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.
- Resurfacing work on the Alban Way path has now been completed. There is now a path with a good riding surface from Cottonmill Lane to Station Road at Smallford, (apart from the stretch of path by the rear of Morrisons Supermarket where the mature oak tree restricts access). The official opening ceremony will be on Tuesday, 26th November. with participants from local schools, the local council and of course St Albans Cycling Campaign. Please attend this event if you can. Meet at 8:30 a.m.on the Alban Way at the rear of Morrison's Supermarket.
- The St Albans Green Ring is a 5.5-mile walking and cycling route around St Albans, touching Townsend in the north, Fleetville in the east, Sopwell in the south and Verulam Estate to the west. It's aimed at both leisure and everyday cycling and links green spaces, shops, schools, railway stations and some of the city's heritage sites. Most importantly it's a continuous route, the first we'll have. Initial design has been done by Sustrans, the project uses a £1.1 million grant from the Department of Transport's Local Sustainable Transport Fund and additional funding from St Albans District Council and Hertfordshire County Council. St Albans District Council is now running a consultation exercise - this gives us the opportunity to look in detail at the plans and suggest any changes. This is our chance to try and make sure the work is designed properly the first time. STACC will co-ordinate a response and you can also give your own personal response. The first phase of the consultation will cover a section near Morrison's, a section through Bernard's Heath, and a section linking Everlasting Lane to the City Hospital. Herts County Council will run consultations on highways aspects. Consultation documents are available on the district council's website. Residents and local businesses are invited to make comments until the closure of the consultation at 5pm on Thursday, December 12.
- St Albans M.P. Anne Main (pictured on the back of a tandem in the attached file) has written to Herts County Council, asking for more engagement with St Albans Cycle Campaign on major schemes, to help refine or improve plans to better suit cyclists and pedestrians. She said: "The group feels that the King Harry Lane housing development did not have a coherent approach on provisions for cyclists and pedestrians despite the site's aims to have low car usage."In this particular example the group highlights that a strong enough case was not made to the developer to use Section 106 monies to improve the situation for pedestrians and cyclists." Mrs Main said she had "huge sympathy" for the campaign group and hoped HCC and St Albans District Council sought STACC's views on such developments in future.
- There is a planning application to reinstate the sports pitches on Angerland Common, South Way, South Hatfield. This development would provide an opportunity to join NCN 12 with the little-used Dellsome Lane in Welham Green via the new sports park to Southway and along Roehyde Way to the University and Alban Way. The Welwyn Hatfield planning application is here - after view 'plans and docs' go to 'comment'. Welwyn Hatfield Cycling Forum has requested you object to the scheme and point out that a new cycle path would be a most excellent thing. The deadline has been extended to 13 November.
- Don't forget to check your lights before cycling now the clocks have gone back. The law says you must have at least a white front light and a red back light, both of which must be fixed to the bike. Flashing lights are now legal and can help you stand out from the traffic. Your bike lights need to be bright enough for you to be seen and for you to see if it's dark. Check your light batteries regularly and think about carrying a spare set of batteries.
STACC is delighted to be helping the Community Safety Partnerships team to distribute these hi-viz bag covers. Seen here on a pannier-bag, they can also be used on rucksacks. The text might not be legible in the attached picture - it says Working for a Safer St Albans : Please allow space when passing. You can pick one up by calling at the Bike Clinic at St Albans City Station, Monday and Wednesday, 0630h to mid-afternoon, (look for the Cycle Tech Herts van just past the 'drop-off' in front of the station entrance).
You are urged to give your views on proposals to change the speed of traffic, which could make it easier for 20mph zones to be created on local roads. Herts County Council has launched a public consultation on its proposed new speed-management strategy which, if approved, could also result in the introduction of a rural speed limit, most likely 40mph.
Three members of the STACC committee were able to have a brief meeting with St Albans MP Anne Main recently. She has expressed her support for our campaign aims and has already been of practical assistance in our efforts to get Ringway (the successor to Herts Highways) to consult local cyclists on highways proposals at an early stage. We were able to be of practical assistance to Mrs Main by demonstrating how enjoyable and efficient cycling is by her a lift to her next engagement – taking her across Verulamium Park by tandem.
