycle Schemes list. The list has been updated with progress since 2011, and expanded to include the St Albans Cycle Study and Space for Cycling considerations.
MEMBER ACTION A copy of the schemes list is attached please review and let us have any feedback.
AGM report: formal business was swiftly concluded, although it did take some time for the chair to report on STACC's activity and achievements; we have had another busy and productive year. Our thanks to the committee for their hard work, and also to the members who are active in supporting the committee's efforts. The committee is not very formal, meetings are open, so even if you can't make them regularly, if you can drop in you are most welcome. We also hope that members will continue to respond to requests for member action, see below.
Our speaker was Rona Wightman, who gave an illustrated talk on Space for Cycling issues in St Albans district.
1. With this email you will receive the current 'suggested cycle-schemes listing'. This has been formulated to reflect the Space for Cycling themes and also to incorporate the St Albans Cycle Study report, which STACC were invited to review with Hertfordshire County Council's cycle-schemes engineer. Please look at the list and let us know of any additions, and also any feedback on the schemes already listed.
2. Visit the Space for Cycling website and invite your county councillor to show their support. If you are represented by one for the four St Albans councillors who have already signed up - Chris White, Sandy Walkington, Aisleen Lee and Dreda Gordon - you can thank them for their support.
Save the date - the STACC AGM is Thursday 1 October, 7.30pm in Committee Room 1 at the Council Offices, just off St Peter's Street in St Albans.
We will be presenting the St Albans Cycle Study and launching the STACC Space for Cycling campaign.
This email is to promote Cycle to Work Day on 3rd September and also to alert you to the level crossing closure where the Green Ring crosses the Abbey Line.
We hope you are all having an enjoyable Summer of Cycling, even if the weather is rather British! The rain held off just about on Sunday 5 July for the Fête du Vèlo in Redbourn. STACC had a great time on our promotional stall, which was shared with South Herts CTC. It was good to work together promoting cycling, and the maps were very popular with Fête-goers. Staffing a stall for an hour or so is a fun way to contribute to cycle campaigning, so look out for future opportunities to help!
Going out on organised cycle rides such as CTC rides or SkyRides is a good way to discover new routes around the area. Links to rides and to other groups and clubs are listed on the rides page and the information page of the STACC website
Summer of cycling - as well as enjoying your day-to-day cycling, there are lots of organised events in the coming months, and we highlight some of them in this email. There are also some campaign actions for you to take.
Hertfordshire Year of Cycling summer cycling festivals dates and venues now confirmed, see file attached to this email. Lots of news this month, read on.
A week to go, and you can raise cycling issues with parliamentary candidates using the CTC's campaigning Vote Bike website, which aims to identify cycle allies in the new Parliament after 07 May. It enables constituents (us!) to seek their candidates’ support for five campaigning topics relating to: ambition for growth, funding, design standards, safety and positive promotion.
At time of writing, five of then ten candidates from the larger parties in St Albans and Harpenden have responded positively.
The five questions for candidates are :
Ambition. Will you support measures to increase levels of cycling to 10% of trips by 2025 and 25% by 2050?
Funding. Will you support an average government spend of at least £10 per person per year on cycling?
Design standards. Will you support action to create consistently high design standards for cycling in all highway and traffic schemes, new developments and planned road maintenance work?
Safety. Will you support measures to improve cycle safety by strengthening road traffic law and its enforcement and revising the Highway Code?
Positive promotion. Will you support the positive promotion of cycling, including cycle skills training, for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities?
For further information on Vote Bike, visit the website www.ctc.org.uk/votebike.
To send a message or to see candidates' responses use the online action at www.votebike.org.uk
Herts County Council has opened a consultation period (until 21st July) to invite comments on the engineering solutions it has proposed for implementing the construction of 5 sections of the St Albans Green Ring. These are:
- Ladies Grove, Waverley Place and Everlasting Lane
- Batchwood Drive and Harpenden Road
Boundary Road and Harpenden Road
- Lemsford Road
- Jennings Road, Woodstock Road North and South
More information is contained in the attachments to this e-mail, or alternatively can be seen on the relevant Herts County Council website.
You can assist STACC by making comments either to our chairman John Metcalf (email@example.com) by 8th July or via the above website, or both.
* Work on converting the footpath between Sandridge Road and Bernards Heath to be part of the Green Ring is already underway. This is being done also as part of the Maple Safe Routes to School scheme.
