Modeshift STARS schools can win one of five signed British Cycling jerseys

To celebrate Bike Week schools which take part in the Modeshift STARS programme can enter a competition to win one of five signed cycle jerseys supplied by British Cycling.

To be in with a chance the school just has to retweet this tweet:

Cycling is booming in London, new stats from TfL will reveal

According to stats to be revealed soon by Transport for London cycle use in the capital is still growing and, with the roll-out of new protected cycling infrastructure, is expected to keep growing. On some London bridges and streets there are now more cyclists than there are motorists, although cycling still only gets a tiny fraction of TfL’s spend on roads. (Pedestrians still dominate on many streets in London but people on foot are often missing from traffic stats.)

TfL forecasts that cycling increased by 12 percent in 2015

Las year Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Cyclists are becoming ubiquitous in London and prove, if further proof were needed, why we need to crack on with catering for them. There can be no doubt that our trusty bicycles have changed the way people get around our great city.”

The Mayor of London’s Vision for Cycling details a £913m ten-year programme to improve infrastructure for cyclists and “build on the boom in cycling from the last decade, which has seen cycling numbers double,” says TfL.

MPs urge government to invest more on cycling

Earlier today MPs discussed the government’s investment in cycling during a Westminster Hall Debate. Execs from British Cycling and CTC welcomed the debate but wish to see more action.

CTC policy director, Roger Geffen MBE, said:

“It’s heartening that once again MPs from across the political spectrum have spoken up for the investment needed to make cycling a safe and normal activity. Cycling is not just for healthy young males, but for people of all ages and abilities. I hope the government will now listen, find the funding, and put in place the design standards that are needed to ensure it is well spent.”

Martin Key, British Cycling’s campaign’s manager, said:

“Today’s debate illustrates how much progress has been made in recent years. Cycling didn’t have much political attention in the past and rare debates like these would be poorly attended and often missed the point.

“Today, we have MPs from all parties and all across the UK representing the very real concerns of their constituents, and British Cycling’s 117,000 members – namely that the vast majority of people actively want to use their bikes more often, but are put off by concerns about safety.”

He added: “A clear message was sent to government today that more investment is needed in segregated infrastructure to make our roads and junctions safer. Does this amount to the kind of political will to deliver the ‘cycling revolution’ promised by the Prime Minister? No. Is it a step forward? Yes. We will keep the pressure on.”

Alex Chalk, MP for Cheltenham, and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group opened his contribution to the debate saying: “We know we have done a good job with investment in cycling when there are as many women as there are men cycling – we know we have done an excellent job when they are taking their children along with them on their bikes.”

Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Isleworth, and fellow chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group added to the debate: “We seek a national set of design standards that reflect those that have been created in Wales and in London, to ensure we get good quality space for cycling.”

During the debate the roads and cycling minister Robert Goodwill said that local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) could unlock greater investment in cycling, should they wish to. Most, of course, don’t wish to. As usual from the government cycling is treated as a local issue while motoring is treated as a national issue.

PlusBike seeks info on your bike-enabled rail journeys

Cycle-rail information provider PlusBike is currently running an online survey seeking more data on rail users who either cycle to and from stations or who travel with folding bikes. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete, and ends on 31st January. Four of those who complete the survey will win £25 each in Amazon vouchers.

Whether you are parking your bike at the station, taking it on board or wanting to hire one at the other end of your journey, PlusBike provides info on the level of facilities on trains, at the station, and whether stations have any cycle hire schemes.

PlusBike is an initiative of the Association of Train Operating Companies.

Drivers who cycle are more likely to support bike infra

A new study has found that drivers don’t think highly of the road behaviour of cyclists. Naturally, this can be filed in the do-bears-poop-in-the-woods category of findings, but the study also reports that drivers who cycle – even just a little – were found to be more positive about cyclists in general. The study concludes that “events and programs that result in even moderate increases in people’s bike use may have wide-reaching effects on … their willingness to support bicycle infrastructure in their communities.”

Given today’s growing consensus that bicycle infrastructure is an important factor in encouraging more people on to bikes this conclusion could prove influential. It might mean that cycle outreach programmes aimed at motorists have a more significant impact on perceptions about cyclists than is usually appreciated, and such programmes can lead to a greater acceptance that provision should be made for cyclists. For instance, some cycle training providers organise cycle taster sessions for HGV drivers and other professional motorists, such as taxi and bus drivers.

Some cycle advocates view cycle training as a money-wasting distraction from the intervention that makes the most difference – and that’s protected cycle infrastructure – but the new study suggests that cycle training is confirmed as a key part of the mix of measures that will lead to an increase in cycle use.

Getting motorists to experience what it’s like for cyclists in current road conditions could therefore result in a double whammy: more empathy from drivers towards cyclists, and calls from motorists for improved road conditions for cyclists.

While cycle training for children – via Bikeability, delivered through schools – will remain important for encouraging youth cycling, and for teaching the drivers of the future what it’s like to be a cyclist, the new study suggests that adult cycle training leads to wider social acceptance of the need for high-quality, well-connected, direct and protected bicycle infrastructure.

The new study was presented last week during a transportation conference in Washington, D.C. Tara Goddard and colleagues at Portland State University asked drivers and cyclists to rate how well both groups were able to “follow the rules of the road”. It was found that whether or not a driver also cycled was a good predictor of whether somebody supported building separated bicycle facilities.

“The use of a bicycle seemed to have the largest moderating effect on people’s attitudes,” reported the study, which was based on a survey of 2,300 people from Austin, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

When Goddard and her colleagues asked about support for infrastructure for cyclists the motorist-only respondents were significantly opposed even though provision of such infrastructure would grant what motorists often say they want and that’s less interaction with “unpredictable” cyclists. Goddard and crew conclude that “getting people on bicycles can improve how they view bicyclists.”

Goddard is a former bicycle and pedestrian coordinator of Davis, California.

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Driver Attitudes about Bicyclists: Negative Evaluations of Rule-Following and Predictability. Tara Goddard, Jennifer Dill, Christopher M. Monsere, Portland State University. The Transportation Research Board, 95th Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. January 10–14, 2016.