Labour MPs and Green Councillors turn out for our Space for Cycling ride

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Stephen Morgan MP rides a BTN Bike Share bike on the ride.

Our Space for Cycling ride at the Labour Conference was a great success!

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In front, holding flags from left to right: Stephen Morgan MP, Andy McDonald MP, Fabian Hamilton MP, Tom Guha of Cycling UK and Becky Reynolds of Bricycles

Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Andy McDonald MP for Middlesbrough, made a pledge to increase funding to £10 per person per year for cycling and walking if a Labour government were elected.

Many thanks to Andy for coming and also to Stephen Morgan MP for Portsmouth South and Fabian Hamilton MP for Leeds North East (below).

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Fabian Hamilton MP with a BTN Bike Share bike.

We were also very glad to welcome two Brighton and Hove City Councillors who arrived on bikes, both from the Green Party: Councillor Alex Phillips and Councillor Dick Page.  

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Veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner also stopped by for a chat!

Many thanks to Tom Guha from Cycling UK for arranging the speakers. Cycling UK’s press release here.

 

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Space for Cycling ride on 25th September

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Don’t forget the “Space for Cycling” ride during the Labour Party Conference in Brighton on Monday 25th September at 6.30 pm.

We are organising the event in collaboration with Cycling UK, the national cycling charity.

It’s not party political, but we do want to ensure that cycling is on everyone’s political agenda!

We are inviting Labour Party delegates, Brighton and Hove City Councillors and MPs from every party to join us.

The details are on Facebook and below:

Meet opposite the Brighton Hilton Metropole Hotel on the seafront cycle track on Monday 25th September at 6.30 pm.

We will have photos and a mini ride to Hove and back.

Space for Cycling encourages the politicians (of whatever persuasion) to make cycle-friendly decisions i.e. plan, invest, build high quality cycling infrastructure.

Come along and impress the Labour delegates with your enthusiasm for cycling!

Come on the Labour Party Conference ride!

Bricycles ride at the 2015 Labour Party Conference

Join us for a short, refreshing “Space for Cycling” ride during the Labour Party Conference in Brighton on Monday 25th September at 6.30 pm.

We are organising the event in collaboration with Cycling UK, the national cycling charity.

It’s not party political, but we do want to ensure that cycling is on everyone’s political agenda!

We are inviting Labour Party delegates, Brighton and Hove City Councillors and MPs from every party to join us.

The details are on Facebook and below:

Meet opposite the Brighton Hilton Metropole Hotel on the seafront cycle track on Monday 25th September at 6.30 pm.

Speakers include: 

  • Andy McDonald (Shadow Secretary of State for Transport) – Confirmed
  • Andy Burnham (Mayor of Greater Manchester) – Invited
  • Labour members of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group
  • Cycling UK representatives
  • Bricycles representatives
  • More TBC

We will have photos and a short ride to Hove and back so that we can achieve maximum participation without interrupting anyone’s conference programme!

Space for Cycling encourages the politicians (of whatever persuasion) to make cycle-friendly decisions i.e. plan, invest, build high quality cycling infrastructure.

 

 

Coombes A27 crossing at risk of closure

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STOP PRESS! EASY WAY TO OBJECT: Email planning@adur-worthing.gov.uk  quoting planning application AWDM/0961/17. You must include your full name and address.

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 2 NOVEMBER 2017 (OR LATER) WHEN THE SCHEME GOES TO COMMITTEE

New flyer here

A4 poster here

Please spread the word! Print and distribute if possible!


Why object?

The crossing over the A27 from the old Shoreham Toll Bridge to Coombes Road will be removed and the Old Shoreham Road junction will be permanently closed if the New Monks Farm proposals are approved!

The proposed alternative crossing for cyclists involves at least a 1km detour with four new sets of traffic lights over a new roundabout and an upgraded A27.

Off-road alternatives have not been agreed and might prove non-viable. Meanwhile this major development would go ahead.

The plans are out NOW for consultation on Adur and Worthing Council’s website. The deadline is 29 September 2017 extended to 2 November 2017. Use the easy method to object by email given at the top of this post.

