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30 Cycle Campaign ideas

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  • Anna Semlyen
    Here s the text of an article I submited to Bycycle Magazine - Make Bikes Count, 30 Cycle campaigning ideas (UK focus)Anna Semlyen Make Bikes Count for
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 28, 2000
      Here's the text of an article I submited to Bycycle Magazine - Make
      Bikes Count, 30 Cycle campaigning ideas (UK focus)Anna Semlyen
      Make Bikes Count for Bycycle 5 - a guide to effective transport

      Is working for green transport your higher purpose? Anna Semlyen lists
      some practical ideas tohelp you make a difference, whether you have just
      five minutes to spare or five years.
      1. Be a good role model by localising your life. Cut your own car use
      and speeds or becomecar-free before telling others how to behave. Do
      you already commute and shop all year round on a well maintained bike
      with a basket, panniers or trailer? Are you displaying high visibility
      clothing, lights and a bell?
      2. Write up to 300 words to the media. Ask for a feature if you need
      more space. Either support,suggest or object to a news worthy issue or
      other letters. An information sheet on effective letter writing is
      available from Open Road.
      3. Get involved in local politics. If there is one, attend your
      Neighbourhood Forum which may fund your suggestion if a few dozen people
      vote "yes". Here in York, the Cycling Officer got 29 ideas this way
      last March and could prioritise on-road cycle routes, coloured road
      markings, cycle parking, advanced stop lines and crossings of trunk
      roads. Personal security on quiet routes can be
      improved with lighting and CCTV. Aim to reclaim road space from the
      traffic, for instance, two-way cycling on one-way streets.
      4. Contact your MP and Councillors on green transport issues. They
      don't get as many lobbying letters as you think! Just one from you can
      make a big difference. Liaison with the local authority benefited both
      the Highland and Lothian Campaigns who won full time cycling staff and
      regular consultation forums.
      5. Comment on Planning Applications and go to site visits. First ask
      for mailings well before the deadline. Request freepost consultations
      to save your stamps.
      6. Get informed through newsletters, email, reading web sites or
      telephone contact with other activists. According to your inclination,
      join (and ideally attend) groups such as your local Cycle Campaign,
      Transport 2000, Sustrans, CTC, Local Agenda 21, RoadPeace, Reclaim the
      Streets, Pedestrians Association, Road Traffic Reduction Campaign and
      Car Busters.
      7. Report faults such as pot holes, failed signals or signage.
      8. Ask your Council for a Speed Management Plan, more 20mph areas, Home
      Zones and to assist the Police with effective enforcement using cameras.

