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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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!

What might a safer Elm Grove junction look like?

Rebel Yarns

When I was collecting signatures for my petition about the road crash hotspot at the bottom of Elm Grove, a few people asked how redesigning the road could improve safety. How different could it really be?

Following the council’s invitation to submit ideas for their forthcoming review of this junction, I got together with a few friends and we have come up with two options for a safer junction, plus some other ideas to think about. I’ll be emailing all these ideas to the council’s Travel Planning team tomorrow, just in time for their 1st November deadline.

If you think these are good suggestions, there’s still time for you to drop them a line to say so – feel free to link to this blog post if you want to. Or, of course, send in your own thoughts about what’s wrong with the junction and how it could be…

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Council bits & pieces

It has been a packed week for the council as ever, with a few bike related things floating to the surface.

Last Wednesday the road safety team held an exchanging places event, where cyclists get to swap with bus drivers to see what the other experiences. Anyone hoping that this would involve Stagecoach drivers being put on bikes and chased up North Street by a Deliveroo cycle courier behind the wheel of the number 49 will have  been disappointed, as the main thrust of this sort of thing is that cyclists sit in the driving seat of a large vehicle to better experience all the things that the driver cannot see, and through this process understand how they may be squashed without the driver noticing. And what they might do about it.

Found this cartoon by @beztweets which I think I will just leave here for a bit…

Being autumn, the council road safety team are also running their annual Be Seen – Be Bright awareness campaign reminding people walking and cycling about the advent of winter and the importance of being seen in the dark. They will be out and about advising cyclists to get lit, and if you head to their facebook page there is the chance to enter a draw to win some lights.

The big council news of the week has been the resuscitation of the Valley Gardens Scheme – a proposal aiming to improve the stretch between the Aquarium roundabout and the Level, which involves shifting private vehicle movements to the eastern side of the gardens, simplifying the crossings and leaving the western side just for public transport and access.

The scheme has been on the cards for years, but was substantially developed by the last council. When the change of administration happened in 2015, the new administration called a pause because they wanted to review the scheme – particular the traffic modelling, and this done, it is now back on track. this is a good thing, as it promises to provide high quality protected cycle routes along the north south length, as well as improved east west connections.

The final scheme has not yet been announced, and some consultation is still taking place, and Bricycles continue to participate in this and be represented as opportunities arise. The word from Tony, who has been attending consultation events is that it looks good for cyclists, although there are some aspects of the design that may require tweaking. watch this space.

And finally….another award for the Lewes Road scheme. Last Friday, the council Transport Team celebrated scooping first place as Transport Local Authority of the Year in the National Transport Awards. Congrats to the council and hoping that this inspires them to continue developing safe and accessible transport options for all.

Elm Grove Junction Update

“The message that everyone is trying to kill you outweighs some croissants from the Mayor on Cycle to Work day.”

Essential reading of the week is Dani Ahrens powerful and pertinent summary of the last leg in the journey of the petition which she started to seek improvements at the Elm grove Junction. The quote above is from the speech she made to the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee last week, and the full submission and her commentary can be found on her blog HERE

The response from the council to her petition of 781 signatures wanting improvements at this junction was – on the face of it – promising, with the council announcing that the junction will receive an upgrade in 2016/17,  but as the only detail given was the possibility of cycle advance signals, the suspicion is that the key problems with the junction will remain untouched. A suspicion backed up by another council ambition to “improve the efficiency of the junction” – some thing which Dani points out in her blog, can be a counter productive priority;

“I think it’s more important to make the road safer for people on bikes and on foot. In the long run, making roads feel safer for people travelling by bike is the best way to improve the efficiency of the road system. But the changes necessary to do that can’t be made if they have to happen without altering the existing capacity of junctions and roads to accommodate motor traffic.”

Also Dani is concerned that the suggestions made in her petition – for example introduction of a simultaneous green light phase for cyclists – have not been responded to, which may indicate that the council are reluctant to look beyond the limited palette of standard response to consider something more innovative or imaginative.

Whilst the council warn that they are working on a very tight schedule for this, and don’t have time or resources for a wide ranging consultation, they do invite contributions, and  if anyone would like to put forward suggestions then they are very welcome to do so by emailing Travel.Planning@brighton-hove.gov.uk. by November 1st.

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Brighton and Hove City Council signs up to Space for Cycling

IMG_2288ed2Great news! We are delighted that Brighton and Hove City Council have voted to support CTC’s Space for Cycling campaign. There was agreement at the Environment Transport and Sustainability committee on November 25th 2015 to ask Brighton and Hove’s Chief Executive Officer to sign the council up to the initiative. 20140514 - SpaceforCyclingcroppedThis shows admirable unity of purpose between the Labour Chair of the committee, Councillor Gill Mitchell and the Green Group, led by Councillor Pete West, who tabled the motion. Bricycles has been promoting Space for Cycling since the start of the campaign led nationally by the cycling charity CTC. We now hope to see a continued and renewed focus at local level on the remaining barriers to cycling, particularly dealing with busy roads and dangerous junctions.

CTC’s blog on this and the Autumn Spending Review

Space for Cycling has 6 themes:

  1. Protected space on main roads
  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

More information here on what Space for Cycling means.

Space for cycling: 19 Brighton and Hove City Councillors have signed up!

