Transport Planners please watch this

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this short video absolutely shows why we need better cycling provision. I really hope the transport planners do indeed watch this. If the Government and our local councils are really interested in getting more people cycling (and the levels of obesity and poor general public health, costs of fuel and polution, levels of traffic gridlock etc etc, clearly demonstrate we certainly need more people cycling), then we quite clearly won’t achieve this with roads that are unsafe for cyclists. And most roads in NE Lincs are unsafe for cyclists!

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Borgen Bike Culture

I admit I’m a fan of Nordic Noire dramas. At the moment the third series of Borgen is showing on BBC4 in the UK, and I love how bike culture is effortlessly incorporated into the programme.

Perhaps it’s not surprising – it is set in Copenhagen, after all! In this picture the ex-Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg (played by Sidse Babett Knudsen) is seen riding her newly purchased second hand bike (in The Right Shade of Brown).

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And in a previous episode (The Land is Built on Law), the ex-PM’s media advisor Katrine Fønsmark (played by Birgitte Hjort Sørenson) and the head of a Danish TV channel, Alex Hjort (played by Christian Tafdrup), have an impromtu encounter whilst riding their bikes.

IMG_00000422Cycling in Copenhagen is something that people just do, it’s a convenient way to get around and the infrastructure is there to enable that. It’s not seen as a cheap mode of transport for people who can’t afford a car. It’s a desirable form of transport in its own right for everyday journeys.

Making cycle lanes safe

The painted on cycles lanes on the roads of NE Lincs offer no protection at all, and are frequently parked over and ignored by drivers. For example, yesterday I was nearly knocked off my bike whilst riding in a cycle lane. An unmarked grey Ford Transit (registration FV12 EOK) taking a left turn from Weelsby Rd into Ladysmith Rd far too fast, cut across the cycle lane and came within a couple of inches of me. It was extremely dangerous.

The cycle lane itself is badly designed, forcing traffic turning left to cross it. Designing-in conflict like this will only lead to problems, as I experienced yesterday. Much better to have taken this particular cycle lane to the left of the junction and provide a crossing with cycle right-of-way at the lights, with drivers turning left having to give way to cycles.

The painted on cycle lane goes straight on, forcing traffic turning left to cross it.

The painted on cycle lane goes straight on, forcing traffic turning left to cross it.

How much better it could be! I came across this page on peopleforbikes.org this morning, showing how various cities provide a degree of separation to their on-road cycle lanes. These various designs provide a level of safety from vehicular intrusion that we simply don’t have! Can we have some please? I don’t like feeling I’m in danger when I’m in a cycle lane, even with a flashing rear light in daylight! There are numerous different styles shown on the linked page but they all provide separation and safety.

Half-wheel bollards in Seville separate the cycle lane from the road, giving the cyclists protection from careless drivers.

Half-wheel bollards in Seville separate the cycle lane from the road, giving the cyclists protection from careless drivers.

Prioritising cycling: Jon Snow on BBC news

jon_snow_3Great little video vignette by the newscaster and cycling advocate Jon Snow on the cycling dangers of London roads and the need to prioritise cycling.

Watch the video here.

Ultra shocking video about lorry blind spots

This post was reblogged from Dutch Bikes in the UK

TfL (Transport for London) have made a video showing just how blind lorry drivers are in some circumstances. This is great evidence for the argument that heavy-goods vehicles and bikes shouldn’t have to share the same road space.

I’d say more, but the video speaks for itself…

Pointing the way forward

For years, the lovely village of Poynton, south east of Manchester, has been blighted by the torrent of traffic streaming through the village centre. I would suggest this problem is symptomatic of many places in the UK, and, if so, then the solution that has been applied in Poynton takes on a much wider significance than just one junction in one village.

The major aspect of this solution seems to be to slow the traffic down to a human scale, which then enables the streets to be re-humanised. It’s an interesting approach.

