Presentations from the webinar
- Full transcript
Adele Morris: Good morning and welcome to this webinar on growing cycle use which is part of our decarbonisation of transport series. I'm councillor Adele Morris. I'm the the deputy chair of the environment, economy, housing and transport board and I'm also a councillor in the London Borough of Southwark. Before I introduce the session and the speakers, I'll just go through the housekeeping. If you would like to ask a question, please use the Q&A function. And if somebody has asked a question that you like you can up vote their question and it will move them higher up the list. This is going to be recorded today, this webinar. Hopefully it will be posted up on the LGA website in a week or so's time and also the slides are going to be made available after the, after the event as per usual. We're expecting about 180 people today. So, if they all turn up there's potentially going to be a lot of questions. So, please get your questions in early, you can start asking them as soon as you've heard the panellist rather than waiting until all the panellists and then we've got a better chance of getting through them all.
So, last year the LGA just like many councils declared a climate emergency and as part of that declaration the LGA's economy, environment, housing and transport board have been looking at the decarbonisation of transport. Transport's now the biggest emitter of carbon of any sector in the UK and if we're going to reach our target of net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner we'll need a fundamental transformation of the ways that we move. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we commissioned the University of Leeds to convene a series of workshops to discuss what policy options are available to councils. This is the last in our series of seven webinars based on the same titles as the policy brief that we produced with expert input from Leeds and from wider afield. The series of briefing notes which are available on the LGA website are designed to help councils with a practical set of actions that they can take forward for decarbonisation. From understanding how to set achievable timescales through to implementing measures that will help people change their travel behaviours, we hope that councils find them useful as we work towards our net zero goal. This work was themed around avoid, shift and improve, that is actions that can help us avoid travelling, actions that can shift journeys on to public transport and active travel and actions that can help us to improve the technology that we're using to emit less carbon. All of our communities will have to do all of these things to some extent. But the balance will be different for each area. Some places will need to focus on improving emissions from cars. Others will be able to move towards greater use of walking and cycling. The right combination for each community is best decided locally.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to re-evaluate how our transport networks operate. But they’ve not altered our commitment to reach net zero. Recovery from the crisis must be compatible with our decarbonisation ambition and our briefing notes are mindful of both the new reality we are in and the opportunity we can grasp as part of a green recovery. Cycling needs to play a much bigger part in everyday travel if rapid progress to a, a zero carbon transport system is to be achieved. Analysis suggests that cycling would need to increase from the current 2% of all UK trips to between 6% and 8%. This is challenging but not impossible. Consistent investment and prioritisation have delivered a cycling mode share of over 25% of all trips in some European cities. Today's webinar is an opportunity to discuss what councils can do to help grow cycle use which, as you will all know, have been a very topical issue this year. I'm delighted to have with us this morning Professor Greg Marsden who is the Professor of Transport Governance at the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds. Catriona Swanson, who is Senior Planner in Transport Planning at Arup and Andy Salkeld who is the Cycling Coordinator at Leicester City Council. So, now I will hand over to Professor Greg Marsden please, thank you.
Professor Greg Marsden: Thanks Adele. Okay hopefully you can see the full screen now and thanks for such a comprehensive introduction to the topic. Just like to thank my collaborators as this is the last of our seven webinars. Morgan Campbell, Kadambari Lokesh, Richard Walker and Gillian Annibal, all of whom have had a hand in all of these different reports. But today we're focusing on growing cycle use. The government's Gear Change document, I think, did a great job in setting out the many reasons why cycling and walking are such great things to invest in. Whether that's health and well-being, cutting congestion, improving local economic vitality and air quality. I'm here to talk about the climate emergency and so I make no apologies for focusing on the carbon imperative which is at the bottom left of the, the Gear Change chart there. But, it's essential not to lose sight of the really important range of additional benefits you get from growing cycling and that's even for those people who don't take up cycling. So, you will have seen the announcement recently for a commitment to a 68% reduction in all emissions across the economy by 2030. In the two decades to 2020 surface transport made almost no progress and so we have to bend the curve and bend it quickly. And as we set out in our carbon ambition briefing, what matters is the blue area below the curve. It's a carbon budget that every local authority and every country has. So, if you start slowly, if you follow the black dash line rather than the green dotted line, then it's really difficult to see how you will be able to catch up. So, start slowly and fail quickly.
