Blog (and a bit of local newspaper) roundup (7)

A week that begun in great high spirits with the annual London Tweed Run (sorry, Ralph Lauren Tweed Run) and a … well we’re not quite sure what it was in Dublin but it looked fun, ended once more with the all too familiar story as reports the death of yet another female cyclist at the wheels of an HGV in London – while Cycling Intellingence reports that the man who created the ghost bike for Kings Cross nearly needed one himself and the Croydon Cyclist found Road Safety Week didn’t quite live up to its name.

It wasn’t just London, of course – a traffic diversion left Welsh Cyclist fearing for his life while Sam Saunders examines all the accidents on a single roundabout in Bristol – a destination for another Tour du Danger? And it’s not just cyclists either, Green Jenny Jones reports how cyclists and pedestrians are disproportionally affected by hit and runs

That didn’t take long – John Biggs reports that Boris is already backing out of Bow Roundabout promises while the Cycling Solicitor writes an open letter to Boris Johnson .Even if TfL do review safety, what good will that do? As the LCC reports, this daft piece of ‘infrastructure’ passed a safety audit. Meanwhile Cyclists in the City finds that TfL and the mayor are blaming everybody but themselves while Kennington POB examines a plan to make Heygate street more pedestrian and cyclist friendly- er, by removing mandatory cycle lanes and Cyclists in the city reports how they’re helping cyclists by taking away the bike lanes and narrowing the road – no, we don’t think that’s going to work well either, frankly and do you really fancy being a ‘speed bump’ on your bike?

David Hembrow asks if Cambridge has the highest cycling share in the UK because of its infrastructure – or despite it – and, as a Cambridge family contemplates giving up cycling altogether, remembers why he emigrated. Still, although they may not be coming over here and building us their bike paths, the Dutch are at least coming over and running our railways – Cambridge news is hopeful that at least bike parking will get sorted out. In order to concentrate minds on the subject, Cambridge Cyclists organise a ‘take your car to work’ day (well, actually the station).

The autumn statement might have shown there’s money for infrastructure after all – but the CPRE calls it a road to disaster while the Campaign for Better Transport says road schemes will do more harm than good Our very own Chairman Jim had a slightly less measured response And while we’re talking infrastructure, Over on War on the Motorist, Joe Dunckley puts some recent infrastructure projects into perspective – a work in progress, but very striking all the same. Meanwhile, Spokes has an update on the Scottish budget where there are encouraging signs of progress – with more on the detail in their most recent Spokesworker – an improvement on the situation in Nuneaton when a £27 million Tesco development spent £1.1 million spent on the roads around it … and provided nothing for bikes (while the council has banned bikes from bus lanes too)

The other big bit of news was the Department for Transport’s release of a report on cyclists’ safety – recommending primarily lower speeds in general and through junctions, rather than segregation. The ECF was the first to respond – slowing traffic is important, but poor performance of UK’s bike lanes may be more to do with their poor standards, not a problem with lanes themselves. I’m guessing, but this is an issue that will run and run, so tune in next week for more debate.

Looking beyond the UK (something we could only wish the DfT had done more of), As Easy as Riding a Bike is Pining for the Netherlands – and trying to make it to the police station in Horsham under his own steam – foolish. With cycling rates London can only dream of, the ECF reports how Munich has almost tripled cycling rates since 1996 – from 6% too – on a budget of 10m Euros a year – or the cost of buildng 1km of freeway. A guest post from Little London – or Gothenburg – in Bike Minded reveals this Swedish city has a 10% cycling share, but no real bike culture, although that’s changing. Croydon cyclist asks – if Chicago can do it, why can’t we? – and that path doesn’t look as if it cost a huge amount to create – just some barriers and some paint, oh, and the political will to do it. On a View from the Cycle Path, Mark reminds us how the Dutch almost went so badly wrong and scotching the persistent myth that the Dutch have segregation everywhere, As Easy as Riding a bike explains when and where they separate bikes from cars . From the sublime to the (faintly) ridiculous, it ain’t Dutch Middle age cyclist explores the Prestwich to Bury national cycle network. Fine if you don’t mind going 8 miles for a 4 mile journey. Perhaps the designers had taken the Hostlee manifesto too literally? ‘Getting Lost will help you find yourself’ .

It’s not all bad news – Leeds gets more cycle friendly and proving that the continent doesn’t have the monoply on imaginative ides, one Hounslow school has a novel way of getting more pupils cycling in – give their parents bikes and speaking of the school run, I don’t know how I missed this absolutely charming little photo essay from Sheffield Cycle Chic about doing the school run by bike – better late than never! Middle Aged Cyclist has also been musing on the joys of utility cycling with children – pushing that thing looks like hard work but that’s what the road design has forced her to do. Perhaps we’re asking the wrong people to desing our streets? Out of the “mouths of babes and sustrans”: – Kids would like traffic free streets, among otherthings. (Just to be quite clear, we’re also quite happy to campaign for chocolate waterfalls for cyclists too)

Salon asks Are urban freeways doomed? while treehugger reports on a German plan to bury an autobahn (we’d have killed it first though). Back here in the land where they’re still building the damn things, Joe Dunckley examines the true cost of urban motorways ‘No amount of motoring taxes can ever pay for the things that were taken from these neighbourhoods — safety and security, health and peace, community and prosperity, lives and livelihoods — because those things were never offered up for sale’. And here’s something that could get the Daily Mail on our side – bike paths increase house prices (no news on whether they cause cancer though). Possibly an effect that Bristol and Bath might have seen with their traffic-free cycling path

Why don’t more women ride bikes? Maybe because they’ve been telling us how to do it ‘properly’ for decades – or maybe because of more pressing issues – gents, go and be educated, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. Kats of Newcastle Cycling Campaign guest blogs on Spokeswomen – women just want a fair slice of the cake. Meanwhile Bikeyface confesses her dirty secret – she doesn’t really know that much about bikes, she just likes riding them.

Moving on to the lucky dip element of the blog round up as I lose the will to make connections between the posts – if you’re cycling alone on an unlit path, the Environmental Transport Association has some self-defence tips for you – from 1901.

The view from India – cycling in Mumbai is cheap, fast and convenient compared to getting about by car … so only dozens of office workers actually do it – perhaps because it’s got ‘ approximately the glamour quotient of a dabbawala’ – the tiffin delivery man – though I’d have thought Mumbai traffic would have had something to do with it.

We don’t really go for all that specialist equipment for cycling stuff, but the first item of’s gift roundup is a doozy.

Looks like Labour got the right Miliband – older brother David ignores the bull (other Labour leadership candidates were available).

Yet another reason for cycling, should you need one, from Cycle of Addiction

No word on whether he was cycling on the pavement at the time – teenage cyclsts saves kids from drowning

Pedestrian Liberation discovers what a shared use path is really for (well, drivers are people too aren’t they?) and Aberdeen Cars is (are?) insulted (contains sarcasm, BTW)

Should we just Occupy ALL the streets?

Do the Right Thing finds Boris’s campaign bike and, not to be outdone, builds his own cargo bike

And finally, as it’s almost Christmas, Copehnahge Cycle Chic is offering you some bike love for your computer – Awwww.


These blog roundups continue to amaze and impress. Epic in scale and all-encompassing in scope. Fantastic work – thank you! :)

Embarrassed now! It’s mainly the bloggers who are out there doing the hard work though

AKA TownMouse