Category Archives: Article

Items that are articles rather than just normal short blog posts and comments.

Myth: “Essential motor vehicles”

We often hear people (especially local politicians) using this term as a way of resisting change; the implication being that other means of transport are not essential and must be treated with lower priority. It is often accompanied by some … Continue reading

How to lie with statistics.

A couple of days ago, the local newspaper “Wigan Today” published an article crowing about Wigan’s position of 3rd best place in the UK for cycling in a league table published by a claims management company “The Compensation Experts”. I … Continue reading

Myth: “But I have to park on the pavement.”

Parking on the footway (aka “pavement” in the UK) has become normalized to the extent that many people seem to think it is an entitlement. However, it causes obstructions for people on foot and causes damage to the footways themselves, … Continue reading

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

Myth: “These wands are dangerous; cars will hit them…”

Unless you are referring to self-driving cars, then what you really mean is: drivers will hit them with their cars. Anyone who is unable to drive in a 3.5 metre lane without hitting things at the sides should not have … 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

Myth: “Can’t do anything here, it’s a 40mph road!”

This, which can be found referring to any speed limit, not just 40mph, was actually said by a councillor recently in an attempt to oppose a cycle lane on a wide main road. As far as I know, there is … 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

Is Queens Park, Bolton really suitable as a cycle route.

Bolton Council is relying on a route through Queens Park to link two cycle routes to the town centre. One is a Bee Network proposal from Doffcocker to the town centre, funded by the (GM) Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge … 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