So, in reality this is going to mean reductions in emissions of somewhere between 6% and 10% a year and perhaps more and that across the UK. If you are an authority that thinks it's going to be difficult to achieve that then, in effect, what you're saying is that one of your partner authorities is going to be able to go faster to make up for your shortfall. So, the pressure is on everywhere. We've reached a point where things are going to get very difficult and more rapid and, some might say, more radical action is going to be required. As Adele introduced, there's, there's no silver bullets. There never have been in transport, action is required across all different policy areas in a different mix in different places. So, reducing the amount that we travel, the climate change committee suggested reductions in driving of between nine, well 9% by 2035 and 17% by, by 2050. The avoid measures, working from home during the pandemic for example for those parts of the economy which can. It shows that some of this can be done. Shift is reducing the amount of miles travelled by car and more being done by other modes of transport. And we're obvious here to talk about cycling today. And improve is the, the move to electrification with the announcement that by 2030 we'll have phased out the sale of pure internal combustion engine vehicles. These are all in, in and of them themselves major challenges but we have to do them all at the same time. So, it's going to be tricky.
If we look at yesterday's report by the Committee on Climate Change, this is for the transport sector and it looks at the balance of where the emissions reductions are going to come from in the pathway out to 2050. And I've put a vertical blue line there on, on 2030 just to give you a feel as to what the overall balance for the UK looks like between avoid, shift and improve. So, if you think that electric vehicles will be the thing which ride to the rescue in the short run, the electric vehicles are the pale green areas under the curve. In between now and 2030 electric vehicles will offer less than 50% of the reductions which are required. The purple line at the top is reducing demand for travel by car and that can include mode shift and reducing the amount that we travel. So, there is a lot to be done in the early period to make sure that we make ourselves on the right pathway. We cannot just leave it to electrification. So, what can you do quickly? Well, as I mentioned before and then we have a briefing note for the LGA on travelling less which focuses on the opportunities which are there, right now particularly amplified through COVID, to look in the better parts of avoiding travel which we don't need to make. Then there is shift. We have the buses briefing note too. But I think we have to be realistic there in that COVID has made this a very difficult environment and growth in public transport, at least in the next couple of years, is going to be tricky. So, our briefing note focussed very much on enabling a stronger, sort of, long term recovery for bus so that it begins to play more of a part as the industry recovers.
That presents us with cycling and walking as very important parts of the shift option therefore. It has high level government support, the Gear Change strategy and it has funding. It can be introduced quickly and it can make a difference. So, this is a really, really critical part of our near term strategy. Improve, as I mentioned, electrification of cars is a slow burn and I'm going to come back though to electrification overall because electrifying cars is not the only electric revolution that could make a difference. There's a lot that could be done in the cycling space here. Just to give you a feel of what ambition looked like in strategies that were being written before COVID, this is the West Yorkshire combined authority emissions reduction pathway. A reduction in private car travel of 21%. Increase in walk of 78%, 2000% increase in travel by bike. West Yorkshire has a relatively low starting point compared to many other parts of the country. But nonetheless it's really staggering increases in, in cycling that will be required. And those increases in, in public transport are under pressure as a result of, of COVID. So, that really does emphasise how important the bike and walk part of this strategy is. So, what, what can be done? Well, in the briefing note we present the, the kind of key evidence which reviews what works. And you're going to hear a lot more about this from Catriona and Andy but none of this is rocket science and the evidence is relatively clear on this. First of all if you want people who don't cycle at all to start cycling they need to feel safe. That's not to say that those people who cycle now don't have a right to feel safe too. But if you want who don't cycle to start cycling they need to feel safe. That means segregated infrastructure and low traffic speeds on roads that don't have segregated infrastructure. This also matters to those who cycle for leisure now who we want to make it more mainstream for to make it part of their everyday choices.
Connecting places is the next theme. Routes need to be direct and they need to serve the places people want to get to. Things like filtered calming, bi-directional bike lanes in one way streets, all of those things can help make journey by bike easier. As does the construction of a network rather than a series of separated stretches of route. And we need to think about it in totality. So, facilities to store bikes safely at destinations for example also matters. I'd like to point you to the tool which is on the right hand side. I'm sure many of you will have interacted with it already but it's the propensity to cycle tool developed by Robin Lovelace at Leeds with many other collaborators. It's currently focused on the commute and the journey to school as its key data sources but it works out for you which parts of your local authority have the greatest unserved potential for cycling. Where does it look like you would most likely be able to generate more cycling from? And you look and look at your cycling levels relative to the infrastructure you already have. So, the example on the screen at the bottom there shows the bike lanes in Oxford. This tool is free to use so please have a go with it. And finally, although not the easiest of all, is creating a cycle culture. It's less easy to identify what it is you do to achieve this but people see that by what's being done, by politicians standing up for difficult decisions. They see it through doing, what do cabinet members do, what do the council leadership do. Is it car parking outside your town hall or bike racks? Special events, car free Sundays, sky rides, every opportunity to make cycling appear more normal. And finally I added maintenance. This is a measure of whether cycling's really taken seriously. So, 75% of people in Copenhagen cycle all year round. They have an extensive program on winter maintenance. You'll hear more about what to do from Catriona and Andy. And whilst I've been emphasising the real importance of getting on with this now because there are quick wins, it's also a long game and you'll more, more about this from the Leicester experience.
