Good cycling infrastructure essential for reducing carbon emissions

Also big health benefits which would reduce nhs pressure

Have argued for many years that all A roads should have a segregated cycle lane by law unless truly exception circumstances make it impossible.   

Fully agree. A priority should be to develop cycle-only highways along major commuter routes. This would be really helpful in persuading new people to take up cycle commuting. Dicing with the London traffic puts many off - understandably so. And in the provinces there’s even more need -!8! London. there isn’t that much of a problem with people driving to work anyway, at least not proportionately.

Strikingly, the carbon footprint for daily travel is up to 84% smaller for people who walk or cycle than for people who use other modes of transport.

 

the only thing striking in that is that it's only 84% smaller. 

Not unexpected, but worth emphasising - cycling or walking are much better for the environment than even public transport.

I'm always amazed that leccy bikes haven't caught on more in this country

They are clearly far superior to leccy bikes or the godawful scooters which must have Clive Sinclair spinning in his grave right now as they are being embraced by the same world that scoffed at his C5s

The obsession with cars is so frustrating and the dialogue is always so toxic. Everything becomes so "them and us". 

If cars were introduced today, everyone would say the whole infrastructure/solution was completely mental. 

It's like these e-scooters and borrow bikes deigning to take up a small amount of space on pavements here and there.  Imagine if you freed up all of the parking spaces in a city for something better. 

 

Part of the problem is that the active travel infrastructure they do build is often so terribly shite, like all the current LTNs.

It’s eight miles from my home town to Newcastle, and probably four to the equally important work centres of Washington and the Team Valley, and I e no idea how you’d do it comfortably on a bike. The two routes I can think of involve cycling along a busy urban high street and then down either a rat run narrow country lane or across two motorway roundabouts. You could put a cycle track alongside the east coast main line all the way to the Tyne and then probably hang a cycle track off the side of one of the high level bridges.

AITS: crap infrastructure has been a real problem, I agree

The newish TFL London Cycling Design Standards are pretty good, but they are breached too often by local authorities. 

also agree e-bikes are great

they make journeys of say 10 miles easy, and are great for hills

 

Problem with e bikes is that you can buy a car for less money and most people have nowhere to keep one (the on street bike hangers are not v secure it seems)

tbf you can't buy much of a car for the cost of even the most expensive ebikes

but cargo ebikes are a valid replacement for a car

one of my neighbours has one of the terns you can get 2 kids on the back

it's awesome

e-bikes are of course an unaffordable luxury for many people

diceman23 Sep 21 12:26

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e-bikes are of course an unaffordable luxury for many people

this is such balls. car-centric infra and design in the UK forces many households into owning 2 or more cars, which is vastly more expensive on a purchase basis and keeping them on the road. See also finance for e-bikes.

I can't see the UK really doing much on this front, we are a very car-centric society and the narrative from most of the media is that drivers are a persecuted group and cyclists are elitist weirdoes (the notion that they could be the same people never seems to occur).

Also we lack national ownership of cycle infra, so a local authority that isn't interested in cycling infra can scupper a good cycling route or reduce its utility (see Westminster and K&C).

all in all i don't see much hope for the UK on that front and people are always coming up with excuses as to why the UK isn't suitable for mass cycling as transport.

AmItheSucker23 Sep 21 12:17

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Part of the problem is that the active travel infrastructure they do build is often so terribly shite, like all the current LTNs.

LTNs aren't really active travel infra but an effort to stop residential roads serving as shortcuts for drivers, enabling kids to play outside etc... and yes they can serve as good cycling and walking infra.

i agree some of them have been implemented badly but as ever the problem is and will continue to be too many vehicles on the roads. Getting rid of LTNs won't resolve that (and if we value the utility of a street more for its ability to save drivers a few seconds than enabling kids to play outside I'd argue we have our priorities wrong but hey ho). I look forward to seeing what drivers blame traffic on (never themselves funnily enough) once all the LTNs are gone. 

it's a bit of a muddled argument (talking about UK polices, and then pivoting to "and it would take 15-20  years to phase out the fossil fleet globally).  Whilst idealistic, it's a great conversation starter.  We need something like a Cycling Czar in DfT, with all new transport infra spend costed against cycling.

Reading below, Rumpypumpy had his bike nicked when he was on it.  The police had zero interest.  If that had been a car jacking, there would have been helicopters in the skies. The people who are best candidates for cycling don't have anywhere to store their bikes at home.  And there are few safe space to park them where you're going, and when (not if) it goes AWOL the law doesn't really stir.  And then you get to cycle safe routes - too few.  And motorists seem to think cyclists are in their way.

