Today's cycling spin

thirdcrank
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Today's cycling spin

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Sep 2009, 4:09pm

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/p ... 851682.ece

1/ More cycle parking places at railway stations (less provision on trains?)

2/ Latest promoting cycling claptrap from a transport minister - this is the unelected Baron Adonis.

A pity that something like this cannot be reported without trying to stir up a bit of cheap controversy with reference to the hardships faced by drivers wanting to park at stations.

pwward
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Re: Today's cycling spin

Postby pwward » 28 Sep 2009, 8:20pm

This is excellent news.

I think Adonis has something about him. Good on him for going over to Holland and seeing it for himself. From other things I read he seems genuinely interested in cycling and promoting it and has a much more sophisticated understanding of the issues than previous ministers.

If cycling did take off in Britain then surely we'd have to go down the route of Holland's railways. Every train has cycle carriage but they charge €12 per journey flat rate. I think if the principle of paying this sort of fee was introduced here we may end up with a lot better provision too. As things stand it is just not a money spinner for the rail companies.

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Si
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Re: Today's cycling spin

Postby Si » 29 Sep 2009, 10:55am

I notice that the stations listed for possible new cycle parking schemes doesn't include New St. One of the countries busiest major stations, about to undergo a multi-mllion £ rebuild, and no apparent plans to increase the, what is it?, 10 cycle spaces that it currently has? Nice to see that Birmingham is still Motor-City.

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Swizz69
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Re: Today's cycling spin

Postby Swizz69 » 29 Sep 2009, 11:02am

If cycling did take off in Britain then surely we'd have to go down the route of Holland's railways. Every train has cycle carriage but they charge €12 per journey flat rate. I think if the principle of paying this sort of fee was introduced here we may end up with a lot better provision too. As things stand it is just not a money spinner for the rail companies.

I agree with you there upto a point. I'm not sure it should be that expensive, considering that luggage in general is carried for free.
Theres also the idealistic argument that the travel by bicycle at either end of the journey isn't burning any diesel either so making it easy to justify encouraging people to ride.
Might be missing the point here entirely, but is the big demand from commuters there for bicycle parking on stations? (as opposed to better provision on the train)

thirdcrank
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Re: Today's cycling spin

Postby thirdcrank » 29 Sep 2009, 12:24pm

pwward

I hope you are right. After a lifetime of failed government initiatives to promote cycling I'll not hold my breath. I don't claim to know much about Baron Adonis, but in recent years goverments do seem to have more and more unelected placemen in ministerial jobs.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Today's cycling spin

Postby Cunobelin » 29 Sep 2009, 7:16pm

Absolutely useless to me and many others.....

I do not want to park my bike at a station, I want to ride my bike to a station get on board a train with my bike and then cycle towork at the other end

Radical I know and increasingly difficult as the cattle truck mentality of the present operating companies is allowed to prevail.

It used to be possible to cycle as a family taking 6 bikes on a train to somewhere, do a circular route to another station and come back.... that now takes three separate trains!

If the intention is to encourage cycling - invest the money in cariage space, not parking space.

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Re: Today's cycling spin

Postby JJF » 29 Sep 2009, 8:12pm

Can I correct a statement made above and quoted by a second poster ie
".... Holland's railways. Every train has cycle carriage but they charge €12 per journey flat rate."

The cycle charge on Dutch railways is €6 per day. Having bought your ticket you can use throughout the day on every train you use.
JJF

cjchambers
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Re: Today's cycling spin

Postby cjchambers » 29 Sep 2009, 9:09pm

I think catering by commuters with cycle parking at stations is something of London/Big City idea

The idea being that you live in a dormitory town away from the city but within maybe 5 or 10 miles of a station - you cycle to the station but when you get to Big City, you're close enough to your place of work to be able to walk, or get the tube.

For example - just the other day I was on a teatime commuter train from Southampton to Salisbury. On the way, we passed the tiny village of West Dean, which I knew was tiny because I'd cycled through it not 5 hours ealier - to my surprise lots of these very smartly dressed people started getting out with briefcases etc. It took me a while to realise what was going on - those people had driven to this station out in the middle of nowhere, parked up by the side of the road somewhere and hopped on the train. They probably didn't live too far away and are potential cycle converts, but I think convincing them to cycle 5 miles is a bigger hurdle than installing a few metal hoops!

dave holladay
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Re: Today's cycling spin

Postby dave holladay » 30 Sep 2009, 1:11am

There is a certain irony that the 4 train operators getting the funds are to be known as Bike & Ride schemes but in many cases you don't at present get much of a welcome if you want to ride with your bike on the trains.

I reckoo that we do need a Pricing regime rather than a confrontational Policing one for busy trains, and the quid pro quo is that we remove all peak hour restrictions on cycle carriage - but if you do want to travel at peak times with a bike or any item of luggage which exceeds the limits already set out in the National Conditions of Carriage, there is a well publicised tariff of charges. in this way instead of being scolded for sneaking on to a train during the banned period, but with no penalty other than being harassed and shouted at (and perhaps delayed) you would simply be required to pay the appropriate fee.

