Cycling article in Telegraph.

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Simon Mason, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    You need to subscribe, so I posted the text:

    £60,000 on riding lessons? On your bike, drivers tell council
    By Nick Britten
    (Filed: 03/09/2004)
    Commuters in a wealthy city suburb are being offered bicycle lessons in an
    attempt to persuade them to leave their cars at home.


    But residents said the £60,000 plan was "absolutely ridiculous" and a
    "complete waste of money".
    Wolverhampton city council has targeted 400 households in Tettenhall
    offering them personal journey plans. Cycling training, advice on how to be
    more economical when driving and promotional offers on public transport are
    included. The council hopes the project will help reduce pollution, road
    accidents and congestion but residents are not so keen.

    Jill Colburn, 43, said: "I have been cycling since I was just six years old
    and I certainly don't need any lessons. To spend £60,000 teaching adults
    like myself to cycle properly is absolutely ridiculous when the money could
    be spent so much better. The kids around here have got nothing to do. The
    money should go towards a skate park or decent playground."

    Doreen Eades, 74, said: "It sounds like a complete and utter waste of money.
    I cannot think of any adult who needs to be taught how to ride a bike
    properly, nor be told how to plan their journey.
    "In my opinion the council has so much money it doesn't know what to do with
    it and comes up with hare-brained schemes like this." Roy Campbell, 63, a
    butcher, said: "Even my two grandchildren know how to ride a bike, so why
    would I need lessons? I've heard of a few daft ideas in my time but this is
    certainly one of the oddest.

    "People are going to use a car to get to work regardless of being given
    lessons or advice from experts. A better idea would be to spend the money on
    buying a load of bikes and giving them away free." Judy Thacker, 57, a
    pharmacist, said: "I appreciate that the council is trying to cut down on
    the number of motor vehicles on the roads but this idea is a waste of
    council tax. Such a large amount of cash would be better invested in
    improving health care."

    Milkinder Jaspal, the council's transport spokesman, said funding earmarked
    for transport could not be spent in other areas.
    "There are a lot of transport issues around Tettenhall and I'm trying to
    look in to these problems," he said. "I know £60,000 seems like a lot of
    money, but it will be well worth it." He said cycling officers were a key
    part of the project and cost relatively little to train. "

    A lot of people have a perception that cycling on the roads is very
    dangerous," he said. "A lot of cyclists are not aware of the rules of the
    road and how they've got to behave on the road."
    Jonathan Yardley, Conservative councillor for Tettenhall Regis, said: "Most
    people in Tettenhall know how to get to work and have already managed to
    find the shops and bus stops for themselves."
     
    Tags:


  2. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Simon Mason quoted:
    > £60,000 on riding lessons? On your bike, drivers tell council

    <snip>
    > But residents said the £60,000 plan was "absolutely ridiculous" and a
    > "complete waste of money".


    Seems like an excellent use of taxpayer's money to me. I think the
    council spokesman was spot on:

    > A lot of people have a perception that cycling on the roads is very
    > dangerous," he said. "A lot of cyclists are not aware of the rules of the
    > road and how they've got to behave on the road."


    --
    Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
    <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  3. D.M. Procida

    D.M. Procida Guest

    Danny Colyer <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Simon Mason quoted:
    > > £60,000 on riding lessons? On your bike, drivers tell council

    > <snip>
    > > But residents said the £60,000 plan was "absolutely ridiculous" and a
    > > "complete waste of money".

    >
    > Seems like an excellent use of taxpayer's money to me. I think the
    > council spokesman was spot on:


    A couple of weeks ago there was a festival in Cardiff Bay. The traffic
    was horrendous - people circling round and round the roads, trying to
    find a space to park. They should have had a cycle park, and a stall,
    and anyone parking their cycle there would be given £5 if they left at
    least 60 minutes later.

    In fact that would be a good plan to encourage cycling generally. If you
    leave your cycle parked for a certain length of time in certain places
    where car-parking is hard to come by and congestion a problem, you
    should get paid to do so. Obviously, the money would come from that
    raised by the car parks...