 

Basically we're not looking at the problem from enough angles. 

Mandate 5x bike parking in all town centre areas,  remove parking spaces (Japan style). Treat bike theft the same as car theft.  On street parking - charge £200 for the first car, and £400 for the second, with second car parking costs increasing by £200 each year, to phase it out.

I'd have to get seriously fit to cycle my 40 mile round trip every day.

Sorry I meant to say better than leccy cars or scooters.

Scooters are shit because they are a poor match for pavements and roads and only really work on cycle lanes and parks which make up a small percent of our network. And incredibly unsafe/often ridden by drunken idiots with no license or road skills etc.

E cars are shit cos they run out of battery and have batteries that die quickly and if we replace all our petrol and diesel cars with them then the infrastructure will need to be everywhere . Which will all take tons of CO2 and precious metals mined by 9 year olds in Africa to make.

E bikes - can be pedalled if the battery runs out, last forever on one charge , take very little physical effort to ride, so it seems to me that for commuting they are the answer. But of course no good while the vast majority still drive cars and the whole network is set up primarily with the car in mind

Has anyone suggested killing everybody? Costs almost nothing and solves the problem.

Fair enough Guy

I have come close a couple of times to getting an e-cargo but ultimately have not been able to justify dropping min £5K on one.

Once the prices come down I think they will proliferate

The infrastructure for electric cars can asity be everywhere gaga.

We have charging points in our street lamps from which even the council take a cut of the profit 

Zero Gravitas23 Sep 21 13:06

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Fair enough Guy

I have come close a couple of times to getting an e-cargo but ultimately have not been able to justify dropping min £5K on one.

 

I have an urban arrow which is great. slight downside is they are a bit fiddlier to maintain than an average bike (but then again they are solidly built so not fragile).

and do you own any other means of transport?  My neighbour is fullsmug with his BMW i3, and Ranger Rover Sport and an F-Type

yes we have 1 car. 

i don't have a problem with cars per se (they are too convenient and useful to be got rid of), but i think the way we design transport solely around them and choke out the alternatives for the most part results in bad outcomes for everyone, not least car drivers.

Cycling infrastructure in London has improved markedly in last 5 years, and massively since covid. You can basically get anywhere you like via a cycle lane or quietway. I can only see it improving and cars being marginalised. 

We hired a UA for a week and were meant to hire the tern but there was some fvck up with the booking, albeit I have ridden one.

Max smug khuntery goes to Reiss Muller riders, fully suspended cargo at £7.5K.

I was concerned about storage and getting it robbed, and neither me nor Mrs G being entirely settled in our jobs to know we could defo use it.

I would go the tern now that they have the roof thing to go on the back over the kids.

We hired a UA for a week and were meant to hire the tern but there was some fvck up with the booking, albeit I have ridden one.

Max smug khuntery goes to Reiss Muller riders, fully suspended cargo at £7.5K.

I was concerned about storage and getting it robbed, and neither me nor Mrs G being entirely settled in our jobs to know we could defo use it.

I would go the tern now that they have the roof thing to go on the back over the kids.

I think zip car launched too early. 

85% of Londoners could get by on bikes and access to a zip car, if they had about 10x the number available (which is still a lot less than the number of cars waiting patiently outside people houses). 

A dedicated two way cycle lane has been installed along my local high street. Paid for by govnt throwing money at such schemes, with little research or consultation.

It has led to unprecedented levels of congestion and with it, emissions. They put the cycle lane where the bus lane was, so now buses and cars share one lane each in each direction, cars waiting behind buses stopping for passengers.

some bus stops are on islands in the middle of the road and many bus passengers are injured by cyclists getting to them. Added to which the cycle lane is not very much used, it is still considered dangerous by cyclists, and they continue to whizz along pavements or in amongst the cars/buses.

i am not anti cyclist but, as ever, local authorities are going for them purely because free munny is available for them.

Totally what minkie said. Utter fvckign shambles.

interested to see the design of that cycle lane, minkie

btw, congestion is not caused by bike lanes

It’s eight miles from my home town to Newcastle, and probably four to the equally important work centres of Washington and the Team Valley, and I e no idea how you’d do it comfortably on a bike. The two routes I can think of involve cycling along a busy urban high street and then down either a rat run narrow country lane or across two motorway roundabouts. You could put a cycle track alongside the east coast main line all the way to the Tyne and then probably hang a cycle track off the side of one of the high level bridges.

