Creating a new cycle path?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by James Bentall, Feb 12, 2004.

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  1. Hi there

    Bit of a shot in the dark but we'll try this anyway :)

    I live in Hertfordshire in a large village. I've been speaking to people in this village -
    particularly some parents of school children - and we feel that if there was a cycle path linking
    our village to nearest town it would probably encourage cycle use and would probably have positive
    effects on the school run. Others in the village have also voiced their opinion that they would use
    it with various degrees of frequency. It would also pass by the door of the London Vet College which
    would increase usage as well we guess. The route we have in mind would be a mixture of existing
    footpaths along the edge of a railway track, and pavement alongside a road.

    So far so good.

    But where do I go from here if I wanted to take this any further? Does anyone have any idea who I
    could apply to for help to see if this a viable option or not? Should I give up now - is there not a
    hope in hell of getting such a scheme approved by... well actually I don't even know who would need
    to approve such a scheme - help! Anyone out there tried to do something similiar?

    Thanks for any advice,

    James

    --
    James Bentall
    [email protected]
     
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  2. Hugh Spicer

    Hugh Spicer Guest

    have you checked with sustrans ? www.sustrans.org.uk

    "James Bentall" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi there
    >
    > Bit of a shot in the dark but we'll try this anyway :)
    >
    > I live in Hertfordshire in a large village. I've been speaking to people in this village -
    > particularly some parents of school children - and we feel that if there was a cycle path linking
    > our village to nearest town it would probably encourage cycle use and would probably have positive
    > effects on the school run. Others in the village have also voiced their opinion that they would
    > use it with various degrees of frequency. It would also pass by the door of the London Vet College
    > which would increase usage as well we guess. The route we have in mind would be a mixture of
    > existing footpaths along the edge of a railway track, and pavement alongside a road.
    >
    > So far so good.
    >
    > But where do I go from here if I wanted to take this any further? Does anyone have any idea who I
    > could apply to for help to see if this a viable option or not? Should I give up now - is there not
    > a hope in hell of getting such a scheme approved by... well actually I don't even know who would
    > need to approve such a scheme - help! Anyone out there tried to do something similiar?
    >
    > Thanks for any advice,
    >
    > James
    >
    > --
    > James Bentall [email protected]
     
  3. Pete Whelan

    Pete Whelan Guest

    James Bentall wrote:
    > Hi there
    >
    > Bit of a shot in the dark but we'll try this anyway :)
    >
    > I live in Hertfordshire in a large village. I've been speaking to people in this village -
    > particularly some parents of school children - and we feel that if there was a cycle path linking
    > our village to nearest town it would probably encourage cycle use and would probably have positive
    > effects on the school run. Others in the village have also voiced their opinion that they would
    > use it with various degrees of frequency. It would also pass by the door of the London Vet College
    > which would increase usage as well we guess. The route we have in mind would be a mixture of
    > existing footpaths along the edge of a railway track, and pavement alongside a road.
    >
    > So far so good.
    >
    > But where do I go from here if I wanted to take this any further? Does anyone have any idea who I
    > could apply to for help to see if this a viable option or not? Should I give up now - is there not
    > a hope in hell of getting such a scheme approved by... well actually I don't even know who would
    > need to approve such a scheme - help! Anyone out there tried to do something similiar?
    >
    > Thanks for any advice,
    >
    > James
    >
    > --
    > James Bentall [email protected]

    contact your local CTC, they should have a 'Right to Ride' rep who will know who to contact with the
    various councils. It will probably be a county council concern, so raise the proposal with them;
    they may (unlikely) also have such plans in the pipeline and be waiting for budget.

    Bidget is going to be your biggest problem, as even a few signs and white lines appear to cost
    thousands of pounds, let alone the process of getting a footpath (if it is a public footpath right
    of way) changed of use to a bridleway or such. It won't be quick, possibly 3 to 5 years before you
    can legally cycle the route.

