A ride along the Caton Road diversion

Dick and Matt are meeting the Road Safety Engineer from Lancashire County Council this Wednesday to get a better look at the proposed diversion.  Expect some comments and photos.

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Update on railway station bicycle racks

falco vertA small update on the semi-upright bicycle racks that Virgin Trains wants to install at Lancaster railway station. Matt and others have a meeting with a representative from Virgin Trains next month to express cyclists’ concerns about the universal usability of the racks.

It’s clear that more bicycle parking is needed; the racks on platform 5 used to look like this:

New cycle parking at Lancaster station

March 2015

whereas on Monday they looked like this:


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Closure of roads around Nicky Nook for car race – Saturday 23 March

On Saturday 23 March, quiet roads around Nicky Nook will be closed to the public – including cyclists wanting a pleasant ride on National Cycle Network 6 and walkers wanting to access popular routes – so that cars can race around on public roads.  (Incredibly, the Road Traffic Act 2017 allows councils to authorise the closure of roads for car races.)


What on earth was Lancashire Highways thinking of?  Why would they allow this?  Have they not heard of climate change, pollution, road safety and public space?

As one local says: “We had a rally come through this area before – but not on closed roads. The rally cars were enough of a problem, but for weeks afterwards we had boy racers chasing round the route.”

Posted in City and County Councils, Cycling | Tagged | 2 Comments

Ideas for the Canal Quarter in Lancaster

Canal corridor

Part of the site of the proposed Canal Quarter in Lancaster.  So, how can you transform this into a vibrant cultural hub?  Answers on a postcard, please.

Dynamo attended a stakeholder engagement workshop (ooh, we get around!) at the end of February at Lancaster Town Hall.  This was organised by consultants Planit-IE; around 60 people were present from local organisations and the City and County Councils.  The workshop included a rather eye-opening walk around the proposal Canal Quarter (i.e. Nelson Street to Moor Lane and the expanse of car parks around Alfred Street).  It definitely has possibilities.

Dynamo has written a follow-up to the consultants to try to get cycle plans embedded from the start:

Firstly, it would be good to have east-west and north-south cycle routes across the site.  There is so much residential expansion of Lancaster in the Local Plan that routes into and out of the city centre to cope with extra travel need to be included in the Quarter plans – rather than completely ignored or added on later, as too often happens.  Such cycle routes would bring in cyclists from the north/south (via the canal towpath) and west (via Phoenix Street and the Millennium Bridge).  It’s only by providing decent cycle and walking infrastructure (plus public transport) that you can discourage people from using their cars in an expanding city.

Secondly, such cycle routes should be permanently cycleable – i.e. not as in the pedestrian centre, where (understandably) you have to dismount between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. – so they need to be separate from the more “leisurely strolling” areas of the Quarter.

Thirdly, cycle parking.  At present Lancaster City Council is consulting on air quality; one of Dynamo’s suggestions is to increase provision – i.e. charging points and secure cycle parking – for electric bikes.  Could this be included somewhere in the plan?  Perhaps encourage a business that incorporates a safe storage area for cyclists who don’t want to leave £1,000+ worth of bike locked to a bike rack?

There will be further opportunities for engagement with Canal Quarter plans, and Dynamo will be there.

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Plans published for Lune cycle diversion


Lancaster City Council has now put the proposed cycle diversion plans on their planning website.  To view them, type the planning application number – 00751 – in “search” and select the “Erection of flood defence walls . . .” application.  Then click on “related documents”, then “view associated document”.  The diversion plans and signage proposals are all related to Condition 6, and there are 7 plans to look at plus the covering letter (all dated 01/03/2019).  The diversion will be in force for a year from June 2019.

Basically, the diversion is on the footpath (widened in places) along Caton Road, with cyclists giving way at all junctions.  Dynamo needs to look at these plans carefully, but in the meantime . . . any opinions?

Email us at dynamocycle@btinternet.com.

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Objections to planning applications at Cockerham and Ellel

Dynamo has objected to the following planning applications:

31 dwellings in Cockerham – reference 19/00164:

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).

As far as paragraph 84 goes, the applicant’s Transport Assessment thinks that the fact that Cockerham is on Regional Route 90 makes it accessible by bicycle – overlooking the fact that RR90 is a meandering, leisure route. Most people will want to travel not to Forton (para 5.7) but to Lancaster – the closest, most obvious destination for shops, schools and work. This development will also increase traffic on the A588 (currently one of Britain’s 10 most dangerous roads), thereby discouraging people from cycling between Cockerham and Lancaster.

Finally, this is the third planning application for new housing estates in Cockerham in the last year, and the cumulative impacts of these developments are being skated over by the City Council. What is happening is that the village is being expanded piecemeal while ignoring the need for new infrastructure for sustainable transport. At the very least, the developers of this and other planned developments should contribute towards a route towards Condor Green or Galgate, to link up with the existing cycle network.

Unless the City and County Councils have a 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.

25 dwellings in Ellel (reference 19/00133)

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.)

Kit Brow Lane is currently a quiet lane and pleasant if you are cycling around Galgate, but once you build 25 houses (for how many people?) it is no longer a quiet lane. With regard specifically to rural development, NPPF (paragraph 84) states, “it will be important to ensure that development . . . does not have an unacceptable impact on local roads and exploits any opportunities to make a location more sustainable”. By making Kit Brow Lane into the main route to a new housing development, you are doing exactly the opposite.

Moreover, this does definitely not fit in with policy SC1 (promoting sustainability) in the Lancaster District Core Strategy.

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Trees cut down along Millennium Path


The Lancaster Guardian has an article this week about the almost-1,000 trees which are being cut down for the flood defence works on the riverside path.  Below is a scan of the article.

path work

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