Come to the Dynamo AGM on Tuesday 29 October

It’s that time of year again!  Come along to a round-up of the cycling year and listen to Karen’s talk about her Eastern European cycle tour.  All welcome.

916915EA-5162-4117-9B7A-67120043F535

Advertisements
Posted in Cycling, Events | Leave a comment

“Safe pass” signs

3DF59B6F-F4AA-4149-BB84-E2E6432CEA31

Lancashire sign

Dynamo has been corresponding (unsuccessfully so far) with the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership about the proportions in their “safe pass” posters.  They are all wrong: the tiny cyclist, the giant car, and the distance.  Moreover, they have used the usual sporting adult male to represent all cyclists, when they could have used an adult with child to emphasise vulnerability.  (Which is not to say that we don’t all bleed or break the same.)

Matt has photographed a poster (below) in Cumbria – ironically on the Lancashire Cycleway – which make the same point in a more proportionate and less stereotypical way:

437D98B8-AB6D-42F7-A926-4035A9160A4E

Posted in Cycling, Safety | 1 Comment

Objection to planning application in Cockerham

DBD30127-E500-4AFA-83D3-FD28CCDE4D08

Planning application 19/00438 to Lancaster City Council for 36 houses in Cockerham.  Dynamo has objected as follows:

Dynamo (Lancaster & District Cycle Campaign) objects to this planning application on the grounds that it does not include provision for a safe, sustainable cycle route between the new development and the wider area. (National Planning Policy Framework paragraphs 108 and 110.)

On rural development, the NPPF states (paragraph 84): “Planning policies and decisions should recognise that sites to meet local business and community needs in rural areas may have to be found adjacent to or beyond existing settlements, and in locations that are not well served by public transport. In these circumstances it will be important to ensure that development is sensitive to its surroundings, DOES NOT HAVE AN UNACCEPTABLE IMPACT ON LOCAL ROADS AND EXPLOITS ANY OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE A LOCATION MORE SUSTAINABLE (FOR EXAMPLE BY IMPROVING THE SCOPE FOR ACCESS ON FOOT, BY CYCLING OR BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT)” (my capitals).

The technical note which appears under the “Transport statement” tab makes no mention of sustainable transport.  It glosses over the fact that the Road Safety Foundation views the A588 as one of Britain’s most dangerous roads (https://lancasterdynamo.wordpress.com/2018/08/19/road-safety-matters/).  The Lancashire Cycle Way follows this stretch of road for a short distance, so there will be increased traffic – and hence increased danger – for cyclists to negotiate.

Finally, this is yet another planning application for new housing estates in Cockerham in the last 2 years (19/00164, 18/00887, 18/00953).  If permission is granted, the village will be expanded piecemeal while ignoring the need for new infrastructure for sustainable transport.  Unless there is a definite plan for sustainable transport to and from Cockerham, all we will get is an extra bit of pavement here and there while housing developments gobble up green space and create extra traffic. This does definitely not fit in with policy SC1 (promoting sustainability) in the Lancaster District Core Strategy.

Posted in Cockerham, Cycling, planning applications | Leave a comment

Planning application for engineering works and employment floorspace between Carnforth and Over Kellet

41551FC2-9096-4E94-8056-2D6113E8F34BA planning application (reference 19/00545/HYB) for up to 8,400 sq metres of development beside the M6 between Carnforth and Over Kellet has been submitted.  Dynamo has objected as follows:

Dynamo Cycle Campaign objects to this planning application as it currently stands because there is no plan for safe cycle access between the development and Carnforth or Over Kellet. Policy DM 20 of Lancaster City Council’s Development Plan (Sept 2015) states: “Proposals should minimise the need to travel, particularly by private car, and maximise the opportunities for the use of walking, cycling and public transport”.

A wide shared-use path is needed between Carnforth and the new development to mitigate the inevitable increase in traffic on the B6254 AND to make it easy and safe for employees in Carnforth (or catching the train to Carnforth) to choose to walk or cycle to work.

The B6254 into Carnforth also forms part of the Lancashire Cycleway, which the Transportation Assessment takes as evidence that cycling to work is a viable option without considering for a moment that the impact of their development will make cycling to work or for leisure LESS attractive.

Posted in Carnforth, Cycling, planning applications | Leave a comment

Dynamo’s response to the Lancaster Cycling & Walking Planning Advisory Note (PAN)

Download the Cycling and Walking PAN.  All details on Lancaster City Council’s website.

Background

This links to the meeting that Matt and Patricia had in December with the City Council. As part of its Local Plan, the City Council has identified the following 3 areas for large-scale residential development:

  • South of Carnforth – ca. 700 houses, primary school and recreational hub
  • East Lancaster – ca. 900 houses, primary school, country park, keep the golf course
  • North Lancaster – ca. 700 houses and a primary school

and is also looking at cycling movements around the city centre as they relate to the above, with people travelling around to go to work, school, shopping, the hospital, etc.

The other big planned developments – Bailrigg Garden Village/south Lancaster and Morecambe/Heysham – do not feature in this PAN at all. They will be covered by the Lancaster Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), currently being prepared by the County Council. A Cycle Superhighway is mentioned re the BGV/south Lancaster plan, along with a bid to the Housing Infrastructure Fund . . . but we’ll have to wait and see.

Dynamo welcomes the PAN in proactively trying to manage the extra movements that these big new residential developments will bring. The approach is pragmatic rather than ideological: the City Council is well aware that it needs to encourage a modal shift to sustainable transport in order not to aggravate traffic congestion and air quality problems, and, more broadly, alludes to climate change.