The Alban Way resurfacing is in progress; the work is in five phases and the section of the route being worked on will be closed. The current status is:
- Phase One – Cottonmill Lane to London Road DONE
- Phase Two – London Road to Camp Road DONE
- Phase Three – Camp Road to Sutton Road . DONE (The section around the oak tree a the back of Morrisons has not been resurfaced - This is because St Albans District Council are preparing a design alternative for widening of the path in the vicinity of the tree that currently restricts access for cyclists and parents with young children. This will be proposed as an alternative to removing the tree in the consultation on individual elements of the route which is about to commence in the next couple of weeks)
- Phase Four – Sutton Road to Hill End Lane from Tuesday 1 October to Wednesday 9 October.
- Phase Five – Hill End Lane to rear of Alban Park from Thursday 10 October to Thursday 17 October.
While STACC supports the right of cyclists to use roads & cycle-paths, it appears some are just too enthusiastic. Police removed a cyclist riding on the hard shoulder of the M1 near Redbourn on Sunday after reports from motorway drivers.
Vandalism is a common problem in town centres, but a recent incident in Boston Lincolnshire, shows that it can have beneficial side-effects, especially for cyclists.
Next week is national Bike Week and several local cycle-related events have been organised; see the attached flyer for more information, and be sure to visit the STACC stall at the market on Saturday 15th June and provide assistance if you can.
According to St Albans District Council, the programme of work to resurface defective sections of the Alban Way has been delayed. They initially had two contractors appointed to carry out the works by April but both pulled out at the last minute due to concerns about the difficulties of working in such a restricted environment. They are now awaiting a price from another of their approved subcontractors to complete the work, taking into account any operational issues they can foresee such as restricted access, additional labour, material provision, etc.
STACC chairman John Metcalf, who also chairs CycleHerts, which is composed of several Hertfordshire cycling organisations, was runner-up CTC Campaigner of the Year 2012. Congratulations are due to John for his time-consuming work.
STACC member Rona Wightman is to be interviewed on BBC 3 Counties Radio at 7:05 p.m. on Friday 14th June. Rona has produced the attached guide for cyclists riding on paths also used by pedestrians.
New cycle racks are being installed at St Albans City station, which will soon boast more cycle-parking spaces than any other station in the country. Covered two-tier racks have been installed at the Ridgemont Road car-park, adding 176 spaces.
The spikes on the railings along the footpath leading to Verulamium Park from King Harry Lane have been removed after SADC recognised that these were a hazard to cyclists using the steep and narrow section.
While a new cycle-friendly route that runs from King Harry Lane to the Fighting Cocks pub opened in October, the council has confirmed this stretch of path is only intended for pedestrians.
A message from HM Government e-petitions to STACC says: The e-petition 'Promote cycling by implementing the recommendations in the 'Get Britain Cycling' report.' signed by you recently reached 57,759 signatures and a response has been made to it. As this e-petition has received more than 10,000 signatures, the relevant Government department have provided this response.
The Mayor of London's vision for cycling faces cuts. Plans for a cyclists’ segregated super highway running through central London and major upgrades to road junctions to improve safety could be drastically reduced.
Thames Water has fitted safety devices to its entire fleet of tankers to protect cyclists, amid growing concern at deaths & serious injuries suffered by London cyclists.
The attitude of some drivers to cyclists is unfortunately exemplified by this news item concerning the tweet: "Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier. I have right of way - he doesn't even pay road tax!"
- The STACC AGM is on 21st May at the St Albans Council offices & will be immediately followed by a public meeting with a presentation by AA President Edmund King on Two tribes ? Promoting harmony between drivers & cyclists, and another by Jack Pia on Cycling signs in California, France & Spain.
- Cyclists should benefit from safer roads thanks to a £40 million boost to improve dangerous routes and junctions, Transport Minister Norman Baker announced in April. Hertfordshire will see significant investment in Hemel Hempstead, Welwyn Garden City and St Albans. The local schemes are: improvements to St Peters Street Junction with Hatfield Road, St Albans, Trixi mirrors at traffic-signalled junctions in St Albans, and converting the existing footpath by A414/A405 North Orbital Road to a shared cycleway. STACC regards this as welcome news but nonetheless it is insufficient for what is required.
- Transport minister Norman Baker said he does not wear a helmet while cycling, saying he does not feel the need for one, as it was a "safe activity". He agreed with Olympic-cycling gold medallist Chris Boardman - who made a Daily Politics film promoting cycling without wearing one - who claimed cycling was safer than walking. They agreed that making helmets compulsory could mean fewer people took up cycling.
