A27 East of Lewes Consultation Closes Thursday

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Highways England is consulting on proposals for the A27 East of Lewes. The consultation closes on Thursday 8 December.

Proposals include a continuous route for cyclists from Lewes to Polegate, a route which includes Firle, Middle Farm, Charleston, Selmeston, Berwick, Drusillas and Wilmington. These are familiar names for anyone who cycles out of town into East Sussex. To view the consultation documents. look HERE and to complete an online consultation form look HERE.

We believe that the best option is for the  “walking and cycle path” as this benefits walking and cycling without supporting damaging proposals which will take more land for motor transport and encourage private car use. We also would like to insist on high quality infrastructure for walking and cycling and a proper transport strategy which encourages walking, cycling and public transport.

 If you would like to add your voice to support these improvements, please follow the links above to the consultation pages.

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.

Cycle to work day 2016

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Wednesday September 14th is national cycle to work day This is an event which aims to encourage everyone to take to two wheels and cycle to work for at least one day. As part of the national shindig, cyclists and employers are being invited to pledge their support and get the chance to win some rather fancy prizes.

Here in Brighton & Hove, probably our most prominent and dignified cyclist-to-work is the Mayor of our fine city. Ditching the company car whenever he can, Mayor Pete West is becoming a common sight on his tandem – with his chauffeur taking a back seat. Here he is captured by former Mayor Bill Randall taking a turn along the seafront.

Brighton Mayor

He is also taking a front seat vis a vis cycle to work day, and is holding a breakfast mayoral reception at Brighton Town Hall on the 14th, offering croissants and other refreshments to cyclists for as long as stocks last. Happening from 8.30, there will be photoshoot at 8.45, so the more that can turn up for that, the happier we all will be.

All Brighton and Hove City Councillors have been invited. Please encourage your councillors to join us, and to check out the “Ward by Ward requests” posted on Bricycles website. This is where we are putting requests for specific improvements for cycling which we would like ward councillors to support as part of the commitment to the Space for Cycling campaign which Brighton and Hove City Council signed up to in November 2015.

Look forward to seeing you on the 14th!

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 cyclingfallacies.com

Falacies

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

 

 

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.

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.

Time to Cycle!

More than 120 riders are making their way to Paris to call for an end to environmental damage and to get urgent action on climate change at the COP21 summit. The first group of cyclists arrived from Balcombe on the A23 cycle track video here and called at Withdean Park in Brighton on Sunday December 6th before a reception at Brighthelm. You can follow their journey. See Time to Cycle and Brighton’s Climate Action Network for links.

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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.

Shadow Transport Secretary rides with Bricycles !

DSC00086We had a great ride along Brighton seafront with Lilian Greenwood MP, the new Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, on the last day of the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, 30 September 2015.

In the photo, Lilian is on the right in the red jacket. Becky Reynolds, Bricycles Campaigns Officer, also in red is on the left. Julian Bell, Labour Leader of Ealing Council and the Chair of the London Councils Transport & Environment Committee can be seen between the two. Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, Labour’s spokesman on cycling was also there, too.

We promoted Space for Cycling with banners, cards and support from CTC the national cycling charity.

Lilian Greenwood MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport gave a very positive message about holding ministers to account on investment for improvements for cycling. She said:

“I’m delighted to join Bricycles and CTC in Brighton. I am determined that Labour will be a strong voice for cyclists in Parliament, especially as we are approach a critical point in the Government’s policy development. We will be holding Ministers to their promise to produce a meaningful Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy that sets out clear, long term funding – as well as pressing the case for restoring national safety targets.

“Campaigners have made great advances in recent years, but I know as a regular cyclist that there is still a long way to go.”

Sam Jones, CTC Campaigns and Communications Coordinator said:

“It’s great to see the new Labour Transport team coming out in support of cycling down in Brighton.

“There’s cross party support in Westminster, and now more than ever we need to see all parties working together to get Britain cycling. This means the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy must have funding of at least £10 per head, and the national design standards to ensure the money is well spent on space for cycling.”

Becky Reynolds, Bricycles Campaigns Officer said:

“We are very grateful to Lilian and her team for taking time out to ride with us today. Cycling has enormous health and environmental benefits. These need to be extended to more people. We value Labour’s support for a more reliable system of funding for cycling so that using a bike becomes easier and safer for everyone.”

Background blog http://www.ctc.org.uk/blog/brighton-labour-conference-2015

Space for Cycling ride with Shadow Transport Secretary!

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The Labour Party Conference starts in a few days’ time at the Brighton Centre in Brighton.

We have arranged a short bike ride in support of “Space for Cycling”, and we will be joined by the new Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Lilian Greenwood.

Please come along and show your support for cycling and sustainable transport! Please tell friends and colleagues!

The ride will start opposite the Hotel Metropole on the seafront cycle track on Weds 30 September. We’ll meet there at about 08.10 ready for a prompt start when Lilian arrives.

There will be photos and a short ride e.g. to Madeira Drive and back.

The Space for Cycling logo is red and white, so if you can also wear any red clothes, that would make even more of an impression! The weather should be OK. Hope to see you there!

Start point:  On the seafront cycle track opposite the Brighton Hilton Metropole Hotel King’s Road, Brighton BN1 2FU

We are keen that all political parties support proper investment in cycling and better transport planning so that riding a bike becomes easier and safer for everyone!

Link to further information about Space for Cycling

More background to the event: http://www.ctc.org.uk/blog/brighton-labour-conference-2015