Category Archives: Space for Cycling

Articles relating to infrastructure and urban design to enable safe cycling.

Myth: “Unsightly, invisible wand orcas”

Orcas are small semi-permanent kerb sections made of recycled plastic. The name derives from the black and white markings that make them reminiscent of a killer whale (orca) breaking the surface of the sea. Due to a fear that drivers, … Continue reading

A staggering level of ignorance from a councillor.

Before I start, I will preface this with “not all councillors”. However, I have noticed over the years that many (though not all) councillors are often seen pontificating on subjects that they have never studied, and pretending that they are … Continue reading

Myth: “The data show this road is not dangerous…”

Using cycling and walking KSI data (data about how many people have been killed or injured whilst cycling or walking) to define which are “dangerous roads” is fallacious. The most dangerous roads tend to be avoided by people on cycles … Continue reading

Myth: “No need for anything; nobody was killed cycling here in years…”

Whilst preventing deaths and serious injuries is extremely important, these projects are not primarily about numbers of people killed or injured on the road; they are about making it possible for people who currently feel forced to use cars for … Continue reading

The hypocrisy of consultation

The requirement to consult One of the problems that the DfT identified, regarding the Emergency Active Travel Fund measures first announced by Grant Shapps in May of last year, has been a perceived “lack of consultation”, partly as a result … Continue reading

New Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – levelling inequalities

An article published today in the Guardian, written by Antonio Voce and Peter Walker, reports on a study carried out by Rachel Aldred and her team showing, contrary to the claims of many opponents, that low traffic neighbourhoods (a.k.a. LTNs, … Continue reading

Why I chose this picture for Active Travel

I recently changed the profile picture of the Bolton Active Travel Forum Facebook page that I run. I chose this picture, which I took in Copenhagen in 2019, because it captures so many aspects of active travel, what we mean … 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

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

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

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

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

Arriva North West, you’ve taught me so much over the years.

Indeed, you’ve been teaching me for years how to ride on Blackburn road when there are drivers such as yours who simply cannot be trusted with my safety. Here are some examples. Bridge Street, passing Topp Way In 2011 and … Continue reading

Bolton Transport Interchange – an exercise in missed opportunities.

Last week, Bolton Council opened the new transport interchange, consolidating bus and rail transport on the same site. Apparently the project cost £48 Million. Further money will be spent on a multi-storey car park to allow people to drive to … Continue reading

A ride down Oxford Road, Manchester

The Friday before last, I had a bit of time to spare before the start of the World Naked Bike Ride in Manchester, so I decided to have a ride down Oxford Road and back to see what the new … Continue reading

Safety and Numbers: the sad case of Bolton.

There has been a report circulating recently about the relationship between cycling safety and the number of people cycling, which uses available data to show the rather unsurprising negative correlation between the rates of injuries and deaths of people riding … Continue reading

Some Spanish cycle infrastructure: not perfect, but decades ahead of the UK

We recently enjoyed a 3 week holiday in Spain and I was surprised by the quality of the cycle infrastructure that we encountered there. Whilst they had the advantage, in the area we stayed, of a lot of fairly new … Continue reading

Side road treatments – do most British designs miss the point?

One of the things that I liked to see in Amsterdam was the quite common use of continuous footways  across side roads: This design makes it very clear to motorists (and cyclists for that matter) that, on entering or leaving … Continue reading

An Outsider in Amsterdam

Last week, I was lucky to have the opportunity to visit Amsterdam for a few days with some friends. Of course, I insisted that we hire bicycles as our main form of transport for the period, so we experienced something … Continue reading

New Bolton-Bury Shared Path

[UPDATE (August 2018): Since this article was written, a lot of work has been done on the Bury side of the boundary. This video shows the whole route from Manchester Road in Bolton to the tram station in Radcliffe.] Original … Continue reading

Some observations from visiting Oxford

I just spent a few days in Oxford with my wife. We didn’t ride bikes, but did do a fair amount of walking. As we expected in Oxford, we saw lots of people on bikes, mostly with flat handlebars and … Continue reading

Cyclists Dismount: A disappointing attitude from @BoltonCouncil

The picture below shows the approach to some road works that are currently in progress on Moss Bank Way in Bolton: “Cyclists Dismount” signs are often used by ignorant local authorities who claim that they are there for safety reasons, … Continue reading

Letter to my Councillors

My Letter to Councillors Fairclough, Walsh and Wild (Note: the first two paragraphs are based on CTC paragraphs with modifications): Dear Councillor XXXXXX, I am writing as a resident in your ward who wants our Council to provide safe Space … Continue reading

Poor roundabout designs in Blackburn.

This is a major edit of an article I posted last week,  which prompted some very useful feedback, especially from a couple of people involved in the Warrington cycle campaign, who pointed me towards some useful references. You can read … Continue reading

Bolton’s idea of a strategic cycle route.

There will be a meeting of the Bolton Cycle Forum on Wednesday, so I have been having a look at the most recent documentation I can find on the cycling strategy of Bolton Council. This is the “Bolton Cycling Strategy … Continue reading