    --
    Pete

    interchange 12 for 21 to reply
     
  4. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

  5. Peter Fox

    Peter Fox Guest

    Following on from James Bentall's message. . .

    An admirable suggestion

    There are three issues
    (1) Is the route and proposed design really as good as you think?
    (2) Is there enough local pressure to open up the route?
    (3) Is there a way to make the council spend the money?

    ROUTE AND DESIGN It is worth looking at as many variations in the route as you can think of, not
    only just in direction but also implementation, for example there may be ways to flatten the hills
    and valleys - eg a disused railway embankment might supply earth for a cycle embankment a little way
    away - farmer gets farmable land, you get a cool path.

    Check where people really want to go. There are plenty of people who will commute by bike for 3
    miles each way - especially if the town has traffic problems.

    A cross country route needs to be designed very carefully from the point of view of drainage. It
    only takes a bit of water to erode, make a quagmire and freeze.

    Surface is always a moot point. Tarmac /can/ be excellent but needs to be properly laid. Concrete is
    awful as it soon gets a very uneven surface. Various crushed stone surfaces /can/ be excellent.
    Unless horse riders are kept off the cycling part you can forget it! A lot depends on the local
    conditions.

    Are there any bits that should be lit? I suspect the answer is no, but my rule of thumb is that
    cycleways should be lit to the same standard as the alternative road route.

    How long does it take at the moment? What would be the time on your new route?

    While your main objective is to link village with town you might want to think ALSO about going
    further out into the country.[1] This then makes your route look like part of a strategic trunk
    route. Also townies (who tend to count for more in the political field) will be more likely to
    support it as they can then escape into the country. Before you know it the 'Something valley trail'
    is being used to make planning documents look good - All jam tomorrow stuff, but the more bullshit
    there is the more difficult it is to sweep it under the carpet.

    You'll get a lot of tut-tuts from this ng about part being on the pavement by the side of a road.
    Don't forget at path on the RH side of the road is a trap because you get blinded by oncoming
    headlights.

    LOCAL PRESSURE A landowner can object to the creation of a cycle path and basically that's that!
    Land /could/ be compulsory purchased and you may want to do some ferreting to see if somewhere the
    county council has written in some puff document "if necessary we will CP land for cycle facilities"
    - but don't expect it to be easy to find.

    So in reality you need enough local pressure on the landowners to let your route through. This is
    where your campaigning skills, pretty drawings and attending 100 balls-aching council meetings
    will needed.

    It is possible for a landowner to give a sort of private right of way - that is they say "OK you can
    pass over my land on your bikes but only on the following conditions..." This obviously isn't the
    same as a public right of way and continual use wouldn't establish a PROW. This is used by public
    bodies as well as private ones. One point worth making when owners are worried about crime is that
    cyclists don't rustle, dump cars or dump rubbish but are often the only eyes out and about to see
    and report suspicious behaviour.[2]

    Anything to do with changing PROWs means lots of paperwork, enquiries, checking you're not
    disturbing rare bees or the natural environment of the Crested Wotnot (All next to farmland that is
    dosed with poison sprays every other week!)

    MONEY AND COUNCILS Councils absolutely hate having to deal with landowners and will try to fudge the
    road route when they come under local pressure. They will decide things without consultation and
    pursue their own agenda through thick and thin. _You must control the agenda._ One way is to have
    3-monthly meetings between bodies.

    Often money for projects can be obtained from regional development agencies - But only matched
    funding. (ie if somebody else will pay a pound then so will they. - Note that volunteer's time can
    be counted as 'somebody else's payment')

    There is the [brain fade] Cycling development fund(?) which puts money into projects. They only like
    the sort of thing that makes a good photo opportunity for politicians so 'a census' or 'a training
    scheme' is out but a bike rack outside the library is in.

    I don't know the overall route/plan but my strategy would be to
    (4)establist the principle of a complete route (2) build a bit every year. I know (2) is a bloody-
    useless way of creating a route but the lesser amounts of money are easier to screw out of
    the council.