The PAN lays out the good, the bad and the deficiencies in the existing cycle network/notwork. It focuses on utility cycling to work, school, shops and transport hubs. It’s interesting to note the maximum suggested distances that the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation sets for trips: 2km for walking and 5km for cycling – distances which will make some of us feel like elite athletes!

The canal towpath is viewed primarily as a leisure route; it’s too narrow and has too many bridges/bottlenecks to be promoted as a real through-route.

Funding for this infrastructure will be through developer contributions. The City Council is still investigating the use of a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), which would permit them to demand contributions for infrastructure not in the immediate vicinity of a particular development. There is no indication in the PAN whether they will take this route.

What you can do

If you wish to make your own response to the PAN, you can do so before 29 August 2019 by emailing comments to planningpolicy@lancaster.gov.uk.

Dynamo’s response to the PAN

Thank you for giving Dynamo the opportunity to comment on this Planning Advisory Note. We are pleased to see that the City Council is thinking ahead in how to minimise the extra traffic and movements that these big new housing estates will generate.

Broadly speaking, we approve of the infrastructure plans set out in the PAN and the priority given to them in appendix C, particularly with regards to the canal crossings.

The areas where we are not in agreement with the PAN or would wish to make additions are

1.   The high priority given to an overground crossing of the Greyhound Bridge approach road (re Lancaster East). This is the single most expensive item in Appendix C and the PAN gives it high priority. At present you can cycle/walk through the Sainsbury’s underpass. While it’s not the most attractive route, it is usable and does not feel unsafe during rush hours, so we are at a loss to understand why so much funding and such high priority is given to something which is preferable rather than essential.

2.   Re Lancaster City Centre: the indicative routes in figure 7 take cyclists across two particularly problematic junctions at Queen Square and Dalton Square. There have been collisions on King Street where cyclists have been hit by cars leaving Queen Street (not all of them recorded in the County Council’s accident statistics), and crossing Dalton Square on foot or by bicycle always feels risky. Dynamo has frequently suggested that Queen Street and Dalton Square should be blocked off to through traffic, and we would like to see this incorporated into the plans.

3.   If the Bay Gateway is to be used as a strategic cycle route for the Lancaster North site (para 6.4), it will need better routine maintenance than at present.

Posted in Carnforth, City and County Councils, consultation, Cycling, Lancaster, planning applications, Transport policy | Leave a comment

New infrastructure on Wyresdale Road

C7A8E1CE-76E1-4F92-91B2-3B3AC0EF71CA

Wyresdale Road by Fenham Carr Lane, looking towards Grab Lane

A new shared-use path has appeared on Wyresdale Road from its junction with Coulston Road to its junction with Grab Lane. Dynamo understands this was done with Section 106 planning obligation funds from the Miller homes development on the old Hornsea Pottery site.  This new path will no doubt work in favour of the planning applications for residential developments beyond Fenham Carr, and it partly addresses Dynamo’s perennial gripe that developments are approved before infrastructure is put in (although, ironically, the path is from a development that was approved in 2014).

However, it doesn’t address the question of continuing your journey once you get to Coulston Road, which is a busy road with little space for overtaking. Moreover, the eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that cyclists are instructed to get off their bikes to cross the Fenham Carr Lane cul-de-sac.

There’s also quite a bump to negotiate at the Grab Lane end at present, but presumably this is still work in progress.

66980D39-A089-46D5-AB73-BF0D3BB83B20

Junction of Wyresdale Road and Grab Lane

F6B08810-1183-47B1-9EEF-BFF97C465F1FOn the other side of Wyresdale Road there is a narrow cycle lane leading up to Coulston Road, but it manages to take in a fairly impressive pothole.

Posted in Cycling, Lancaster, potholes, shared-use paths | Leave a comment

Lancaster Canal Quarter – follow-up workshop

Another visit to the Town Hall Banqueting Suite for Dynamo to attend the second part of the stakeholder event which Jim covered earlier this month.  Patricia got the gig this time.

The consultants, Planit-IE, are working on an emerging “Strategic Regeneration Framework” which they will present to the City Council later in the summer.  This framework focuses on

  • land use (e.g. cultural, retail, residential, car parking)
  • heritage
  • movement (i.e. vehicle, cycle and pedestrian routes through the site)
  • public open space (including “pocket parks”)

and the workshop participants discussed the outlines in small groups.  Having spoken up for north-south and east-west cycle permeability through the site and made sure that the facilitator had written it down, Dynamo was free to sit back and listen to what others had to say.  Everything is still on a wish-list and there is no word yet on how this is to be funded, but for the moment it’s invigorating to imagine – for example – a small amphitheatre linking the upper level by the canal to the lower level at Edward Street.  There are also practicalities to consider: for instance, for each Dukes live performance, a large vehicle has to be able to access the rear of the building, so closing Brewery Lane to all traffic is impossible.

Several people commented how “unknown” the canal area was; there is no reason to go there unless you’re going to the car park, and few people were aware of all the access points onto the canal.  This indicated that more needs to be done to signpost ways through the site.  There may be the opportunity to do this during a proposed “late summer festival” around Brewery Lane/Lodge Street, which would be held to publicise the statutory consultation period once the framework is completed.

A document summarising consultation outcomes to date was circulated.  More information was given about the youth workshop earlier this month (to which Jim was not invited!): 20 young people from Escape2Make walked around the site and gave their views.  They liked parks/open spaces and walkability of Lancaster; they found the traffic, blank walls and general air of run-downness of the Canal Quarter unwelcoming, and feeling safe was a major preoccupation.

More about the Canal Quarter on the Lancaster City Council website.

Posted in consultation, Cycling, Lancaster | Tagged | Leave a comment