You can also comment on the consultation here but you will need to register, log in and find planning reference number AWDM/0961/17

See this flyer Please distribute if you can! Some suggested points of objection are below. Please feel free to change or add your own:

  1. I object to the closure of the existing crossing from the Old Shoreham Road to Coombes Road at the Sussex Pad junction for cyclists, pedestrians and other non-car users.
  2. I object to the lengthy, inadequate and hazardous replacement for the existing crossing.
  3. If the existing crossing is removed, it must be replaced by a bridge or underpass which gives safe, direct access across the A27 from the Old Shoreham Road to Coombes Road for all non-motorised road-users. It must be usable in all weathers and at all times of day i.e. well lit, not vulnerable to flooding and with a tarmac surface, not gravel.
  4. The proposed replacement crossing does not fulfil high quality standards in walking and cycling. Reference: Highways England’s Interim Advice Note 195/16.
  5. I disagree with the Transport Assessment on Page 38, Paragraph 4.3.19 which claims that there are “…very low cycle demands for crossing the A27 within the carriageway and using existing pedestrian crossing during the various peak hours, and on a daily basis.”
    This crossing is well used and invaluable for cyclists, cycling groups and cycling events that often use this crossing in large numbers throughout the year.
  6. The proposal also needs to provide more safe, direct and attractive walking and cycling routes and links so that people, including those with disabilities can have easy access to all destinations e.g. shops, schools, health centres, railway stations etc. and that cycling/walking can reach its full potential and deliver all the accompanying public health and environmental benefits.
  7. Sustainable transport needs to be much more clearly prioritised in this scheme in line with Government and West Sussex County Council sustainable transport policy. The “Technical Note: A27 Access Strategy” section of the Transport Assessment should include proposals for high quality walking and cycling facilities. Reference: Highway England’s Interim Advice Note 195/16.
  8. This proposal will encourage car use. The housing development includes a car parking space for each dwelling (i.e. possibly 600 cars). The proposed IKEA car park would have 1000 spaces, but the A27 is already at capacity and alternatives to car travel should be more strongly encouraged and invested in.
  9. Horse riders need to be better accommodated in any proposed new crossing.
  10. Issues of flooding will be problematic for the proposed development. Flooding must be resolved for any facilities designed for cycling /non-motorised users.
  11. This application is baffling for most ordinary citizens who will be confronted with 400 documents. The key points for cycling are difficult to discern among jargon, spin and complexity with information embedded in so many documents, many of which are slow to download and difficult to view.

New Monks Farm overview

 

Brighton Bike Share launches today!

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We’re up and running! Paul of South Coast Bikes delivered the BTN Bike Share bikes to their seafront locations and to many other points around the town. Starting from September 1st, these handy bikes will be available for hire. See BTN Bike Share for all the details. See the Council news release. Happy cycling!

Urgent action needed for a better A27 crossing at Lancing

IMG_3909 -ed_Sussex PadDo you ride over the old Shoreham Toll Bridge and cross the A27 to go to Coombes, Botolphs or Steyning using the “Sussex Pad” junction? Well, there are proposals to close that crossing as part of the New Monks Farm development. The alternative would be a detour of about 750m ( ½ mile) which would involve four sets of traffic lights and four crossings over carriageways.

The plans are out for consultation NOW with a deadline of 29 September 2017.

Please comment on the consultation here

Our objections are below. Please feel free to copy and improve!