I really hate the argument sometimes that I hear which is, 'Well we're not Copenhagen are we?' Copenhagen today is not, was not always like that. So, the top image there is the same road that you can see on the bottom. That was what it looked like in the 1960s. It had car dominated streets but it made the choice not to build bigger road solutions but it invested in cycling. Every year and every scheme, engineers are instructed to make sure that they incorporate how to improve cycling. So, slowly but surely over three decades it resulted in a transformation in cycle use. This is a decision for the long term about the sorts of places you want to create, not just a short run opportunity because there's funding available. So, a note on electrification, I just wanted to point to the need to move all of the excitement away from Tesla's in the electrification debate. E-bikes and e-cargo bikes are more transformative to the potential to shift modes than swapping an ICE car for an electric car. Researchers from one of our parallel research projects, CREDS at the University of Leeds found that e-bikes, if you use them to replace car travel for feasible journeys could, in theory, cut carbon emissions by as much as 50%, around 30 million tonnes per year. Even replacing just 20% of car miles that could be travelled by e-bike, with e-bikes, would mean 4-8 million fewer tonnes of carbon emitted. That's somewhere between 6% and 12% of the overall emissions burden. I've included some links to reports which are out on this and more recent ones on e-cargo bike uptake. Again, this is not a panacea, but we need to find the use cases where this does work as quickly as we can.
And my final content slide before I sum up is to think about where you're targeting. So, cycling and walking typically looks at trips up to, say, five miles. That's 65%, as the chart shows, of all of the trips that we make. It's nearly a fifth of all of the carbon. With e-bikes you move into the five to thirty five mile, kind of, distance band. And as the chart here shows, this is a map of Yorkshire from the CREDS report, the main benefits that you would get from e-bikes come from outside of the big cities. And this is one of the themes that we've had in these LGA webinars. 'Yes but we're not the middle of a big city. We don't have an extensive public transport service, what can we do?' Well, actually, e-bikes do have the potential to make quite a significant difference. But obviously it requires some of the investments that I talked about before. So, we know that cycling interventions work. We know what kinds of cycling interventions work best. It's an area of the decarbonisation strategy you can get on with. It has governmental support and funding. And for the other reasons I mentioned, you can't afford to wait. This is a climate emergency and we need to treat it as one, thank you.
Adele Morris: Thank you Greg. I'm now going to move over to Catriona Swanson from Arup for her presentation. Thank you.
Catriona Swanson: Yes, thanks Adele. Hi everyone, my name's Catriona Swanson. I lead on walking and cycling for Arup in the North West and Yorkshire. I previously led on walking and cycling at Salford City Council as well and I oversaw the development there of a comprehensive cycle network plan for the city which then became Salford's part of the be network infrastructure proposal under Chris Boardman, the walking and cycling commissioner for Greater Manchester. I also led on the design and delivery of walking and cycling infrastructure across the city which included an extensive traffic free network, quiet ways, routes on main roads and low traffic neighbourhoods. And as Greg just, just referred to safe infrastructure is, is key to growing cycling. So, so this presentation is going to be a whistle stop tour of network planning and different types of cycling infrastructure. So yes, network plans are really, really important to this. They're what you can do identify where you can get the most bang for your buck and where to prioritise investment. And that's particularly important because we're starting from such a low base in the UK. There's really good guidance on how to produce these. So, the DFT produced the local walking and cycling infrastructure plan guidance a few years ago which is also summarised in LTN120, the new cycling infrastructure design guidance that was published in the summer. And as Greg referred to, we've, we've got the propensity to cycle. Some of (inaudible 19.56) developed by Leeds ITS which is a really, really user friendly online tool that you can use to identify your, your key cycling desire lines which can feed into your, your network plans.