      9. Integrated Transport requires consideration of cycling alongside
      walking, cars, rail, bus, tram, ferry, air and so on. There should be
      smooth interchanges. Remember that you are always a cyclist even when
      not cycling. So, if you consider a driver to be anti-social, tell
      them. My husband was in a taxi doing 55mph in a 30mph zone and reported
      10. Promote cycle paths in walking zones along "natural desire lines".
      An argument against total pedestrianisation is that disabled cyclists
      find it difficult to dismount and walk. Godalming campaigners
      overturned plans to ban cyclists from the High Street and ran a Pedicab
      taxi service for PR. Segregation by a white line is practical for most
      shared paths.
      11. Convert a friend by offering to help them choose a bike and safe
      route to work. Or, become a Proficiency Trainer.
      12. Ask for cycling incentives from your employer such as a mileage
      allowance, secure and convenient cycle parking, pool bikes,
      interest-free bike loans, showers, lockers, a regular cycle to work day
      with casual dress and cash for giving up a car parking pass. Discuss
      green commuting at your staff meeting. Large organisations could use
      post codes to match potential lift-share partners.
      13. Compile a Green Commuter Guide for your employer or school. The
      University of York's has information on cycle purchase and hire. There
      are bus, coach, train and minibus timetables, numbers and web addresses,
      plus freephone taxis, car share, car hire and parking details. Leaflets
      were delivered by cycle trailer along with 2,000 free cycle maps.
      14. Petitions generally go to Councillors. I've done one on racks and
      two about speeds. Racks were put in within weeks and the road that cuts
      the University here in York is now 30mph, down from 40mph. You could
      also ask for car free hours or days of the week. For instance, parts of
      Holyrood Park, Edinburgh
      are car-free on Sundays.
      15. Cycle Maps are a great idea. Offer to assist your Council with
      ideas for a strategic cycle network. Maps should ideally be given out
      free or be subsidised. The Ordnance Survey wants to enhance standard
      maps to include cycle routes. Contact Bob Holland 01703 305026.
      16. Research your issue. I've done a sheet comparing car costs to the
      alternatives. Other campaigners in York researched the city's Nitrogen
      Dioxide levels and found a mean of 50 parts per billion (ppb), over
      twice the maximum level for 2005 of 21 ppb! Cambridge cyclists produce
      'Position Papers' on issue such as left turn lanes. Asking kids to draw
      the location of hazards is used in Safe Routes to Schools.
      17. Consider organising, with other campaigners, an open meeting.
      Examples are alternatives to the car, slower speeds, pollution or
      environmental drama such as a "trial of the car versus the bike". Public
      events raise awareness, feature in the media and force decision makers
      to answer questions. Whilst you may have a strong cycling agenda, the
      theme should always be about local transport
      18. Join National Bike Week by organising safe rides to give confidence
      to occasional riders. Cyclists' meals are often successful too.
      19. Go to Consultations such as Local Transport Day (check the date with
      your Council) to influence the Local Transport Plan. Cycle Forums are
      another opportunity. Aim for two-monthly meetings chaired by a
      Councillor. Strongly fought issues go to Public Inquiry.
      20. Win funding like Cambridge cyclists who collaborated with their
      Health Authority, University and Council for staff to promote green
      travel to work.
      21. Transport Noticeboards build awareness. Mine is at a whole food
      grocers. It has: information on campaign events and membership; a lift
      share offers/wanted grid; public transport details; a graph of traffic
      growth and RoadPeace's helpline number. Yours could also include a
      bikes wanted and for sale column.
      22. Cycle Audit and Review is a new systematic guideline to quantify
      cycle-friendliness. Ask your Council to follow the hierarchy of traffic
      reduction, calming, management, re-distribution of the carriageway and
      then off-road facilities.
      23. Enter the National Cycling Awards via the CTC or Cycle Campaign
      Network to reward best practice.
      24. Poster Campaign, for instance with Open Road's "Ride a Bike Make a
      Difference" poster. 25. Run a stall to recruit members and raise
      awareness on a Saturday in town or at environmental events. Perhaps you
      could give out reflective strips or free bells sponsored by a local
      The following are more radical and may involve grey areas of legality.
      We list them without necessarily endorsing them.
      26. Doctor Bike maintenance days for donations are always popular. But,
      beware if faults are not found or properly corrected!
      27. Flyers for selfishly parked cars on bike lanes or pavements are
      available from Car Busters. "Switch Off Your Engines" flyers used in
      Bristol were effective as the Council have since agreed to official
      signs. London Reclaim the Streets subvert car ad hoardings with cycle
      28. Street parties are media-friendly and best held wherever the need to
      curb traffic is greatest.
      29. Some campaigners paint cycle lanes if the authorities obstinately
      ignore their lawful requests. Others draw an outline to highlight a road
      "murder" or serious injury.
      30. Critical Mass demonstrations deliberately slow and obstruct peak
      evening traffic. "Space frames" are an idea from Montreal which attach
      to bikes to enlarge them to car size. They illustrate the huge waste of
      space a car uses for an average of just 1.3 people.

      Anna Semlyen is a traffic reduction consultant and economist working at
      Passenger Transport Networks, a "green" consultancy. She is also a yoga
      teacher, writer and with the Cosmos Jugglers (performing at Open Road's
      Bike Culture Weeks in York). In 1992 she was knocked off her bike when
      a driver ignored a Give Way sign. Anna aims to promote human and
      planetary health by
      limiting transport damage. She is the author of Cutting Your Car Use
      £4.95, Britain's first traffic reduction manual for individuals
      FREE add up your car costs worksheet with an A5 stamped addressed
      envelope to her at 24 Grange St, York, YO10 4BH, UK

      Anna Semlyen, info@...
      The Facts
      * 3,600 are killed and nearly a third of a million people report
      injuries suffered on British roads every year.
      * In towns every 1mph speed reduction cuts injuries by 5%, whilst
      typical journey times rise by only about 20 seconds.
      * 3 pedestrians were killed last year in crashes with cyclists and all
      were on the road.
      * Government forecasts for 2016 show an increase of 24-51% in vehicle
      kilometers from 1996 levels.
      * A good bike with all the safety essentials and insurance costs around
      £4 weekly. At 15 miles a week, using a bike for work costs 27p a mile.

      Library and Contacts
      * UK Cycle Campaign Network 0151 283 6142
      * A free cycle funding booklet aimed at Local Authorities is published
      by the Bicycle Association (01203 553838). Other funding sources are
      the Cycle Touring and Countryside Trust (0121 449 9241), the Energy
      Efficiency Best Practice Programme (01235 436747) and your Council's
      * RoadPeace help line 020 8964 1021
      * National Car Share 01344 861600
      * Guidelines for Cycle Audit and Cycle Review, Institution of Highways &
      Transportation, 6 Endsleigh St, London WC1H ODZ. £25
      * Car Costs Sheet free with SAE to Anna Semlyen, 24 Grange St, York YO10
      4BH UK
      Cambridge Cycle Campaign www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/camcycle
      National Car Share www.nationalcarshare.co.uk
      Car Busters www.carbusters.ecn.cz
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