- To mark Global Women’s Cycling Day, LUSH (Unit 2, The Maltings) is hosting a celebration of Women and Cycling on Monday 13 May, 5.30pm – 7.00pm, with guest speaker, Rona Wightman of STACC.
- Cycling must be in the National Curriculum to boost road safety and fight obesity, say transport and health experts. In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, organisations including the AA, The Road Haulage Association, British Cycling and the UK Health Forum claim that that cycling should have the same status in the PE curriculum as swimming. They argue that pupils should get lessons in riding a bicycle and negotiating traffic from the age of five.
- The Get Britain Cycling report, has been published by the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group. You are urged, with the support of The Times, Sustrans, the AA, British Cycling, and CTC to sign up to a joint online-petition, calling for the Government to implement the recommendations. In particular, the report calls for £10 per person, per year, to support a radical transformation of streets and roads, as well as training, promotion and marketing to shift the culture on our roads. This would include extending 20mph zones in towns and considering 40mph limits on many rural lanes, creating cycle routes running alongside trunk road and motorway corridors and limiting the use of HGVs on busy urban streets at peak hours.
- Due to vandalism, there is no lighting in the Nickey Line tunnel at Redbourn, creating a hazard for users. The Highways Authority is trying to avoid responsibility for maintaining it, having said there is hardly need to do anything since there have been no complaints. Sustrans advise that complaints make waves and encourages anyone so concerned to send their objection to firstname.lastname@example.org to accumulate evidence. Please do so, even if you don't use the Nickey Line, as it could make a difference. You might also have a look at the updated Sustrans website and see the Alban Way plus other routes and local points of interest. Note that according to their classification, St Albans is in the East of England.
- The London Evening Standard has commented favourably on a new police initiative on checking defective lorries following the death of polar scientist Dr Katharine Giles in a collision with a lorry this month, and the London Cycling Campaign has published designs for a new Safer Urban Lorry and is calling on construction companies to adopt them. The lorry features a lower seating position and a larger window so that the driver can see the area both at the front and at the sides of the cab. Additionally, the Transport Road Laboratory on behalf of Transport for London is trialling Dutch-style roundabouts where cyclists are segregated.
- Two cyclists were seriously injured in a collision with a car in Redbourn on Wednesday evening; police have issued an appeal for witnesses.
- A letter in the Spectator magazine complains that the Verulamium Park cycleway has destroyed the Roman historical experience with "signs and urban paraphernalia".
- The pre-scrutiny meeting of Hertfordshire County Council's Overview & Scrutiny Committe has agreed - unanimously with cross-party support - to hold a two-day review on 20-mph limits & zones. Whilst STACC supports further coverage of the 20-mph speed limit in urban areas, a recent report shows that some councils may be over-zelous in their implementation. Lancashire County Council has been criticised for installing two 20-mph signs at the entrance to a short cul-de-sac.
- It is useful to know where the accident blackspots in St Albans are and this information is available. STACC has previously used official accident statistics to identify roads and junctions whch are particularly hazardous, and has produced maps to use to show Councils where the problem areas are. The Department of Transport has now improved its presentation of accident statistics to show them based on maps.
- The Government has now published its Door to Door Strategy,which encourages sustainable trips by public transport, walking and cycling. The document sets out a number of key objectives, including better information for travellers, smart technology, reliable connections between different types of transport, and safe, comfortable and easily accessible facilities.
- The lights now available to put on your bike are now brighter, lighter and cheaper than ever (see the gadget section in TKMaxx). But some of the more-expensive ones are now arguably too bright, leading to complaints of dazzling from cyclists travelling in the opposite direction.
- A new publicity campaign from Road Safety GB Mercia, based in the Midlands, is an attempt at educating drivers about cyclists' needs, concerns and safety. Despite its location, it clearly has relevance thoughout the country. You can download and print some posters from their website.
- The two ancient-woodland remnants that are part of Heartwood Forest are a pleasure to explore through the coming month, carpeted with bluebells. You are encouraged to enjoy enjoy a visit (and see the extent to which volunteers have planted new trees for our future pleasure) but requested not to cycle through those precious mature woods, adding to erosion; cycle routes are signed and there is provision to secure your bike, to enjoy a stroll amid the spectacular displays.
- Following on from the success last year of our Olympic Cycling team the popularity of cycling has never been higher so this year Grove House is introducing a new challenge which will enable local residents to take part in their own cycling event. The Herts Cycle Challenge will start and finish at the Old Albanian RFC in St Albans at Woollams Playing Fields, Harpenden Road. For inexperienced cyclists, families and children there is a 10-mile route while for the keen cyclist there is a more challenging 50-mile route.