And it really doesn't matter whether you're in an urban or rural area. Having a network plan is a really key first step to developing your network and supporting your funding bids. The slide here shows the strategic network plan that Arup recently developed for the South East Scotland region working with the transport authority there, SEStran, and the eight local authorities where we identified 600 kilometres of routes. As you'd imagine, this covers an urban area such as Edinburgh as well as much more rural areas. So, the approach to the type of infrastructure will vary across that region. But the key is to identify those key routes that are needed, that primary network, and to create that safe space and cycling. We also, particularly in Scotland, produce a lot of active travel master plans. So, in Scotland 10% of the transport budget every year is ring fenced for active travel. So, they've got that long term funding commitment for, for active travel there. Which, which has led to even the smallest places taking this seriously and developing their infrastructure plans. So this, this is an active travel master plan we, we recently created for wick, which is a tiny little town of less than 7000 people right at the tip of Scotland. And you can see that, even here, you can develop infrastructure to help people walk and cycle. And lot of these things actually are crossings which help people to, to undertake local journeys to, to schools, to the shops, to the station, to, to jobs at the hospital, things like that. And actually, much smaller places like this that are very compact can actually be very walkable and cyclable and a lot of journeys won't require cars. So, there's, there's a lot of short journeys even in rural areas that can be converted to, to active travel modes if the infrastructure is there.
So yes, now I'm just going to move onto the different types of cycling infrastructure. The Greenways are probably the, the ones that people are most familiar with. They're the most common type of cycling infrastructure historically because there's not been an awful lot of funding for cycling infrastructure and they're relatively cheap and uncontroversial to deliver. But what I'd say is is it's important to get that network plan in place first so that you can actually identify which of your potential traffic free routes to prioritise and work out which ones actually will serve those local journeys and enable mode shift. So, the picture on the slide is Connswater Community Greenway which is a scheme that was delivered in a very deprived part of Belfast. It was actually developed as a flood alleviation scheme. So, so it provides flood protection for 1700 homes, it restored five kilometres of river but it also created sixteen kilometres of traffic free routes plus seven bridges and a public square. And it provides huge benefits beyond active travel. So, it provides that flood resilience, it improved bio-diversity, it provides space for, for people to, to go on their leisure time, to, to go jogging or walking or cycling, gives people access to the green space, provides mental health benefits. But then also really connects into, to local communities, to shops, to schools and enables lots and lots of short trips to, to be done by walking and cycling. And research by Queen's University Belfast showed that the potential economic return of this scheme is £500 million which is more than twelve times the project cost. So, it has those, those real, kind of, benefits for people. And with this project in particular, it's a really good example of getting it right both at the network level but also at detailed design. So, it's a really inclusive, accessible scheme. You can see from that image, it's a nice wide bound path. It's got street lighting, there's no barriers at the access points. So, that route can be used by the whole community year round. And it's a really, really good example of how it can be done.
The next example is, is cycle tracks on main roads and this is probably what people think about when they think high quality cycling infrastructure. And this examples is, is, is one of Cardiff's cycle ways which is a nice, protected bi-directional track. The UK has got a small but growing number of higher quality schemes like this. They can be expensive and controversial to deliver because they usually need road space to be reallocated from cars. And therefore, again as I said before, it's important to get that network plan in place so that you know that you're delivering this infrastructure in the right place. You don't want to go through all that pain and end up with it not being used that well because you've chosen the wrong corridor. Although these schemes are more expensive than Greenways, they're still very, very good value for money, especially compared to road building schemes. But again, as with the traffic free network, it's so important to get the details right. So, they'd need to have continuity across side roads, they need that protection to continue and you need to, to not give up at the junctions and provide protection there which I'll, I'll show examples of slightly later as well. And I know there's a lot people in the audience who are in more rural areas who might be thinking,' That, that approach just doesn't apply to us. We can't do that.' But actually, you know, you can still provide protection in more rural areas. And although there may be fewer people walking and cycling there might be a little bit less demand in those areas, the need for protection from fast moving motor vehicles is still there. And in that situation where you do have lower levels of walking and cycling, shared use might be the most appropriate way of providing that protection. Sometimes it has a bad rap, mainly because it's been poorly implemented. Particularly urban areas where, where footways have just been converted for shared use just as an easy way to, to say you've provided some cycling infrastructure. But out in rural areas where, where walking flows in particular can be quite low, providing a higher quality shared use facility along a busy road, like the one in, in the, the image shown can be the right thing to do as long as it is designed properly for cycling. And that means that, basically, it becomes a cycle track that pedestrians can share with cyclists. So, it, it needs to have that continuity across side roads. It needs to be wide enough, it needs to be well surfaced.
