Facility of the Month
Front Cover

Eye Books has taken inspiration from our Facility of the Month to create another hardback book showing 50 more cycle lanes in Britain. "Crap Cycle Lanes" is available at just £7.99. The ideal Chrismas gift for your local highways engineer.

Order your copy online from: Eye Books

Wire Wheels
Cycle Campaign Newsletters
Rod King Awarded MBE

Rod King Warrington Cycle Campaigner, Rod King, who has been campaigning for the safety of vulnerable road users since 2000 has been awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to Road Safety

Although now known for his work in founding and then acting as Campaign Director for 20’s Plenty for Us, Rod has been working for road safety for many years. But it was in 2004 when he visited Warrington's twin town: Hilden, Germany, that he realised that the foundation of their successful walking and cycling strategies was a decision made in 1990 to adopt a 30km/h speed limit for most streets. With 23% of in town trips made by bicycle and promotion of public transport this had led not only to a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists but one with 40 fewer cars per 100 people travelling than in Warrington.

This transformed his, and our, opinion on road safety as he realised that in the UK we were inadequately trying to protect cyclists (and pedestrians) within a road environment where our vehicle speeds were 60% higher than such places as Hilden. And so a personal campaign was launched both within Warrington and in cycle and pedestrian campaigning nationally to ask for 20mph limits on most residential streets. What has subsequently been termed “Total 20”. In 2007 he set up 20's Plenty For Us in order to assist communities who wanted lower speeds on their roads but required advice and guidance on how this could be done. The voluntary organisation now has 200 local campaigns and has been influential in the Total 20 policies already adopted by local authorities with a total population of 12m people. Its latest “It’s Time for 20” campaign calls for the DfT to change the regulations so that repeater signs are no longer required on 20mph streets, but only on remaining 30mph roads. Rod’s efforts as Campaign Director are still voluntary, but now complemented by dedicated resources in York and London.

Rod commented:-

To be honoured with an MBE for “Services to Road Safety” is significant not only as recognition of my personal efforts but also of the enormous progress which has been made in establishing lower speeds as the norm on community roads. We are moving from a past tradition of accepting that motor vehicles could dominate where people lived, worked and shopped into one where we share the streets more equitably and enable people to choose to walk or cycle without fear of fast traffic.

It acknowledges the aspiration and efforts of individuals, communities, councillors and council officers around the country who simply want to “make their places better places to be”. Their feedback has been an inspiration to not only myself but also to our National Campaign Manager, Anna Semlyen and London Campaign Co-ordinator, Jeremy Leach.

It really is “Time for 20” and this honour is very gratefully received. Perhaps most of all it signifies that 20’s Plenty for Us is much more than a campaign for change, but is a movement towards a more civilised way of sharing our

News in Brief
September 2012

2012 has been an incredible summer for cycling as sport. Athletes have excelled in Paralympics and the Olympic games themselves encouraging those who have been considering using their bikes, for whatever, reason to do so. Bradley Wiggins of course set the wheels in motion when he won his amazing victory in the Tour de France. He did get himself into a tangle over cycling safety and this has discouraged your chairman from ever commenting to the media on the tactics involved in time-trial racing. It is encouraging that the cycle-sport governing body has started to use its fame to get involved in campaigning. British Cycling has realized that its athletes are not immune to road danger and that it has a responsibility to try to protect its athletes. My brother joined my son and I recently on a short ride which involved cycling down Cromwell Avenue. He rides his bike around Hull but was not happy riding on our roads. Perhaps we sometimes forget that what we take for granted as ‘normal’, shouldn’t be.

News in Brief
January 2012

Our first meeting of 2012 is perhaps a useful opportunity to take stock of where we are and here we want to go during the next year. In light of this philosophical discussion the agenda is pretty light this evening. We need to look at ourselves and look at our relationship with the Borough Council and anyone else that we think that we should be talking to.

As a Campaign we have prioritized on school cycle provision and a 20mph speed limit. On Cycle Training we have got level 2 bikeability in place but there is no sign of any preparations for level 3. Do WBC have any intention of offering complete training? On the 20mph issue there is still a half hearted attitude from Council officers who hope this whole thing will go away if they can delay implementation or limit it to such an extent that it is irrelevant.