- Prior to his uncomfortable interview with Eddie Mair, London Mayor Boris Johnson had published his Vision for Cycling in London. This contains ambitious plans which could provide some ideas for councils with somewhat smaller budgets.
“20mph – Making Streets Liveable!“
- One million people are being urged to back the introduction of a default 20mph (or 30kph) speed limit across all Europe’s residential and urban roads. A continent-wide coalition of safety campaigners, environmentalists and community organisations will spend the coming months calling for supporters in the European Union’s 27 member states to add their names to an online petition which could see the lower limit of 30kph become mandatory from next year. You can sign the initiative here. More information can be seen at the European Citizens' Initiative website.
- Despite a local Councillor describing the charging for car-parking at the new Westminster Lodge as a "fitness tax", bike racks are in place and as the spaces are free, provide a tax-avoidance scheme for those shunning the car. But even in the cold conditions they have been observed to be well used, so may not be sufficient when warmer weather returns. STACC have requested St Albans Council to place more bike racks here.
- The bike racks outside the town hall, which were under threat of removal due to the installation of a new information board for visitors to St Albans, are still there with the information board adjacent. They had been carrying notices that they would be removed on 20th February but which have now disappeared.
- The St Albans Rotary Charity Cycle ride is on Sunday, 19th May, fully marshalled and with distances to suit most tastes and fitness levels, starting & ending at from Oaklands College 8 a.m. onwards. For something more challenging, see the Start of SummerTime Specials on 7th April (which is NOT the start of summer time this year) starting from Stevenage.
- Rotheram Council has spent almost £20,000 moving a pedestrian-island crossing 3 feet, only 4 months after it was contructed. It had received complaints from road users that the crossing did not leave enough room for a car & a cyclist side-by-side. STACC is currently negotiating with the Council about a traffic island installed in Colney Heath Lane last year with a similar issue & hope the remedy will not be so expensive.
- The Mayor of London has outlined a £913m plan for a 15-mile cycle route from the western suburbs to Canary Wharf In Docklands and Barking in east London. The new route will include Dutch-style fully segregated cycle tracks along, among other places, the Victoria embankment and the Westway flyover.
- Boris Johnson is also planning to give London's Metropolitan Police £4000 electric mountain bikes that can climb stairs and help them catch criminals.
- If you have not received your membership cards for 2013, it is most likely that you have not paid your annual subscription to STACC. If so, please maintain your membership by sending a cheque for £5, payable to St Albans Cycle Campaign, to:
STACC Membership Secretary
5 The Limes
STACC has affiliated to the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group. Its first session of the into 'Get Britain Cycling' started on Wednesday 23 January, and runs each week (with one exception) for the next seven weeks. The first session of the inquiry, on strategy, explored the need for leadership on cycling and examined comparisons with other European countries.The third session turned its attention to planning and design for cycling. CTC's Roger Geffen urged that the quality of cycle facilities is all important and said: "What we don't want to see is cyclists excluded from the road and forced to share space with pedestrians. Dedicated space for cyclists - preferably segregated - must be made from reallocating road space."
The number of bike-parking places at Harpenden Station is to be doubled. First Capital Connect has announced 300 more spaces will be created in the station eastern car-park, which currently has a capacity of 304. The DoT will provide most of the £168,000 cost, with FCC & Herts County Council providing the rest.
Anyone intending to use the Leasey Bridge to Crabtree Lane section of the Lea Valley Path (parallel to the Lower Luton Road) should be aware that the surface is not tarmac like the rest of it. Although relatively well surfaced it has suffered over the winter and muddy in places, & so is probably not suitable for road bikes at this time of the year.
The debate about cycling on pavements in the correspondance column of the Herts Advertiser has been joined by STACC, with three members having their letters published. STACC chairman John Metcalf pointed out that "As well as being illegal, cycling on the pavement is in practice no safer for the cyclist than cycling on the road. Most injuries to cyclists happen at junctions and the pavement cyclist has to contend with more junctions than the cyclist on the road."
The Olympic Park will be the starting point for a two-day cycling festival, it has been announced. London Mayor Boris Johnson has called the event "a fantastic feast of velocipedes" and said it was part of the Olympic Games' legacy. More than 70,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities are expected to take part in four separate Ride London events on 3-4 August. Laura Trott, double Olympic gold medallist, said she hoped the event would encourage more people to start cycling.
