I have been reviewing the preliminary information coming out of the Greater Manchester LTP3 consultation. It lists the specific responses given to the proposal by various organisation, in addition to the broad trends seen in individual's responses:
Comments on Cycling & Walking Issues
Amongst the 163 comments received on cycling and walking issues, the following comments were made with significant frequency:
39 comments were made encouraging the development of cycle
23 comments highlighted the importance of cycle promotion activities.
22 comments revisited the call for cycle carriage on Metrolink
Whilst I am not sure about the promotion of cycling being particularly important in relation to the actual provision of infrastructure, it is nice to see a reasonable number of people asked for more cycle infrastructure. I hope enough of them added the condition that it should at least meet existing minimum design standards, or be based on best practise from The Netherlands etc. It does seem a shame however, that there is little attention from those who read the proposal on the issues affecting walking.
Further along the document comes the aforementioned organisational responses:
British Cycling highlighted:
The link between health and the economy
The potential for 20mph enforcement in residential areas
British Cycling is mainly the regulatory body for cycling sport, but it is nice to see them weighing in on the LTP3. Oddly however, there is no mention of dedicated cycle infrastructure based on best practise from The Netherlands and Denmark, those similarly developed countries where cycling has a much higher modal share than the UK.
Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) highlighted:
The need to specifically include cycling in the LTP ‘Vision’
The impact of ‘safety in numbers’ in promoting cycling
Potential greater emphasis on the carbon benefits of cycling
The importance of consistent safety levels across the whole road network
The potential for 20 mph as default speed in residential areas
The need to provide parking at other major (non public transport) destinations
The potential for the carriage of bikes on trams
The need to increase capacity on trains
A general call for more resources for cycling
Unlike British Cycling, the CTC describes itself as “As the UK’s National Cyclists’ Organisation,” and is not focussed as strongly on sport cycling as British Cycling is. Most of the points raised are completely valid. Oddly however, there is no mention of dedicated cycle infrastructure based on best practise from The Netherlands and Denmark, those similarly developed countries where cycling has a much higher modal share than the UK.
GM Cycling Campaign highlighted:
The potential for more focus on reducing need to travel
The potential for further commitment on alternative fuel sources for buses
The potential for cycle carriage on buses and Metrolink
A request for more detail on cycle parking at stations
The potential to charge for car park & ride
The potential for 20mph as a default position in residential area
From the GMCC site; “The Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign is a voluntary group working to make cycling in Greater Manchester quicker, safer, easier and more enjoyable. The group wants more people to use bicycles - or other kinds of human powered vehicle - for transport and leisure. And it represents and empowers people who do this.” Oddly however, there is no mention of dedicated cycle infrastructure based on best practise from The Netherlands and Denmark, those similarly developed countries where cycling has a much higher modal share than the UK.
Collective input from a convened group of deaf/hard of hearing representatives highlighted:
Training areas for bus drivers
The importance of segregating spaces for cycles and pedestrians
A request for further accessibility both on trams and at tram stops.
Specific views on the orientation and regulation of pedestrian (green man)
The importance of addressing deaf people’s information requirement
The only definitive reference to segregation of cycles comes not from one of the three cyclists’ organisations who responded, but for a groups of representatives for the deaf or heard of hearing. Even then, understandably their focus is segregating cyclists from pedestrians rather than other traffic, due to the inevitable problems caused by “shared use” to those who are deaf/hard of hearing (and presumably also the blind too).
Trafford Youth Cabinet highlighted:
A suggestion for reduced fares on short bus journeys / school bus services and a
general need for more simplified fares across the system
The need for more double tram units
Support for more cycle lanes needed and later cycling proficiency
I had not heard of Trafford Youth Cabinet before, but their site described them as “Representatives of the children and young people of Trafford.” Its members are aged 11-19. They are also not a dedicated cyclists’ organisation, but they can see the need for dedicated cycle infrastructure and they correctly see this as being more important than cycle training
University of Salford highlighted:
The need for links to Mediacity/Salford Quays from the Salford Crescent area
The potential for safe cycle routes from the university area
Whilst “safe” is open to interpretation, I would interpret this is alluding to segregated away from motor traffic.
These are the main organisational responses which relate to cycling. British Cycling, the CTC and the GMCC all failed to mention the only thing which has been shown to be successful in promoting mass cycling in similarly developed parts of the world; dedicated, segregated where needed cycle infrastructure.
Personally, as a cyclist, I feel that my needs and the needs of the wider community of existing (and importantly the many more potential) cyclists has been utterly failed by the fact that these organisations, which claim to represent cyclists’ interests, have chosen to ignore the successes of other great cycling nations. Instead they have chosen to stick to the same basic strategies which have failed to deliver mass cycling in the UK for decades.
And yes, I am aware of how much I sound like Freewheeler right now.