4 September 2018
Sue and Ian are away on their hols, so I’m in the editor’s chair for this issue.
Which gives me a chance to tell you about a recent road safety study into “shared spaces”. These are places where the kerb separating the sidewalk from the road has been removed in the belief that walkers, cyclists and drivers can mingle without conflict. They have been the subject of robust discussion during rides in the past.
Brighton’s New Road is a local example which seems to work reasonably well, possibly because it is short and the ratio of pedestrians to motor vehicles is high.
Exhibition Road in London is very different, as I discovered recently when walking along it with my young grand-daughter. She had been well trained to stop at the kerb, but in Exhibition Road there is no kerb, as I realised when I saw her wandering into the path of a black cab!
The study I mentioned is called “Accidents by Design”. Its findings are based on an opinion survey which showed (amongst other things) that 63% of those questioned find their experience of shared spaces “poor”, while only 18% find it “good”. The study concludes by recommending an “immediate moratorium” on new shared spaces.
Suzanne makes history!
The Regency Square Area Society has just published a book to celebrate the bicentenary of Regency Square. The book has been written by Clarionette, Suzanne and Gill Wales, both of whom live in the square.
The book will be launched by the deputy mayor at an open-air “do” (with gazebo) on 22 September at 11 am in the north garden of Regency Square- books on sale at the launch price of £10.00 (cover price £12.95)
Do come along and bring your friends to enjoy the music. Any speeches will be very short.
News from Ian: The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Men
I’m writing this the day after the last (21 August) newsletter, feeling for some reason the need to share with you some of my current woes. I realise that in that newsletter I inadvertently repeated the same episode of Clarion History that had appeared previously. Sorry, but I’ve been more than a bit distracted – as you will see. I’ll get back on track next time.
At the beginning of this year I was determined to get back into coming out on Clarion rides – in fact I selected 4 ones I’d done before over the years that weren’t too demanding and worked out a schedule based on me gradually getting myself up to doing at least one 20 mile ride in the weeks previous to the dates I’d chosen for my full return to Clarion activity then – unless someone else got in first – offering one of the planned rides. It wouldn’t matter if I fell a bit short of this and only managed one or two. With 30 odd members of the Brighton and Hove Clarion and only about 26 rides a year I didn’t have to emulate Jim -or Julian last year – to feel I’d done my bit.
But then the on-going left knee problem kicked in. So in March I had real trouble walking. I got physio help and did my exercises fastidiously and by the time we went to Venice for a short trip at the beginning of June I was walking normally and thought I was back on track for rides. But then I had a bit of a relapse knee-wise. I was just starting to get back to something like OK when another unkind stroke of fate intervened.
Our next door neighbours were away and we were feeding Billy, their cat. The day before the last newsletter went out I was stepping over the low wall between our path and theirs when I somehow caught my foot and went crashing down landing largely on my nose. There was so much blood it looked like a murder scene from a gruesome TV thriller. After 3 ½ hours at A &E – which I’m told is quite quick for these days – I had 6 stitches put in my nose together with some glue on the graze on my forehead. I’ll spare you the photo. Suffice it to say that at present I look like something out of an old Hammer horror film, perhaps with a title like The Curse of the Living Dead or The Creature from the Black Lagoon. So for the next couple of weeks – which will be some way in the past by the time you read this – I’m concentrating on just getting fit to go on holiday at the start of September. As for my ride ambitions – well, hope springs eternal!