Although the Gulf seems an unlikely setting for another British cycling triumph, Mark Cavandish has nonetheless won the Tour of Qatar.
A Dallas promotions company is suing Lance Armstrong to repay $12m in bonuses that it paid him for winning the Tour de France. He now admits that he used performance-enhancing drugs & has been stripped of his seven victories in the race.
If you have not paid your subscription to STACC for 2013, it is now due. Please send a cheque for £5, payable to St Albans Cycle Campaign, to:
STACC Membership Secretary
5 The Limes
- The East-West cycle route through Verulamium park is now open, although there is still an old No Cycling sign at the park entry from St Michaels. However, the work on the path has not yet been finished.
- The off-road route from Leasey Bridge Lane to Luton, also accessible from Harpenden and parallel to the busy Lower Luton Road, has been finished with a hard surface suitable for road bikes.
- The zig-zag ramp cycle path from the City station to the Alban Way has now been completed.
- Some cycle stands in St Peters Street near the Town Hall will be removed to make way for an information board for visitors to St Albans.
- The recent bad weather has excacerbated the problem of potholes in the town with a local resident claiming he will no longer cycle to work due to the road conditions.
- Bike Week 2013 is from 25th June to 23rd June; local events are currently being organised.
- British Cycling has organised an e-petition calling for cycle-awareness to be included as part of the driving test with emphasis on how much space to give cyclists and how to safely overtake cyclists. You can sign the petition here.
- Sunday Telegraph columnist, Andrew Gilligan, famous for his report about the dodgy dossier on Iraq, has been appointed as London's first Cycling Commissioner by Mayor Boris Johnson and has promised to push the mayor to introduce “radically pro-bike measures”. He is quoted as saying “I’ve never driven a car in my life and nearly all my travel in London is by bike. I cycle about 100 miles a week in the capital, and have cycled in every borough. I understand cycling provision from a cyclist’s point of view."
- Lance Armstrong has ended years of denials by admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs during all 7 of his Tour-de-France wins. The disgraced cyclist said it would not have been possible without cheating.
- The Tour de France of 2014 will have its first three stages in England, including one from Cambridge to London.
If you don't pay your subscription to STACC by standing order, your membership has lapsed at the end of 2012, unless you have already paid. You can maintain your membership by sending £5, (cheque payable to St Albans Cycling Campaign), or preferably a standing-order mandate, completing the attached membership form, to:
STACC Membership Secretary
5 The Limes
If you missed the STACC public meeting on 3rd December, you can see see what was said here.
This includes a summary of the current situation regarding Verulamium Park, the Alban Way & the Green Ring supplied by the local council & the points made by Jim Chisholm of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign. One of these was that references to cyclists & motorists should be avoided in campaigning, as it creates divisions; there are people on bikes & people in cars, and many people are both at different times.
Hertfordshire County Council is asking residents to give their views on the county council’s priorities for the years ahead.
Leader of the Council, Robert Gordon, said: “So we want residents to tell us what is important to them by responding to our questionnaire. This online poll will only take a few minutes to complete – and the information we gather will help us plan services for the years ahead.”
The deadline for responding to the questionnaire is Friday 21 December.
You can find the link to the online questionnaire at www.hertsdirect.org/yourpriorities;
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), has published guidelines designed to encourage more people to walk and cycle for the benefit of their health. Commuters urged to get on their bikes.
The Sky Ride Local programme will be returning to Herts next year and as part of that they will be looking to train an additional 20 Ride Leaders. The training is due to take place on Saturday 16th February and so they are currently looking for anyone that is interested in attending the course. The information that they require, to be sent to Paul Blythin, Route & Ride Officer, British Cycling, mailto:email@example.com, is below.
Do you have a First Aid qualification?
One paragraph that describes your cycling experience and why you feel you would make a great Sky Ride Local Leader:
For anyone that would like any further information regarding the role of a Ride Leader then please follow this link: http://www.goskyride.com/News/ShowArticle/Fancy-training-to-be-a-British-Cycling-Ride-Leader?retURL=/News
The attachment shows the double-decker bike racks at St Albans City station on a weekday morning. Are they too complicated to use ?
It's a long time till the clocks go forward and you need to have lights on your bike even if you don't intend to cycle in the dark. Here is some information about lights on bikes.
