The Truth Is Out There…

Ever been to a community meeting where cycling comes up? or looked at the comments bit of the local news websites below a story that mentions cycling? Chances are you have been presented with all of the “facts” – all of the reasons why cycling and cyclists are bad, misguided, in the wrong country, a general hazard….

In this post-truth age, where otherwise intelligent and accomplished commentators can state that the impact of cycling is on par with the blitz, and the dismissive “you can prove anything with facts” put-down gains ever more credence, it is important to get the real deal, and what could be better than a whole website devoted to debunking cycling myths and mistruths and giving some clear steers and comebacks to the most common varieties of nonsense we may encounter. Step forward


Created under the auspices of the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, Cycling Fallacies covers most of the issues routinely used to undermine cycling and cycle infrastructure, and the popular misconceptions and has proven so helpful that it is being translated into several other languages. Another handy feature is the randomly generated cycling fallacies Bingo Cards – next time you are listening to a cycling item on a radio phone in, or or attending a public meeting where cycling comes up, give it a go – sadly, it doesn’t take that long…Bingo



Elm Grove Junction Review

Last November, Brighton & Hove City Council passed a Notice of Motion that the council should sign up to the Space For Cycling Campaign

Space for Cycling is a campaign run by Cycling UK (at the time of the NoM known as CTC). The campaign is divided into six main themes:

  1. Protected space on main roads and junctions
  2. Removing through motor traffic in residential areas
  3. Lower speed limits
  4. Cycle-friendly town centres
  5. Safe routes to school
  6. Routes through green spaces

Following an incident last week where a cyclist was struck by a lorry at the junction of Lewes Road and Elm Grove, the council has the opportunity to act on its commitment to cycling in the city as local resident Dani Ahrens submits a petition for a junction review and urgent improvements at this location.

tom druitt elm grove crash twitter_jpg_gallery

Dani comments

The junction of Elm Grove and Lewes Road is nerve-wracking to cycle through from any direction, and with good reason. On July 9th, a local cyclist was hit and seriously injured by a lorry turning left into Elm Grove. There have been two other serious accidents at the same junction in the last five years, one involving injury to a pedestrian and the other involving a cyclist being injured. Two further serious accidents have occurred at the nearby junction of Union Road with Lewes Road, and both locations have seen numerous less serious incidents in recent years.

Junctions like this are a huge part of the reason why many people don’t cycle. Having to cross multiple lanes of traffic, position yourself assertively in the centre of your lane, and race ahead of left-turning vehicles is simply too terrifying for a lot of people. Making a mistake shouldn’t mean risking your life. A moment of inattention shouldn’t render a driver responsible for putting someone in hospital.

Suggestions for improvement include:

  • Simultaneous green lights for cycling only. This is a system that is commonly used at road junctions in the Netherlands. Here is a page with more information, videos and photographs showing how this works in practice:
  • Removing railings
  • Straightening the pedestrian crossing on Lewes Road, just north of Elm Grove
  • Adding a pedestrian crossing south of Elm Grove (improving access to Park Crescent surgery)
  • Protected cycle infrastructure, connected with the cycle paths at the Level, enabling people on bikes to cross or bypass this junction without conflict with other road users.

Please support this petition and to make sure that the council lives up to the commitment to Space for Cycling which it made last year. The petition can be found HERE and it will be open until 29th September 2016 before being presented to the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee meeting on 11 October 2016.

The Art of Cycling

14th – 16th July ONCA Gallery, Brighton

A Series of Events and Discussions in collaboration with Brighton Bike Film Festival.

Thursday 14th July, 7pm: BFF Brighton’s opening night with a talk from the brilliant Boneshaker magazine‘s regular writer, Jet McDonald. Following Jet’s talk the BBQ will be on, the bar open and music playing – come down and say hello! Jet’s talk has been organised by Ride With A View, and sponsored by Boneshaker magazine. Free admission/£3 suggested donation.

Friday 15th July, 7pm: alongside local craftsmen Reilly Cycleworks, with some of their bespoke bike frames, join us here at ONCA as we explore the Art of Cycling in an exhibition, workshop and discussion. See technical blueprints, ask advice, learn skills and celebrate making. Doors open at 6pm. Free admission / £3 suggested donation.