And then another way of providing protection for people cycling is Quietways and cycle streets. Which, which basically reduce the volume of traffic on those streets to provide that safe space for cycling on the carriageway shared, shared with vehicles. A bit like shared use paths, these sometimes have a bad rap. Usually again through poor implementation, so it might be that a street's been signed as a Quietway but actually the traffic volumes and speeds are too high to make it safe. The example shown on the slide is the Taff Embankment in Cardiff which was Wales first cycle street. This is part of the Taff trail, NCN8. Most of that route is traffic free but at this point people have to come onto the road and previously, as you can see in the image on the top left, it was really parked up. It's really close to the city centre and there was a lot of commuter fly parking on that street which meant it was, it was busy. There was a lot of car doors opening. It wasn't a pleasant place to cycle. As part of the Greener Grangetown scheme, the road was completely transformed as you can see in the image on the bottom right. And that, that image isn't a staged image. That's just what it looks like on a Saturday in summer because it's just a really attractive environment that's very well used. So, yes that commuter fly parking was taken out, double yellow lines on one side of the street. Resident parking permits introduced on the other side. The carriageway was narrowed right down and then further visually narrowed using a rumble strip down the centre. 20mph limit was brought in. Much of the through traffic was eliminated.
Catriona Swanson: Side roads were tightened right up and, and rain gardens were introduced a-, along the street as well to, to create this really nice green environment. But with all of these things it's, it's important to, to think about crossings and junctions as well. You can't just think about the links, people need to actually be able to get to, to the infrastructure and in the last year or so we've, we've really developed much better ways of doing this. So, we, we used to have a tendency of giving up at the junctions just because we didn't really know what to do or we, you know, we, we forced people onto toucan crossings at those junctions which, which wasn't good because it then meant that cyclists were, were conflicting with, with pedestrians at those crossings but there's a lot more tools in the armoury now. So, TFGM have developed the Cyclops junction which is the, the top left image and that, that one's one that's about to be built in Salford in the New Year, which is basically an optimised junction for vehicles with a cycle roundabout round the outside and everyone has their own stage, so pedestrians, cyclists and, and vehicles are all separated from each other in that junction. Cambridge have just delivered their Dutch-style roundabout which is the top right image. Parallel zebra crossings were introduced in TSRGD a few years and are a, a great example-, you know, a great approach on, on some smaller streets, and then also bridges, you know, you need, you need ways of, of crossing other types of severance as well. And that's an important point, it's, it's not just about cycle routes along main roads and, and taking people along links, it's, it's also about overcoming severance created by main roads and, and rivers and, and other forms of severance as well. And then finally, I, I think no talk about about cycling infrastructure in 2020 would be complete without mentioning low traffic neighbourhoods. So, building on the quiet way approach, these provide a really safe space for walking, cycling across a whole area. There's lots of names for these. So, they were originally referred to as mini Holland's, now low traffic neighbourhoods, Liverpool neighbourhoods, it's active neighbourhoods in, in Greater Manchester but they all mean the same thing, which is preventing through traffic through residential streets. So, so to create a space with low speeds and low volumes to enable walking and cycling, and a lot of other benefits as well. In the Netherlands they don't use these-, this term, it's just that's how all of their streets are designed, and it's just normal for them, so it's not a controversial thing to do at all.
Obviously in England it's, it's not something that we've been doing for as long and it can be quite controversial although a lot of people like to live in cul-de-sacs which is very much this approach. The, the advantage of doing this over cul-de-sacs which is very much this approach, the advantage of, of doing this over cul-de-sacs is that you, you provide that advantage for people walking or cycling, so you can provide a much more direct route for them than, than people in cars, so it, so it provides that advantage and that incentive to shift to walking and cycling. This example is Greener Grangetown in Cardiff, which is part of that Taff embankment scheme that, that I showed you before and it shows that taking this approach can free up a lot more space for other nice things like rain gardens and street trees, and creates that, kind of, safe, low traffic environment where children can, can play out and, and things like that as well. Okay, so just to summarise what I've spoken about. The importance of the network plan, that, that is the key. It, it should be informing where, where you focus your investment. With that network plan, as, as Greg talked about, the focus should be on short journeys, kind of, up to, kind of, five kilometre mark, which is where you can get more-, most shift to walking and cycling. The context is crucial, so, so looking at those types of infrastructure that I’ve talked about, making sure that you're, you're developing the right approach in the right location and then getting those details right, so ensuring that it is inclusive and accessible, and that people can use it year round. And yes, don't, don't give up at the junctions, make sure that you're providing the protection at those key conflict points otherwise people, people simply won't use the links because they, they don't feel safe once they get to that point and also, address the severance created by busy roads and other things likes rivers. And yes, finally, don't dismiss low traffic neighbourhoods, they, they can be quite controversial but working through issues with communities, they can see the wider benefits of doing that approach, so it's, so it's definitely worth considering as part of your overall approach to developing really good safe walking and cycling networks. Okay, thank you very much.
Adele Morris: Thank you Catriona, some very helpful practical examples there for our audience, and last but not least I'm going to go over to Andy Salkeld who is the Cycling Co-Ordinator at Leicester City Council, thank you Andy.