* The section of Three Cherry Trees Lane between Hogg End Lane & Cherry Tree Lane in Hemel Hempstead, which had been closed since the Buncefield fire of December 2005 has now at last re-opened. Most of it also appears to have been resurfaced
* National Bike Week is 14th - 22nd June and South Herts CTC (Cyclists' Touring Club) has organised short rides on both Saturday mornings including one specifically for women: 5 miles to Fabulous, longer all-day rides on both Sundays and a 15-mile Wednesday evening ride , to which non-members are invited. All these rides start in St Albans.
* Sky Rides,
the free cycle rides, which are guided by trained British Cycling leaders and range from easy-going spins to challenging rides, have begun for 2014. The local programme is organised by Sky & British Cycling in partnership with St Albans District Council & Herts County Council. Peter Cox, British Cycling's recreation manager said "Cycling has never been so popular, and it's easy to get involved whatever your age & fitness level".
* A new bike shop, BC Cycles, has opened at 196 Hatfield Road in Fleetville, formerly the tennis shop PWP Sports. Joint owners Clive Barnard and Mike Campbell are both keen cyclists who live nearby; they have a declared aim of supporting cycling in the community. Mike has had a career in the retail sector, and Clive has been a solicitor in the City for most of his working life. They are embarking on this new venture after much planning and discussion together while pedalling around Hertfordshire lanes and bridleways over the last few years.
* A survey of 2000 professionals by the British Heart Foundation
claims that those of us who cycle to work save an average of £47.46 per week on fuel (really ?), but that one in three of us think that Lycra should never be worn by those past the age of 40. Martin Mears, the events manager said "We want to get the nation cycling. Cycling is a fantastic way to improve your heart health and can be done in the evenings and at the weekends. We organise around 25 rides throughout the UK which are open to a variety of abilities and offer participants a great way to improve their own heart health."
St Albans District Council has sent STACC its draft action plan for cycle strategy in St Albans for review. The document is attached. If you have any comments on this, please include them in a reply to this e-mail.
Herts County Council has been forced to pay nearly £70,000 in compensation to a cyclist who was catastrophically injured after swerving to avoid a pothole. He sustained skull fractures and a broken arm after hurtling over the handlebars of his bike in Rickmansworth, in 2009.
Herts County Council will be launching a Year of Cycling with the aim of getting more people to cycle for commuting and other utility journeys. The programme will be launched in May and will run to May 2015.
An ambulance delay left a woman lying on the roadside for one and a half hours after suffering a head injury in a road-traffic accident. She was on a tandem with her partner, when they were in collision with a car on Sunday on Redbourn Road, St Albans. She sustained bruising as well as a swelling on her head, leaving her unable to get up from the side of the road until the ambulance got there.
The number of people cycling to work
has gone up in England and Wales by 17% from 2001 to 2011. In some areas, cycling is booming, in particular in St Albans where it has increased by over 26% , but in others, such as Hull, it is declining. Changes in the number of people cycling is another way of looking at the Census data. Since 2001 there have been huge increases in the number of people who cycle in urban areas, especially London, Brighton, Manchester and Newcastle, but In many rural areas and small towns (especially in the east) there is still a culture of cycling, but even here, there is a rapid decline in the number of people cycling.
Remember that the St Albans Charity Cycle Ride is on Sunday 18th May.
All membership cards have now been issued, so if you haven't received one, we have not received your subscription for 2014. Your membership is important to us, so in this case, please rejoin, by sending £5 (cheques payable to St Albans Cycle Campaign) to:
STACC Membership Secretary
5 The Limes
STACC open meeting - Thursday 12 December St Albans Civic Centre 7:30pm
- As mentioned in the November newletter, the proposed St Albans Green Ring is a five-and-a-half mile walking and cycling route around St Albans. We need your views on some of the details of the Green Ring, so come along to the STACC open meeting to find out more about it and bring your friends and family to enjoy some mulled wine and mince pies. St Albans District Council is running a consultation exercise, of which the first phase will cover a section near Morrison's, a section through Bernards Heath, linking Boundary Road to Harpenden Road, and a section linking Everlasting Lane to the City Hospital.
- The new Nickey Line tunnel lights are now functioning; reputedly timed for daylight hours, on the basis of night users having lights.
- The ramp-structure work at Ambrose Lane, Harpenden, is scheduled to start at the beginning of December and that end of the Nickey Line will be closed for much of the month. Sympathetic surfacing is to be laid as far as Roundwood School.
- Sustrans Route 6 is now signed through Harpenden Town, linking Harpenden Common to the Lea Valley Path and on to Luton.
- The multi-purpose (dual surface) path alongside Heartwood Forest beside the B561 Sandridge/Wheathampstead Road is now signed off, to be installed within the financial year. However, it will extend only to Nomansland, but nonetheless is useful for a circuit of the forest.