Update 03 June- we linked Beryl Bikes with the Adam Practice and they are now the second Doctors Surgery in BH Area to have been given a Pop Up Bay, meaning staff and visitors can now pick up and drop off hire bikes there as they wish. Great work Beryl!
Since the COVID-19 pandemic a lot has changed locally and nationality. Locally many transport services have been reduced with schools closed and most workplaces are not operating unless serving essential functions. The roads are very much quieter and this has inspired many employees at the Adam practice to start cycling to work. Thankyou so much to all essential staff who have continued to help us all through this difficult time. The Adam Practice Dorset is one of the largest G.P Practices in the South with Surgeries at Hamworthy, Longfleet road Poole, Lychett Matravers and Upton (also my own Doctors surgery). Doctor Carron is friend of mine on whos a keen active traveller already on this staff, she has reported to me the way her colleagues have responded as Key Workers, this post is celebration of their efforts at the same time as fulfilling their essential roles at this time.
The Adam practice serves a population of over 30,000 patients with practices in Lytchett Matravers, Upton, Hamworthy and in Longfleet road Poole. Distances are approximately 3 miles from Poole town centre making it an ideal commuting distance for many employees. Prior to lockdown only a handful of the GPs and nurses had cycled to work but subsequent to lockdown reduced traffic on the roads and much encouragement amongst colleagues we now have 11 GP’s and 5 nurses regularly cycling to work, from a total 22 G.Ps thats a great total! Many more employees including reception staff and secretaries are also looking to get their bikes out of the garage/ sheds dust them off and also cycle. One of the GPs commented to Dr Carron:- “I would not have gone if it weren’t for your encouragement I’m really pleased that I have made the effort to cycle”. In times of stress it has been commented that the cycle to and from work with views of the Harbour and being outdoors after a stressful shift have increased our sense of well-being.
Many of these Doctors have children in school, which means they have to plan for them on transport choices- as children of Key Workers are also accommodated by schools. Dr Carrons secondary age son and daughter are happily also within close enough proximity to school to cycle there, and were already making those independent journeys using Whitecliff / Baiter park and the most cycle friendly routes to school. Staff at the Hamworthy surgery have already made applications for cycle parking outside their workplaces, and also to have a Beryl bikes parking bay. If you didn’t know BCP Council and Beryl Bikes have been giving Key Workers and NHS free use of the UKs largest bike hire scheme (outside London).
They currently don’t have the cycle to work scheme operating but would also like it. Positive to hear Transport Minister Grant Shapps talking about making this easier for workplaces recently- something that would benefit this staff team greatly. Did you know that 68% of journeys in the U.K are under 5 Miles? See the graph of what commuting journeys are actually made up of:-
All of these elements are combining to make Active Travel journeys an easy choice to make, just as people are walking every day for the easy exercise. We at BH Active Travel hope that the clean air and outdoor enjoyment continues through the time which we will be returning to more regular life patterns.
All of this commuters would benefit from some sections of their journey being made safer for cycling, Poole Bridge is an example where the parallel footway to the road is narrow at points and unsuitable for adequate social distancing. Additionally the Shared Track around Whitecliff and Baiter park is currently heavily trafficked by dog walkers, pedestrians and cyclists and isn’t really fit for purpose with so many people using this linear route. Any assistance with the suggestion of protecting Labrador/ Catalina Drive would be greatly appreciated here. It seems necessary to notice what we now have at present:- loads of families exercising together and lots of returning cyclists that are happier on low traffic roads with better air quality. There are some good habits being embedded by the change to work patterns and the loss of unnecessary journeys, it would be really sad to lose the great example the the Adam Practice staff are setting, I hear there is even talk of starting a league table of staff riding distance too… watch this space.
The second half of this post is about what BHAT have been doing over the last week.
In light of all the elements above my own requests to BCP on locations which would benefit from allocating road space follow, this list is included on the present considerations being made which we expect an announcement on very soon. I first wrote about the possibility of making road changes to benefit Pedestrians and Cyclists on 07 April.
Most interestingly:-there are three places that could also be re-purposed at this time for restaurant and cafe culture to bloom (and they also happen to be places I’ve been suggesting pedestrian zones on for years) Poole Old Town High Street, Westborne High Street (Poole Road) and Holdenhurst Road at Lansdowne Bournemouth. Our Cabinet member for Transportation in BCP has been working hard photographing, considering these proposal suggestions and rode himself around for exercise recently through the areas shown here, another individual who leads by example to be celebrated. It would be great to see Westborne High Street open to Cafes and Restaurants on the street, bringing back some essential street life to our area.
Councils should be helping to reallocate road space to support small business and support the economy, in precisely locations such as these.
Lower Parkstone, A35 Commercial road, Footway currently restricted after Parr st towards bmth, take a lane away make single lane direction to lights.
Westborne, all Poole road close to through traffic both ends of seamoor road, make seamoor road two way for local traffic.
Winton, as much of Wimborne road is realistic where space exists, remove parking make lane on road for bikes
Charminster, road at Maxwell road, through section past co-op make a lane.
Belle vue road Southborne, at St Katherines road, remove parking through co-op area, lane past all shops.
Boscombe, sections of Christchurch road, where width exists, another lane, esp around Gloucester road, parking is 30 mins but is parked in all day-remove and create lane.
Castle lane west, local shops opposite Castlepoint, at Bradpole road, section of service road, take out or, take out a lane of main road, (this is the one section of castle lane west that isnt provided for by service road access or near west way new 2016 track)
Poole High Street in Old Town, plus Quay side, close to through traffic regulate by gated ends as is done frequently for events.
Two more last items today. Myself, BHAT forum members from Bournemouth University, Employees of companies at Discovery court and Friends of the Earth were involved in a pre- consultation with BCP Engineers and Designers from WSP last Friday to discuss plans for a new scheme on Wallisdown Road West, to add to the work already done east of Kinson Roundabout and being completed 11 May with the resurfacing. There were also draft plans from Cabot Lane and a new Crossing at Holes Bay discussed.
Draft plans were received very well by members, with some innovative ideas coming up. Note the Dept for Transport are looking at a Local Transport Note on Cycle Infrastructure (LTN) Which should be given to Councils immediately in order for them to be all working from the same guidance. If you have thoughts on any of these items, and want to contribute get in touch via Facebook or leave comments here, or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally-University of West England Bristol have requested help:-
“We are recruiting for focus groups for a study of crossing side roads. We are after a mix of people from the general public who may fall into one or more of the following categories: disabled, parent and child, cyclists, general pedestrians, general mixed.
Ideally, we would like to reach ‘ordinary’ people who might fit into one of these categories, rather than ‘specialists advocates’ or indeed professionals.
The groups will take place later in May”- Get in touch if you are interested.