 

This is an interesting one.  I've been a massive urban/touring cyclist for the last 20 years and it has alway frustrated me that despite the investment in infrastructure and advances in technology, it is still v difficult to plan a route.  Google Maps is hopeless for cycling.

In London I usually manually create a route (literally draw it) using the OpenCycleMap layer on plotaroute.com and then upload it to my Garmin Fenix.

For touring this is less practical, so I tend to use cycle.travel.  The algorithm seems good at putting you onto quieter roads.  E.g. from Durham to Newcastle.

https://cycle.travel/map?from=Durham&to=Newcastle%20upon%20Tyne&fromLL=…

This isn't perfect.  I often have to manually edit what it produces.

One of the problems is the National Cycle Network often veers onto dirt tracks, which is hopeless for road/touring bikes.  cycle.travel allows you to switch onto a paved option.

My favourite fvck up is the widening of the pavement on Borough High Street for "social distancing" so now it is even more of a death trap than before, as buses/bikes/trucks all have to use a single narrow lane.

I usually detour onto Southwark Bridge Road if I'm going south to north of the river even if it is a massive detour.

when you squeeze the same number of ICE vehicles into fewer lanes because there's dedicated cycle lanes, you get increased congestion.  Personally - I like more cycle lanes (but I've seen those weird bus islands and people need to think bike before stepping out).  

I've seen those weird bus islands and cyclists  need to think pedestrians with priority, on a zebra crossing at a bus stop, before tearing through at 30 mph demanding right of way.  

More cycling is a no brainer. Account needs to be had of those who must use vehicles - deliveries / the disabled etc but London should make cycling, walking and public transport the easy, cheap and preferred method of travel.

The public are generally resistant to change this dramatic because they lack imagination so I can't see it ever happening and never under a Tory gvt because the rich do love their cars.

 

 

looking at the map, you could - draw a box from Vauxhall Bridge to Tower Bridge, with the A501 and A5 as north and west boundaries - and have an area that is perfectly served by public transport.  There's zero need to have any vehicles other than electric cab and busses, in that area.  

 

I have sympathy with the "remove the cars and no-one will come to our town/city" argument, but it's a nonsense for that area of London.

fook cycling infrastructure. Just price all private, taxi and home delivery traffic off the road in towns over e.g. 10,000 with per mile road pricing and congestion charging, making sure rates on taxis and home deliveries are at commercial rates. If it was £5 to get a package to your home far more people would be walking/cycling to the nearest collection point. Also rejuvenates the high street if collection points are positioned there. £50 fine for on-road parking within 0.5 miles of a school. 100% tax on parking spaces at train stations. 

A big part of the problem is that cycling just isn’t lucrative enough (despite carbon frames etc) for cycling to financially challenge the car lobby’s economic power. It’s not just the car manufacturers there are also the oil companies, petrol stations, car financing companies, car park operators etc all with a vested interest in maintaining the car as the predominant mode of transport. They are willing to pivot to electric as this often provides the opportunity to sell more to consumers - and sell new technology that will quickly become superseded requiring customers to buy yet more in a couple of years’ time. Whereas the solution of cycling more - a healthier, cheaper, more environmentally friendly alternative - just doesn’t offer the same financial rewards. 

" 100% tax on parking spaces at train stations. " ??

Jelly - you could have also linked to the diesel emissions scandals when the car manufacturers knowingly lied about how much their products killed people. I still can’t get over how they were allowed to get away with that and how little comeback there has been. 

The design is awful Heff. Eg Coming out of a side road in a car onto the high road, you have to cross the dedicated cycle lane in your car. You certainly cant see the cyclists coming in both directions, the visibility is too poor. Also the cyclists are supposed to respect the traffic lights but dont, so as a pedestrian you cross at a oedestrian crossing on green then screech to a halt as a cyclist whizzes across your path.

in order to try to stem the increased congestion on the high road the council has also installed a bus gate (look it up) at the end of the high road which comes off the motorway, to hold back the large numbers of vehicles leaving the A4. So there is now a perma traffic jam for about 3-400m on that bit of the high road. Lower down ofc there is hardly any traffic, allowing the council to claim the traffic has evaporated.

to avoid all this and the 10 mins in this partic traffic jam, now a permanent feature, as the bus gate operates 24/7, you can use residential side streets as a rat run. Nice.

scrap or rename the road tax, this gives car drivers a false sense that roads are primarily for them because they pay for them.   Should be called a congestion or emission tax.

already done that

it's called the Vehicle Excise Duty

Jellymonster23 Sep 21 14:15

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looking at the map, you could - draw a box from Vauxhall Bridge to Tower Bridge, with the A501 and A5 as north and west boundaries - and have an area that is perfectly served by public transport.  There's zero need to have any vehicles other than electric cab and busses, in that area.  

