Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Jdsk
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby Jdsk » 10 May 2020, 12:07pm

simonineaston wrote:We keep imagining - hoping against hope - that if we wait long enough, a tory (or indeed any political stripe!) government minister will emerge, who'll save the day and wave a magic wand around to cast spells that'll make cycling in the UK great!

Well said. Local initiatives are much more likely to get off the ground. And if they're properly evaluated they'll provide evidence for others to follow.

If only there were a relevant proverb about the best and the good... : - )

Jonathan

atoz
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby atoz » 10 May 2020, 12:48pm

This is a gentleman who, during the election campaign, claimed that Labour's proposal to electrify the bus fleet was part of their ongoing war against the motorist - see https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/06/labour-vows-to-electrify-englands-entire-bus-fleet-by-2030

Other than that small detail, there is the issue of how these new government proposals just announced will actually work.

I normally travel to work on a bus service where actually getting a seat would be considered a major miracle, since it is ram packed with students, so much so that that particular service has been christened informally with the name of the college most of the students attend- lol. Given that said students can travel a significant distance, it is not likely they will choose to cycle on a very busy A road, even with "temporary" space, should it ever exist- and given the finances of our local authorities, I have my doubts on that one. So when eventually they all go back, it will be same old service, but with less students, which means longer waits for the same service to ensure social distancing- again, not holding my breath on that one. It's even worse on a Friday when all the colleges close at just about the same time, and they all descend on the bus station at the same time. Social distancing my *****.

The alternative is an 8 mile trip on the bike each way which means a sustained 1 in 6 descent/ascent on a busy road shared with HGVs. Not great in summer. Not doable at any other time of year. I know, as I used to do this on certain days when my working hours started at an off peak time. It was only possible then. It is not possible to safely do this at peak. I speak as someone who has done thousands of miles on my own and with the local club, and plenty of commute experience. I am now in my late 50s and have been riding at a significant level since my early teens, and have been a CTC (now Cycling UK) member since the early 80s. So - 16 miles a day, 5 days a week I would be riding to work, according to this. Assuming my dodgy knee can tolerate it, if I could do this, I really should be a domestique for a pro team, not riding to work- doh..

kwackers
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby kwackers » 10 May 2020, 12:54pm

atoz wrote:The alternative is an 8 mile trip on the bike each way which means a sustained 1 in 6 descent/ascent on a busy road shared with HGVs

e-bike.

Jdsk
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby Jdsk » 10 May 2020, 1:01pm

Same thought.

Jonathan

atoz
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby atoz » 10 May 2020, 1:02pm

kwackers wrote:
atoz wrote:The alternative is an 8 mile trip on the bike each way which means a sustained 1 in 6 descent/ascent on a busy road shared with HGVs

e-bike.


An e-bike is much more attractive to steal than a 36 year old touring bike, which is all I am prepared to risk for a work commute. I would have to be much more sure of workplace storage security for that- again, not holding my breath. D locks will not deter a tooled up thief, even if they are a Kryptonite evolution. The safest bike is one that noone wants to steal, but unforutnately that would not cut it for that journey. But even with an e-bike there is the small matter of safety to consider. The people who replied to my post should maybe think why someone with my level of experience would be wary of doing this route on a regular basis.

kwackers
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby kwackers » 10 May 2020, 1:15pm

atoz wrote:
kwackers wrote:
atoz wrote:The alternative is an 8 mile trip on the bike each way which means a sustained 1 in 6 descent/ascent on a busy road shared with HGVs

e-bike.


An e-bike is much more attractive to steal than a 36 year old touring bike, which is all I am prepared to risk for a work commute. I would have to be much more sure of workplace storage security for that- again, not holding my breath. D locks will not deter a tooled up thief, even if they are a Kryptonite evolution. The safest bike is one that noone wants to steal, but unforutnately that would not cut it for that journey.

Tatty bike, converted to an e-bike.
Take the battery in with you and it's a lot less attractive.

Until I got knocked off (not a good advert I'll admit) I was doing nearly 1000 miles a month (40+ a day) on my converted bike. Over the 2 years I ran it I saved myself over £4k in fares (minus the £700 the bike cost to convert).

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby Wanlock Dod » 10 May 2020, 3:38pm

Given the current situation where there are plenty of people who wouldn’t have considered it safe enough to cycle 2 miles into the town centre from where they live I suspect that all of the commitment, and more besides, could be put to good use without going any farther afield. Surely this is predominantly intended to benefit people who wouldn’t previously considered cycling to be an option rather than those brave and fit enough to ride on the roads pre-lockdown.

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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby PH » 10 May 2020, 5:55pm

simonineaston wrote:We keep imagining - hoping against hope - that if we wait long enough, a tory (or indeed any political stripe!) government minister will emerge, who'll save the day and wave a magic wand around to cast spells that'll make cycling in the UK great!

I don't think we are, at least no one I talk to is.
Well we may hope for that, but what we're expecting and campaigning for is small steps to take up along that path. The defeatist idea that we won't get anything is the surest way to make sure we don't. These government proposals don't in themselves provide anything, what they do is remove some of the barriers we need to cross to get anywhere. There's no magic to any of it, if you want it, fight for it.

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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby mjr » 12 May 2020, 4:12pm

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ ... -operators
Grant Shapps wrote:we are also asking those who need to make journeys to their place of work or other essential trips to walk or cycle wherever possible. [...]

If people cannot walk or cycle but have access to a car, we urge them to use this before considering public transport, avoiding, where possible busy times of day.