    Daniele
    --
    Apple Juice Ltd
    Chapter Arts Centre
    Market Road www.apple-juice.co.uk
    Cardiff CF5 1QE 029 2019 0140
     
  4. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Seems like a good idea to me, too. There are plenty of people who would
    cycle if only they felt more confident on the roads.

    > But residents said the £60,000 plan was "absolutely ridiculous" and a
    > "complete waste of money".

    ..........
    > "To spend £60,000
    > teaching adults like myself to cycle properly is absolutely
    > ridiculous when the money could be spent so much better."


    I wonder how many inches of road 60 grand would build?

    ~PB
     
  5. soup

    soup Guest

    Danny Colyer popped their head over the parapet saw what was going on
    and said
    > Simon Mason quoted:
    > > £60,000 on riding lessons? On your bike, drivers tell council

    > <snip>
    > > But residents said the £60,000 plan was "absolutely ridiculous" and
    > > a "complete waste of money".

    >
    > Seems like an excellent use of taxpayer's money to me. I think the
    > council spokesman was spot on:

    <snip>

    £60,000 , surely the 'council' could get a bulk discount and get
    1,000 bicycles [1]for that money, then they could divide them evenly
    between the local high schools obviously there will be a % age
    who dont want bikes. this 'cheap' and there will be a % age who
    already cycle, this dole of bikes. along with a no stopping zone
    at the schools will educate young adults into cycling and get the
    mums/dads off the school run, surely this will do more to alleviate
    congestion than teaching people how to ride in traffic [2]

    [1] Or even half this number of bikes as someone will need to
    supervise the distribution of these bikes. (and be paid), and I have no
    idea of
    the legal position but would it be enough to have the responsibility
    of maintenance transfered at the time of the distribution or would
    someone have to do a quick check once a month or so?
    Can't have all and sundry suing the 'council' when the 'council'
    supplied
    bike's brakes fail and dump poor Johnny under a bus.

    [2] Yes I know bicycles are traffic but in this case
    I mean other motorised traffic OWTTE.

    IVOANAL


    --
    yours S

    Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione
     
  6. Cicero

    Cicero Guest

    "Simon Mason" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > You need to subscribe, so I posted the text:
    >
    > £60,000 on riding lessons? On your bike, drivers tell council
    > By Nick Britten
    > (Filed: 03/09/2004)
    > Commuters in a wealthy city suburb are being offered bicycle lessons in an
    > attempt to persuade them to leave their cars at home.
    >
    >
    > But residents said the £60,000 plan was "absolutely ridiculous" and a
    > "complete waste of money".
    > Wolverhampton city council has targeted 400 households in Tettenhall
    > offering them personal journey plans. Cycling training, advice on how to

    be
    > more economical when driving and promotional offers on public transport

    are
    > included. The council hopes the project will help reduce pollution, road
    > accidents and congestion but residents are not so keen.
    >
    ><snipped>
    >
    > Milkinder Jaspal, the council's transport spokesman, said funding

    earmarked
    > for transport could not be spent in other areas.
    > "There are a lot of transport issues around Tettenhall and I'm trying to
    > look in to these problems," he said. "I know £60,000 seems like a lot of
    > money, but it will be well worth it." He said cycling officers were a key
    > part of the project and cost relatively little to train. "
    >
    > A lot of people have a perception that cycling on the roads is very
    > dangerous," he said. "A lot of cyclists are not aware of the rules of the
    > road and how they've got to behave on the road."
    > Jonathan Yardley, Conservative councillor for Tettenhall Regis, said:

    "Most
    > people in Tettenhall know how to get to work and have already managed to
    > find the shops and bus stops for themselves."
    >

    ====================
    Councillor Milkinder Jaspal, the council's transport spokesman, also had
    another idea to promote road safety. He ordered that Stafford Road, one of
    the main roads into the city centre, should be 'improved' by having all
    existing bus 'pull-ins' removed to control traffic. Buses now have to stop
    for passengers in the inner lane of a two lane highway and other traffic has
    to filter around the stopped buses or wait behind. It certainly hasn't
    improved either traffic flow or the tempers of commuters, most of whom think
    that Councillor Milkinder Jaspal should stick to playing with his Dinky
    toys.