Do we stick to these two issues? Do we need a new approach to achieve them? Do we need a whole new approach to make ourselves relevant?

News in Brief
November 2011

At the end of September Warrington Borough Council was holding a promotion event advertising its new provision of adult cycle training in the town centre. The Cycle Campaign did not have a stand, although we had been invited, as we could not find activists to man it. The reason we had no activists was that Maurice was there working on Bike Right, the Bikeability school training provider and Stewart was representing Cycling Projects, the Warrington based cycle charity, demonstrating their specially adapted Wheel’s for All cycles. It is a measure of WCC’s success over the years that our members are now representing other organizations to promote cycling in the Borough. This is a really positive sign that cycling is once again a normal and mainstream thing to do in our town.

News in Brief
September 2011

Welcome back to cycle campaigning after the summer break. I hope we are all refreshed and fired up to start fighting again on the behalf of Warrington’s increasing numbers of cyclists. One thing about campaigning I have found is that you have to be angry, in order to be motivated enough to be effective, and this takes a lot of energy. Eventually it is possible to run out of steam for campaigning and this is why we needed to recharge the batteries over the summer holidays. If your batteries still need more power I recommend reading: Surry Police Target Slow Cyclists which will soon put you back in the campaigning mood. This is a story about the Surrey Police who are harassing cyclists who cannot ride at the national speed limit on the grounds that they are slowing down motorists who can. Of course our local constabulary are much more sensible.

If you are a woman you may be interested in becoming a women’s cycle leader for the British Cycling Breeze network, they are holding training sessions on 16th October in the Village Hotel Warrington.

Warrington Fails to Back Greener Travel

Government and local councils in England are failing to take value-for-money steps proven to cut traffic and carbon emissions – despite the advice of the Government's own expert advisor, a new report from Friends of the Earth and Sustrans

The report, written by built environment consultancy Halcrow, shows that only a tiny fraction of the £6 billion allocated to councils for Local Transport Plans is being spent on sustainable travel. This is despite specific recommendations by the Committee on Climate Change for a phased roll-out in towns and cities across the UK of Smarter Travel Choices (STCs) – schemes that promote greener travel, including walking and cycling, public transport and car sharing.

The report found Warrington to be the worst performing council of those researched, spending as little as 0.6 per cent of its local transport budget on STCs – less than three per cent of the investment levels of the pilot schemes. The best performing council, Stockton, is spending 5.3 per cent of its budget on STCs.

Read more

Cheshire West & Chester named
Nation's top pothole-fixing council

The best pothole-fixing council in the UK has been named following a nationwide competition between the nation’s 217 highways authorities.

The competition winners were announced on 8th June at the Annual Surveyor Conference at the Walkers Stadium in Leicester. Cheshire West and Chester Council won the Pothole Response Award, for the highest percentage of potholes fixed, repairing all 47 of the road defects reported via Fill That Hole during the competition.

Read the full report

20 mph Speed Limits
Now Made Permanent

20mph speed limit in Warrington town centre

On Monday 14th March the WBC traffic committee took the historic step of making the 20mph the permanent speed limit in the pilot scheme areas. Warrington Cycle Campaign we have been fighting for this for many years and it was by a 7 to 1 vote that the traffic committee confirmed the speed limits were to drop in Orford, Great Sankey and the Town Centre. It is encouraging for the future that councillors from both the Labour Party and the Lib-Dems voted in favour of the permanent speed limits. There was quite an involved discussion about the merits and costs of rolling out the speed-limits Borough wide by councillors and we will have to keep working on this. The WBC scrutiny committee is the next body to look into the roll out so the fight is not over yet. It is also important that we work to get Long Lane/Orford Green and Park Road, the roads that were successfully included in the Pilot schemes but have been removed from the permanent orders, reinstated to 20mph limits as soon as possible.

News in Brief
February 2011

Cycle Campaigning seems to be in Groundhog Day mode this year. The continuing campaign to get Warrington to 20mph is once again dominating the Agenda. The Warrington Cycle Map 3rd edition is also up for drafting and LTP3 once again makes an appearance with the consultation period now over. Item 5 is Stricter Liability. That’s new anyway, or did we do something in 2008?