Saturday 16th July, 11-6pm: (As well as the installation from Reilly) Kids and adults alike, get your creative (cycling) caps on in our colouring competition supported by Velodrome publishing, RichMitchDropsCycling and Ridewithaview to win a ‘Grand Tour’ Colouring book. There are two to be won, one for children and one for adults.

The Big Bike (Hub) Revival


Brighton BikeHub Re-Opens

Brighton BikeHub started life a couple of years back at the former municipal market on Circus Street, and with the support of the Groundwork Charity who had been given temporary use of some of the space prior to demolition and redevelopment. It offered a free to use community workshop and self help repair sessions as well as repairing donated bikes for sale.

Times move on – Circus Street is now demolished, Groundwork has opened its own shop on Lewes Road and the team of volunteers behind the original Circus Street workshop have opened up a second space at The Field (formerly Preston Barracks – next to B&Q on Lewes Road). With workshop space formed of a cluster of shipping containers, provided by u+i the developers of the site, Brighton BikeHub joins a collection of creative makers and start-ups who have found a home at The Field, which also includes The Old Tree Brewery Garden Cafe offering on site sustenance.

The Big Bike Revival

The Big Bike Revival is a series of events across the country, put together by Cycling UK and is aimed at getting bikes back on the road and riders back on their bikes, and Brighton BikeHub is taking part as a local centre, where you can get help to spruce and fettle your machine ready for a summer of cycling

2016-07-02 13.56.27

BikeHub will be open each Friday and Saturday from 11-4 and will be providing a self-help community workshop where you can repair your own bike, and is looking for volunteers to help refurbish donated bikes for re-use.

For more info, check the Bikehub Facebook page HERE and their Twitter Stream HERE

A Neighbourhood Plan for Hove

Neighbourhood planning was introduced in 2011 through the Localism Act. A neighbourhood plan allows local residents and businesses to develop their own planning policies that reflect their priorities for their area and impact upon planning and development in the neighbourhood

The Hove Station Neighbourhood Plan is being prepared by the Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum.  The plan will set out the vision of the Forum and details policies for development of the area north and south of Hove Station and further to the west covering the area popularly known as Poets Corner.
This Sunday (July 3rd) the Forum will be hosting a ‘Hove Your Say’ event for local people to find out more and get involved.
Hove Station Forum 1

What has this got to do with cycling?

The developing Neighbourhood Plan for the area has much to say on the need for an improved local environment:

“…both in terms of greening up and in terms of high quality hard landscaping with the station at its core. Associated traffic calming and management of pedestrian and cycle based flows, spaces for children to play, connections between Hove Park and Hove Station all aim to create an attractive environment to live,work and play in…”

Policies are being developed by the Forum which explicitly support cycle infrastructure and facilities:

Policy 21: Developer Contributions will be required to jointly contribute to the infrastructure requirements set out in the master plan to allow the Hove Station Quarter Area to be developed comprehensively.
Reason: a number of requirements for example in terms of highways and utility infrastructure will be required to enable developments on site. The master plan sets out highways linkages and north south connection for cycling and pedestrian traffic as well as a number of place making features. These are seen to be critical to allow the area to be developed comprehensively in an attractive manner.
Policy 26: New developments should aim to minimise car based travel, which will require travel plans as well as a range of other measures such as designated car club spaces to be allocated throughout the area in discussion with the city’s car clubs and extensive cycle parking to standards as set out in SPD 13.
Policy 27: The Hove Station Quarter will be easily accessible on foot and by cycle; where car based through traffic is allowed this will be at low speeds typically on shared surfaces. Surrounding residential roads will also be subject to traffic calming measures to avoid rat runs and undue traffic pressure arising from new development.
Policy 30: The following improvements to the road network will be necessary:
  • The opening up of Fonthill Road / Goldstone Lane southwards to allow better bus circulation following redevelopment of the bus station. (This is related to redevelopment of the areas between the high rise blocks of the Clarendon Estate);
  • The closure of Fonthill Road under the railway tunnel, with access for pedestrians and cycles only. (This is to control rat running and allow the tunnel to become more user friendly)
  • The continuation of the segregated cycleway along Old Shoreham Road;
  • Provision of missing footway provisions such as by the petrol station off Station Approach and provision of safe pedestrian crossing outside Hove Station for visually impaired.
It is early days yet for the Neighbourhood Plan and may seem a very dry policy based process, but it seems very much that the local community through their Neighbourhood Forum is seeking to create a liveable neighbourhood, promoting walking and cycling and seeking to include real measures to make this happen.
To help make sure that the plans that they are developing – which will shape this area for a generation and beyond  – properly reflect the needs of local cyclists, it would be great if any  Bricycles folk living/working in their area could get along and see what they are up to, and give support to what seems a positive and measured approach at improving this neighbourhood.
Sunday July 3rd, 11-3pm, Ralli Hall, 81 Denmark Villas, Hove
(PS – If you live in this part of town or cycle through it regularly, do have a look at our ward pages and let us know how else it could be improved; Goldsmid Ward HERE and Westbourne Ward HERE)