    Cic.
     
  7. Ian Smith

    Ian Smith Guest

    On Wed, 8 Sep, Pete Biggs <pblackcherry{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:

    > I wonder how many inches of road 60 grand would build?


    In late 1990s, it would get you 222 inches of dual three lane
    motorway, so enough to park one car in each lane.

    (Parliamentary written answer in January 1998 - 17.1 million pounds
    per mile for dual three lane motorway)

    regards, Ian SMith
    --
    |\ /| no .sig
    |o o|
    |/ \|
     
  8. On Wed, 08 Sep 2004 20:15:52 GMT, "Cicero" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Simon Mason" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]
    >> You need to subscribe, so I posted the text:


    >>

    >====================
    >Councillor Milkinder Jaspal, the council's transport spokesman, also had
    >another idea to promote road safety. He ordered that Stafford Road, one of
    >the main roads into the city centre, should be 'improved' by having all
    >existing bus 'pull-ins' removed to control traffic. Buses now have to stop
    >for passengers in the inner lane of a two lane highway and other traffic has
    >to filter around the stopped buses or wait behind. It certainly hasn't
    >improved either traffic flow or the tempers of commuters, most of whom think
    >that Councillor Milkinder Jaspal should stick to playing with his Dinky
    >toys.


    Unless those commuters are on the bus, of course. Buses suffer a lot
    of delay when car drivers won't let them out of those lay-bys.
    Speeding up buses is the reason their being done away with in many
    towns.

    There's the secondary benefit that replacing the layby with pavement
    improves the pedestrian environment as well.

    It's all classic reallocation of roadspace and a Good Thing.
     
  9. Martyn Bolt

    Martyn Bolt Guest

    from the way the original article read the spokesperson isn't a
    Councillor but a profesional officer.

    A Councillor attacked the proposal saying people didn't need any help
    planning journeys etc.

    That's why they are all stuck in the same traffic jams at teh same
    time, because they don't need any help, it's every one stuck in the
    jam that needs it.

    Selective interviewing by the paper? Or are all the residents of that
    area pensioners?
     
  10. Cicero

    Cicero Guest

    "[Not Responding]" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On Wed, 08 Sep 2004 20:15:52 GMT, "Cicero" <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >"Simon Mason" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > >news:[email protected]
    > >> You need to subscribe, so I posted the text:

    >
    > >>

    > >====================
    > >Councillor Milkinder Jaspal, the council's transport spokesman, also had
    > >another idea to promote road safety. He ordered that Stafford Road, one

    of
    > >the main roads into the city centre, should be 'improved' by having all
    > >existing bus 'pull-ins' removed to control traffic. Buses now have to

    stop
    > >for passengers in the inner lane of a two lane highway and other traffic

    has
    > >to filter around the stopped buses or wait behind. It certainly hasn't
    > >improved either traffic flow or the tempers of commuters, most of whom

    think
    > >that Councillor Milkinder Jaspal should stick to playing with his Dinky
    > >toys.

    >
    > Unless those commuters are on the bus, of course. Buses suffer a lot
    > of delay when car drivers won't let them out of those lay-bys.
    > Speeding up buses is the reason their being done away with in many
    > towns.
    >
    > There's the secondary benefit that replacing the layby with pavement
    > improves the pedestrian environment as well.
    >
    > It's all classic reallocation of roadspace and a Good Thing.


    ================
    This is stated to be an experiment and it's also been stated that it may be
    reversed next year despite the cost. The system was working reasonably well
    prior to the changes. Apart from creating more congestion all that has
    happened is that bus commuters are being given priority over other
    commuters. This seems to be rather unfair bearing in mind that many car
    users simply could not travel by bus because of poor transport links. The
    truth is that the Council appear to be trying unsuccessfully to force people
    out of cars and on to public transport. Councillor Jaspal, like so many
    Councillors doesn't appear to understand that public money isn't an
    unlimited resource.

    Cic.
     