Although the LTP process seems to have been going on forever, it is heartening to see the way comments from WCC and other like-minded organizations, are received by those drafting the plan. Once upon a time it was that our suggestions used to be brushed off during WBC consultations. Now we get a thoughtful (if not always positive) response, while it is now the petrol-heads who get the ‘Comment Noted’ rubberstamped next to their submissions. This is a small indicator of the progress we have made I suppose.

We need to be thinking about letting our members know that we are due an AGM shortly so I think we should pick a date for this highlight of the campaigning year tonight.

News in Brief
January 2011

We start the year with deja-vue as the LTP and the 20mph pilot areas appear on the agenda.

Our response to the Local Transport Plan has been submitted and we can briefly discuss its progress tonight. More exciting is the publication of road traffic orders making permanent 20mph limits on MOST of the roads in the 3 Pilot areas.

Most, but not all, of the pilot roads are to be given permanent 20mph speed limits. The cruel irony is that the roads that are being left out are the roads that most benefit from a speed reduction. Park Road was the only road in the original pilot ‘plan’ for Sankey and it is the only road to be left out of the roll out.

Long Lane in Orford was most successful but is also being blackballed. We have until 3rd Feb to object to these exclusions. Jack Houlston and Chris Mayes have been knocking on doors in Long Lane and almost everyone who was in was signing a petition asking for the 20mph speed limit to be reinstated. Only about 10% of residents who answered their doors did not want 20mph and this is consistent with our town centre attitude survey of several years ago. The petition may be used as a foundation for our reaction to the Borough Council’s insane attitude to road safety. Tonight we must formulate tactics for our full response.

Happy New Year!

News in Brief
November 2010

The new Local Transport Plan known as LTP3 is and will be our current focus of attention for tonight’s meeting and I suspect for some time to come. This Council document will shape the focus of transportation planning by the Borough Council for some time to come. National Government is keen that this subject is devolved as far as possible to Local Government (especially funding) and is based on 5 themes: Economic Growth; Climate Change, Safety Security and Health; Equality of Opportunity; Quality of Life and Healthy Natural Environment. All of are addressed by increasing cycling so cycling should be a winner in this process. Our job is to ensure that ‘should’ turns into DOES but to achieve this is, as we know, not as easy as it should be. Consultation event details in Warrington are on our web-site.

Pete Owens has been busy on our behalf recording a short piece on cycling and LTP3 for the BBC Politics Show. We can see Pete next Sunday 14th Nov.

The ‘Facility of the Month’ for November is a classic and the international celebrity of the WCC is well deserved. Because of its popularity we have an offer of and advertising sponsorship for the web-site. We must decide whether we will accept this.

20 mph Speed Limits
to be rolled out across Warrington

During 2009/10 Warrington implemented a pilot study on 140 roads in three areas of the town which sets the speed limit to 20 mph. This was be used to gauge public reaction and its effectiveness prior to it being extended to every residention street in the town. The results were overwhelmingly positive:

  • 87% support 20mph limits
  • 800% rate of return on investment in first year
  • largest speed reductions seen on roads with highest speeds

Read the main report and the perception survey.

Following the positive results from the 20mph pilot schemes the executive board has approved a roll-out of 20mph limits subject to the availability of funding and outcomes of the LTP3 prioritisation.

Local Transport Plan

All Local Transport Authorities in England are required to produce and implement a Local Transport Plan (LTP). The purpose of the LTP is to set out the authority’s policies for transport along with an implementation plan proposing how these policies will be delivered.

Warrington Borough Council is currently developing its next Local Transport Plan (LTP3) which will cover the period 2011 – 2030.

The council is in the process of consulting the public on the plan, and draft documents can be downloaded from the Council Website. Unfortunately the plan is very poor, and marginalises all road users other than private motor vehicles when it comes to the use of roads. Roads are dealt with in the network management chapter, and the only objective is be the optimisation of throughput of motorised traffic.