  • We object to the lengthy, inadequate and hazardous replacement for the existing crossing from the Old Shoreham Road to Coombes Road for cyclists and other non-motorised users.
  • If this existing crossing is removed, it must be replaced by a bridge or underpass which gives safe, direct access across the A27 from the Old Shoreham Road to Coombes Road for all non-motorised road-users and it must be usable in all weathers and at all times of day i.e. lit and not vulnerable to flooding.
  • The proposed replacement crossing does not fulfill high quality standards in walking and cycling. (Ref: Highways England’s Interim Advice Note 195/16)
  • We disagree with the Transport Assessment (Page 38, Paragraph 4.3.19 ) which says “The above data demonstrates very low cycle demands for crossing the A27 within the carriageway and using existing pedestrian crossing during the various peak hours, and on a daily basis.” This crossing is well used and invaluable for cyclists, cycling groups and cycling events that often use this crossing in large numbers throughout the year.
  • This development proposal needs to provide more safe, direct and attractive walking and cycling routes and links so that people can walk/cycle easily to all destinations e.g. shops, schools, health centres, railway stations etc. and that cycling/walking can reach its full potential with all the accompanying public health and environmental benefits including improved air quality, reduced obesity and greater physical and mental health.
  • Sustainable transport such as cycling, walking and use of public transport needs to be much more clearly prioritised in this scheme in line with Government and West Sussex County Council sustainable transport policy (see below).

    WSCC’s West Sussex Walking and Cycling Strategy 2016–2026 has stated objectives: “To make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys (such as journeys to school), or as part of a longer journey” and “To reduce congestion and pollution by encouraging and enabling people to travel without a car”, among many other worthy ambitions which are not demonstrated in this scheme.

    “The Government wants walking and cycling to be a normal part of everyday life, and the natural choices for shorter journeys such as going to school, college or work, travelling to the station, and for simple enjoyment.” Government policy as stated above is in its Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/603527/cycling-walking-investment-strategy.pdf

  • Statements in the “Technical Note: A27 Access Strategy” section of the Transport Assessment demonstrate ignorance of the need to develop high quality walking and cycling facilities so that these modes can reach their full potential (ref: Highway England’s Interim Advice Note 195/16.)
  • This proposal will encourage car use. The housing development proposal includes a car parking space for each dwelling (i.e. possibly 600 cars). The proposed IKEA car park would have 1000 spaces, but the A27 is already at capacity and alternatives to car travel should be more strongly encouraged and invested in.
  • Issues of flooding are not resolved. This is relevant for any development, but also provision for cycling and all non-motorised users.
  • The application is baffling for most ordinary citizens who will be confronted with 400 documents. Key points for cycling difficult to discern, particularly against jargon, spin and complexity.

New Monks Farm overview

More information
Diagram VN40408/PL-015 in the Transport Assessment (below) shows the lengths we will have to go to if the plans are approved:

New roundabout VN40408-PL-015

The proposed replacement route means that instead of the current crossing, you would have to turn left (west) on to a cycle path, go about 320m and grapple with this new roundabout (above) and four sets of traffic lights to get to the northern side of the roundabout and then cycle back east about 350m simply to get to Coombes Road on the other side of the A27. This is something you can do at the moment as soon as one set of lights changes to green.

This page will be updated as our research continues.

 

 

Bricycles AGM on Tuesday 6 June at 6.30

This year’s AGM will be at the Crown and Anchor, 213 Preston Road, BN1 6SA.

Location: http://bit.ly/2qsKsYl Opposite Preston Manor at the northern end of Preston Park. Crown&Anchor

Website: https://www.thecrownandanchorinn.co.uk/

We’ll meet in the room at the back of the pub at 6.30 pm. There will be a review of the year and the election of officers. There are opportunities for more people to help with our activities.

We are looking for someone to take care of the website, posting relevant and topical content. We use WordPress which is fairly straightforward. Help also needed with general administration.

More Bricycles Rangers are always welcome. They keep an eye on riding conditions in Brighton and Hove. Can you cover a local area? Contact Tom Jones whatevers@brighton.gb.net

Are you interested in more social occasions, rides or meetings?

We hope to see you on 6th June!

Bikeshare comes to Brighton – Hills not included

A Big Thing for 2017 will be the Brighton Bikeshare public bike hire scheme. With a three year contract awarded to Hourbike, with bikes provided by Social Bicycles, the plan is to have them up and running by the summer.

Lady riding a Bikeshare bicycle

The Argus ran a fair piece on it, although (not unusually) it was marred by below the line nonsense which afflicts most Argus pieces. One area of comment followed the line that bikeshare schemes wouldn’t work here because Hills, and this perhaps deserves a bit of consideration.

