The Great Big (But Actually Nowhere Near As Big As It Sounds) Blog Round-up

Sally is off this week, just in case you were wondering about the sudden drop in quality. Don't worry, she will be back next week.

Nick Clegg announces a drop in the ocean for cycling

This weeks big news was the announcement from the Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister of a £200 million boost to UK cycle networks and build upon the "Olympic Legacy". This announcement was quickly put into perspective, with the CEoGB highlighting that this level of funding is risible compared to the capital budget for roads, and Pedaller was quick to point out how unfavourably this level of investment compares to The Netherlands. Chris Boardman argued that we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a cycling revolution (presumably a real one, not one of the hundreds of supposed cycling revolutions touted by politicians) if only plans like these could be more ambitious. The CTC writes about the shortcomings of the latest cycle funding announcement whilst the Shadow Transport Minister sets out the Labour Party's vision for cycling in the event of an election win in May 2015.

Meanwhile in Scotland, progress shows the benefit of actual budgets for cycling rather than the usual ad-hoc approach which only boosts the reception of politicians' speeches, although Glasgow seems happy to go back to the 1970s with certain aspects of its transport strategy, whilst its safety strategy misses the point entirely.

Meanwhile, across the Channel

In The Netherlands, Bicycle Dutch shares his experience on the first part of the F59 - A fast cycle route from ʼs-Hertogenbosch to Oss which really shows how far the UK has got to go. Momentum Mag writes that France is also starting to head in the right direction with respect to the bicycle-as-transport. Contrast that with this article from Copenhagenize, showing it is not just the UK which can have a dysfunctional approach to active travel.

Good design is all about the small details

A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign writes about the problems of bidirectional cycle paths and the optics of cars' nearside dipped headlights. After spending five weeks of this autumn in the USA, I can sympathise with issues cause by poor car headlight design. Thankfully I have yet to see any Ford F150s on the roads here in the UK, but I wouldn't be surprised if it became the next middle-class school-run essential.

ibikelondon asks what's next for London's cycle superhighways, suggesting that there is still a long way to go. Lambeth Cyclists write about the proposal to replace a gyratory in Stockwell with a more bike-friendly two-way arrangement and all that the Ranty Highwayman can muster in response to the Mayor of London's latest, the "Future Streets Incubator Fund" is a sigh.

Despite its £7 million budget, Derby shows no consideration is given to cycling with its latest bridge. perhaps this is because the DfT uses some very different conventions for extrapolating when planning for future car provision compared to other modes of transport.

RadWagon argues that taking space away from cars improves the situation for all road users, including drivers. One aspect of road design where re-allocating space is not helping anyone though is the much-maligned ASL.

Road safety = fluorescent children

The Invisible Visible Man shares a childhood experience of victim-blaming after an adult struck him with a car whilst RDRF writes about the problem with Road Safety Week (perhaps better renamed to high-vis week).

Winter's coming

Bikeyface highlights one of the great challenges of the season (although I must say that with an upright bicycle, this problem becomes markedly less severe), whilst Bike Lanes shares an experience of a family cycling through the Ottawa winter.

British adults value minor time savings higher than lives of other peoples' children

A volunteer steps in to prevent parents from driving over other people's children on a quiet cu-de-sac. I remember seeing a similar situation with a (non-volunteer) lollipop person being required to prevent adults in cars running over children using a pelican crossing by a school on Manchester's Plymouth Grove. Maybe it is time for a local versions of The Weekly Carnage, as long as it doesn't prejudice matters by anthropomorphising inanmiate objects as so many reporters tend to do when it comes to traffic deaths. At least Deceased Canine has a good use for community service sentences handed out to dangerous/incompetent/killer drivers.

Critical Mass

Manchester critical mass offered an alternative to Britain's newest tradition of Black Friday-brawling. Thanks to a work trip in a hire car, this week I got to experience car critical mass on the M60 around Stockport. Despite there being more participants, it was definitely less fun, but I'm led to believe that it happens five days a week rather than once a month. As for where to store all those cars afterwards, Kennington POB writes some handy advice for anyone struggling to store their car on the public highway without getting in the way of other people (which I wish my neighbours would read).

And finally

Laura LakerGraph writes about something that many of us will already know, the difficulty and importance of maintaining hope in cycle campaigning.


Another fine summary, one which Sally will no doubt approve! :-)

There was some disucssion last week on the Interwebs about 'Cycle Proofing'.

The new policy advisor on that within the DfT was stated by one of the members of the 'Cycle Proofing Working Group' and noted in: 

<a href="">Bingle! Cycle Proofing Bizzo!</a>


Keep up the good work!

Best wishes,