  11. DSK

    DSK New Member

    Joined:
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    IMO, its great that something is being done to push folks towards cycling. However, £60K on teaching folks how to get from A to B and how to stay upright is pointless. I feel that to get more people to cycle (at least typical short journeys that last a couple fo minutes in a car), it needs to be approached from a different angle.

    Perhaps offering some king of incentives/rewards etc, creating more useful cycle lanes on the roads, bit like the bus lanes. May be getting some celebs to help promote it etc. I dunno, all I am saying is that it would be a waste of £60K and it needs to come from another angle.
     
  12. DSK

    DSK New Member

    Joined:
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    0
    Oooh, forgot to mention that, its likely that these council folks don't ride cycles, may not have ridden cycles since they were children. If they cycled a bit, they may be able to see the situation from a cyclists point of view on where improvements could be made to encourage more people to enjoy cycling on the roads etc. Alternatively, to learn more about the activity, they could pay for people in the know (magazines, well known cyclists, local groups, general cyclists etc) to comment, make suggestions and so on.
     
  13. Cicero

    Cicero Guest

    "Martyn Bolt" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > from the way the original article read the spokesperson isn't a
    > Councillor but a profesional officer.
    >
    > A Councillor attacked the proposal saying people didn't need any help
    > planning journeys etc.
    >
    > That's why they are all stuck in the same traffic jams at teh same
    > time, because they don't need any help, it's every one stuck in the
    > jam that needs it.
    >
    > Selective interviewing by the paper? Or are all the residents of that
    > area pensioners?


    ==================
    Four interviewees - aged 43, 74, 63, 57 - looks like 25% pensioners.

    Milkinder Jaspal, the council's transport spokesman is actually Councillor
    Milkinder Jaspal, Labour Cabinet member with responsibility for transport.

    Given the kind of working patterns of most people it's difficult to envisage
    any major change in journey plans. People have little choice about the time
    they travel to work.

    Cic.
     
  14. JohnB

    JohnB Guest

    Cicero wrote:

    > Councillor Milkinder Jaspal, the council's transport spokesman, also had
    > another idea to promote road safety. He ordered that Stafford Road, one of
    > the main roads into the city centre, should be 'improved' by having all
    > existing bus 'pull-ins' removed to control traffic. Buses now have to stop
    > for passengers in the inner lane of a two lane highway and other traffic has
    > to filter around the stopped buses or wait behind.


    Aw, diddums.
    Giving priority to PT is such a bad thing is it?

    john B
     
  15. Cicero

    Cicero Guest

    "JohnB" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Cicero wrote:
    >
    > > Councillor Milkinder Jaspal, the council's transport spokesman, also had
    > > another idea to promote road safety. He ordered that Stafford Road,

    one of
    > > the main roads into the city centre, should be 'improved' by having all
    > > existing bus 'pull-ins' removed to control traffic. Buses now have to

    stop
    > > for passengers in the inner lane of a two lane highway and other traffic

    has
    > > to filter around the stopped buses or wait behind.

    >
    > Aw, diddums.
    > Giving priority to PT is such a bad thing is it?
    >
    > john B


    =============
    It's quite irrelevant to me personally because I don't commute. The point is
    that people pay their taxes and have a right to choose their own mode of
    transport without being penalised for their choice. That's a question of
    being fair not a matter for childish sarcasm.

    Cic.
     
  16. Terry D

    Terry D Guest

    DSK wrote:
    > IMO, its great that something is being done to push folks towards
    > cycling. However, £60K on teaching folks how to get from A to B and
    > how to stay upright is pointless. I feel that to get more people to
    > cycle (at least typical short journeys that last a couple fo minutes in
    > a car), it needs to be approached from a different angle.
    >


    I think DSK is missing the point here. I also feel that the quoted
    population of Tettenhall were making the same mistake. Cycle training
    does not necessarily mean teaching people how to balance or operate the
    brakes or change gear. The most difficult part of utility cycling (i.e.
    cycling to get somewhere as opposed to going somewhere to cycle) is
    learning to cope with the fact that you are not the only person using
    the road. It is possible to cycle to work using shared use roads, I know
    because that's how I commute, but it is not an innate skill, it has to
    be learned.

