Category Archives: Space for Cycling

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

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

Pull the other one David.

Greater Manchester is a large county that has a population, at the 2011 census, of about 2.7 million. It is one of the major winners of the Government’s Cycling City Ambition Grants, with a grant of £20 million over two … Continue reading

Let’s stop just treating (one of) the symptoms.

In a recent discussion about the appalling designs for Salford’s part of Greater Manchester’s Cycling City Ambition Grant project, Velocity 2025, I was prompted to think again about the lack of holistic thinking that seems to exist among many well-meaning … Continue reading

Neither one nor t’Other! (Salford’s proposed Cycle Infrastructure.)

Salford City Council has published the plans for their share of the Greater Manchester’s “Cycle City Ambition Grant”, otherwise know as Velicity 2025. It seems the consultation on the first of three “packages” closed yesterday. Unfortunately I missed that as … Continue reading

Is Britain showing symptoms of a third world country?

When a cousin of  my wife visited a country in Africa many years ago, she stayed in a relatively wealthy household. One of the observations that she made was that people there with expensive televisions in their homes often didn’t … Continue reading

Thoughts from Skyride Bolton

Yesterday was the day of the Bolton Skyride; an event that happens at different dates & times in various towns and cities across the country. On these days,  the town is disrupted as roads are closed to allow families and … Continue reading

Highlighting the bad bits.

Update (6th March 2014): Modified the annotations in the map to include links to videos showing examples of the problems that I encounter at these locations. Yesterday, I saw the following Twitter post from the All Party Cycling Group: My … Continue reading

The stupidity of painting substandard cycle lanes on roads.

The UK Government’s guidelines for cycle infrastructure design are contained in  the Department for Transport’s Local Transport Note 2/08. This actually specifies quite a low level of design quality compared to those countries that have achieved high rates of cycling, but … Continue reading

Playing billiards with cyclists?

Introduction In the game of billiards, points can be scored by hitting the red ball and the opponent’s cue ball in the same shot; that is called a cannon. I wonder whether the equivalent on the road involves hitting two … Continue reading

An unintended road improvement as work starts on a new cycleway.

I was pleased to see last week that work has now started on a new cycleway linking Bolton town centre to National Cycle Route 6, leading to Bury. I was already aware of the plans, since it was discussed in … Continue reading

Cycle Use as a System

Updated: 3rd September 2013 I get quite frustrated by the arguments that seem to go on between different “groups” of cycling campaigners about which intervention is “the one” that is needed to bring about an increase in the number of … Continue reading

House of Commons Cycling Debate – Write to Your MP

As a result of the report produced by the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ inquiry, and the online petition that was raised to promote it, there will be a debate in the House of Commons to debate the findings set out in … Continue reading

Local Authorities – they just don’t get it!

[7th May 2013 – Scroll to the bottom for an update.] This picture shows some road works that have appeared on Bolton Road in Salford, near the Pendlebury roundabout: I was pleased to see this raised “island” being put in … Continue reading

£260 million paid in VAT on bicycles.

According to a recent article in the Times, People in the UK spent £1.56 billion on bicycles in 2012. That seems a staggering figure, but it is a figure released by the Office for National Statistics, so I expect it … Continue reading

Extreme straw men and reductionist thinking.

It is frustrating that there seems to be so much disagreement between different cycle campaigners regarding what is required to get more people cycling in Britain. What is particularly annoying is that a lot of the arguments seem to centre … Continue reading

Census 2011 cycling statistics for Bolton

Last week, census data from the 2011 census was released,including data on modes of travel to work for the various local authority areas in England and Wales. A number of people put extracted information relating to various towns from this … Continue reading

Cycle Lane Improvements Made

In some previous posts, I reported on my discussions with Bolton Highway Authority about poor quality cycle lanes on my route to work. I originally wrote to the highway authority in August 2011, and then posted a blog article in … Continue reading

Positive Response from Bolton Highway Authority

About 10 days ago, I wrote an open letter to Bolton’s Highway Authority, and emailed their general email address along with copies to a highway engineer that I had previously corresponded with on the matter, and to my local councillor. … Continue reading

Open Letter Bolton Highway Authority

Dear Bolton Highway Authority, SUB-STANDARD CYCLE LANES IN BOLTON In August 2011, I wrote to Bolton Streetcare, pointing out a number of issues regarding the poor standard of cycle lanes in Bolton, particular on my commuter route from Astley Bridge … Continue reading

Kamikaze Cycle Lanes – Part 2

Last April, I wrote a blog article about what I called Kamikaze Cycle Lanes. These are cycle lanes that force a cyclist to swerve out across a traffic flow, and I said I thought these were very dangerous. I even … Continue reading

A perfect illustration of an entrenched attitude.

The picture below shows a cycle lane in Salford, England. It was taken in the middle of a Friday morning, after the commuter rush had died down. For me, the picture captures perfectly the entrenched, and frankly very unhealthy, attitude … Continue reading

#cyclesafe – Letter to my Bolton Councillors

It seems to me that the issues being raised by the Safer Cycling campaign need  to be addressed collaboratively at the local and national levels. Some town and city councils have realized this and responded, but I’ve heard nothing from … Continue reading

Sub-Standard Cycle Lanes in Bolton

Last August, I wrote to the Highways Department in Bolton about the standard of cycle lanes in Bolton, many of which I believe cause more problems than if they had not been there at all. Below is a copy of … Continue reading

Cycle Safety: Minister acts! … Really?

The Times handed over a dossier with 25,000 signatures and 5,000 reader stories, resulting “The Minister” being galvanized into action (Note … irony there.): Norman Baker, the transport minister with responsibility for cycling, today told The Times: “Cycling is good … Continue reading

20mph Speed Limits

There is a lot of argument about the issue of introducing 20 miles-per-hour speed limits on certain roads, as proposed by various campaign groups such as 20’s plenty for us. I thought I would look at this in relation to … Continue reading

The Times cycling advice is flawed (in my opinion)

Although I welcome and support the Times’s “safe cycling” campaign, I think the advice given in its graphical article is flawed. It looks as though it was put together in a hurry, to be honest. In particular, I felt the … Continue reading

Cities fit for cycling

The “Cities fit for cycling” campaign has been launched by the Times newspaper. It is very sad that this has been the result of a tragic incident involving one of their reporters, who is a cyclist, but perhaps this will … Continue reading

Sub-standard Cycle Lanes

Someone on the CycleChat forums drew my attention to the government’s Red Tape Challenge, web site, and in particular to the section on Road Safety and Cycling. I’ve been getting pretty fed up with problems caused by poor quality cycle … Continue reading

The true meaning of “Utility Cycling”?

I am, I think, what is sometimes referred to as a “utility cyclist”. Of the miles I cycle, probably fewer than 10% are purely for the joy of cycling or for the exercise rather than to achieve some other purpose … Continue reading

Kamikaze Cycle Lanes

I have said before that I think many cycle lanes are badly designed and can encourage behaviour amongst both cyclists and motorists that puts the cyclist at greater risk. I have been particularly struck in this respect by the absolute … Continue reading