    Sustrans can tell you a lot more about the practicalities of design, build and maintain as well as
    negotiating experience. I think the crunch will be to convince land owners that you have solid
    local support and what difference is there to them if cycles are on the paths instead of just
    pedestrians[3] See if you can find a 'way-in' to a sympathetic land owner (via children at
    school?) which gets you started on the chain. Then you can say "Farmer Brown doesn't have a
    problem - why do you".

    Good luck.

    BTW Where are you talking about? There may be others on this ng from down your way who
    would join in.

    [5] Don't be afraid to take felt pen and draw on a map. Hey presto! You have a cycle route. That's
    what councils do all the time without the foggiest idea of why or how or when. It just looks
    good in their 5-year plans.

    [6] Last autumn out on my bike, I reported a suspicious car registration which was involved in
    organised dumping (and other organised crime) on farmland. This one incident cost over £2000
    to clear up.

    [7] Answer: Only more people. A refusal really means "I really don't want anybody on my land
    ever at all".

    --
    PETER FOX Not the same since the deckchair business folded
    [email protected] www.eminent.demon.co.uk/wcc.htm Witham Cycling
    Campaign www.eminent.demon.co.uk/rides East Anglian Pub cycle rides
     
  6. "James Bentall" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > ...The route we have in mind would be a mixture of existing footpaths along the edge of a railway
    > track, and pavement alongside a road.

    I'm not sure what benefit there is of converting a roadside pavement into a cycle path, as
    presumably a slow and nervous cyclist can just use the pavement without it being painted green? A
    green pavement has been known to cause motorists to shout at cyclists who use the road, ie "use the
    bl***y cycle path!!"
     
  7. Zaphod

    Zaphod Guest

    "Hugh Spicer" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > have you checked with sustrans ? www.sustrans.org.uk

    >
    > "James Bentall" <[email protected]> wrote

    > > I live in Hertfordshire in a large village. I've been speaking to people in this village -
    > > particularly some parents of school children - and we feel that if there was a cycle path
    > > linking our village to nearest town
    <..>

    Good luck. Hertfordshire facilities experience varies substantially. Try contacting someone from
    www.stacc.org.uk (St ALbans Cycling Campaign) for help.

    Cheers z
     
  8. James

    James Guest

    "Adrian Boliston" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "James Bentall" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    > berlin.de...
    > > ...The route we have in mind would be a mixture of existing footpaths along the edge of a
    > > railway track, and pavement alongside a road.
    > I'm not sure what benefit there is of converting a roadside pavement into a cycle path, as
    > presumably a slow and nervous cyclist can just use the pavement without it being painted green? A
    > green pavement has been known to cause motorists to shout at cyclists who use the road, ie "use
    > the bl***y cycle path!!"
    but they cannot use it legally (which you might not think would be a problem in practice but for
    the following.

    best wishes james

    From the Peterborough Evening Telegraph:

    http://www.peterboroughet.co.uk/ViewArticlemore2.aspx?SectionID=845&ArticleID=737862

    CYCLING: Bike boy, 10, stopped three times by police

    THE MOTHER of a 10-year-old boy who has been stopped three times by police for using his bike on a
    footpath says officers are wrong.

    Joanne Windsor (37) is furious that Ben has been stopped three times in the last four months while
    cycling along Godsey Lane, in Market Deeping, on his way to William Hildyard Primary School.

    He was told twice not to ride his bike on the pavement – and once not to push his bike on
    the pavement.

    Ms Windsor, of Godsey Crescent, Market Deeping, said: "He has not yet taken his cycling proficiency
    test. "To get to school he must ride along Godsey Lane, which is one of the main traffic routes
    through Market Deeping, and is extremely busy with lorries, cars and buses. "He does not ride fast
    on the pavement and has never knocked anybody over, so I don't see why he can't keep away from the
    traffic by cycling on the pavement."

