Dear fellow members
Thanks to Anne and Mick for taking on the 26th January ride.
This time’s extract from the Clarion back in the 1890s is a bit different. It’s a song, so perhaps we can sing it (or some of it – or just hum sympathetically) on the way to Carats café on New Year’s Day? I’ve also sent it to Matthew Ball for Boots and Spurs together with an obit for Brian Hutton and a brief section report. The “last call” for the latter caught me on the hop – so I’m afraid I didn’t have time to consult you all.
In the last issue I promised a report from Joyce about moves to create a coalition of groups in favour of sustainable transport. And here it is
Ian reported in the last Newsletter that there have been discussions about the need to react to the often aggressive arguments going on – essentially in the Argus and other media – in an attempt to stop the 20 mile limit programme, which as we know has produced antagonisms between cyclists and motorists , egged on by the Evening Argus. Given that the “Unchain the Motorist Group” seem to have money for advertisements in the Argus, it is felt necessary to counter this and support sustainable transport in its various forms. To do this a coalition group of organisations supporting sustainable transport has been suggested. The membership would be groups although individuals could be supporters . I believe that the Clarion should become a member of such a coalition and to that effect I will be proposing we do so at the forthcoming AGM.
In the meantime there have been two meetings, + a demonstration and attendance at the Committee meeting to decide on phase 2 of the scheme – and the launch of a petition :- for 20 mph speed limits in Preston Drove, Stanford Avenue and Surrenden Road in Brighton! It’s on the 38 Degrees website. Short link here:
The outcome of the meetings is as follows :
Smarter transport for Brighton & Hove
Better transport for Brighton & Hove
A cleaner, safer and more attractive environment for Brighton & Hove
Suggested sign-up statement:
Any community group or social organisation – but not political parties and groupings – wanting to join or any individual wanting to become a support would have to sign up to the following:
- Support transport policies which focus on people, especially those policies promoting walking, cycling and public transport
- Recognise the value that greater walking, cycling and use of public transport brings to the city’s economy, public health and reduced pollution
- Acknowledge that within the city, buses and trains are the most efficient way of moving large numbers of people
- Recognise that measures to manage car parking are essential and that the availability and price of car parking can have an impact on the viability of public transport
- Advocate greater investment in well-designed infrastructure for walking and cycling and public transport
Continuing the discussion about cycle safety – and road safety generally – in London and in Brighton, Jim writes
I don’t disagree with anything that’s been said so far about the horrific deaths of cyclists in London, but I do think we need to have some sort of “sensible cycling” campaign. I don’t know Bow, but every day when I am in London I see cyclists behaving extremely dangerously on the Euston road. I can’t help thinking that maybe if they would slow down a bit and stop more often (like we do!) there might not be so many accidents. And these cyclists (they are usually the lycra-clad variety) very rarely stop for pedestrians – even on pedestrian crossings. A couple of weeks ago I waited at a zebra crossing in Woburn Place, where cars had already stopped, while three or four cyclists filed past without stopping – and it’s true that the one in front apologised to me for not stopping, but it was not altogether clear why he couldn’t just stop – these ones were not actually travelling that fast (and even if they had been, they should still be able to stop in a reasonable distance, just like cars).
On Tuesday evening, I walked across a park in Cambridge at twilight, on a path that was a shared pedestrian and cycle route. Many cyclists overtook me but *not one* rang his or her bell to warn me of his/her approach! The return journey later on – in the dark – was actually safer, as I could see their lights shining on the path before they reached me (and *most* of them did actually have lights!) although once again, no bells were rung.
These kinds of behaviour give cyclists a bad name, and probably contribute to all the vitriol.
I remember riding on the blue “cycle superhighway” on a London ride a year or two ago, and how safe it felt. More of those (and possibly a touch of the “Lewes Road” approach to separate cycles from buses) would surely make London safer for cyclists, but would the speed-freaks use them?
That’s my pennyworth anyway.
Well, I’m very much in favour of Jim’s idea of a “sensible cycling campaign” but what do other people think? Let me know for the next edition of this newsletter which will appear early in the New Year.
If you’re coming to the Christmas Social make sure you’ve let Angela know about your menu choices for Cafe Rouge, Brighton Marina, on Saturday 21st December for 12.30pm. firstname.lastname@example.org
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!