Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

ChrisButch
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Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby ChrisButch » 28 Jul 2020, 8:18am

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jul/27/residents-to-get-new-decision-making-powers-in-cycling-revolution"

Residents will get powers to banish through-traffic from local streets and councils will be prevented from building substandard cycle lanes under what Downing Street has billed as a revolution for cycling and walking in England.

The plans will see the creation of a watchdog to ensure new cycle and walking routes are up to standard, intended to act as a transport equivalent of the schools inspectorate, Ofsted.

Active Travel England, to be led by a yet-to-be-appointed commissioner for walking and cycling, will refuse to fund paint-only bike lanes – without physical barriers or protection from cars – or routes where cyclists and pedestrians have to share space. It could also cut budgets in other areas for highways departments which fail to deliver on active transport.

The plans, led by Boris Johnson, will be funded by a previously announced £2bn in new funding over five years, with a pledge of longer-term money. They include cycle training for every child or adult who seeks it, a pilot scheme for GPs to prescribe cycling to improve patients’ health, and thousands of miles of protected bike lanes.

Local people will be given a chance to choose whether residential side streets should be closed to through motor traffic to make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists, under plans to be put out for consultation.

Another proposal could see some main roads, for example in cities, kept as through-routes for pedestrians, cyclists and buses, with other motor traffic allowed access only."...

There's more.
Blimey.

thirdcrank
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Re: Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Jul 2020, 9:15am

Experience shows that residents want through traffic banned but to retain complete access for themselves. ie They are generally opposed to self-enforcing schemes with bollards and expect access restricted by signs, becoming very frustrated when there isn't enforcement 24/7. AFAIK, this is one of the biggest .. er .. obstructions to closing streets to through traffic.

Around here at least, residents are the main opponents of cycle routes.

If I've read this proposal correctly, it will tend to formalize the current situation in which local councillors understandably defer to the views of their ward electorate, especially those who shout loudest, while passengers AKA those passing through get short shrift - or no shrift at all.

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simonineaston
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Re: Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby simonineaston » 28 Jul 2020, 9:23am

a yet-to-be-appointed commissioner for walking and cycling,
Chris Boardman?
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

thirdcrank
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Re: Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Jul 2020, 9:46am

Had he not gone to the Great Debating Chamber in the Sky, I'd nominate the late Denis Howell. It would need somebody with his legendary brand of magic (good luck) to achieve this.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis_Howell

The big difference, of course, is that an English drought will eventually be ended by rain. There's nothing inevitable about a successful policy to promote cycling

Vorpal
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Re: Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby Vorpal » 28 Jul 2020, 9:56am

I can't see this getting anywhere unless change is imposed. As TC says, people don't want their streets blocked off. They want low traffic neighbours without reducing their personal convenience. The exceptions are places where people already tend not to use cars much, like in London, or the centre of other large cities.

Also, as far as I can tell, councils don't have to do this unless they want to. I can very well imagine that some councils would just look at that and decide they don't need money for cycle routes, especially if they are going to be *inspected* to anything other than the DMRB safety audit guidelines.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Oldjohnw
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Re: Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby Oldjohnw » 28 Jul 2020, 9:59am

In my own nearest small town the population seems to think that in order to return to the 1950s heyday of local shopping all we need is more High Street parking - as if half a dozen more cars would magically sort it. Time and again they refuse to allow the town centre to be traffic free.
John

ChrisButch
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Re: Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby ChrisButch » 28 Jul 2020, 11:38am

Vorpal wrote:I can't see this getting anywhere unless change is imposed.
Also, as far as I can tell, councils don't have to do this unless they want to. I can very well imagine that some councils would just look at that and decide they don't need money for cycle routes, especially if they are going to be *inspected* to anything other than the DMRB safety audit guidelines.


There is an implication that it will be imposed - " It could also cut budgets in other areas for highways departments which fail to deliver on active transport." That could be read as meaning that there'll be no more money for roads unless these measures are adopted - effectively a gun to the head.

There's a rare alignment of the planets at the moment - not only this (in which I see Andrew Gilligan's hand behind the scene as transport SPAD), but also a fundamental review of planning law. It will go for naught unless there's a joining of the dots between the two (excuse clumsy shifts of metaphor). There won't be much gained by widespread segregated infrastructure in cities as they are if there continues to be population shift to new esatates built on greenfield sites distant from employment centres.

thirdcrank
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Re: Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Jul 2020, 12:01pm

ChrisButch
I see your comment about double posting has gone, which makes my intended comment about repeating yourself being a sign of old age a mystery to anybody who didn't see it.

However that gives me a chance to repeat myself, even though it's from something I posted a while ago.

Here's

what I think must be the saddest picture ever published on the subject. And yes, these children go to school in York of all places(or did in 2004):-


viewtopic.php?p=40455#p40455

All being well, those children will have grown up by now.

In the meantime, the rest of that 2007 thread discussed a lot of what we are talking about now.

