Dynamo presentation for Lancashire CC Cycling Steering Group, 8th May 2012 in Preston

This is the document on which we based the PowerPoint used in the meeting. The PowerPoint itself is available here

Dynamo’s Project

Dynamo Cycle Campaign group was founded in 1994 with the specific aim to increase the number of journeys done by bicycle for utility purposes such as work, shopping, college and school in Lancaster and district. That remains our major aim today.

Before Dynamo (BD) there were no dedicated routes or infrastructure or for bicycles, cycling was just part of the traffic.

Some Successes?

The CDT Years

Dynamo lobbied the city council to apply for CDT status in 2005 and subsequently Lancaster was among the first group of towns to achieve this status. The council was encouraged to bid for renewed CDT status in 2008 and it was again successful. Throughout the CDT years 2005-2011 Dynamo worked closely with the council, its consultants and other interested bodies to achieve the most effective spending of the CDT money. Although the number of cycling journeys has increased – possibly by 17% from a reasonably high base level in 2005 – Dynamo remains critical of the direction some of the investment went, e.g. the council went for easy gains early on rather than tackling the city centre problem until the end of the project when funds were running out.

Throughout the period three has been unwillingness by both the city and county councils to transfer road space from motorists to cyclists. Consequently leisure cycling has boomed in the district but there has not been that big modal shift from car to bike that was hoped for. There has been a massive increase in the cycle training of primary school children but it is still too early to judge whether that transfers into regular adult utility cyclists.

2O mph speed limits.

After discussions with sustainable transport professionals some of Dynamo’s committee set up Lancaster’s 20’s Plenty Campaign Group in 2008. After four years of countless and often frustrating meetings with county officials, this most effective of measures was finally given the green light when Tim Ashton became Cabinet member for Transport. 20mph speed limits are already operating in several districts in and around Lancaster and are set to be countywide in residential areas by 2014.

Current Projects

Currently Dynamo is working on two major projects: The promotion of cycling events around the Olympic torch relay when it passes through the region, and the building of good quality cycle lanes down the A6 between Galgate and Lancaster city centre.

The A6

County using Local Sustainable Transport funds tasked Jacobs the consultants to make the A6 corridor more sustainable in transport terms. Jacobs were initially only willing to consult with their own chosen consultees. With the help of Tim Ashton Dynamo and other cycling groups managed to finally get Jacobs around a table for discussions. Following very positive talks back in January regarding good cycle infrastructure on the A6 Jacobs have ignored all Dynamo’s attempts to ask them for feedback. In fact they haven’t shown the basic courtesy of even acknowledging our letters.

The A6, already often congested and highly polluted, is only set to get more so when in all probability at least one new supermarket and Bailrigg Science Park are built.

The A6 should not be a difficult nut to crack. Politically Tim Ashton has put it in writing that he supports the idea of continuous cycle lanes on the A6 and county councillor Joan Jackson, whose ward the A6 passes through, is largely supportive of the scheme.

The scheme also meets all of County’s strategic aims incorporated in the current LTP, and the county advises ‘the provision of segregated cycle lanes on roads with a traffic flow above 7000 vehicles per day’.

Also on our side is the planning gain funding that accrues from the new developments for sustainable transport. If the transport consultants working on these new projects and county worked together then surely genuine sustainable measures could be introduced and so honour the remit.

The other major stumbling block seems to be timid county engineers who are unwilling to reclaim road space by way of on street parking and carriageway narrowing to accommodate cyclists.

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About lancasterdynamo

Dynamo is a cycling group, established in 1994, to work with official bodies, other cycling organisations and interested individuals to promote cycling as a safe, enjoyable and healthy means of transport.
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