- 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
Dear STACC member,
We are only into February & already we have the good news that something for which we have campaigned has met with success: roads in the St Albans city-centre conservation area are to have a new lower 20-mph speed limit.
British Cycling SkyRide Local courses Sat 18 Feb, 8.45am -17.30pm,
If you’d like to help others have fun on two wheels, and to include riding within their life - British Cycling & Hertfordshire County Council needs enthusiastic people to take one-day training courses to become Sky Ride Local Ride Leaders & Sky Ride Local Route Planners
Get British Cycling recognised qualifications free of charge - you just need is to be confident on your bike, keen to help others, have a bike & helmet and commit to supporting this summer’s Dacorum, Watford and St Albans SkyRide Local Programme
Check out http://www.goskyride.com/News/ShowArticle/Train-to-be-a-Sky-Ride-Leader for more details & course application form.
There have been more developments on support for Cassie's Law with The Herts Advertiser reporting that 18000 people have signed a petition http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/21244 to give police powers to suspend licences of unfit drivers following the death of a former Sandringham School pupil.
On a national level, The Times is running a cycle-safety campaign in which you might wish to participate:
Down in the West Country an alarming case of anti-cyclist aggressive driving has resulted in a jail term
If you have already paid your annual subscription of £5, thank you, but if you have not done so yet, I hope you will continue your membership of STACC which helps us influence the local authority to consider matters from local cyclists' point of view.
The ways to pay are:
· Standing Order - just use the form enclosed & follow the instructions on it.
(over 50% of payments so far this year were by SO, which saves us a lot of work).
· Direct Transfer - for which you need STACC's bank details on the SO form
If you pay this way please advise me that you have done so.
· Cheque - for £5 (per household per year) payable to
'St Albans Cycle Campaign', please send to me at the address below. Steve Brazier
STACC Membership Secretary
5 The Limes