I really hope that my pessimism (cynicism?) is misplaced but we've seen it all before. Kenneth Clarke has gone from being a junior transport minister with responsibility for cycling (picture of him on here somewhere) via being a cheerleader for a tobacco baron, to being a real baron.
=================================================================

PS And thanks to the wonders of streetview, here's a recent shot of that telegraph pole in the middle of the cycle track, although there is only one "Parris wire" The second is down to streetview imagery. Unless it's a subtle way of Leeds City Council raising two fingers to me. It was one of the first things I ever raised, back in the golden, olden days of the Notional Cycling Strategy

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.76133 ... 384!8i8192

Vorpal
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Re: Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby Vorpal » 28 Jul 2020, 12:20pm

ChrisButch wrote:
Vorpal wrote:I can't see this getting anywhere unless change is imposed.
Also, as far as I can tell, councils don't have to do this unless they want to. I can very well imagine that some councils would just look at that and decide they don't need money for cycle routes, especially if they are going to be *inspected* to anything other than the DMRB safety audit guidelines.


There is an implication that it will be imposed - " It could also cut budgets in other areas for highways departments which fail to deliver on active transport." That could be read as meaning that there'll be no more money for roads unless these measures are adopted - effectively a gun to the head.

That would be brilliant if it actually happens in any meaningful way.

I have encountered a complete and utter lack of knowledge about anything related to cycling at local and county level. Getting that to change is shifting a behemoth. It absolutely has to involve training for the staff and contractors that do the work on the ground. And the standards for inspection need to be very, very good; on the order of the long-dead (TC's favourite), Guidelines for Cycle Audit and Cycle Review [The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, London, ISBN 9780902933262], otherwise, it will be interpretted and implemented as car-centric councils are wont.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

thirdcrank
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Re: Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Jul 2020, 1:40pm

Vorpal wrote:... And the standards for inspection need to be very, very good; on the order of the long-dead (TC's favourite), Guidelines for Cycle Audit and Cycle Review [The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, London, ISBN 9780902933262], ....


The good news is somebody has been listening.

The bad news is that I've been preaching to the converted.

Still, you can't win them all.

millimole
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Re: Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby millimole » 28 Jul 2020, 2:17pm

Maybe the trick is to forget talking to 'them' about cycling and walking, and use reverse psychology.
'Won't it be so much easier to drive to the shopping centre if there aren't as many cars rat-running down our street' and 'It'd be great to see your grandchildren being able to play in the street without so many cars coming down here' (Oh! Won't somebody think of the children?)

Whether we like it or not asking for better cycling facilities and cycling routes is a huge turn-off for a significant people who see themselves purely as 'drivers' never pedestrians, walkers, or, heaven forbid, bike riders.

Vorpal
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Re: Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby Vorpal » 29 Jul 2020, 7:59am

thirdcrank wrote:
Vorpal wrote:... And the standards for inspection need to be very, very good; on the order of the long-dead (TC's favourite), Guidelines for Cycle Audit and Cycle Review [The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, London, ISBN 9780902933262], ....


The good news is somebody has been listening.

The bad news is that I've been preaching to the converted.

Still, you can't win them all.

I'll have you know that the Guidelines for Cycle Audit and Cycle Review made it into my Master's thesis.
8)
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

ChrisButch
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Re: Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby ChrisButch » 29 Jul 2020, 12:53pm

thirdcrank wrote:Experience shows that residents want through traffic banned but to retain complete access for themselves. ie They are generally opposed to self-enforcing schemes with bollards and expect access restricted by signs, becoming very frustrated when there isn't enforcement 24/7. AFAIK, this is one of the biggest .. er .. obstructions to closing streets to through traffic.

Around here at least, residents are the main opponents of cycle routes.

If I've read this proposal correctly, it will tend to formalize the current situation in which local councillors understandably defer to the views of their ward electorate, especially those who shout loudest, while passengers AKA those passing through get short shrift - or no shrift at all.


The emphasis on resident choice in the Guardian headline may be slightly misleading. Such details as there are, at least in what I've read, seem to imply that the 'residents' choice' bit will apply mainly to 'quiet streets', 'quiet neighbourhoods' etc, rather than to segregated cycling infrastructure on through routes. That may be wishful thinking in my part.

thirdcrank
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Re: Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby thirdcrank » 29 Jul 2020, 1:04pm

My sincere wish is that all these current initiatives are for the best. I may change my username to Pangloss.

In the meantime, my bitter experience has made me bitter. Show me a politician who says they will promote cycling and I'll show you a liar, or somebody too naïve to survive long in politics.

ChrisButch
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Re: Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling 'revolution'

Postby ChrisButch » 29 Jul 2020, 1:30pm

The Panglosses of my acquaintance are rather nicer than the Jeremiahs. Most of us, I guess, are somewhere in between, and sway one way or the other as the wind blows.