The CTC has put forward a useful document setting out what what we would like to see from a cycle friendly LTP: Cycling: a local transport solution. Locally, we are particularly concened to see:

Public exhibitions are also being held at the following locations and times:

Thursday 4 NovemberPenketh Library
Honiton Way, Penketh
Friday 12 November
Saturday 13 November
Golden Square Shopping Centre
Warrington town centre
Tuesday 16 NovemberPeace Centre
Peace Drive, Great Sankey
Thursday 18 NovemberBirchwood Shopping Centre
Dewhurst Road, Birchwood
Tuesday 30 NovemberStockton Heath Library
Alexandra Road, Stockton Heath
Thursday 9 DecemberLymm Library
Davies Way, off Brookfield Road

It is important that the council hears the views of cyclists so try to attend one of the meetings and (or) fill in one of the feedback forms from the Council Website.

News in Brief
September 2010

Welcome back to a new season of meetings after the summer break. If you flew away for a holiday I hope that your pilot was better than those employed by WBC. Pilots are usually employed to take you in safety to a desired destination but WBC pilots have no idea where they are bound or even what they are supposed to do when they get there. Consequently they disappeared up their own 20mph roundels. How are we to help WBC get out of the pickle it has got itself into as quickly as possible?

Warrington Cycle Campaign joined with 20splentyforus during the summer to make a film on the advantages of a 20mph default speed limit that has been taking the world by storm.

The final act in the sad case of Sharon Corless has been played, a full two years after she was tragically killed, and the inquest has reported a ‘Death by Misadventure’ verdict. Her surviving family will have to get on with their lives knowing that the legal system has failed her. We dedicated the 2008 Streets Ahead Conference to Sharon’s memory so it is appropriate that we spend a fair part of our time thinking how we should respond. We must change a society with values that failed to protect Sharon while she was living and that tolerates a legal system that was totally inadequate in its response to her death.

News in Brief
May 2010

The elections are over and we can concentrate on Campaigning but we have to assess the new administrations at National and Local level for their attitudes to the issues we are involved in.

Maurice has been in touch with the police over the access of cyclists to the Town Centre being restricted. Apparently the police want to restrict cyclists to stop the possibility of disorder from drunkenness. Why they do not think that restricting alcohol sales in the Town would be more effective is beyond your Chairman. We must discuss how we can support Maurice in challenging this ridiculous idea.

Essta Hayes has suggested that we form an alliance with the Birchwood BUG. Well if Dave and Nick can get cosy I think WCC should follow their lead and we can talk about this tonight.

You will be aware that the Inquest into the death of Sharon Corless has been adjourned. It seems that this sad case will never be closed. The positive side to this is that Deputy Coroner Dr. Janet Napier has shown her concern at the way that the Director of Public Prosecutions summarily dropped its case against the driver who killed Sharon.

News in Brief
February 2010

We welcome Kristian Tunnicliffe to our February meeting. Kristian is filming an interview with your chairman and would also like to intersperse shots of our meeting for a project that makes up some of his studies. What interested him in coming to Warrington was the alarming fact he discovered that in 2008 8 people had been killed in Stockport where he is based, when ‘only’ one cyclist had been killed in Warrington. That cyclist was of course Sharon Corless. Kristian is interested in the difference between Stockport and Warrington for his film.

In Liverpool there was an inquest into the death of a cyclist that was hit by a driver doing well above the legal speed limit of 30mph. As is so often the case the legal system sided with the driver, ignores the lethal speed that killed the boy and blames him for wearing earphones. If the driver had been driving at 20mph rather than an estimated 40mph that young man would probably be alive today.

Two themes from the above are apparent. First 20mph is the appropriate speed for drivers (myself included), who do not want to hurt anyone. At this speed it is possible avoid many unexpected incidents and when a collision does occur it will not result in the death of a vulnerable road user. Secondly the present judicial process will always try to blame the victim and excuse a driver from all responsibility. We need to address the failure of the whole judicial system.

On a lighter, note the Borough Council seems intent on wasting £3m on a roundabout restructure. I would like to see the cost benefit analysis of that! Much less has been spent on paint in Hilden island. Pete did give WBC a much better plan at the Cycle Forum but we always knew that they would ignore it.

"Streets Ahead"
CTC/CCN Cycle Campaign Conference
Warrington - 15th November 2008

We are pleased to announce that after an excellent conference in 2005, Warrington is hosting this Autumn's "Streets Ahead" conference on 15th November 2008. Details are still being planned but the event is focussing on the theme :-

"Cyclists and pedestrians - Campaigning Together, Succeeding Together"

All of us human powered road users share the same vulnerability and this conference will widen the invited attendees to include pedestrian and other non-motorised road campaigners.