North Laine By Bike

This week our campaigns team will be meeting council officers to talk about cycling in North Laine, and particularly provision Gloucester Road for two-way cycling.

North Laine was treated to a substantial cycle permeability scheme a few years back, where a number of one-way streets were opened up to two-way cycle traffic (see plan below). We think that this scheme has been a great success and should be built upon, both to include other streets in the North Laine and also extended more generally across the city.

Any thought on this in advance of the meeting, do let us know – either in the comments section below or in the discussion over on facebook

North Laine cycle contraflow map

Do you live/work in St Peters & North Laine ward? Have a look at our ward page HERE and let us know what else needs improving.


Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy – Bricycles Response

The Government claims ambition for cycling. The forward to the draft Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy report reads:

“We will double cycling activity by 2025, and reduce each year the rate of cyclists killed or seriously injured on English roads. We will reverse the decline in walking that we have seen over the last few years.
For that to happen, cycling and walking should become the natural choice for shorter journeys or as part of a longer journey. Cycling and walking should become safer, and, importantly, be perceived to be safe. In short, walking and cycling should be easy, normal and enjoyable.”

Here at Bricycles, we are positive, optimistic and ever-so slightly cynical – particularly as the money made available for this transformation appears woefully inadequate at present.

We took part in the consultation, and copied below is the text of the Bricycles submission (thanks – as ever – to Becky).

Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy – Bricycles Response

On behalf of Bricycles, (Brighton and Hove Cycling Campaign) and as a Cycling UK campaigner for Brighton and Hove, I am responding to the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy consultation. We strongly support the general approach but our main concern is that the proposed investment is completely inadequate to achieve the aims.

Q1. The government would be interested to hear views on the approach and actions set out in section 8 of this strategy

We support the general positive approach outlined in paragraphs 8.10 to 8.42, but there needs to be much, much greater funding and a requirement that local authorities and other national/local bodies take immediate steps to assist cycling and walking at local level with reference to best practice design guidance, and that the progress is monitored centrally against a submitted plan.

It is essential to closely monitor local progress to ensure that there is no foot dragging by pro-roads authorities, that the best value for money is assured, and that excellence in provision (or the opposite) is acknowledged.

The parliamentary ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report called for investment in cycling of at least £10 per person annually, rising to £20, in order to boost cycle use to 10% of trips by 2025, and to 25% by 2050. By contrast, the Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy provides central  overnment funding of just over £300m for period 2015-20, amounting to just £1.38 per person outside London and with the addition of several other major aims about turning the decline in walking into an increase and reducing the rising number of cycling casualties.

We recommend switching some of the £15bn earmarked for the Government’s Roads Investment Strategy to finance improvements for cycling and walking and the aims on casualty reduction.

Q2. The government would be interested to hear views on the potential roles of national government departments, local government, other public bodies, businesses and the voluntary sector in delivering the strategy and what arrangements could best support partnership working between them

Cross departmental collaboration is essential. The costing of health benefits and disbenefits needs to be properly factored in to highways and planning issues so that projects which  encourage car use and discourage active travel are adversely weighted and not promoted on the basis of spurious economic benefits by politicians and developers.