The council and street designers involved here deserve much credit for taking the ‘bull’ by the horns in seeking to tame it. From a cycling point of view, although I didn’t notice any specific cycleways as such, it seems people walking and people cycling all benefit from a slower, more civilised flow of traffic. I think what the Poynton Regeneration project shows is that this thinking is definitely part of the wider solution our towns and cities need. It’s one step in the right direction. See what you think:

No, it’s not the narrowest cycle path in Britain!

A little bit of paint in Grimsby has received a lot of publicity this week! The local paper, the Grimsby Evening Telegraph made what was basically just a whinge into a story, which then made it onto the Daily Mail’s website.

In my opinion, it’s not a story. Yes, cycling infrastructure could be a lot better. Yes, the cycle paths we currently have are not as good as those in Copenhagen or much of the Netherlands. However, this little shared cycle path in Great Coates is an improvement on what was there previously.

The shared pedestrian / cycle path in Great Coates, Grimsby.

The shared pedestrian / cycle path in Great Coates, Grimsby.

The view along Great Coates Rd back towards Grimsby.

The view along Great Coates Rd back towards Grimsby.

Now, I don’t believe shared cycle paths are the way forward, but what has been reported is not a fair reflection of this little cycle path. Locally, the council often identify the edge of a shared pedestrian/cyclist pathway with a white painted line, as in this photo of Weelsby Rd near Ladysmith Rd junction.

IMG_00000365The cycle path in Great Coates is just a shared path. The line doesn’t represent the cycle lane on one side, the pedestrian area on the other side. The line is just an edge marker on a shared path. There’s no story here. The council have improved the path by resurfacing it. No problem. It’s better than before!

On the other side of the road is the Healing pedalway, another shared pathway linking Grimsby and Healing. It’s not perfect but it is off-road and that’s better than sharing the road with HGV’s & cars.

The Healing Pedalway on the other side of the road.

The Healing Pedalway on the other side of the road.

Considering the minscule budget that is allocated to cycling infrastructure, I think the work already done in North East Lincs is pretty good. What we need is a switch from a car-centric focus to one that puts people first, with a far greater proportion of the transport budget going into high quality cycling infrastructure.

Stolen bike?

One of the uses of this blog can relate to stolen bikes. Obviously, if you’re a bike owner you’ll want to record the serial number and any other identifying features of yours and your families bikes. What I also recommend is, take a photo of your bikes as well. Should your bike be stolen, as well as contacting the police of course, also send the photo of your stolen bike in to this blog by email (cyclingnelly@yahoo.co.uk) and we will feature the photo(s) of your bike in a ‘Stolen Bike Alert’ post.

It’s a way of visually alerting all local readers of the blog to the fact that the bike in the picture has been stolen, and should they come across it anywhere they can contact the police and, through the blog, get in touch with you so that hopefully your bike can be retrieved.

It’s an idea to try and combat the threat of bike theft. I hope it helps!

Take clear photos of your bike, like this example, then should it ever be stolen, send the photo(s) in to us at the blog & we'll feature your photo in a Stolen Bike Alert.

Take clear photos of your bike, like this example, then should it ever be stolen, send the photo(s) in to us at the blog & we’ll feature your photo in a Stolen Bike Alert.

Cycling Copenhagen through North American eyes

For ‘North American’ I think you can also substitute ‘British’ and indeed ‘North East Lincs’ eyes, as well. In complete contrast to the carnage of these last few days in London, where there have been no less than four cyclists killed in eight days, the streets of Copenhagen demonstrate exactly how good and pleasant city cycling can be.

If only the powers that be in this country, both nationally and locally, would open their eyes, see the possibilities and get the vision, our towns and cities could be transformed into something very special indeed.

Another great film from Streetfilms. Enjoy:

Cycle Hub

The relaying of the frontage of Grimsby train station (can we call it a Plaza? 🙂 ) is almost complete, and the Cycle Hub entrance is now more accessible without all the barriers and roadworks.

It’s a significant development for cycling in our area and already is being well-used by NELi cyclists! As well as secure and attended parking inside, there is a free parking facility immediately outside the Hub.

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