Posts Tagged ‘cycling’

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Cycle Expert Calls for Training After Spate of Accidents

August 14, 2009

A leading cycling journalist has called for more adults to take cycle training courses after a spate of accidents in Bristol during the last two weeks.

Four cyclists have been injured on city roads since the 6th of August, including a man who died after a crash on the A370 on Tuesday.

It comes after the death on the Portway in January of cyclist Nick Abraham, son of former Lord Mayor Peter Abraham.

Rob Spedding, editor of Bath-based Cycling Plus magazine, said: “If you can, look for an adult equivalent of the cycling proficiency test. British Cycling runs a scheme called Bikeability and there are others which are also geared to adults.

“There are so many people who are coming back to cycling or are getting on a bike for the first time. It can be quite scary.

“Cyclists should be confident without being arrogant. Respect other road users and treat others as you would like to be treated.”

Figures obtained by #SITE_NAME# from the Bristol Cycling City project show cyclists made up around 15% of people injured on Bristol’s roads between 2006-2008, despite accounting for just 6% of traffic.

Official figures for 2009 have not been collected yet, but with at least two deaths already recorded, as many cyclists have died on Bristol’s roads so far in 2009 as in the previous three years combined.

But Rob denies Bristol’s roads are getting more dangerous for cyclists. He said: “We need to make it clear that cycling is not that dangerous.

More people cycling than ever before, but road deaths involving cyclists are at an all-time low. We need to get that in perspective.

“I don’t think Bristol is any more dangerous for cyclists than any other city in the country.”

Emma Barraclough, a spokeswoman for the Bristol Cycling Campaign, said: “We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the cyclist who died following a collision with a lorry on Winterstoke Road on Tuesday August 11.

“The Bristol Cycling Campaign calls for Bristol Council to come up with a design for the city’s roads that ensures that pedestrians and cyclists can get to their home, work or school without having to travel in fear for their lives.

“It is impossible for Bristol Council’s targets of doubling cycling to be achieved without increasing the numbers of collisions, unless there is a step change in the way that all of us in the city treat the most vulnerable road users.”

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Is cycling cash money well spent?

June 23, 2009

A team of researchers at the UWE is starting a major study to discover if money spent promoting cycling makes any difference to the number of people who cycle.

The result could make a big difference to the way projects such as Bristol’s Cycling City programme are seen. The city is to spend £23m on becoming the most bike-friendly in the UK.

The start of the project comes as Bristol’s Lib Dem transport boss makes one of the most radical pro-cycling proposals yet: closing the Portway to cars on Sundays.

Jon Rogers has suggested the idea based on the success of Bristol’s Biggest Bike Ride this weekend. He says he’ll consider closing the Portway and Ladies’ Mile to motorists on several Sundays each year.

UWE researcher Kieron Chattarjee told #SITE_NAME# information was vital in assessing the success or failure of projects like Cycling City.

He said: “These are crucial issues for society in general and it’s important we have some objective information to give a robust picture of how effective cycling investment can be.”

He also maintained the UWE study would be independent, despite being funded by Cycling England and the Department for Transport.

He said: “The Department for Transport represent all forms of transport. They’re concerned that investment in cycling stands up to scrutiny as opposed to other forms of transport.

“Should that money be spent better on walking or buses for example? We’re an independent team looking into this.”

As an example of the type of plan being considered for cycling city, Jon Rogers proposal to close the Portway and Ladies Mile for several Sundays each year is one of the most controversial yet.

He wants the section of the Portway running beneath the Suspension Bridge to Sylvan Way to be closed to cars – as it was for the Biggest Bike Ride this weekend.

He told us:  “Currently it’s closed twice a year, for the biggest Bike Ride and the Half Marathon. But I wanted to raise the question with people whether we should do it more often so people can enjoy what is a beautiful bit of Bristol.

“If it’s only closed in that section there are alternative routes. We need to strike a balance and on Sundays the traffic on the Portway is fairly light, and I think it’s something worth considering.”

Audio: Martin Jones interviews Jon Rogers


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