Ministers should be positive about the many benefits of active travel. This would assist behaviour change.

We welcome the proposal for Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs). Local cycling strategies and plans are in various formats and often out of date. There needs to be an organised approach to provision based on clear national guidelines and standards. This would reduce the construction of inadequate and poor quality infrastructure which frequently failed to deal with the main problems for walking and cycling e.g. hazardous junctions.

We would like to see clearer ring-fencing of money allocated for walking and cycling so that it cannot be used for other purposes.

We do not agree with the stop-start ‘funding lottery’ whereby funds are allocated for essential transport purposes. This encourages erratic and piecemeal planning and wastes officer time filling in lengthy (and often unsuccessful) funding applications.

We would like to see a fully funded national strategy that demands progress on walking and cycling by local authorities. Cycling and walking provision have been devolved to local level for many years e.g. through the underfunded National Cycling Strategy of 1996 which was not implemented at local level and therefore dropped in 2004. Localism has not so far delivered adequate provision and it’s unlikely that it will do so in any coherent way without national funding and oversight and proper guidance. Local Enterprise Partnerships are not democratic bodies and may not be positive about walking and cycling, and may erroneously prefer spending funds on major roads programmes instead.

The Active Travel (Wales) Act is a very useful model. It requires Ministers and Local  Authorities to take reasonable steps to enhance the provision for walking and cycling when carrying out highway works etc. Also to map existing provision for active travel (the ‘Existing Routes map’) and proposed future provision (the ‘Integrated map’) and to deliver year-on-year high quality improvements in active travel routes and facilities.

We support knowledge-sharing and the pursuit of best practice in transport. There is a need for clear guidelines for high quality cycling and walking infrastructure and policies that support active travel. Currently there is a mass of guidance of varying status.

An expert committee could be very beneficial depending on its precise remit and membership. We would like to recommend that a representative of Cycling UK such as Roger Geffen is invited to join.

In addition, we recommend a change in the law to stricter liability so that the less vulnerable road user is assumed to be liable in cases of road traffic collisions. We strongly support a Road Justice agenda relevant to the Police and Crime Commissioners and the Department for Justice to reduce bad driving which is both a real and perceived deterrent to active travel. See

Q3. The government would be interested to hear suggestions and evidence of innovative projects and programmes which could be developed to deliver the objectives outlined in section 4

  • We recommend switching some of the £15bn earmarked for the Government’s Roads Investment Strategy to finance improvements for cycling and walking such as those below:
  • Motor traffic must be restrained so that walking and cycling have a chance to grow.
  • Legally backed frequent car free days in cities/towns clogged with traffic causing poor air quality.
  • Prioritising walking and cycling improvements in popular areas, like Brighton sea front (Marine Parade)
  • where thousands of people are daily exposed to traffic pollution, but motor vehicles are still given
  • priority. The Aquarium Roundabout is a major disincentive and barrier for walking and cycling. There are many similar examples on the crowded south coast.
  • Permit cycling on Eastbourne promenade and hasten arrangements to enable cycling on other coastal promenades.
  •  More accessible and public data on air quality (NOX and particulates) showing the benefits of lower emissions.
  • Put housing on car parks to assist the homeless and those with housing need.
  • Traffic-free safe routes for children to walk and cycle to school.
  • Traffic free zones around schools.
  • Bikeability training programme in all schools.
  • Progress on school travel plans included in Ofsted and other assessments .
  • Free public transport for young people subsidised by car parking charges.
  • Personalised travel planning.
  • Greater insurance reductions for those using in-car monitoring systems to track compliance with lower speeds etc.
  • Roll-out of 20 mph speed limits in towns that have so far not introduced them.
  • Default position for all one way streets to have two-way cycling in place. Removing car parking is sometimes necessary.
  • Early green phase traffic lights are already in use in Brighton and Hove. These could be developed so that
  • at the most difficult junctions, there is a longer cycling only phase for all arms of the junction/roundabout.
  • “Floating bus stops” – keep the cycle traffic moving and prevent conflict with buses: more of these.
  • Stricter liability to shift the balance of power on the streets towards the vulnerable road user.
  • Implementation of Cycling UK’s “Road Justice” recommendations so that the police and prosecution services take cycling crashes more seriously, analyse incidents more fully and learn from them.
  • There needs to be greater sanction for bad driving. Police need to take cycling incidents and near misses seriously.
  • Extension of “Operation Crackdown” to areas that don’t have it, and for data to be retained longer than one year and to be analysed more fully.
  • Review speed limits on rural roads particularly where “national speed limit applies” because many of these roads are used by walkers and cyclists and there are no pavements or tracks as an alternative. Rural speed limits are unnecessarily high.
  • Adopt and implement the law to enable the ticketing of vehicles blocking of cycle lanes, cycle tracks, dropped kerbs, disabled facilities, walking routes, pavements etc.
  • Integration of bus, train walking routes etc.
  • Extension of walking buses for schoolchildren with fun activities along the way e.g. singing, learning about wildlife, learning a second language.
  • Far greater investment in rural bus services.
  • Far better accommodation of cycles on ferries to encourage cycle-tourism.