???????????????????????????????People all over the country have been asking for their councillors’ support for Space for Cycling at: http://www.space4cycling.org.uk  Please sign up at the link above and ask your councillors to support S4C’s essential points. By clicking on the interactive map linked to the above site, you can view the results of the requests. Nineteen Brighton and Hove City Councillors out of 54 have so far pledged their support. They are:

Cllr Jason Kitcat (Green)
Cllr Ian Davey (Green)
Cllr Sven Rufus (Green)
Cllr Pete West (Green)
Cllr Ruth Buckley (Green)
Cllr Ollie Sykes (Green)
Cllr Stephanie Powell (Green)
Cllr Mike Jones (Green)
Cllr Alex Phillips (Green)
Cllr Graham Cox (Conservative)
Cllr Rob Jarrett (Green)
Cllr Amy Kennedy (Green)
Cllr Phelim Maccafferty (Green)
Cllr Warren Morgan (Labour)
Cllr Sue Shanks (Green)
Cllr Bill Randall (Green)
Cllr Lizzie Deane (Green)
Cllr Leo Littman (Green)
Cllr Liz Wakefield (Green)

We’re calling on ALL Brighton and Hove City Councillors (and any prospective councillors) to commit to continuing transport improvements by signing up to Space for Cycling’s six key points. This will make our City safer and more encouraging for cycling and walking and contribute to urgent Public Health and environmental objectives. As we approach an election year, it is important to have this assurance. The main themes are:

  1. Protected space on main roads and at junctions
  2. Removal of through motor traffic on residential streets.
  3. Lower speed limits. 20mph in villages and built-up areas. 40mph or lower on rural lanes.
  4. Cycle-friendly town centres with people prioritised over motor traffic to create high streets that are economically viable and socially vibrant.
  5. Routes through green spaces and parks
  6. Safe routes to schools

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR COUNCILLOR. also, tell us what improvements you want to see in your area of Brighton and Hove! Email: bricyclesbrighton@gmail.com

Good result for latest 20 mph consultation

The results of Brighton & Hove’s 20 mph consultation (Phase 3 area) show that 55% of respondents support 20mph on their own street! The percentages in favour were:

IMG_9945Medina Terrace 63%
Mile Oak 60%
Hangleton 53%
Woodingdean 49%
Rottingdean & Ovingdean 69%
Saltdean 51%

Proposals for new 20 mph limits have been developed in the light of local support/opposition. Full report here. It’s Agenda Item 61, pages 61-151. It will be discussed at the Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee meeting on 25 November. The Speed Limit Orders will be advertised in December.

Bricycles welcomes ruling on Unchain’s misleading 20 mph casualties ad

IMG_1011ed212 November 2014: Bricycles welcomes today’s ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority on this advert about casualties on 20 mph roads.

The ad from pro-motoring group “Unchain the Brighton Motorist” appeared in The Argus on 18 July 2014. One of the headings read “Casualties rise by more than 20% on 20 mph roads”. The ad implied there was a relationship between 20 mph speed limits and an increase in casualties. The ad has been judged to be misleading and unsubstantiated by the advertising regulator. The ASA have told Unchain to ensure they do not make claims in future about the relationship between speed limits and casualties if they cannot substantiate them. The ad breached the code on misleading advertising, substantiation and qualification, and it must not appear again in its current form.

This is the third time the ASA have ruled that advertisements produced by the Unchain group have been misleading. There have been four rulings in total on Unchain the Brighton Motorist, with three upheld or partially upheld

Becky Reynolds of Bricycles said “We complained to the ASA about this ad and we welcome their ruling which confirms our view that the ad was misleading. We don’t want to see the public misinformed about a crucial area like Road Safety. Far from an increase in casualties, the data in Brighton and Hove for phase 1 of the 20 mph area shows that there has been a decrease in both the number of casualties and the severity of injuries when the figures for 8  April 2013 to 7  April 2014 are compared with the previous three years. Collisions are also down. We are strongly in support of slower traffic speeds which are a great step forward for the safety of all road users.”

Figures for the first year of 20 mph Phase 1 implementation are at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/20mph Casualties and collisions are significantly down. Figures for Phase 2, implemented in July 2014 are not available yet.

In a separate ruling, following a complaint from the Unchain group about a Brighton and Hove City Council leaflet, the ASA supported the Council’s statement that a 20mph speed limit leads to a reduction in road collisions and the severity of casualties and improves the quality of life of local neighbourhoods. It’s good news that the ASA agree on this crucial and frequently disputed point. However they ruled against the Council’s claim that 20 mph limits encouraged more walking and cycling for local trips which in turn would bring significant health benefits and reduce congestion. They do not accept that there is enough evidence!

Ask your councillor to support Space for Cycling!

20140514 - SpaceforCyclingcroppedDoes your councillor support Space for Cycling? Check this out in the countrywide map at http://bit.ly/RQ2QI3  Click on your area to see who is in support.

We are calling on all Brighton and Hove City Councillors and prospective councillors to support this campaign. Councils can improve the quality of life for all, by making our streets and roads safer and more inviting for everyone to cycle with these measures:

  1. Protected space on main roads and at junctions
  2. Removal of through motor traffic on residential streets.
  3. Lower speed limits. 20mph in villages and built-up areas. 40mph or lower on rural lanes.
  4. Cycle-friendly town centres with people prioritised over motor traffic to create high streets that are economically viable and socially vibrant.
  5. Routes through green spaces and parks
  6. Safe routes to schools