    Ms Windsor said she would like to see police officers reassess their priorities. She continued: "A
    couple of months ago my car got vandalised, but the police never caught anyone. "If they spent less
    time stopping my son perhaps they could have found the culprit."

    Ben is a keen cyclist and has a mountain bike to ride to school on and a BMX which he uses at
    weekends. He said: "I am always really careful when I ride my bike. "No one has moaned at me for
    riding on the path, apart from the police."

    A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police, Jenny Glitherow, said it was illegal for cyclists to ride bikes
    on pavements. She said: "If officers see somebody riding a bike on the pavement then they will tell
    them to stop because it is dangerous. "Cyclists can cause problems if vulnerable people, such as the
    elderly or the visibly impaired, are using the path at the time. "Officers can use their discretion
    if very young children are using the pavement, but if they look old enough to be on the road they
    may be stopped."

    Ben said: "I don't feel safe on the roads yet. "I don't like being stopped by the police all the
    time, but I would rather have that happen than get knocked off my bike by a lorry."
     
  9. In article <[email protected]>,
    "Adrian Boliston" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "James Bentall" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    > berlin.de...
    >
    > > ...The route we have in mind would be a mixture of existing footpaths along the edge of a
    > > railway track, and pavement alongside a road.
    >
    > I'm not sure what benefit there is of converting a roadside pavement into a cycle path, as
    > presumably a slow and nervous cyclist can just use the pavement without it being painted green? A
    > green pavement has been known to cause motorists to shout at cyclists who use the road, ie "use
    > the bl***y cycle path!!"
    >
    >
    Not sure that's legal is it?

    James

    --
    James Bentall
    [email protected]
     
  10. In article <[email protected]>,
    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "James Bentall" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    > berlin.de...
    >
    > > I live in Hertfordshire in a large village.
    >
    > Which one?

    Sorry to be mysterious! Brookmans Park - between Hatfield and Potters Bar. The annoying thing is
    that National Cycle Route 12 passes quite close to the village, but really is in the completely
    wrong place for the locals to think about using it.

    Cheers,

    James

    --
    James Bentall
    [email protected]
     
  11. In article <[email protected]>,
    Pete Whelan <[email protected]> wrote:

    > James Bentall wrote:
    > > Hi there
    > >
    > > Bit of a shot in the dark but we'll try this anyway :)
    > >
    > > I live in Hertfordshire in a large village. I've been speaking to people in this village -
    > > particularly some parents of school children - and we feel that if there was a cycle path
    > > linking our village to nearest town it would probably encourage cycle use and would probably
    > > have positive effects on the school run. Others in the village have also voiced their opinion
    > > that they would use it with various degrees of frequency. It would also pass by the door of
    > > the London Vet College which would increase usage as well we guess. The route we have in mind
    > > would be a mixture of existing footpaths along the edge of a railway track, and pavement
    > > alongside a road.
    > >
    > > So far so good.
    > >
    > contact your local CTC, they should have a 'Right to Ride' rep who will know who to contact with
    > the various councils. It will probably be a county council concern, so raise the proposal with
    > them; they may (unlikely) also have such plans in the pipeline and be waiting for budget.
    >
    > Bidget is going to be your biggest problem, as even a few signs and white lines appear to cost
    > thousands of pounds, let alone the process of getting a footpath (if it is a public footpath right
    > of way) changed of use to a bridleway or such. It won't be quick, possibly 3 to 5 years before you
    > can legally cycle the route.

    Thanks for the advice Pete. Hadn't heard of the CTC, but a good google has revealed to me what they
    are and I will be in contact with them.

