6 Dec 2012

What we can learn from Cambridge Cycling Campaign- notes from Jim's presentation

Here are some notes based on Jim's presentation at the public meeting. The slides will be posted once I can find somewhere to store them on the web.

Each note is followed by some comments-please add your comments as a committee member or not. The comments shown are Mike's, intended to get some sort of discussion going. 

Cambridge is a cycling city Almost 28% of people in Cambridge cycle to work. That's considerably more than St Albans' 2-6%. University and flat terrain help.

The St Albans Public Real Delivery Strategy (page 17) wants to take St Albans from a city with a 'Missing Bicycle Network' to become 'A city that encourages cycling'. We (both individuals and STACC as a body) need to look at this document and provide some comments.

Build bridges, avoiding them and us – people are not not 'cyclists' or 'motorists': People cycle, people drive, people walk

STACC is already down to earth on its attitudes to cycling, trying to concentrate most efforts on utility and family cycling. STACC needs to be open and accessible to all and present the right PR style.  .

Reltionships are important Build relationships with officers and councillors. Submit responses early so that they can be looked at well in advance of the meeting.

STACC needs to build on our existing contacts so that we have a full breadth including MP, Herts Councillors  Local councillors, Highways officers, press etc.

Strategic Planning- CCC produce their view of the Cambridge Cycle Network at various points in the future. It's a guide rather than something which really gets built.

Worth considering this as an option for STACC in order to establish and judge priorities, identify areas for work and give some strategies and direction. It could be something we present to Councils, officers, press etc and hope to get included in the relevant cycle plans.

Effective use of the web, email and tools. Cambridge have a good website, use twitter and targeted email lists. They are also triallists of Cyclescape, a map based web tool for campaigning and have close contact with Cyclestreets, a web based routefinding tool.

STACC doesn't have the resources to fully emulate CCC's web presence or make our own tools. STACC could talk to the University but this should be a very low priority. 
STACC could have a St Albans-based view of Cyclestreets, which would provide a good tool for all to use- including the council.
Cyclescape looks quite suitable if we can get access and have the commitment to make it work. We need to store documentation better. Mike has emailed them to see if STACC can be triallists. We can also use online document storage- Tom was looking at this.

Cambridgeshire County Council passed the Times campaign motion. This gives a level of commitment for them to be measured against.

Is this one for the county level cycling group? 

Cycle Parking Cambridge city centre has cycling parking installed in major shopping centre, now fully used and council is looking to provide more.

Cycle parking comes up in the Public Real Strategy too. Mike is involved in bike rack planning with Beric Reid. 
Plan for replacement of bike racks removed for the new routefinding monolith outside the Old Town Hall.
Plan for new bike racks in the town centre is in progress 
Plan for new bike racks elsewhere has started.
Concentrate on getting more bike racks into Verulamium Park- a good focus because of the new bike routes.

Think of families A bike shop in a shopping area started providing buggies for borrowing. This means parents of young children can access the shopping area. Before, they would have had to carry the child. Now they park the bike at the shop and borrow a buggy to wheel the tot around.

Not sure we could do much on this- needs a really large and central bike park and shop to make this work. Could do it in Bike Week perhaps?

Emergency services: Cambridge had cycling paramedics in the city centre. Cycling paramedics reach the scene several minutes ahead of the ambulance. This can make a big difference to the patient, who can be treated until the ambulance arrives and takes them to hospital. Often, the cycling paramedics can treat the patient without needing the ambulance, so the ambulance can be stood down from that call. This saves money, and frees up the ambulance for more urgent calls.

St Albans isn't really big enough for this.

Cycling helps reduce congestion Why are cyclists seen as a traffic obstruction? Many people who cycle do have a car but choose to cycle in preference. Jim modelled a day where cyclists commuting tino Cambridge decided to come in cars, (he used to work for TRRL, so he has these skills). If you took out 100 cycles and replaced them with cars, you would have a traffic queue a kilometre long. Queueing theory says the congestion increases exponentially as the number of cars increases. For example if you commute to work you will notice that the roads are quieter than in termtime-  There has been a small reduction in vehicles, maybe even just a few percent, and a huge reduction in congestion.

Return on investment in cycling facilities As a result every pound invested in cycling produces a bigger reduction in congestion and delays for drivers than the same pound spent on facilities for driving.

Useful tool for PR and support of budget for investment. We should have some sort of ready made document to use on this.
Has cycling been included in St Albans traffic simulations?

Reliability of travel time Cycling and walking give you a much more reliable journey time. It may not be quicker, but it will not vary. So you know if you leave the house at your usual time you will catch your train. If you rely on a car or a bus, some days you will be kicking your heels on the platform, other days you will miss it.

Good PR- a soundbite statement on this would be useful.
I think journey time stats for bikes are available somewhere.

NICE money?  recommendations are that walking and cycling become the norm for shorter journeys. This is a public health issue, and local authorities now have the responsibility for public health, so they should be encouraging cycling and walking (improving conditions for cycling and walking). Biggest benefits come from
encouraging the least active. NICE is producing campaigning tools.

Take this up with the council, try to make sure that some of this money ends up in the cycling budget.

Leasing electric bikes An electric bike loan scheme was established in some workplaces. An electric bike is loaned for a fortnight. The borrower finds out that this is a quick and enjoyable way to commute. And they also realise that they don’t really need the motor. So they start cycling to work.

Beric Reid is interested in electric bikes at the station for tourists. There may be an opportunity for leased electric bikes at the station, no progress yet. We should try to help this along.

Bike lanes- sometimes something is better than nothing. Road and traffic conditions vary. Wide cycle lanes are good. There are places where narrow lanes would be bad, but there are places where narrow lanes are OK if that is all that can be provided, eg for queue-busting. There are places where all you can do is take the lane.

A414 pavement conversion is an example of this. Are there any roads where this could work?
Map and look at options we have already received from members.

Lorry driver training Courses for lorry drivers / delivery drivers – to maintain their Certificate of competence, lorry drivers need to take training modules. These can include cycle awareness, which ideally also includes actual cycling. Hackney Council provides free training. [London Cycling Campaign has quite a lot on this topic].

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