The conference will also aim to provide real case studies and information to help campaigners. Not so much a presentation on why (you already know that) but how we can achieve our aims.

Key topics will be "20 mph for residential roads" and "strict liability", both key policies in developing streets as "public spaces" rather than the preserve of motor vehicles.

Cycling Projects Moves to Warrington

Cycling Projects has moved to Warrington and is now based at
1 Priory Court
Buttermarket Street
Tel: 01925 234213

Cycling Projects is recruiting cycling instructors and ride leaders for casual work on cycling promotion schemes in the North West. You'll get an hourly rate and travel expenses. There will be a recruitment day in Warrington on 23rd February.

Ring Bob Norton or Ian Tierney on 01925 234213

Warrington Cycling Map
Now Available

front Cover "A Guide to Cycling in Warrington" has been compiled by Warrington Cycle Forum in conjunction with the Warrington Cycle Campaign and the Council.

To order your cycle map, contact:
Lesley McAllister
Phone: 01925 443243
Email: ltp@warrington.gov.uk

More Details

Facility of the Month
Now in Hardback
Front Cover

Eye Books has taken inspiration from our Facility of the Month to create a hardback book showing the 50 worst cycle lanes in Britain. "Crap Cycle Lanes" is available at just £4.99 with all royalties going to the Cyclists Defence Fund. The ideal Chrismas gift for your local highways engineer.

Order your copy online from: Eye Books

If any campaign group wants to make a bulk order of 25 or more, then Warrington Cycle Campaign can arrange a discount. Email Rod King. with the quantity requested, organisation name, contact name, contact telephone.

Big Apple
Jon Wood Wows New York

Our ‘Facility of the Month’ website recently landed Deputy Chairman Jonathan Wood a weekend trip to Manhattan to contribute to David Byrne’s show ‘How New Yorkers Ride Bikes’ in the New Yorker Festival.

Read the full Story
Review from StreetFilms "No words I write could convey the stitches he had us in"

Beyond 2010
Parliamentry Committee Calls for 20 mph urban limit

The influential Parliamentary Advisory Committee on Road Safety has recently issued a report which agrees with the Cycle Campaign's long held position that a default speed limit of 20mph in all built up areas is implemented in ways that achieve high levels of compliance.

The Beyond 2010 research project is a broad-ranging analysis of the future issues that will shape road safety policy. It aims to highlight the key areas where action is needed to continue the United Kingdom's excellent work in reducing death and injury on our roads.

For more information, see :-

Congestion Summit decides Cycling, Walking and Public Transport offer the best solution for tackling congestion

The 50+ attendees at Warrington’s Congestion Summit on Friday delivered a very clear judgement that encouraging alternatives to the private car offers the best solution to cope with the congestion on Warrington Roads.

The summit heard from Nicola Kane of JMP Consulting that “Investing in alternatives is crucial to tackling congestion”.

Local campaigner Rod King gave a short but convincing presentation on how other towns get 60% more people moved with the same number of cars by promoting cycling, walking and public transport. However, key to the success of such encouragement is ensuring a safe environment on roads where people live, shop, go to school and work through the implementation of 20 mph on residential roads.

This is endorsed by the substantial public support for 20 mph on residential roads which exceeds 80%. Warrington Councillors and Officials have recently been given new freedoms and responsibilities by central government to implement 20 mph speed limits without physical measures being mandatory.

Warrington has a huge opportunity to make all its residential roads safer for its communities, and make better use of the roads to maximise the ratio of journeys to cars.

At the beginning and end of the conference the attendees voted on what they thought were the most achievable way to tackle congestion. Of the four choices Improving and Promoting Alternatives to the Private Car came out as the clear winner by a large margin.

Rod King said :-
“We are delighted that the conference delegates from a wide spectrum of councillors, officials and interested parties endorsed our views that the most economic and practical way to tackle congestion was to provide better alternatives to the private car.

Other towns have reduced dependency on the car and created a healthier environment with many more children and adults cycling or walking to school or work. With up to 60% more journeys for the same number of cars this makes excellent sense. It is encouraging to see the Council moving towards changes that can really deliver better transport options for all road users. ”

Fill That Hole
CTC launches two new sites to make roads and tracks a hole lot better

Two new online tools, which will help get potholes fixed and off-road trails cleared of obstructions, have been launched by CTC – the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation.