    > Perhaps offering some king of incentives/rewards etc, creating more
    > useful cycle lanes on the roads, bit like the bus lanes. May be
    > getting some celebs to help promote it etc. I dunno, all I am saying
    > is that it would be a waste of £60K and it needs to come from another
    > angle.
    >
    >


    I think the 60,000 would be extremely well spent if it taught a few more
    ordinary people that cycle commuting is not only possible, but fun. The
    spin off from such a programme would also be welcome, we would have
    fewer cars on the road (not in my town, but Tettenhall is a start) and
    hopefully a few more urc members willing to spread the word that cycling
    is A Good Thing.

    --
    Terry Duckmanton.

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/terry.duckmanton
    A website mostly dedicated to cycling
    http://tduckmanton.bravejournal.com
    A daily log of my cycling exploits
     
  17. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <6CK%[email protected]>, Cicero
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > This is stated to be an experiment and it's also been stated that it
    > may be reversed next year despite the cost. The system was working
    > reasonably well prior to the changes. Apart from creating more
    > congestion all that has happened is that bus commuters are being given
    > priority over other commuters. This seems to be rather unfair bearing
    > in mind that many car
    > users simply could not travel by bus because of poor transport links.
    > The truth is that the Council appear to be trying unsuccessfully to
    > force people out of cars and on to public transport. Councillor
    > Jaspal, like so many Councillors doesn't appear to understand that
    > public money isn't an unlimited resource.


    Road space isn't an unlimited resource, either. It isn't practical to
    knock down all our towns and cities to build fifty lane motorways to
    nowhere. A bus uses up far fewer square metres of road space per person
    as a car; therefore busses need to be advantaged and cars disadvantaged
    in everyone's interest - to economise on use of road space. And as for
    those '...car users [who] simply could not travel by bus...' they
    should either move house to somewhere nearer to where they work or
    change job to one nearer to where they live. There is simply no reason
    for the rest of us to subsidise those who through selfishness decide
    that their choice of residence and occupation takes priority over
    everyone else's chance of having tolerable urban space.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; Women are from Venus. Men are from Mars. Lusers are from Uranus.
     
  18. JohnB

    JohnB Guest

    Cicero wrote:
    >
    > "JohnB" <[email protected]> wrote in message


    > > Giving priority to PT is such a bad thing is it?


    > It's quite irrelevant to me personally because I don't commute.


    Buses which are available to *all* get held up by not being able to
    re-enter the traffic stream.To give priority to a mode of transport that
    is available to all rather than one that is private and has a
    detrimental (if not selfish) affect on PT is both responsible planning
    and morally preferable.

    > The point is
    > that people pay their taxes and have a right to choose their own mode of
    > transport without being penalised for their choice.


    Paying a tax does not mean you are always immune to 'being penalised'.
    Paying a tax does not give anyone the right to ride roughshod over
    others.
    In towns where the private car is not adequately controlled that is what
    often happens.

    > That's a question of
    > being fair not a matter for childish sarcasm.


    Eh?


    John B
     
  19. D.M. Procida

    D.M. Procida Guest

    Cicero <[email protected]> wrote:

    > It's quite irrelevant to me personally because I don't commute. The point is
    > that people pay their taxes and have a right to choose their own mode of
    > transport without being penalised for their choice.


    They certainly don't have that right. Many people have their chosen mode
    of transport made more expensive, difficult or unpleasant, by laws,
    transport infrastructure or other people. I think that the modes of
    transport which make it more difficult or unpleasant for most people
    should be most penalised.

    Daniele
    --
    Apple Juice Ltd
    Chapter Arts Centre
    Market Road www.apple-juice.co.uk
    Cardiff CF5 1QE 029 2019 0140
     
  20. Al C-F

    Al C-F Guest

    On Wed, 08 Sep 2004 21:43:00 GMT, "Cicero" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >The point is
    >that people pay their taxes and have a right to choose their own mode of
    >transport


    And with that right comes a number of responsibilities. And if they
    can't be responsible without coercion, they can be responsible WITH
    coercion.
    --

    Cheers,

    Al
     
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