The update on the new strategy is that a draft has been completed but not yet finalised. Once the final draft has been produced, Lancashire County Council will organise a public consultation process. No timescale as yet.
We have 20mph speed limits on all residential roads in Lancashire, but they are frequently ignored by drivers. The local Green Party is responding to people’s complaints about speeding in our streets by setting up a small group to buy a mobile speed indication display (i.e. the “smiley face” thing) that tells motorists (and cyclists!) how fast they are travelling. If your speed is under the limit, you get the smiley face; if over, the glum one. It’s called a Smiley Sid.
The plan is that, once purchased, the device will be placed for a fortnight or so in a street where residents have expressed concerns. It will then be moved to another street, and basically go on tour around the district. Hopefully, this will alert drivers to their speed and remind them to stick to within the limit. Dynamo doesn’t need to rehearse the arguments in favour of slower vehicle speeds for cyclists and pedestrians.
BUT the group need help with this. Mostly technical help: firstly, in choosing which device to buy, then where to site it, then installing it, and then moving it on. As a mobile device, it needs to be attached to a suitable existing post (like a lamppost), and then it needs recharging fairly regularly . . . so you can see that there is a great deal to think of.
Please get in touch with Dynamo – email@example.com – if you would like to be involved, and we will pass on your details.
Incidentally, there is a report written for Transport for London dated 2008 about the effectiveness of Sids – see http://content.tfl.gov.uk/effectiveness-of-sids.pdf – which suggests that they do have an effect on excessive speeds while they are actually in place.
A cycle path beside a major road near Osterburg, Germany. How different from our own M6 link road, which will have a white line to keep cyclists safe from rain spray, lorry back draughts and the chances of the cycle lane being used as a hard shoulder.
There is currently a planning application for 158 houses north of Carnforth (ref 16/00335/OUT), which Dynamo has objected to. Our reason is that the undertaking to upgrade the canal towpath is not strong enough: the developer merely proposes to do so, while our view is that such a large development requires a cast-iron guarantee and an agreement in place with the Canal and Rivers Trust before planning permission is sought.
A review (published in March 2015) presents a business case for converting parking spaces into cycle spaces by looking at 12 studies from around the world. See the full article at http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2015/03/the-complete-business-case-for-converting-street-parking-into-bike-lanes/387595/.
The closest study to home for us is Bristol, where shopkeepers overestimated the number of their customers who drove to their shops and underestimated the number of cyclists. It would be interesting to know if this is true of shops on the A6.
Dynamo spent a couple of hours this afternoon talking to cyclists outside the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. Perhaps not surprisingly, cycling conditions on the A6 and through the city centre were important to many people. The best thing thing, as ever, was perceived to be the cycle path network. We also signed up a couple of new members and handed out maps and cycling info.
The bad news is that Dick’s pothole has still not been repaired.
The good news is . . .
Sadly, this isn’t a solution for every bad stretch of road.