Using the new system at www.fillthathole.org.uk cyclists (and other road users) can zoom into any road in the UK, mark the location of the defect, and let the authority know about it, which then has a duty to take action. It takes no longer than 2 minutes to use, and it is possible to include photos, measurements and other useful information, which other people will be able to see.

A similar facility at http://www.clearthattrail.org.uk allows cyclists to report off-road obstructions. TC Director Kevin Mayne said: “Potholes and other road defects are more than just a nuisance; they’re a danger to cyclists. They’re responsible for 12% of compensation claims by CTC members, and local Councils have a duty to fix them. Reporting problems like this can be a chore, but our online facility has made it quick and easy.”

The websites also allow other cyclists to see what has been reported, and if a problem is ignored and someone subsequently crashes, it will be possible to show that the council knew about it. Meanwhile, CTC will be working with local authorities to help them meet their duty to keep the roads and trails well maintained.

Cyclists and bus company work together to put road safety first

An innovative project undertaken jointly by Warrington Cycle Campaign and Warrington Borough Transport aims to make local roads safer.

Talks between Warrington Cycle Campaign - one of the biggest cycle campaign groups in the country - and the local bus operator highlighted that cycling is growing but some would-be users are put off by Warrington’s busy roads.

With safety paramount to both organisations, the partners have worked together to produce a leaflet which sets out how both cyclists and bus drivers can ensure road safety is never compromised.

The town’s accident record is good and the leaflet aims to build on that by promoting awareness and understanding. The leaflet covers topics including, What cyclists should know about bus drivers, What bus drivers should know about cyclists, How cyclists can help avoid difficulties for bus drivers and How bus drivers can help make cyclists journeys safer.

The leaflet will be used to enhance Warrington Borough Transport’s driver training programme and will be provided to all 200 members of Warrington Cycle Campaign. The leaflet will also be made available to schools and libraries free of charge.

Cycle Campaign Chris Mayes said; “We were really impressed with the way that Warrington Borough Transport listened to the concerns of cyclists and responded with sponsorship for this leaflet.

“We also now better understand the responsibilities of bus drivers and have developed advice for cyclists to improve the way they interact with buses. The leaflet shows that through collaboration between types of road users we can make our streets safer and more pleasant for all road users.”

Managing Director of Warrington Borough Transport Nigel Featham said, “As a company, we take road safety very seriously and are keen to work in partnership with others to address this. This leaflet will be an excellent addition to our future safety awareness training with regard to cyclists. We would like to thank Warrington Cycle Campaign for their proactive approach.”

Download the Leaflet

Bus Station Cycle Parking Success

Warrington Cycle Campaign have taken action to ensure the cycle parking at the new Warrington Bus Station is up to scratch. Members noticed that the Sheffield Stands had been placed to close to the wall, a problem that is seen in many places in the town that makes the stands difficult to use as their is insufficient room for the wheel to fit as a bike is leaned against the stand.

WCC contacted Tony Cross, the Facilities Manager at the Bus Station. Mr. Cross investigated the situation and found that contractors had not followed the instructions for installing the Stands correctly. He has discussed the situation with the contractors and assures WCC that they will be moved back to give the correct clearance shortly.

Hilden Leads the Way to Cutting Congestion

In 1992 the City of Hilden (Warrington's twin town in Germany) embarked upon a major exercise to reduce congestion by making a shift in city transport from vehicles to cycles and public transport.

The cornerstone of their strategy was a reduction in maximum vehicle speeds to just 18.5 mph throughout the built up areas of the town. This reduction has had a major effect in increasing cycling as a viable, safe, cost effective and enjoyable method of moving around the city. Hilden has therefore become a City in which its children and adults do not have a fear of cycling on their roads. As a result the quality of their life is enhanced and children in particular are given an independence and freedom that is not currently available in Warrington.

Now 24% of trips within Hilden are done by cycle. This has been achieved with minimal public expenditure on cycle specific facilities, yet has made the streets safer and more pleasant for all road users.