Q4. The government would be interested to hear your views on how to increase cycling and walking in typically under-represented groups (for example women, older people, or those from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds

  • Development of walking/ cycling champions from the groups listed, who would be willing to promote andlead activities, being responsive to requests and showing how to participate enjoyably.
  • Older people’s “Olympics” like the Paralympics to showcase those older people who are fit and active.
  • Publicise the activity of many older people who do take part in walking and cycling, particularly cycle touring e.g. days out in the countryside, holidays by bike
  • Recumbent and hand cycling is done by disabled people following stroke etc. People with visual impairment often ride as “stoker” on tandems: publicise and facilitate this lesser known side of cycling by those with disabilities.
  • Offer easily accessible physical activity to those in traditional non-active roles e.g. “Health walks” as run by Brighton and Hove City Council:

Q5. The government would be interested to hear views on what type of assistance Local Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships would find beneficial to support development of ambitious and high standard Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans

We recommend switching some of the £15bn earmarked for the Government’s Roads Investment Strategy to finance improvements for cycling and walking.

  • There needs to be easily available clear national guidance on best practice in cycling and walking infrastructure and policy.
  • There needs to be a continuing channel of communication between the planners and the citizens.
  • Walking and cycling representatives and individuals need to be able to put views forward and to assist local authorities and LEPs with their plans. This is particularly important for LEPs because many people are unaware of their existence, their remit or how to influence them.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to put our views.


Annual General Meeting

Our AGM is on Tuesday May 17th at 6.30 pm at The Fountainhead pub, 102 North Rd, Brighton, BN1 1YE Location:

There will be reports and a short formal meeting to elect officers, currently:

Membership secretary       Tony Green
Treasurer                                 Tony Green
Secretary                                 Adam Pride
Campaigns officer                Becky Reynolds
News editor                             Becky Reynolds
Web Manager                          Vacant
Infrastructure Adviser         Duncan Codd

…and there will be time for a chat and a drink.Bricycles2012 - no text2_2

These cycle tracks need traffic barriers!

Over the last three months we have recorded several instances of motor vehicles crashing onto cycle tracks next to the A23 and A27 near Brighton. The risk to people walking or riding on these tracks is clear. As the vehicles clearly can’t be relied upon to stay on the road, crash barriers are needed. Among the incidents, two lamp posts on the A23 were flattened in separate crashes.

East Brighton Walking and Cycling workshop

IMG_1577East Brighton Walking and Cycling workshop tomorrow! Anything to request? Updated ward asks at
Mott MacDonald has been appointed by Brighton & Hove City Council’s Transport Planning team to undertake a study looking into potential walking and cycling improvements in the East Brighton area, bounded by Old Steine in the west, Arundel Road to the east, Edward Street/Eastern Road to the north and the upper promenade to the south.
This project forms part of the Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) project which received external Government funding and runs between April 2015 – March 2016.