The Great Big Does my Consultation Exercise Look Good in This? Bike Blog Roundup

We value your opinion here at the GB Cycle Embassy and we'd like to ask you what you think about the Bike Blog roundup - too many links? Not enough bike racing articles, or pictures of girls in high heels? Should we write the whole thing in comic sans? Please get your input in to us by, oh yesterday, and we'll go right ahead and keep on doing what we're doing anyway.

Feeling consulted enough? Well, welcome to life in Twickenham in Richmond - the London Borough with the most widespread cycling. As already reported, the politicians have been saying one thing and doing another, including removing bike lanes (here's the whole sorry story to date). The People's Front of Richmond was less than impressed with the consultation and considers what you can do - whether you currently cycle or not.

And even if you're not in Richmond, you can't afford to be complacent. Right across London there's been an epidemic of pavement widening at the expense of bikes. Although Southwark is at least listening to the objections of cyclists as an NCN route is slated to close, it's still as if cyclists are only an afterthought - with the exception of the City of London where they're apparntly being actively designed out. Even when they are considered, as at Lambeth Bridge, the result is half-hearted - there's a consultation exercise going on there, too, and Kennington People on Bikes urgest you to tell them to do it properly (and not let these chaps do the work). As an unusually mellow Freewheeler finds, comparing Hackney, the Netherlands and Waltham forest detail is important - David Hembrow would agree. No doubt the massive support for a car free bridge will be ignored along with everything else. No wonder cycling is in a lifetime of decline.

Indeed, if anything the situation is worse outside London - South Gloucestershire, they're taking pavement space and giving it to cars and in Manchester permeability is being increased for cars, not reduced and in Liverpool a £3 million redevelopment leaves no space for the bike. In fact, the only person who seems happy is Bristol Traffic who salutes the city's highway engineers.

And yet elsewhere, cities seem to be being increasingly designed around the bike - which is the way to better cities. New York and Portland discover the joys of the bicycle economy - while Leith Walk shopkeepers discover their clientele isn't as car dependent as they thought - perhaps that's why Tesco is targeting bikes (with parking, at least). Separate tracks are planned for Calgary (although Toronto is playing bike lane hokey-cokey, clearly taking their cue from Richmond council) - even in Texas the roads are going on a diet. In San Francisco more lessons are being learned from Denmark which might be why Pennine Peddling found it safer to cycle there than in the UK. Meanwhile in Portland, bikes get a head start across a junction, something the UK may be learning from.

Meanwhile, down under, land of the helmet law, a naked (headed) bike ride is planned, and Cycling Auckland calls for an end to dangerizing cycling. And what do you know, it turns out that when it comes to helmets, research finds that people can prove anything they want with statistics.

As the Olympics effect rumbles on Peter Walker's eyes are opened by the Paralympics (although Britain isn't quite spiralling down into a cycle of addiction - we wish). At least Chris Hoy is taking his responsibilities as cycling hero seriously, talking much sense on cycling as transport. Certainly he made more sense than the politicians - here's that budget in full. It looks like Dave McCraw will be enjoying his traffic jams for a while to come.

As well as consultations it seemed to be law'n'order week this week, with the Guardian picking up on Boris's retraction of his slur on cyclists. In North Cambridge anti-social cyclists are the top priority (Tokyo too) while in London at least drivers get targeted too - perhaps the Welsh police could do the same before Cycle stuff gets seriously hurt - and Northern Ireland is not much better. The Invisible Visible Man wonders when the New York Police will start applying the 'broken windows' approach to the real menace on the roads while Martin Porter wonders why we aren't at least taking the most incompetent drivers permanently off the road - rather than banning cyclists from A roads as one judge has suggested. Tejvan gets on his own bike to target some oiks. The British Transport Police are searching this this cycle thief (which makes them more proactive than Copenhagen's - see there is something we do better than the Danes).

Meanwhile, what will it take for the politicians to give a, damn? Cycling advocates were at least heard at the recent integrated transport conference while Labour commits to building separated cycle paths and MPs urge Cameron to ride to the rescue of cyclists. The Cycling Jim finds some surprising allies in Bristol while Magnatom finds himself remembering an old mentor in his campaigning. But As Easy as Riding a Bike reminds us of some home truths about the 'safety in numbers' effect - and the Ecologist warns that warm words about localism are being used to push through road building by stealth.

Thinking About Cycling starts a series about ordinary cyclists' experiences while another cyclist stands up for his means of transport. Rethinking Childhood considers that it takes a village to teach a child to ride a bike while the Biggest Journey chooses a new adventure. Downfader likes Spokespeople - and recognises some of the questions, while Angela's Bike Blog discovers that Dutch newspapers commenters can be as baffling as their British counterparts (and there are hills there too) and Katja gives and receives some unsolicited advice.

And finally, the unstoppable rise of the helmet cam continues, and, like policeman, it seems that helmet cammers are getting younger...

Enjoy the ride


Wasn't sure if you weren't serious about the consultation so am giving mine anyway.

There are lots of links so it's not like reading just one blogpost but now that I'm used to it I prepare to read it in a different way. Your "teasers" for each link are usually what determines whether I click on it or not. I've subscribed separately to several of these blogs as a result but yours still leads me to new ones while at the same time it acts as a check to see if I've missed something. Another good thing is that the links are about issues across the Anglosphere and not just GB, which to an Australian in Australia (as I am) makes me feel included as we suffer many of the same problems as GB cycling does.

Finally, its not about the blog itself but it's great that so many GB bloggers and members of the Embassy are visiting and writing about the Dutch infrastructure. I really appreciate these efforts. You all have a right to feel as Katja does if it will help keep your spirits up in the face of the lobotomized traffic "engineering" that is happening in GB.

Best of luck with this long, lifetime campaign. I can't wait for the chance to visit GB again with my family and cycle around it as easily as one can in the Netherlands.

The main thing I'd say is that I think people do use this blog. I certainly get a lot of traffic to my blog every time you mention me.

Cheers both - the request was slightly tongue in cheek but it is good to know that it's appreciated (as you can imagine it's a lot of work to compile) and does send traffic people's way. From my point of view it's a way of showing that there's a lot of thoughtful bloggers out there who are part of an informed and lively debate that's miles ahead of anything you'd see in print (or hear at meetings).  And not just in London but, as you say, across the globe

AKA TownMouse

It'd be nice to throw in a couple of pictures as well to break up the big lump of text and make it easier to read. As I'm a lot busier in my new job, I do find the summary of what's happened useful, esp with skipping a twitter a lot more.

If you knew what adding pictures on this site was like ...  I agree it would break up the text though. The other problem is getting permission to use pictures (given that the roundup is usually put together in a mad panic on a Sunday evening) but I'll bear it in mind.

AKA TownMouse

I love the roundup.  I click on every link.  Most I have read previously during the week from following those blogs on Twitter, but there are always a few that I would have missed.  It usually takes me a couple of days on and off to get through the roundup.  I am of course always thrilled and greatful when I see a link to one of my own blog posts.

thanks! You need to blog more often...

AKA TownMouse