Andy Salkeld: Hi, welcome. Thank you for the invitation to speak. I agree with both Greg and Catriona on that, network planning is the-, is, is the key elements of work. It is a generational change that we're ex-, that we need to undertake and there is a climate for change, and we need to get on with it and start, start putting things into practice. I'm going to talk just a little bit about the experience of cycling growth in Leicester over the last fifteen years and the steps that we've taken, and some of the learning that we have from it. Just as a context and a starting point, these two, these two summary graphs show the growth in cycling in Leicester from, from levels of around 5,000 trips passing some of the 40 monitoring sites around the city between 2004, five and six up to fifteen plus thousand trips over seventeen, eighteen and nineteen. So, a threefold increase in cycling in Leicester, about a 1,000 trips a year or just under a 1,000 trips a year being added to the monitoring sites and while this-, these do not capture the full picture of movements within the city, it's the trend line which is significant and we do think it represents the growth in cycling across the city, greater in some areas, certainly within the city centre and surrounding suburbs of Leicester and the outer suburbs. So, that's just for context, change is possible, we are experiencing that in Leicester and we do believe that we will meet the Government targets if the trajectory continues forward. The, the strategy context for us in Leicester is set out in our Cycle City Action plan. So, this was adopted and politically led by the city Mayor's team from their-, his election in 2012 and we, we got a unitary mayor and the Cycle City Action plan forms part of his Connecting Leicester project, which is the economic regeneration strategy for the city. We were-, we identified through the Government's targets that were set around 2015, which, which identified a 10% model share for cycling. Our action plan was set out to achieve those targets and to break down the, kind of, individual objectives to, to, you know, to put that into practice. It's split over four different themes, infrastructure, training, promotions and engagement, obviously with, kind of, monitoring assessments and evidence-based-, an evidence-based approach to that and I'll talk a little bit about those features though in the next couple of slides. More recently we've adopted a Leicester Street Design Guide, which was adopted in June 2020.
This follows a healthy streets assessment methodology which is about a whole street-, a holistic street approach to street design, all levels of street design and development on-, in the, in the public spaces within the city and associated developments, and it's available-, they're both available on the city council website under the city mayor's key strategy documents pages. If you can't find them, get in touch and I can send you, send you those and talk to you about them. Some examples of the work that. that has inspired, so this is one of the, one of the schemes which was built over the last two years following that healthy street methodology, putting that-, the methodology and typology into practice to make the street assessments, has changed what was previously a standard seven and a half metre wide street which was-, had been built in Victorian times to service factories and when the city has been changed into a public plaza, with level surfaces, with seating, with greenery, with full permeable access for cycling and an environment which is welcoming to people and not designed around cars. That's the, that's the, the, the, kind of, key strap line to the, the work of the Connecting Leicester programme, it's about designing for people in our city for the 21st century and not designing around the movement of goods or the movement of people with motorcars which is very much twenty, 20th century thinking in Leicester. This is one of eight of the newly created or, or significantly refurbished square-, public squares within the city linked by four kilometres of traffic free streets through the pedestrian zone and surrounded by another four kilometres of low traffic streets, primarily in and around the city centre, which was the starting point for the developments, this generational change that has been implemented around the city, starting within the centre of the city, the centre of the network and for cycling, the key piece of infrastructure that Leicester has built within the last fifteen, this was 2005, 2008 predominantly has been expanded since, so that key piece of infrastructure which knits the network together and makes it possible for people now to, from the inner suburbs at least and part of the outer suburbs, to cycle continuously traffic-, within traffic free environments and with comfort and safety and convenience through, through the heart of the city. So, targeting some of those, you know-, for Leicester, 60% of trips which are under five miles and currently done by, by motor vehicles targeting the mode, mode shift for some of those trips.
80% of everyone who works within Leicester, sorry, every-, 80% of everyone who is employed in Leicester work within the city and nowhere within Leicester is no more than five miles from the city boundary, so there's, there's a huge potential shift to walking and cycling, as well as integrating public transport where we're able to implement that. So, just going back to those key strands within the action plan, training is a key component part. Leicester was-, like a lot of cities in 2003, four, five, we were training tens of young people to train predominantly on playgrounds and not mixing-, not, not dealing with the environment which had been created at the start of the 20th century. Bikeability came along, we were, we were on board with that at a very early stage of-, some of the children that's shown in this picture are-, there's-, there are 400 young people here as part of our annual school's ride. They're, they're an element of the now 2,500 young people that get eight hours of training each day and the, the output of that is in terms of the numbers and the capacity and the experience of cycling in a, in an organised and scaled up way across the city. And that is training which is now available to adults, people with special needs and through outreach projects in different communities and neighbourhoods within the city. It's really important that we've adopted a, kind of-, cycling as a life skill, cycling as a literacy approach, it's a way of navigating the built environment of the city, even if you're Filbert Fox, in this case the Leicester City club mascot, who's, who's our, kind of, mascot for the, for the training within the city and it buys us into the good will that it buys us into the goodwill that that brings on a, on a-, on a premiership football club and Filbert Fox can ride a two wheeler bike now, we taught him that as well, so that was, that was very successful and it's a very important part of the building blocks within the city. Just thinking about promotions for-, to, to-, through the Cycle City Action plan, we-, we've taken on an approach which is about integrating the approach-, the promotion of cycling with other elements of cultural change and representation within the city.