Brighton is a hilly place, its true (though Hove less so), but there is no particular relationship between cycling levels and hills, with some hilly places having good cycling levels and some flat places having very poor bike takeup – for fuller consideration of this, see HERE and HERE.

The thing about our hills is that they are divided by valleys, and whilst not strictly the case, it is broadly true to say that people tend to live up the hills, and stuff happens in the valleys – or along the coast – also flat. So – for example – a cycling Hanoverian will may start their journey with a white knuckle ride down Southover St, but once at the bottom can make head to Shoreham, Patcham, Falmer or Saltdean meeting minimal incline; can breeze around the North Laine, Lanes, Western Road, Kemptown, Hove… similarly flatly. The only substantial hill met on the journey is likely to be on the homeward trek back up into the Hanover heights.

Heres a map of the Bikeshare operational area. Aside from a brief hike up to Seven Dials, all of the bike stations will be in the Brighton flatlands, meaning that residents and visitors alike will be able pick up a bike for an hour or a day, do the things they want to do and leave it at a dock at the bottom of a hill, and mosey on home, to the station or wherever.

 

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The thing which mostly influences the choice to cycle is not hills of their lack, but how safe people feel to cycle in our city – specifically how safe from collision with motor vehicles do people feel, and this is an aspect which is likely to be more significant.

Although we have some good bits and pieces around – the seafront cycleway, Old Shoreham Road, Lewes Rd (north of Gyratory) – our safe cycle network is patchy at best, and its disjointed illegibility will be a big disincentive for bikeshare use.

There is a solution though. Bricycles supports the Space for Cycling Campaign, which aims to create the conditions where anyone can cycle anywhere.

Cycle-friendly streets are people-friendly streets. We want everyone to enjoy the health benefits, improved air quality and community feel that Space for Cycling can bring – whether you choose to cycle or not.

We are calling on councils to create a network of cycle-friendly routes, so that anybody of any age or ability can enjoy their journey through the freedom of cycling.

To achieve this we have devised a three-point plan for councils to sign up to:

Plan –  Plan a full network of cycle-friendly routes that allow people of all ages and abilities to cycle anywhere for any purpose

Invest – Actively seek the funding to implement the network and invest a minimum of 5-10% of the local transport budget in cycling

Build – Build the network using the most up-to-date high quality design standards

Although our council also supports this campaign, there is – as yet – scant evidence that it has any substantial plans to invest in our network, but perhaps the BikeShare scheme will be just the catalyst needed to take on the task of making Brighton & Hove a truly cycleable city.

Tree Planting BikeRide – this weekend!

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This weekend, why not join a tree planting bike ride from Brighton to Langley Vale Wood in Epsom to help The Woodland Trust plant 7,000 native trees, including beech, rowan, hawthorn and oak?

Organised by TimeToCycle,  Brighton BikeTrain and the Woodland Trust, with food provided by the Brighton Real Junk Food Project, it s one of three rides descending on Langley Vale – the other two from London.

Leaving on Friday 20th Jan – 9.30 at the Level, you’ll finish the ride at Headley Village Hall where you’ll stay the night (Don’t forget your sleeping bag & mat). You’ll be served a delicious dinner prepared by The Real Junk Food Project.

Saturday morning will start with a breakfast prepared by The Real Junk Food Project before everyone heads out to Langley Vale Wood. There you will meet the The Woodland Trust team who’ll supply tools and saplings from 10am-3pm.

This event will plant 7,000 trees. Eventually, the Woodland Trust aims to plant 200,000 trees at Langley Vale Wood, and in February there will be a second tree planting bike ride so if you can’t make this one then do come along in February.

What will it cost?

The tree planting bike rides are not-for-profit. All the organisers donate their time for free.

  • £7.50 – Evening meal & breakfast
  • £3.00 – Accommodation
  • £4.50 – Insurance & miscellaneous expenses
  • £1 – PayPal, Credit or Debit card fee

For more info and to sign up, visit the TimeToCycle website HERE