If you don't pay your subscription to STACC by standing order, your membership will lapse at the end of the year. You can maintain your membership completing the attached membership form & sending it with £5 (or preferably a standing-order mandate) to:
5 The Limes
- The first phase of the Verulamium Park Cycle Path was successfully opened by the Mayor, Councillor Eileen Harris, on the last day of October in a ceremony well supported by STACC members, which included a symbolic ride from King Harry Lane to the Old Fighting Cocks for refreshments. The resurfacing of the second section of the cycle path, between Westminster Lodge and St Michaels, is currently being tendered for, but it is not expected to require the same degree of engineering as the first section. The opening of the cycle path follows pressure from STACC, which submitted a 1,000-strong petition to the council to improve facilities and safety for cyclists, and is funded by contributions from the developers of King Harry Park.
- A St Albans-based company, Cycle Tech UK, is providing bike clinics at St Albans City station. Their mobile workshop is located in the main station forecourt, between the station building and the multi-storey car park, every Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They specialise in repairs, punctures, servicing, maintenance and wheel building and will do these tasks while their customers are at work. There is a promotional event at the station on Tuesday evening, 13th November, to show what Cycle Tech Herts can offer. Larry Heyman, FCC Integration and Partnership Manager will also be there with his colleague Tony Holland, FCC Crime-Prevention Manager. Tony, together with British Transport Police officers, will be giving advice on cycle security. A copy of the flyer promoting Tuesday evening's event is attached.
- All trees in Heartwood Forest are to be to be planted by volunteers; the planting dates this winter, are the Sundays November 18th, December 16th and March 16th, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Spades are provided and hot drinks & snacks are available. Meet at their car park off the Wheathampstead Road beyond Sandridge; it is preferred that participants arrive by cycle (or foot). The planting location is 10 minutes walk from car park, and expect muddy conditions, so please wear boots.
- A cross-party parliamentary inquiry has begun to investigate ways of encouraging more people to cycle. The panel of ten MPs has agreed to incorporate views obtained from a short questionnaire organised by The Times as part of its Cities fit for Cycling campaign.
- A crackdown by the Transport for London specialist police units has seen 70 bike thieves caught in a week and bikes returned to their owners.
- Winter is always a good time to plan next year's rides. Friends of The Earth are again organising the Big Green Bike Ride, a fully supported ride from London to the New Forest in April.
- It is now possible to use the cycle route through Veulamium Park from King Harry Lane to The Fighting Cocks, although the work has not yet been completed.
- On 17th October MPs will debate how victims are treated by the criminal justice system, in particular when people are hurt on the roads.
- A bridge over Fairlands Way, Stevenage, was resurfaced by the county council's highways unit last month & a new cycle lane on it is causing confusion for pedestrians.
- A Crown Court Judge has written a letter to the Times to say that cyclists should be be banned from dual-carriageway roads.
- Some tips on how to secure your bike appear to be necessary, especially to commuters using the train station. The attachment shows an example where it's vulnerable to cutting with trivial tools and that flimsy lock is hanging just next to the bike rack upright, ready for a few big whacks with a hammer.
With the success of British riders in the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, & the Tour of Britain the public awareness of cycling has reached a new level.
STACC feels that this wonderful summer of cycling should not just fade into memory, but provide a beneficial and on-going legacy. So, we are pulling together elements of our campaigning activity to build on the awareness of cycling generated this summer. The campaign slogan is Better Cycling For All.
With a nod to the five Olympic rings (no longer under copyright), we are starting with five areas for campaign and action. As the legacy of the Olympic is about continuing to use facilities developed for them and maintaining the enthusiasm generated by them, we are looking at how existing infrastructure can be used and new appreciation of physical effort sustained. With the common theme of Better Space for Cycling, these are:
Overtaking: campaign on leaving cyclists space of at least one metre to their right, and no overtaking on approach to junctions, traffic lights or traffic islands.
Junctions: campaign on advanced stop lines, leaving them clear and looking out for cyclists approaching.
Cycle parking at home and away: campaign for all planning applications to include specific cycle parking for users and residents.
Considerate cycling: especially on paths shared with pedestrians, passing them wide and slow.
Maintain what we already have: campaign for proper maintenance of cycle routes, for example trimming of vegetation & advanced stop lines to be repainted before they are worn completely away.
The campaign aims to ‘inspire a generation’: inspiring our members to be involved in campaigning, inspiring the general public to view cycling positively, and inspiring local government to expect and provide good conditions for cycling.