So, these are just three examples from last week, on the left hand side there's a construction site within the city which has gone up as part of a new development, Craftworks which are a local graffiti team and organise an international graffiti festival every two years, they were commissioned to do the painting on the hoardings and they were looking for themes, because we have a dialogue with them and a relationship with them, we were talking about street use and trying to represent active travel and the street scenes that we wanted to achieve and the people who we want achieve them with represented. So, they've added that to the billboard effectively which will be up for 10,000 people a day around a particular site on a main artery with a route into the city, and it represents what the city is, about and wants to be. In the middle you can see Santander Cycles Leicester, this is an all electric bike share scheme. It will be the largest all, all electric and docked system-, purely docked system within the city-, sorry, within the country which we're, we're launching in the springtime. It's being implemented currently, the docking stations are being constructed as we speak, the 500 bikes that we'll be starting with are being put together and we-, we're working with a very significant and serious and skilled up social inclusion project to make sure that access to those bikes are available to people who need them most. Essential workers during the COVID crisis as part of the resilience planning and a public launch which is about identifying cycling as part of a civic, kind of, representation of what the city enables-, it's the one form of public transport that city councils can, can own currently, which is an interesting-, even-, at least an interesting context. And it's a lost lead of, of micro-mobility into the transport market, which has long been lost by local authorities and an interesting evolution and development, technologically and organisationally at the current time.
Andy Salkeld: On the right hand side, The Red Light Comedy Club, that just illustrates the way that we try and integrate cycling in all aspects of the cultural and festival celebration events within the city. Every February in, in (inaudible 45.59) Leicester there are 80,000 people visit comedy clubs in normal times. Obviously that will be significantly different in, in the next two or three months but the festival is still ongoing. We, we work with bike shops to have comedy events so that even though it may be dark and cold and numbers may fall off, off the scale in, in, in winter time, particularly when the weather is poor, we still have a representation and that cycling is part of the fabric and the, the, the (inaudible 46.30). In terms of our engagement, this, this is a photograph from our city ride with British Cycling leading, but the important thing about this is not the-, is not the one off-, that it's a one off event and it's, it kind of show cases Olympic rides. It's, it's two-fold really. It's, well, three-fold. It's the-, it's the engagement with the 10,000 to 12,000 family cyclists who come out when it's safe to do so and demonstrate the, the political mandate within the city and the representation that people are interested to ride bikes where they feel comfortable and happy to do so.
The other thing that it represents are partnerships with the major organisations. A football club, the, the major retail centre high crossing in the city, De Montfort University whose beautiful campus this is, and, and it, it, it, it also represents 50 plus local organisations, all of whom support the cycle city action plan and all of whom are part of putting on a major event like this. About-, and it's very much around engaging with us and main-streaming elements within the city. They're all the good stuff. The things that were also a challenging, really I don't wanna get carried away and sort of just paint it really, really, beautifully but we have day to day issues within, within the city and we inherit the, you know-, this, this is an inheritance of the 1964 transport plan. Conrad (mw 48.01) who, who, who also did the planning for Leeds and, and a number of other cities and his-, and his colleagues at that time, they were planning and they were building for car dependency within, within cities. They had-, they had the right-, they had the right intentions but they chose the wrong cul de sac of transport choice that, that bound the UK cities in particular, and other parts of the, of the economy into car dependency for 50 years. That's why it will be a 50 year or a cross generational change that we need to undertake and that's why we should be getting on with that now with a sense of urgency because it will take a long period of time to make the change.
This fortunately was the removal of the Belgrave flyover which this, this whole junction in (inaudible 48.50) now without a flyover is still not (inaudible 48.53) with the same level of capacity used in modern transport, and we've converted the, the road space to wider pedestrian routes and, and in this case a kind of centralised two-way cycle track and, you know, made a sense of place and connectivity through cycling and walking to replace the context of that infrastructure inheritance. And our health and well-being surveys also indicate that we have lots of other issues to deal with within the city. I won't go into them in detail but you can imagine that deprivation, social and economic deprivation, within a city like Leicester and the diversity of that deprivation has very significant impacts on some communities. And cycling is a great outreach antidote to a large number of them. I'm sure you all have very similar contexts within the cities, within you-, within which you work. Another thing I just wanted to highlight as well, over the last twelve months-, so, most of what I've talked about there is prior to COVID, but what, what has happened over the last twelve months has been very significant and a consequence of the plan of having a plan, an action plan, and having a sense of direction with clear political support and a sense of infrastructure, training, promotions and engagement approach. So, before the government announced its support for the emergency active travel fund, Leicester had already introduced the month before key worker corridors.