Off peak, when trains are so empty that each passenger has 10 tons or more of train being moved around for their benefit than cyclists would be enticed to fill the trains by free carriage. The pricing structure would then make bike hire and secure parking or buying/leasing a folding bike part of the range of choices available (including free open access parking) so that each user can select the solution appropriate to their needs and budget - very much as happens in the Netherlands, where OV-Fiets (commuter bike hire) costs €2.80 per day compared to the €6 per day to take the bike on the train and an even lower price for overnight secured parking, and no charge for joining the stack of bikes parked outside the station.

skrx
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Re: Today's cycling spin

Postby skrx » 30 Sep 2009, 1:21am

cjchambers wrote:to my surprise lots of these very smartly dressed people started getting out with briefcases etc. It took me a while to realise what was going on - those people had driven to this station out in the middle of nowhere, parked up by the side of the road somewhere and hopped on the train.


In London, some of these are the people that have either a folding bike, or perhaps two bikes (one left in the ridiculous ever-present pile of cycles outside Waterloo Station, for instance: http://www.lcc.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=1409 (actually, that's Paddington)). Or one bike, left at their home station. Until they reduce the peak-time congestion on the railways nothing will change -- and doing that will cost billions.

This evening, I cycled home, changed my clothes, then cycled to the tube station (4 minutes) and locked up my bike. I took a tube train to Leicester Square, met up with my friends in a pub, changed pub, got the tube home from Embankment and cycled home (6 minutes, uphill). Sometimes I cycle all the way, but it was dark and I knew we'd be drinking. Also, I'd have had to walk back to wherever I'd left my bike rather than the nearest station.
I wouldn't be able to do this in the morning, as there'd be nowhere to lock my bike (at 19:30, I got the last official space, at midnight there were only three locked bikes). Full racks on Streetview (there are more on the left).

thirdcrank
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Re: Today's cycling spin

Postby thirdcrank » 30 Sep 2009, 8:14am

I can't help remembering that when the "New" Labour govt swept into power on a wave of change in 1997 we were promised* integrated transport and joined-up thinking. :lol: (And with a cabinet packed with unelected barons, he's now proposing reform of the House of Lords. Sounds familiar.)


* Probably not promises but rather, "aspirations" as in "a sharp intake of breath."

======================================================================

PS Has nobody else noticed that Buzz Lightyear is modelled on a smiling version of Two Jags?

PRL
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Re: Today's cycling spin

Postby PRL » 30 Sep 2009, 7:56pm

Hey folks how many government ministers say thing like “For too long we have hesitated to promote cycling — the greenest form of travel — as a mainstream form of transport. Yet more than half of all journeys — including journeys to work, school and college — are of five miles or less. If we made it easier and safer, more people would cycle. Just talk to the people already on their bikes. They sail past the traffic, they enjoy the exercise, they get a sense of freedom." ?
If it takes an unelected politico to be as positive as this then perhaps we need more of them. :D

ChrisPeck
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Re: Today's cycling spin

Postby ChrisPeck » 1 Oct 2009, 1:32pm

PRL wrote:If it takes an unelected politico to be as positive as this then perhaps we need more of them. :D


Adonis's commitment to improving station provision is really positive. Sadly he doesn't have the same enthusiasm for on-train cycle carriage.

I can't understand the opposition to 'unelected' ministers. Surely it is better that Adonis was able - without a constituency to go to - to cycle round the London mainline stations on the weekend, take a load of photos of the miserable cycle parking, and then put those photos in a presentation which he then showed the rail industry?

'Unelected' ministers are able to devote more of their time to reading the background information and grilling their civil servants, instead of dealing with Mrs Miggins's broken window - the 'glorified social work' which so many of our MPs find themselves doing.

skrx
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Re: Today's cycling spin

Postby skrx » 1 Oct 2009, 2:26pm

ChrisPeck wrote:'Unelected' ministers are able to devote more of their time to reading the background information and grilling their civil servants, instead of dealing with Mrs Miggins's broken window - the 'glorified social work' which so many of our MPs find themselves doing.


Having a constituency isn't a requirement for someone elected. For instance, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has 14 members elected for specific areas (e.g. Richard Tracey AM for Merton and Wandsworth), with 11 others elected for all of Greater London (e.g. Jenny Jones AM).

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rbrian
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Re: Today's cycling spin

Postby rbrian » 1 Oct 2009, 4:09pm

ChrisPeck wrote:I can't understand the opposition to 'unelected' ministers.


It's not necessarily who they are or what they're doing now, it's what it represents - the possibilities for the future, with more and more unelected "representatives", cronies, placemen, and before you know it, fascism. Who would have voted for identity cards, for example? Nobody on the street, just those in power.
Cynic? No, an optimist tempered by experience.