How will businesses receive deliveries? Assume you still want to be able to shop and eat out in that area?

https://www.westminster.ac.uk/news/using-cargo-bikes-for-deliveries-cuts-congestion-and-pollution-in-cities-study-finds 

Researchers at the University of Westminster used GPS data to compare routes taken by cargo bikes in London with routes that vans would have to take to deliver the same parcels. Results show that services provided by cargo bikes in London are 1.61 times faster than that performed by van, which in a year saves over 14,500kg of CO2 and over 20kg of NOx. 

In central London, cargo bikes also had a higher average speed than vans, delivering nearly seven parcels an hour compared to four for vans. These bikes also cut carbon emissions by 90% compared with diesel vans, and 33% compared with electric vans. As a result, cargo bikes can serve customers more effectively than vans without generating many of the negative effects on climate produced by urban freight. 

does the study look at parcel size and load size.  All well and good nipping through traffic with a cargo bike delivering 20kg boxes, but it's not gonna deal with the 300kg of frozen chips needed at McDonald's.  

 

Last Mile Logistics is the sexiest business right now, and someone is going to become a billionaire working by applying the Mumbai Tiffinwallah method to small parcel logistics in central London.

Ultimately it's about traffic volume on a road. At the moment cargo bikes nip about. Put 50 of them on Blackfriars Bridge at one point and see where you end up. London just needs all taxis, private vehicles and delivery vehicles delivering stuff to residents that they could collect from a collection point/shop taken off the road. In most other cities removing enough cars to allow rapid park and ride buses from the outskirts, closure of some roads to motor vehicles and buses to travel at speeds faster than current car journeys, combined with road pricing would be enough IMO. I can't remember the last time I saw anyone so weighed down by shopping that they couldn't make it home by public transport. 

I used to be a van courier in the West End and City back in the day. You would never have got those loads on a bike. How do you deliver building materials?

re my 14.15 - an addendum.  Free goods vehicle access to London from 2am to 7am, and thereafter charge £50 to access up 8am and £100 after that.  Would be ace.

There are twice as many cars in the UK as there were in 1997 (even though they are stationary for 96% of their useful life). There is absolutely not twice as much road space which is why roads seem busier.

Modal shift (where possible) onto other forms of transport is essential and decent infrastructure will help with that but research has shown that reducing speed of traffic in urban areas encourages more people to change.

So the catch 22 is that by getting more people on bikes, more road space is available, cars travel faster and cycling becomes less attractive again...

GPS enforced speed limits on new cars will come sooner than most people think. 

hope so

I have no idea why cars are constructed which can drive over the speed limit

cycling obv also a good solution to not being able to buy fuel

Did you know that the additional CO2 exhaled by a cyclist per kilometre ridden is more per person than a typical Euro 6 diesel car with two occupants per kilometre travelled. The U.K. should be taxing single occupant cars and cyclists. 

Archie24 Sep 21 10:50

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Did you know that the additional CO2 exhaled by a cyclist per kilometre ridden is more per person than a typical Euro 6 diesel car with two occupants per kilometre travelled. The U.K. should be taxing single occupant cars and cyclists. 

load of cobblers. also compare CO2 impact of making a bicycle vs that of a car.

Couldn't find the figure for 1997, but for 2000 the figure was 27.2 million licensed cars in UK.

In 2019 it was 32.9 million. 

A fair increase, but some way short of being double. 

Limey do you know how those figures work?

 

Cz I had a car that was scrapped in 2009 that still shows on the gov.uk reg checker (recorded as untaxed and un-mot'd but still its listed there).

Forbes has been quoting the following numbers for UK registered vehicles:

 

1991 - 20 million

2007 - 27 million

2016 - 37 million

2020 - 38.3 million

2022 (estimate) - 40 million

 

My time period was a little out but principle remains - massive increase in vehicles, tiny increase in roads available to use them on.

Have use of a Brompton, wish I had an electric one tbh