Journalist request – pavement cycling

We received a request for our position on pavement cycling by Jesmond Local. We obliged. Here’s the full reply: REPLIES TO SPECIFIC QUESTIONS Q1 : What’s the law on riding on pavements? (I understand it’s strictly prohibited in law with a £50 fine, but that there are common-sense exemptions) A: it’s muddled. It’s not legal by the Highway Code rule 64, but is legalised by ministerial decree, more below in position statement (draft) Q2 : What’s the NCC policy on people riding on pavements? ) A: we are developing a position statement (draft, see link below) – in essence: We’d[…]

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Cycle advocacy group warns council about cyclists safety on Great North Road

Council plans for the Great North Road are flawed, an advocacy group, Newcycling, warns Newcastle City Council. The principle of the council plan to set aside dedicated space for cycling is sound but the detail of it will leave the cyclist stranded for safety when it’s most needed. Newcastle vows to become a Cycle City with 20% cycle modal share (currently 2%) by 2021. A year ago, the city was given nearly £6m by the DfT to upgrade their cycling infrastructure. However plans emerging from the council’s design desk contain mistakes putting cyclists at risk, and could deter new people[…]

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Quiz your candidates in Jesmond

For North Jesmond’s by-election on 28 August 2014, organisations have put together an event where you can quiz the candidates in advance about their plans, knowledge and interests. Together with our Jesmond branch and our partners Living Streets Tyneside, Newcycling (Newcastle’s cycling campaign) is organising a pre-election hustings for the 14 August 2014 at Jesmond Library at 19:30 to provide a space for exchange and engagement between the electorate and the aspiring politicians. Given the focus of the organising groups, the hustings will have a distinct transport theme. All five candidates have confirmed attendance: • Conservative: Duncan Crute • Green[…]

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The value of current cyclists revealed

Calculations carried out by Newcycling, Newcastle’s cycling campaign, using HEAT, an internationally acclaimed economic assessment tool for walking and cycling, show that the contribution that current city commuter cyclists make is worth over £3 million to the city of Newcastle every year. Using the latest Census 2011 data and feeding it into the economic assessment tool, the campaign group calculates that Newcastle’s 3,300 commuter cyclists save the city over £3.3 million in costs simply by living healthier and more productive lives. Last year’s Get Britain Cycling report states that at least £10 per head per year is needed – that[…]

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Cyclists slam road safety initiative by branding it a blame game

Newcycling, Newcastle’s cycling campaign, speaks out against a counterproductive road safety initiative, when a flyer from Road Safety GB Northeast fails to address real safety issues. Newcycling recently adopted Sustainable Safety as a campaign policy to counteract the prevailing negative approach to road safety. Traditional ‘awareness initiatives’ are typically lacking relevance and perspective: cyclists are usually asked to do all the work, whilst drivers are left to simply carry on unguarded with their rather dangerous activity. Yet the risk to cause harm, injure and even kill sits disproportionately with the driver. A flyer by Road Safety GB Northeast does exactly[…]

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Cyclists call for contraflows in one-way streets

Newcycling, Newcastle’s cycling campaign, urges Newcastle City Council to follow in Brighton & Hove’s footstep and open up one-way streets for cycling. This is a common practice elsewhere with plenty of guidance material and case studies available. Even the Department for Transport waded in recently to make conversion easier for councils to achieve. Cycle campaigners vow to help council in the process too. Cycling is all about safe routes and good connectivity. Allowing cycling through one-way streets means that detours could be shortened and routes simplified, making it more intuitive and user-friendly to cycle around the city. Cyclists have now[…]

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Charting cycling on the political agenda

A map, see (1), has been released this week charting the political support for Space for Cycling in Great Britain. Newcastle has 36% of councillors in favour, and is runner-up following London, where 43% of councillors are supporting the national campaign. Katja Leyendecker, chair of Newcycling, Newcastle’s local cycling campaign, says: “Newcastle, for once, is top of the league, and for a good reason! We at Newcycling are hard-liners, not one for compromising, and it would be a rare occasion we congratulate our councillors – but this must be one. Over a third of Newcastle councillors, see below, have supported[…]

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Ambition programme wildly off track

Newcycling warns this week that Newcastle council risks serious ridicule. This comes after the group have carried out a progress assessment of the Cycle City Ambition Fund, see (1 and 4). Many projects are more than a year behind schedule leaving £1m project spend at risk and many more millions of pounds undeclared. Newcycling, Newcastle’s cycling campaign, recently addressed Newcastle council’s Cycle Forum to make the case for better collaboration, design and planning, see (2). Katja Leyendecker, chair, says “We want Newcastle’s excellent and ambitious policies of a better fairer city to be implemented, better sooner than later. So it’s[…]

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Road safety campaigns are pointless if we are not prepared to rethink road designs

Changing people and their behaviour is one aspect of road safety campaigns, but the real key to reducing death and injury is in understanding why this behaviour occurs in the first instance, and tackling these tragedies by removing flaws in the road design. Newcycling congratulates Northumbria Police on Operation Dragoon, see 1), taking care of Education and Enforcement, albeit temporarily as a time-limited project. Yet, the group advises that the Engineering element – the third big E of a holistic road safety approach – is missing. A Freedom of Information request showed that Newcastle is not taking sufficient action on[…]

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BigToonRide rode for Newcastle’s future

Yesterday more than 150 cyclists, young and old, took to Newcastle’s streets for a fun event with a serious message. The Big Ride was one of many held across the country in a united call for Space for Cycling, a national campaign highlighting the lack of cycleways in the UK, calling on everyone to write to their Councillors and ask government departments of Transport and Health to drastically increase cycling investment for a better transport future in UK cities. Katja Leyendecker, chair of Newcycling, said “What an amazing turnout, what a buzz. When the Big Toon Ride coordination group first[…]

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