In July 2004 Rod King cycled to Hilden to find out why they have been so successful in promoting cycling and cutting congestion. Herr Lutz Groll of City of Hilden Planning took him on a tour of Hilden in order to point out the various infrastructure measures.

To find out more read Rod's report on the trip:
Learning from Hilden’s Successes

Volunteers needed to help run Re-Cycle schemes

Ray Pugh from the Cycle Project NW is looking for volunteers to help run re-cycle schemes with community groups as a means to teach teenagers how to look after a bike and also set up local rides.

Contact Ray:

TRL sets record straight on speed

The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) has thought it fit to set out clearly the results of its research into road casualties and vehicle speed. An article in the September TRL News expresses concern about the way its research has been misrepresented. TRL says that there is a vast amount of evidence demonstrating the strong link between vehicle speed and road crashes.

TRL cites its reports 421 and 511 for direct evidence. For example:

  • Crash records of 10,000 drivers showed that crash risk rises the faster a driver travels. At 25% above average speed, a driver is 6 times more likely to have a crash than when travelling at average speed.
  • Road-based studies on almost 300 roads show clearly that injury crashes rise rapidly as average speed increases, if all else remains constant.
  • 20 mph zones have more than halved injuries.

TRL says that improvements in driver behaviour have the potential to reduce road casualties dramatically; reducing drivers' speeds will play a vital part in this.

Full Report

Hidden cameras more effective

Research from New Zealand has demonstrated that hidden speed cameras lead to significantly fewer crashes and casualties than overt cameras. Visible speed cameras were introduced in New Zealand in 1993. In 1997 a carfully controlled three year trial was conducted to determine whether making them hidden would improve road safety. There was an 11% reduction in collisions in hidden camera area compared to the control areas over the trial period. This resulted in a 19% reduction in casualties.

Full Report

Finnish Study Cautions Against Road-Side Paths

A study based on Helsinki has shown that it is much safer to cycle on the roads with traffic than on the two-way cycle paths that form much of the cyclists' network. 45% of cycling kilometres in Helsinki take place on the cycle paths, but they are the location of 56% of injury crashes to cyclists.

The situation is worst at junctions. The risk of a crossing crash is 3 times higher coming along a cycle path than along the road. Cyclists riding on the pavements are also more at risk.

According to the author, the main problem is that car drivers have nothing to fear from cyclists. At crossings, drivers focus their attention on other cars and not on cyclists. The two-way nature of most of the cycle paths exacerbates the problems as drivers expect even less to see cyclists arriving from the 'wrong' direction. The most common type of crash, by a factor of ten, is a car turning left hitting a 'wrong-side' cyclist approaching from the driver's right.

The Finnish two-way cycle network was based on a Nordic traffic planning guide from the 1960s which considered cyclists and pedestrians to be a homogenous group of vulnerable road users, to be separated from motor traffic. Though an appealing principle at the time, it has led to a considerable number of unnecessary car/cycle crashes on at-grade crossings and pedestrian/cycle conflicts on paths connected to sidewalks.

Helsinki has 800 km of cycle paths, half of which are especially dangerous. It is hard to imagine that this system could be rebuilt, but in those countries and cities that are just beginning to build cycle networks, road-side paths and particularly two-way types should be avoided in an urban environment.

Two other findings of the report are that cycling is usually safer the more cyclists there are about, and that cycling leads to more police reports of pedestrian injuries per kilometre travelled than private motor vehicle use.

The risks of cycling, Dr Eero Pasenen, Helsinki City Planning Department, 2001.

WS Atkins Propose Road-Side Paths for North West Warrington

WS Atkins have been commissioned by the Borough to carry out an in-depth transport review covering NW Warrington. Public consultation will aim to identify and develop measures to improve the environment and give residents more viable transport options. The traffic impact of three major new developments has already been examined - the new junction 8 on the M62, the Chapelford Urban Village and the Omega development.

We have composed our submission to the review.

WS Atkins have now reported back to the council with package of measures. Unfortunately, our suggestions appear to have been ignored and proposals for cyclists seem to consist entirely of forcing cyclists off the roads onto low quality unsegregated pavements with unprotected crossings at junctions. This not only fails to address the problems faced by cyclists riding through the area, but would create new hazards.

For more details see our response to the proposals.