Categories
general Ipswich - transport fit for 21st century News

Major scheme bid gets £25million funding!

The Secretary of State for Transport, Mr Phillip Hammond, announced to Parliament yesterday (26th October 2010) that the £25 million major scheme bid has been approved. Known officially as “Ipswich – transport fit for the 21st century”, this will provide improvements in traffic flow and management around Ipswich, including the upgrades of several cycle routes.

The Local Transport Minister, Norman Clarke MP visited Ipswich today, to view the proposal.

Cycle Ipswich provided a response to the major scheme bid, and will be taking an active interest in ensuring that our recommendations are adopted.

You can read the Cycle Ipswich response document here.

Categories
general

Ipswich station travel survey

Suffolk County Council are conducting a survey to assist with an update of the Ipswich station travel plan.

The survey takes just a few minutes and is at http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/stationtravelplan

Cycle Ipswich has formed a Rail Focus Group which will be providing recommendations for improvements to SCC during October 2010. Contact Alex Oldman if you are interested in being involved in this exercise.

Categories
general

Added new pages

I’ve added some new pages to the website recently.

Downloads has some useful resources.

Stolen Bike Register does what it says on the proverbial tin.

Book library lists some available reading materials.

Cycle Shops is a list of bike shops that we approve of.

I am also drafting an information page for cycle tourism, to include a list of suggested destinations, routes and other information such as travelling by train, ferry and cycle friendly accommodation and bike hire.

Categories
general

Cycling for all in Ipswich

Cycling is not as accessible as it used to be.

Yes, if you have a bike in your shed or garage and the tyres aren’t flat, you can just jump on – and away you go. But for many people it isn’t so simple.

So what are the problems?

Busy roads

Cars are faster, there are more of them and the perception of many cyclists is that  some drivers are almost blind when it comes to cyclists. So much so, that a new campaign group has been set up in the UK called Stop Smidsy. SMIDSY is “Sorry Mate – I Didn’t See You!” – the frequent refrain heard by both cyclists and motor cyclists after near misses and actual crashes.

Poor road layouts and surfaces

Many roads are not well set up for cycling. There are problems with road edges and markings. Drain covers can be slippery in wet weather; some of the larger drains are the right size to trap a bicycle wheel; edges may be scattered with gravel and other rubbish, creating an extra hazard for cyclists. Potholes can also be a greater hazard for cyclists than for car drivers.

Then there are the “cycle lanes” which are sometimes more of a hinderance than a help. Many are ess than two feet wide, in the gutter and prone to disappearing when most needed – at junctions and other hazards.

Enough of the negatives!

So what can we do to help people cycle more?

There are schemes to help train would be cyclists. Children over the age of  eight can do Bike Ability in some schools and adults can benefit from BikeAbility in some workplaces. Bike Ability trains participants in road skills, and safety. You only need a reasonably roadworthy bike and suitable comfortable clothing. One of the first things that happens on a BikeAbility course is you bike is checked for roadworthiness. And of course you will be given advice on suitable clothing.

Schools may have schemes to help pupils get to school by bike. There is at least one Bike Train operating in Ipswich (from Ravenswood to Nacton School).  See Alex’s post about the bike train for more details.

Bike routes and facilities in Suffolk is a good starting point for finding out about cycling in Suffolk and has some useful links too.

The Ipswich Cycle Map is a very useful thing to have. Routes are clearly shown both for central Ipswich and for the outskirts. There are suggestions for safer routes and potential danger spots are highlighted. You can get copies from the Ipswich Tourist Information Centre in St Stephen’s Church besides the Buttermarket shopping centre. There’s also local bike shops and other bike facilities shown on the map.