Monday, 9 August 2010

Cycling through treacle

I went to the Newcastle Council Cycling Forum. I thought attendance was good - about a dozen cyclists and the council people. There were the regulars from Sustrans and CTC and a smattering of interested others - hopefully urban cyclists .

The good news - we have a new cycling officer. She's going to get a bike and go on a cycling training course.

There is a budget to fix some things and a list of 'quick fixes' - some problems that should be easy to fix - drop kerbs that don't drop, missing signage , confusing road markings and some remedial work. At the last meeting a request was made for the council to be informed of any more. - so there are now 2 lists . It appears that some of the issues are duplicated.

There is a cycle route planner - the transport direct site, recommended by Cycling England ( an offshoot of Department for Transport, i think. I've just tried it , putting in my route to work. Can't say I'm impressed. I asked for the quickest route, not the safest, so it took me along the length of the dual carriageway and it would take 33 minutes. No it doesn't, it takes me 28 minutes and i only do a little bit of the Coast Road. And there is no where on the transport direct website where you can tell them they got it wrong.

There was also some discussion about the use of Advance Stop lines and green boxes to let bikes get to the front of the queue , and obvious to cars. The green boxes are often ignore byu cars . So why isn't it enforced ? Well its not that easy . There was an article in the Guardian that explains that enforcement is not straightforward . Its probably worth the Council tarting up some of the boxes around the place , as its still a useful resource for cyclists.

2hr 20 mins of meeting. Concrete Achievements ? hmmmmmm. but never mind , lots of action points, and several dead trees .

As an aside , I've come across Copenhagen Cycle Chic and some of the derivatives. Strange , there isn't a Newcastle Cycle Chic . I wonder why not ?

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