Success will be Better Cycling for All – better cycling for pedestrians, better cycling for cyclists and better cycling for drivers.
- Drivers and cyclists must treat each other with mutual respect to help to reverse a rise in casualties, the first DoT campaign encompassing both bicycles and cars has urged. The Think Cyclist advertisements will try to break the tribal hostility between road users by highlighting the fact that 80%of cyclists hold a driving licence and 20% of drivers cycle at least once a month.
- Progess is being made on the zig-zag ramp from Albans Way to the St Albans City Station. The ramp was due to open before the end of August, but this clearly has not been achieved. The traffic surface has a generous width & an easy gradient - suitable for electric mobility scooters as well as cyclists and pedestrians. It takes, in effect, three hairpin bends to traverse the slope.
- Resurfacing work is continuing along the Alban Way. We have been told that approximately 300m were resurfaced in June 2012 and approximately 1000m is to be resurfaced by end March 2013, with funding split evenly between St Albans District Council and Herts County Council.
- The construction of the cycle route through Verulamium Park has been delayed by problems caused by rabbit-holes and sand-bags.
- It has been noticed that on Wilkins Green Lane, which is a quiet route from Smallford to Hatfield, & which was in danger of becoming impassible, vegetation was at last being cut back.
- The Sky Ride Local programme continues until the end of October and offers small-group led rides every Sunday in St Albans. Rides are provided at four levels and cater for families looking to get out on the bike, through to cyclists looking to ride a bit further or have more fun. All rides are free & full details and registration for Sky Ride and Sky Ride Local can be found at www.goskyride.com.
20 mph zones: are they safer ?
Misleading articles in several national newspapers, notably The Sun implied that 20-mph zones were more dangerous than what they were before this speed limit was imposed. However, this was deduced by the misuse of statistics and failed to take into account that the increased number of accidents in 20-mph zones was due to there being more such zones in existence. Subsequently, several refutations have been made in various publications & More or Less, BBC Radio 4, 17th August.
Cycling in Verulamium park
Work is proceeding on the North-South route (The Fighting Cocks to King Harry Lane) with some parts of the path now currently inaccessible. Concerns have been raised by some wheelchair users about the height of rumble strips inserted to restrict cyclists' speed. The expected completion date for this section is in mid-September.
Cycling Hazard in Colney Heath
STACC has made represntation to Herts County Council, which is currently installing a pinch point in Colney Heath (see file attachment) near Nicholas Breakspeare School, which reduces the widths of the traffic lanes to 3.1 metres, contrary to its own guidlines which state that they should not be between 3m and 4m in order that the lane is wide enough to allow vehicles to safely overtake cyclists or narrow enough to discourage overtaking.
With the summer solstice approaching the light evenings will soon be getting shorter, but not before Bike Week (16th - 24th June), for which we have organised a programme of escorted rides.
There is also a Skyride training course for female ride leaders on Saturday 23rd June in Watford.
If you’re interested in becoming a Breeze champion, you can take part in a fun one-day British Cycling Ride-Leader course. This course will include information on the Breeze network, how to lead group bike rides safely and the opportunity to meet other new Breeze champions.
Some resurfacing of the Albans Way has been done at the Cottonmill end and at Smallford.
FCC have introduced new signage at the station referring to how to properly secure your bike to reduce the risk of theft. More of this signage will be introduced over time, taking into account suggestions from STACC. There are also plans to improve the lighting and increase the CCTV coverage (in accordance with police recommendations) of the bike areas at St Albans station this year.
Some ideas from across the Atlantic: in California, signs are put up where the roads are obviously too narrow for two-way traffic and cycle lanes. Where there is room, as on this main road into Santa Rosa, you can see signs on the cycle lanes to prevent cars or trucks stopping, representing a policy which is robustly enforced.
Just a quick reminder...
Our public meeting & AGM is tomorrow:
Wednesday 30th May 2012 @ 7.30pm
so we look forward to seeing you there.
We will also give a round-up of the latest news,
and details of the many local cycle rides and events planned throughout the summer -
it's not just Bike Week this year!
Our speaker, recently back from Nepal,
is local cyclist Nick Siddall who will present:
The highs and lows of cycling in the Himalayas
As usual it's at:
St Albans District Council Offices
Civic Centre, St Peters Street
St Albans AL1 3JE
St Albans Cycle Campaign