Update. 22 December happened to be riding past Camden so checked out the Armadillos on Royal College Street. Camden have been doing lots of gradual changes on roads for years, anyone who can remember the High Street before it was narrowed and slowed down will know this. Armadillos:- before having seen these I was sceptical of something that would cause no obstacle to Vans and trucks driving over. Locals I spoke to gave good reports of the usage on this street, rarely parked in, and probably due to the width of the road largely observed. I can imagine these on Wimbourne road easily. They are laid out in intervals as you can see, the parking allocation is adjacent to solid white lines, and where entrances need access are clear to allow crossing.
The planters create an attractive street space even without any sacrifice of parking, these could do with some Love though… The photo below shows the only example of Van intrusion on that day, minor within the whole street length, and as the cycle lanes are on both sides of the road theres plenty room. All in all a good example of a road alteration within a typical Victorian terraced street in Zone1
Original post below.
Third of the thrice yearly meeting of the Bournemouth Cycling Forum took place on Tuesday. 29 attendees this time from varying backgrounds of Council staff and Councillors from Bournemouth and Poole, Bicycle User Group Leaders, Cycle trainers, Coaches and interested public. Forum has been meeting for around a decade and started by Angela Pooley an everyday cyclist and environmental activist, bringing in decision makers from Local Authorities to meet and hear cyclists views, debate and discuss future movements. As there arent any local meetings of the big Cycling Organisations like C.T.C., British Cycling this is the biggest meeting of those working for cycling in our area, Ive been going since 2009. Tuesdays meeting was an important one as re-election of Chairman and others took place, recent press locally and nationally is loaded with Cycling development promotion and safety at present. Lucy Marstrand the cycling officer gave an account of the visits made by 5 colleagues to the Transport Research Laboratory in Berkshire where European style road networks are demonstrated to engineers, see here:- As the culture change of creating Active Travel towns continues, engineers will benefit from hearing about best practice in Europe, and bring experience to Dorset. Copenhagen- Some time ago I attended Lucys presentation to Council officers on a visit she made to Copenhagen, Denmark where Ive also cycled, she reported on presenting again to a group of older Councillors who provided a very challenging meeting, to the point of very active vocal objections to the many ideas of Copenhagenize, creating Active Travel. A small point to make here but Bournemouth culture change is happening and the booming next generation are quickly replacing the towns elder statespeople for sure. Other agenda points included Infrastructure updates, and whilst the Council transport dept. is substantially different from 5 years ago, any proposals for changing roads, cycle tracks, pedestrian crossings have to be consulted upon by the public- this does mean that even with the most radical engineers in the country, Councils cannot make decisions without formalised approvals. Pure example of this was the Slades Farm Cycling Centre, opened in 2011, development and building of which was actively resisted by a minority of local residents delaying progress and building by years. We can visualise the best cycling network in the world but local changes cant be directly implemented by ‘ the Council’ without approval. Poole Cycling Officer updated on Bikeability training noting 13 from a possible 17 of Poole schools recieved training courses a fair coverage of 258 children. I coached several of these with colleagues present at the forum. We discussed lessons being learned by the London experience of Cycle Superhighways, and had an open discussion on changes being made by innovative areas like Bristol where decades of Sustrans working with Council are ushering in a new ethos to travel. Police officer reported Road Traffic Collision stats for 2013, very similar numbers to 2012.
The photo above shows members looking over road change proposals, contributing comments. The new innovations that are being installed in Camden London were displayed and discussed, it seems that the installation cost of these is agreeable to transportation departments and is likely to increase, news story here:- http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest/540266/segregated-cycle-lanes-using-planters-and-armadillos-could-spread-across-britain.html The photo also shows Andy Graham fourth from right who runs J.P.Morgans Bicycle User Group, voted in unanimously as the new chairman of the forum, with Angela Pooley taking charge of the Secretarys role. Having Andy will be great as he chairs the biggest bike employers user group in the area, with over 250 riders daily choosing to make an Active Travel journey over 4 wheels. J.P.M have made many of the changes necessary to encourage cycle to work such as showers at work, good safe storage and no parking costs for their staff. Organisational culture should of course include cycling to work, and the forum warmly welcomes Andy. We intend to keep updating the forum members with information on cycling developments from around the U.K and I will be helping with this. Richmond Hill Roundabout work had to be mentioned, significant point here is the news from Anthony Kirby that Bournemouth will be trialling an advanced cycle signal system at the Advanced Stop Line on the south side of the Roundabout. So, whilst Mr Filer was recently lambasted for appearing tardy on obtaining a standard traffic light, the actual lights are rare simply because they are the first ones arriving in the country. Cambridge was the first Council to recieve this infrastructure, read below to see full details. We would be wise to remain optimistic on this, (EDIT 2020, they never appeared) as lets be honest, any changes that are completely different take time to become accepted. We human animals are creatures of habit, and putting people in the position of having to think more on the roads is going to take time, regardless of what they are travelling in. I always find it interesting that taking away traffic lights forces people to interact on the roads, which strangely enough people like! when the Fleetsbridge roundabout lights were disabled, all users were far happier on their journeys without the relentless stop -start. Sorry for the digression, dont even ask anyone in Dorset about Canford Bottom… I made an open offer to the Council Officers to give their Engineers free Bikeability Level 3 training sessions, as whilst there are a couple of everyday cyclists on staff, there are still many who dont have the experience of cycling in traffic to reflect on when planning road schemes designed to promote cycle use. A new Cycle map from Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch is now in print, these will start being delivered to libraries, schools and offices soon. Im pleased to have supplied the photos for this, including 3 at the Slades Farm track a big promotion and element of my coaching work. So interesting times, with lots of changes going on. I asked directly whether after Local Sustainable Transport Funding ends, more changes can be expected, and was given assurance that they will. A 5 year cycling strategy which is in draft form should be appearing soon. You are invited to next cycle forum meeting, look out for 2014 dates here:- Please do get in touch with requests for my coaching, Bikeability training or more.