Si wrote:You still seem to be confusing projects of building infrastructure with projects where infrastructure is one part of many strands. Can you link to cases where a multi-strand approach was enacted and it was proven that the cyclepath part made no difference?
That's a tobacco industry tactic. Prove it wasn't their diet or clothing or drinking that caused their lung cancer. Any such study would not produce valid results because of confounding - you can't separate out which strand(s) were responsible for the increase and which weren't so people tend not to do them. What I can say is that I know of a number of very successful multi-stranded programmes that involved almost no infrastructure changes. There is also research that concludes that if you could build a perfect segregated cycle network in the UK that went everywhere people wanted to go it would not increase cycling by more than 50% above its current level. Anything less than perfect will achieve much less than that because you are teaching people that they should avoid the roads and most cycle journeys cannot be completed without using the road for at least a part of it. Therefore most of the journeys are percieved as being off-limits for cycling.
Last if you look at the Dutch Cycle Balance audit scheme where the Cycle Balance score correlates with the levels of cycling, the only infrastructure considered in the scoring is cycle parking. What also features is whether the routes are direct (pay attention Sustrans) and the cycling surfaces smooth. But nothing at all about it being on or off road, segregated or not segregated.
So, in essence you can't show that the cycle paths in a multi-strand approach, such as the one I'm talking about, do not help.
Make no mistake - this is not about avoiding roads altogether, but making enticing places for the newcomer to start. Once they have started, and have started to gain confidence, we give them the tools to ride on the road.
You can view our group rides in the same way....riding in a group normally doesn't take them to a destination that they were wanting to go to as part of their daily lives, it's quite slow, the group often goes all around the houses, it's not a tactic that the Dutch used to promote cycling AFAIK, etc etc. But it gives experience, confidence and enjoyment, and we certainly don't expect them to only ride with a group for the rest of their cycling lives. And, again, you can say the same about cycle-training.....they might have an instructor looking after them for their first rides, but that instructor won't be needed for the rest of their cycling lives.
What is Sir Dave's motto? "Marginal gains"...and lots of them.