Author Archives: MrHappyCyclist

Myth: “Cycleways will cause more congestion.”

Congestion is already here and will get worse, especially after Covid-19. There is no space to increase road capacity for motor vehicles, which are an extremely inefficient use of space anyway. The only way to deal with the problem is … Continue reading

Myth: “But … hills!”

Whilst it is true that the existence of steep hills can reduce the likelihood of people cycling, the effect is gradual. For the most part, Bolton is not too hilly for the majority of people to cycle, especially if decent … Continue reading

Myth: “But hardly anyone cycles!”

Yes, that is precisely the point; I’m glad you agree. It’s not about people who cycle now; they already cycle. The reason only few people are prepared to cycle is precisely because we don’t have decent protected cycle infrastructure. This … Continue reading

Myth: “Cyclists (will) just ignore cycleways anyway.”

It’s true that a lot of the cycle lanes that exist right now across the borough do not get used by cyclists. That is because they are almost all of very poor quality and tend to put cyclists in danger … Continue reading

Myth: “But cyclists (will still) ride on the pavement.”

Cyclists who ride on the pavement (footway) usually do so because they are afraid to ride on roads that are filled with motor vehicles often driven by aggressive or careless drivers. Once there is decent cycle infrastructure, separated from motor … Continue reading

Myth: “Waste of Council money, should be spent on …”

Councils are rarely, if ever, funding active travel (walking and cycling) schemes themselves. In Greater Manchester, schemes tend to be funded by central Government. The schemes in Bolton are mostly funded through specific funds such as the Growth Deal, the … Continue reading

Myth: “Cyclists should have insurance.”

In fact, most people who live in a house that is insured probably are covered by personal liability insurance, which includes damage caused whilst cycling. Such insurance is extremely cheap because cycling is an extremely low-risk activity. For example, the … Continue reading

Myth: “Motorists pay road tax.”

Road tax was something that existed in the UK briefly at the beginning of the 20th century, but was abolished in 1937. This was partly because it might give people driving motor vehicles a misplaced and dangerous sense of entitlement … Continue reading

Mr Shapps, “-ing”, not “-ist” makes all the difference.

The Transport Minister Grant Shapps wrote a letter to all highways authorities last week. I won’t go into a full discussion of the letter here, because Carlton Reid has already done an excellent article on it. Instead I just want … Continue reading

OpConsiderate online submission – analysis of 47 cases.

Introduction I have been involved with Operation Considerate for a very long time – since before its inception by Insp Paul Rowe and his team – and was actively involved in helping to get the online submission service off the … Continue reading

These two words show we’ve still a long way to go, but we need to get there fast.

One year on from the workshop we had in Bolton (as did all the cities and boroughs of Greater Manchester), Chris Boardman’s Made to Move walking and cycling strategy, and the most talked about element of that, the Bee Network, … Continue reading

Operation Considerate: More feedback is needed.

The Black Hole Something that has concerned me for a long time about the Operation Considerate reporting process is that, a lot of the time, it feels like something of a black hole: lots of stuff going in, but very … Continue reading

A nice “Tiger Crossing” in Bolton, but in the wrong place?

Two crossing and a ramp. I heard last week that a parallel zebra/cycle crossing (known as a Tiger crossing) has now been completed as part of the National Cycle Route 55 extension into Bolton. I believe this is the first … Continue reading

Bolton to press ahead with irrational town centre cycle ban.

Public Space Protection Order I have been feeling very positive after last night’s meeting of the Bolton Active Travel Forum. I was finally feeling we might be getting some way towards changing the culture of this motor-blighted town. Unfortunately it … Continue reading

A review of Active Travel within Bolton’s planning policies.

*** Note: comments, questions or corrections to this document will be most welcome. *** Introduction One of the things that has frustrated me over recent years has been the difficulty I’ve had in seeing how we, as constituents, can influence … Continue reading

Crompton Way – another poor Bolton design, and an absent one.

I had to visit the health centre in Harwood today, so I thought I’d come back a slightly longer route and take a video of Crompton way, part of which has recently been repainted. This is a pictorial commentary on … Continue reading

Should rational discourse be silenced because of ignorance & bigotry?

This article addresses an issue that is really much more general than cycling and cycle campaigning, but I think it is highly relevant to cycle campaigning. It’s something I’ve been thinking of writing about for some time, but a recent, … Continue reading

Weston Street, Bolton. A tough nut to crack?

A short while ago, I criticized the design of brand new cycle lanes on Manchester Road in Bolton. I still think it is pretty much all dreadful, but it might be reasonable for someone to ask me: “OK, what do … Continue reading

Bolton highway department again shows us how not to design cycle infrastructure.

Manchester Road in  Bolton used to be a section of my journey to work and back on which I had many bad experiences with careless and dangerous drivers, especially bus drivers. Much of the bad driving was exacerbated by the … Continue reading

A second successful prosecution from Operation Considerate.

Back in January, I wrote an article about the first successful prosecution in court from an Operation Considerate online submission. Since that time, I have been very disappointed with the decisions of the Operation Considerate officers regarding cases that were … Continue reading

Quiet Beelines and River Valleys

The strategy adopted by Chris Boardman’s team for planning the Beelines walking and cycling network places a lot of emphasis on quiet routes, and this is reflected in the methodology used, which is very well explained in Nick Hubble’s article … Continue reading

Beelines commenting: it’s not only about minutiae.

Minutiae (n.) The small, precise, or trivial details of something. (OED) After a recent workshop about the Beelines consultation, I have to admit that I came away rather depressed by the amount of negativity that seemed to exist about the … Continue reading

Open letter to Otis Elevator Company.

Dear Otis, I am writing to bring to your attention the poor driving of one of your van drivers. At approximately 8.10 AM on 11th July, I was riding a bicycle towards the town centre along Higher Bridge Street in … Continue reading

Flying the flag for increased passing distances.

It is clear that GM Police’s Operation Considerate is not going to change the toxic culture on the roads any time soon; in fact it seems to be going backwards rather than forwards. It is also clear that, whilst the … Continue reading

Low Emissions APPG Inquiry

I was prompted this morning, by an email from the organisation Fair Fuel UK, to write to my MP about the Low Emissions All-Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry. Naturally, I felt that this was too important an opportunity to miss, so … Continue reading

Does OpConsiderate need Bikeability training?

I have been a very strong advocate for Greater Manchester Police Traffic Division’s Operation Considerate online video submission process ever since the original team in the Serious Collision Investigation Unit started it just over a year ago. Traffic PCSOs Stephanie … Continue reading

My response to the CWIS Safety Consultation

11.45 PM today is the deadline for responses to the UK Government Department for Transport’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy Safety Review call for evidence. Like a typical student, I left it until the last minute to do my assignment, … Continue reading

Bolton to Radcliffe off road route

Almost 3 years ago, I posted an article about an off road cycle route from the centre of Bolton to the boundary with Bury at Bradley Fold using a newly created shared path. A couple of days ago I followed … Continue reading

On when Boardman’s team met Bolton Council

In December of last year, Chris Boardman, who last summer took on the role of Walking and Cycling Commissioner in the office of the Greater Manchester Mayor, published his report, Made to Move, in which he sets out ambitious plans for … Continue reading

Video evidence: why we need a wide field of view.

This is just a quick blog article prompted by my seeing a post from a twitter user who had a close pass video knocked back after submitting it to one of the police online submission programmes. The video is here. … Continue reading