    James

    --
    James Bentall
    [email protected]
     
  12. Ianb

    Ianb Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote
    in message news:[email protected]...
    > "James Bentall" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    > berlin.de...
    >
    > > I live in Hertfordshire in a large village.
    >
    > Which one?
    >
    > --
    > Guy
    > ===
    >
    > WARNING: may contain traces of irony. Contents may settle
    after posting.
    > http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
    >
    >
    If the proposed route goes past the Vet. Coll. I presume he means Welham Green or Brookmans Park.
    There is already a Sustrams route 1km west of the Vet Coll (wrong side for Brookmans Park) which
    goes through Welham Green to Hatfield. A public footpath runs from Brookmans Park station into
    Potters Bar but would eventually feed you onto the rather busy B556. In my experience the existing
    roads to the East of the railway line are a fairly quiet way into Potters Bar shopping area. A good
    starting point for your campaign may be your local councillors.
    --
    IanB

    n.b. as I subscribe to two large newsgroups it may be
    several days before I see a newsgroup response
     
  13. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 14:53:49 +0000 someone who may be James Bentall
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >> A green pavement has been known to cause motorists to shout at cyclists who use the road, ie "use
    >> the bl***y cycle path!!"
    >>
    > Not sure that's legal is it?

    Since when has a minor matter like the law been important to the subsection of motorists who
    are stupid?

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E I will always explain revoked
    keys, unless the UK government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  14. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 14:57:08 -0000 someone who may be "IanB"
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    > A good starting point for your campaign may be your local councillors.

    And whatever the Community Council is called in England.

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E I will always explain revoked
    keys, unless the UK government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  15. In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] (zaphod) wrote:

    > "Hugh Spicer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    > > have you checked with sustrans ? www.sustrans.org.uk
    >
    > >
    > > "James Bentall" <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > > > I live in Hertfordshire in a large village. I've been speaking to people in this village -
    > > > particularly some parents of school children - and we feel that if there was a cycle path
    > > > linking our village to nearest town
    > <..>
    >
    > Good luck. Hertfordshire facilities experience varies substantially. Try contacting someone from
    > www.stacc.org.uk (St ALbans Cycling Campaign) for help.
    >
    > Cheers z

    Thanks for the link - will do.

    James

    --
    James Bentall
    [email protected]
     
  16. "Nathaniel Porter" <[email protected]> wrote: ( "james" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message ) news:[email protected]... ( > and once not ) > to push his
    bike on the pavement. ( ) Isn't this entirely 100% legal?

    Neither is pushing a bike over a pedestrian crossing. Next you'll want to be pushing your
    wheelbarrow along a footpath.

    I think you're safe from legal pedants if you shoulder the bike; but I don't know what happens
    (apart from turning the milk in the panniers into butter) if you bounce it, rather than rolling it.

    If you're wheeling your bike it's still the vehicle it was, you have to do so where it would have
    been legal to ride it, and you ought to carry lights at night and obey no-entry and no-turn road
    signs and red traffic lights and all that.

    Dismounting and walking your horse is out of order too; on pavements you're expected to do a
    Deperate Dan over the shoulders.
     
  17. "james" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > and once not to push his bike on the pavement.
    >

    Isn't this entirely 100% legal?

    >
    > "He does not ride fast on the pavement and has never knocked anybody over, so I don't see why he
    > can't keep away from the traffic by cycling on the pavement."
    >

    Don't see whats wrong without myself (though I appreciate its illegal)

    >
    > Ben said: "I don't feel safe on the roads yet.
    >

    Maybe someone should point out that, generally, the road is about 10 times safer than the
    footpath....
     
  18. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    "james" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > "Cyclists can cause problems if vulnerable people, such as the elderly or the visibly impaired,
    > are using the path at the time."
    >

    They should get the Council to put up some of those blue circular signs that apparently solve any
    problems the elderly and visibly (sic) impaired might have with pavement cyclists

    Tony
     
  19. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    "Adrian Boliston" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > A green pavement has been known to cause motorists to shout at cyclists who use the road, ie "use
    > the bl***y cycle path!!"
    >

    To which my stock reply is "use the bl***y motorway!!"

    Tony
     
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