Minister Shapps seems to be setting a rather different priority order to the PM's "car... or walk or cycle" speeches.

I've seen naff all change on the ground yet. Has anyone? In other countries, the concrete blocks and metal posts were closing off lanes from cars within days.
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby wjhall » 13 May 2020, 4:25pm

simonineaston wrote:...
One simple idea to get your head around, folks, is this: Shap is interested in cycling for two reasons: One - to get workers into work so money can be made and taxes paid. Two - to further his career.


Which is what is needed, two good solid reasons that will stand the test of time.

Or possibly not, since public transport use is likely to rise fairly fast as people get used to going out again and being among other people again. The reality is that for people of working age the risks from coronavirus are small, and the problem is that having scared them silly the government has to unscare them, for which purpose various measures like workplace marking and wearing masks, as long as they are not real ones, are being proposed to smooth the transition, and in reality will be forgotten in practice fairly quickly. The other underlying reality is that a large number of people have been going to work all along, more or less proving the absence of risk, if anyone cares to stop and think about it.

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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby mjr » 13 May 2020, 5:09pm

wjhall wrote:The reality is that for people of working age the risks from coronavirus are small, [...] The other underlying reality is that a large number of people have been going to work all along, more or less proving the absence of risk, if anyone cares to stop and think about it.

I've replied to this at viewtopic.php?p=1481045#p1481045 because I doubt its veracity.
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby Pete Owens » 13 May 2020, 9:46pm

mjr wrote:https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/coronavirus-covid-19-new-transport-guidance-for-passengers-and-operators
Grant Shapps wrote:we are also asking those who need to make journeys to their place of work or other essential trips to walk or cycle wherever possible. [...]

If people cannot walk or cycle but have access to a car, we urge them to use this before considering public transport, avoiding, where possible busy times of day.


Minister Shapps seems to be setting a rather different priority order to the PM's "car... or walk or cycle" speeches.

I've seen naff all change on the ground yet. Has anyone? In other countries, the concrete blocks and metal posts were closing off lanes from cars within days.


You mean those absolutely moronic attempts to spread the infection among cyclists by herding them them into a small part of the road space physically close to each other and to pedestrians.

How long will it take segregationists to take suppressing the virus seriously - rather than treat it as an opportunity to press for temporary infrastructure that, however much they think it might be worthwhile in normal times, is the exact opposite of what is needed during the pandemic?

At the moment (and for the foreseeable future) the proximity of pedestrians and other cyclists that represent a far the greatest threat to us than motor vehicles. So the measures we need now are to separate us from pedestrians and each other, not from motor vehicles which pose a trivial risk relatively. It does make sense to take space to widen pavements - taken either from traffic lanes or parking spaces ... or cycle lanes or paths. But cyclists need to ride well away from these widened pavements ie avoid any segregated facilities which are either shared with or immediately adjacent to pedestrians.

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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby mjr » 15 May 2020, 9:09am

Pete Owens wrote:
mjr wrote:I've seen naff all change on the ground yet. Has anyone? In other countries, the concrete blocks and metal posts were closing off lanes from cars within days.


You mean those absolutely moronic attempts to spread the infection among cyclists by herding them them into a small part of the road space physically close to each other and to pedestrians.


No, I mean the ones where a whole 4ish metre lane has been demotorised, often in junction.

All cycleways and lanes should be widened to 3m to enable distances to be kept. It's really disappointing that vehicularists would even oppose this and see new and returning cyclists feel forced into buses and cars rather than dare see the possibility that they are mistaken and that protected spaces encourage cycling.
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby PH » 15 May 2020, 11:35am

Pete Owens wrote:How long will it take segregationists to take suppressing the virus seriously - rather than treat it as an opportunity to press for temporary infrastructure that, however much they think it might be worthwhile in normal times, is the exact opposite of what is needed during the pandemic?

So what in your opinion is needed during the pandemic? People are being forced to go back to work. Those who usually walk, cycle or drive are very likely to go back to doing just that, so the roads and footpaths are soon going to be as busy as ever. That leaves those who previously car shared and those who used public transport. A tiny percentage of them are going to be persuaded to cycle if their journey includes any roads they don't feel comfortable cycling on, it would be the stuff of fantasy to think otherwise, the exact same stuff people have been saying for decades without effect.
Do you think those European cities with extensive cycling infrastructure have currently closed it? Do you think they are going to suffer from it? Would you rather sit on a packed bus for half an hour, or cycle and briefly pass a few other people closer than ideal?

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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby wjhall » 17 May 2020, 4:51pm

Since no one is interested in my suggestion that more venal politicians would be a good idea, I will leave it alone for now and turn to the prediction about public behaviour and the forthcoming golden age of cycling.

It seems to be too early to make any judgements about what is actually happening. The Guardian claimed that trains had become crowded on Monday, the Mayor of London said that there had been little change, which fits with longstanding complaints that in London they have been fairly full all along. On our local branch line I have not seen a rush hour train with more than one passenger throughout.

It appears that the current situation is that about a quarter of the population have been working throughout, a quarter are furloughed and about 45 % are working at home. I find that last figure amazing, but I read it in the Guardian, so it must be true.

What could develop is a continuation of the present situation, with only a minimal slow return to working at workplaces by furloughed people, so that the 25% who have never stopped attending their workplaces continue to go to work, the home workers continue to work at home, refining their practices and facilities to ease out any difficulties, and the furloughed continue on furlough until the furlough scheme stops and they become redundant.

Mr Shapps Golden Age of Cycling could turn out rather like Mr Tebbits, with one quarter of the population getting on their bikes in search of work.