Starting this week with Sundays news that Sustrans are to declassify many of the on road sections of route that have been part of the N.C.N for many years. This is a good change in many ways, as I have for years maintained that introductory cycling is made on traffic free routes which is their specialism. Bristol Bath old railway being the first of these and the best type of route belonging to the Charity, Grimshaw and friends vision provides a backbone to uncountable holiday adventures which is great. Ive spent many hours promoting them as in our area we have Castleman trailway which I use frequently, absolute support for Sustrans having worked for them in various roles, they are the leisure routes for families providing the basis of lifetime great memories for many people. Heres the full piece and implications.
Locally there has been an Activation project to connect Wimborne better shown in the picture below, Whilst on the NCN Castleman trailway this has been given to Dorset Council to deal with. Ive been emailing repeatedly and using their commonplace consultation- to no reply at all. If anyone reading this can supply any info about this please get in touch, the consultations were more than a year ago now in Wimborne, accept that COVID has delayed works but the silence from Dorset Council is deafening on this and most of transport issues.
Next steps for BCP will be submitting the 07 August application for Tranche 2 of the Emergency Measures funds, youve seen the schemes in broad form on BCP website. We look foward to more info on the sequence of those and any more info coming as it can be released. Keep watching the twitter @bhactivetravel and facebook feeds for more regular posts than this weekly one. Where are we with all these schemes? “Judging by the polls, what had sounded like a chorus of opposition in the media was actually a small but determined section of the population ” -J.S. Khan from ‘Streetfight’ . This is where we are, the majority of the population wont be contributing anything to the conversation- a very vocal few will make the press.
This one above looks like ‘deferred’ meaning removed from the published lists, the Broadstone way will still carry you traffic free from Poole to Wimborne so dont worry.
Next we have some data from Cllr Hadley, showing cycle count numbers in March. Im still trying to obtain more information from Whitecliff route that was part of last weeks post. Evidence as to the number of users providing essential evidence of usage of old and new routes, seems to work in many areas around U.K now. Andy Storey asked recently for cycle counter at Evening Hill which was a good idea.
And onto Evening Hill week two. Obviously very satisfied with this work as it was part of my suggestion list made 26 April This has been very well managed implementation and is now in the trial phase period, keep sharing the consultation for users to complete. Will be mentioned on tonights Ideas and Beers conference, and has been causing media attention since last week. Just as a reminder the GVT advice on all these types of interventions reads ‘Take measures to re-allocate roadspace to people walking and cycling. Both to encourage Active Travel and to enable social distancing during restart. Local Authorities where public transport use is low, should be considering all possible measures.’ so this work being undertaken meets exactly the requests of Central GVT, despite being resisted by local Conservatives who seem to be unaware of the reasons for the work and continue on with bitterly criticizing BCP cabinet decisions made to progress the quality of life in our area. Also be aware that all these measures appearing, come with statutory guidance that ‘measures should be taken as swiftly as possible, and in any event within weeks, given the urgent need to change travel habits before the restart takes place’ So Councils must do this, I suppose that the volume of response to this first scheme can be seen as a result, being progressive is changing the status quo. We have been impressed by the BCP Comms dept social media recently too, this message appearing recently:-
“DON’T BE TRAFFIC! If you’re planning a trip to the beach later today for a late afternoon paddle, we recommend you avoid Sandbanks. It’s really busy there today so for more time on the beach and less in your car, choose another spot and enjoy.”
Its a shame to be political on this Forum, moving actively has no associations- however bicycling in particular has always had a political edge, right from the era of the suffragettes we all studied at school, and before. Carlton Reids book Roads were not Built for cars illustrates this whole story perfectly, Ill add it to the list of essential BHAT reads being shared on other media.
So what did BHAT do? We were contacted by the main vocal and visible objector to the scheme and I had an amicable conversation with him on the telephone where I agreed to disagree. Around a week after the exchange of emails and his engagement with the local press , I emailed offering the picture below that Marc Lohez made- whereby we suggested that he take this idea to BCP and mention the seafront strategy of some years ago , that mentions Sandbanks peninsula improvements for all users. You will see a loading bay type facility that could be installed on various points along the peninsula, and actually already exists in one place. It seems my mistake was confusing Mr Cribb with someone involved with EDSC, he very quickly came back and denied any involvement with the club. In some ways this made the conversation even easier, as it proves the main objectors are ordinary members of the public, subject to the same rules of the Highway as we all are. Todays local press has featured another local residents thoughts in the form of a letter which Im going to quote in verbatim below, thanks to Darren Slade for including this:-
“My flat overlooks Evening Hill. There are many cyclists who use the new protected cycle lane throughout the day. Indeed, just about all cyclists heading from Poole centre towards Sandbanks – and there are indeed many – have to return this same way. I see now whole families that can cycle up the hill safely. Road safety should clearly be our number one priority and safety does not need consultation.
In the past, some motorists were considerate to cyclists on this stretch of road but many others were not. Their impatience, combined with the fact that some cyclists are unsteady riding uphill, meant that many cyclists either dismounted out of fear of being hit or chose to cycle on the pedestrian pavement. At last cyclists can cycle up the hill in peace and safety
This is the only cycle route from Poole centre to Sandbanks along the harbour. Cyclists do not have a choice of route. In contrast, watersports enthusiasts can choose from literally miles of access to Poole Harbour, including in the direct vicinity of the safe shallow waters at the base of Evening Hill. The many water sports schools there have no difficulty in launching their craft.
The less mobile have lost easy access to Evening Hill but there are many other places in our town where they can enjoy accessible harbour or sea views. Disabled bays could be provided in Crichel Mount Road and Alington Road if this is considered an issue.
Evening Hill is indeed a beauty spot and should be kept as such. One added benefit of removing the parking has been a vast reduction in illegal barbecues.
A quick walk around reveals many telltale patches of scorched earth and heat damaged picnic tables. I have even seen big barbecue sets wheeled out of vans!
The protected cycle lane is a very welcome innovation. Make it permanent please.”
Very well put Mr Malcolm Farrant thankyou.
We welcome the next schemes in advance. I believe Boundary roundabout work has begun, will see that when riding up to tuesday training later and hope its going well.
One more small item today Cyclestreets. Camden is first off the mark on installing this, as street which is predominantly given over to bikes as the main mode of traffic. There are zillions in Europe, but entirely new dedication of space here in U.K. So as always to provide something progressive here we have Cyclestreets, moving people not cars. Have a great week.