Ahead of our Zoom meeting on Tuesday 26th May 2020, we were invited on to BBC Radio Suffolk to talk about the funding that central government is making available, and the work we are currently doing to help propose some road improvements to open them up to more walking and cycling.
Thanks to Ian Seeley and Tom Wilmot from Cycle Ipswich for going on air.
On Wednesday 13th May 2020 Andrew Reid, cabinet member for highways announced upcoming walking and cycling improvements by opening up roads to more pleasant walking and cycling, through reducing motor vehicle traffic.
Suffolk County Council have opened the Ipswich Waterfront to allow more people to get their daily exercise whilst maintaining the 2 metre social distancing to minimise the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This is a fantastic opportunity to trial having no motor vehicles along here in the longer term, as it can get particularly busy in the warmer weather, when the social distancing isn’t required, making it difficult to pass other people.
Ipswich Borough Council are currently consulting on the proposal for changes to Ipswich Air Quality monitoring areas.
Cycle Ipswich would like as many people as possible to respond to this consultation which closes on 12 July. Please do not wait for the UK government’s next court hearing
In the past Cycle Ipswich decided that Stoke Bridge, and the junction of London Road and Yarmouth Road should be monitored. Last year both Friends of the Earth test kits showed illegally high levels of pollution. Now is the time for you to say if the areas should be monitored or maybe you think the area around schools should be monitored, or both, or other areas.
Cycle Ipswich are objecting to planning application IP/17/00150/VC to remove the requirements in 2 previous planning applications(IP/16/00956/FUL and IP/08/00929/FUL) to provide a walking and cycling link from the development site to the river path.
Prior to occupation of the hereby approved development; a scheme for the provision of a foot/cycle path linking Hadleigh Road to the River Gipping within the site shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The approved scheme shall be completed and made available for use in perpetuity in accordance with the agreed scheme within 12 months of first occupation of the building.
IP/08/00929/FUL – Condition 14:
14. Prior to occupation of the hereby approved building; a scheme for the provision of a foot/cycle path linking Hadleigh Road to the River Gipping within the site shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The approved scheme shall be completed and made available for use in perpetuity in accordance with the agreed scheme within 12 months of first occupation of the building.
Creation of a cycle link over the river to the north of Elton Park, connecting south west Ipswich with north west Ipswich (as identified through the emerging Site Allocations and Policies (Incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) development plan document).
Both conditions relate to the same cycling and walking link. Cycle Ipswich believe that the walking and cycling link must be implemented to improve walking and cycling links between the site and the river path providing a safe route to Ipswich Railway Station, and the town centre. It also helps to provide walking and cycling links in North West Ipswich, and improve employment opportunities particularly for people who don’t want or need to drive via the longer route to the development.
High quality infrastructure will entice people out of the car and on to sustainable modes of transport such as walking and cycling when the quality is good enough.
Suffolk County Council are currently consulting on the proposal for 3 new crossings in Ipswich on the River Orwell. Cycle Ipswich would like as many people as possible to respond to this consultation, particularly noting the importance of cycle crossings, and protected cycle tracks, without cyclists and pedestrians having to share space, on any crossing which has motor vehicles.
The number of cycle-rail users is growing each year and so it’s important that the Association of Train Operating Companies, understand how best to provide you with helpful information when you’re planning a rail journey with a cycle.
They want to make your cycle-rail journey as simple as possible with the view to clarify information around station cycle facilities, hire schemes nearby and cycle restrictions on board trains.
Take their short survey which will take between 10-15 minutes to complete. As a thank you for your time all completed surveys will be entered into a free prize draw where four lucky winners will win £25 worth of Amazon gift vouchers each.
The survey and prize draw will close on 31st January. Details of how to enter can be found at the end of the survey.
Ipswich Borough Council are currently consulting on what should go into the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). It is primarily about planning applications, and roads or footpaths as part of new housing schemes such as the Northern Fringe/Ipswich Garden Suburb.
This blog post is a collection of the main items we (Cycle Ipswich) would like to see included within the SPD.
There are 2 handbooks which were released around April 2014, which contain very good direction that should be referenced and used as inspiration.
First is the “Making Space for Cycling” document published by Cyclenation, and written by Cambridge Cycling Campaign. This document is better, it gives a higher level view, which is better for policy makers.
Second is the more detailed “Sustrans Handbook for cycle-friendly design”, which includes many dimensions and specifics, being more aimed at engineers. Of particular note is the diagram on page 6 highlighting which type of infrastructure to use depending on the speed and volume of traffic.
It is worth noting that there are several items which are not good practice in the Sustrans document, which David Hembrow clearly describes. These are particularly where the design of the infrastructure puts cyclists and motor vehicle drivers into conflict.
Low level traffic lights for cyclists which are at eye level rather than high up.
Red cycle symbol on cycle signals, which would make cycle specific signals clearer.
“Except cycles” plates can be added to existing restrictions without a Traffic Order.
Zig-zags can be offset up to 2m from the kerb so that cyclists don’t need to ride over them and cycle lanes can continue through the junction.
Cycle Streets where cars are guests.
Flexible traffic wands or armadillos to separate cyclists from traffic.
Cambridge Cycling Campaign have an excellent cycle parking guide, as do Cambridge City Council. Particular note should be given to the design of the stands, including the spacing, positioning, and access dimensions. Swept paths are also included to highlight the ideal widths and layouts required.
Cycle parking should be signposted so that you can find it in a similar way that you get directions to car parks. Car parks that include cycle parking should also note that cycle parking is available in the signage and publicity. Where you cannot park a cycle, there should be a more obvious sign highlighting where you can park in a positive manner and minimising the negative you cannot park here.
Conflict between cyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicles should be avoided at all times. The current significant use of legalised pavement cycling in Ipswich does not encourage large amounts of cycling. In some places there are 2 types of infrastructure, one for confident cyclists on the road, and another on the pavement for less confident cyclists. This should be changed so that there is one bit of infrastructure which ALL cyclists are happy to use. This will often mean that mobility scooters and similar vehicle users will use the cycle infrastructure too as it’s so good, and reduces conflict with other vehicle types.
Many of the key main routes into Ipswich don’t provide a lot of space for protected cycle infrastructure, so as an alternative some corridors should become key cycle routes with no through motor traffic, and only access to properties, whilst other corridors would be primarily for motor traffic. There would then be quiet links between the corridors too to encourage people to cycle round to those cycle route corridors.
Cyclists dismount signs should only be used in extreme circumstances. It is really rare that there is a valid use for them, or the cycle infrastructure is not good enough.
Ipswich Borough Council are currently consulting on the Cycling Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) looking for ideas of what should be included. They are also doing so for some other SPDs, such are parking standards in the IP-One area, and the low emissions strategy, which may also be of interest.