We were running, from the start of COVID, a bike project which was supplying cycles to health workers primarily and other key workers to help them get to work because they were previously dependent on public transport links or they were previously dependent on sharing cars and they could not get to work. And that was a big concern for the resilience plan within the city. We were able to address that. We've given away 500 free bikes to key workers, we fixed another 700 key, key bikes in that process. We didn't rely on the government voucher scheme which I, I could wax lyrical about the, the feelings of that particular scheme but from that growth within Leicester and listing to the people we were working with, they were clearing saying, 'We've got the bikes, we've got the need, we don't feel comfortable riding on the roads even though 50% or 60% of the vehicles have, have moved because we're not used to it and we can't deal with it, and the remnant vehicles are moving very fast.' So, the city council has introduced or did introduced over the summer eleven miles, so we-, of protected cycle tracks and cycle lanes, at least pop-up cycle lanes. That's a 30% increase in our cycle track capacity within the network. We did that within three months and we're now going through a process of solidifying that and making that step change more permanent. And we're not experiencing the kind of-, the kind of negative feedback that does seem to be influencing government policies at the moment and I think it will be really interesting to pick up with in the Q&As whether that's, that's a reality in other cities. There's a-, there's a list of references which I've included in the presentation slides and my contact details are there if you would like to get in touch and discuss any specifics any more. I'll hand back to Greg, thank you.
Adele Morris: Okay, thank you very much. Some really interesting presentations there covering a whole range of, of different approaches, as it were. I'm going to go straight into the Q&A if that's okay because we've got quite a few questions. So, I am going to start. Forgive me if I kind of condense and paraphrase some of your longer questions but council elected members seem very sensitive to the loud backlash that comes from a small section of the community on cycle schemes and they seemingly-, some, some elected members seem mostly unaware of the gear change strategy and that comms teams are short of resources. How could we change that? What could we do, basically, to, to get-, to get more councillors onboard? Any, anybody want to respond to that?
Professor Greg Marsden: Can I just show a, a screenshot of what they've done in Leeds, Adele?
Adele Morris: Yes.
Professor Greg Marsden: Okay. So, let's see if I can find the right screen now. Sorry.
Adele Morris: Also, I don't include myself in that description at all.
Professor Greg Marsden: Yes, so hopefully you can see the screen now with lots of red, red and orange dots on it.
Adele Morris: Yes.
Professor Greg Marsden: Can you?
Adele Morris: Yes.
Professor Greg Marsden: Yes, yes. So, this is the commonplace platform which they use in Leeds. So, there will always be people who object to, to cycling schemes and they-, and, and other changes which take space away from cars and, and you will hear from them but what they've done in Leeds is to say, 'Right, well let's give the people who want some infrastructure the chance to tell us what they want and where they want it', and also to give other members of the community to feed back and say, 'Well, actually I don't think that will work for the following reasons.' So, there's a very public debate going on here about what's, what's needed and what the issues might be. And I think that provides a hugely important backdrop for councillors to say, 'Well, actually on balance, you know, I've got a lot of people here who, who are saying we need this.' So, I, I think that's a really great, great example.
Adele Morris: Yeah, we use Commonplace in Suffolk actually for the same-, the same thing. Andy, you wanted to come in?
Andy Salkeld: Yeah, we, we use the Widen My Path website which is a counterpart to, to Commonplace and we've, we've found the same. A lot of engagement, a lot of positivity, you know, a lot of-, a lot of good tips from people, a lot of requests from people and, yeah, it's a really useful platform for public discussion.
Adele Morris: Catriona, did you want to make a comment as well?
Catriona Swanson: Yes, thanks. I mean, I think sessions like this are really good. I mean, I know there are a lot of councillors signed up for this and I think the, the more councillors can take the time to, to educate themselves about this issue, it will really help to, to grow that political will. But, but also we do have some great councillors across the country who are, you know, thought leaders in this area and I, I know that there's quite a few who are really willing to go out and speak to their, their peers, and I think that's a really good way of doing it. You know, I think it's, it's easy to kind of listen to consultants and officers talking but, but councillors are under a lot of pressure from, from their communities and their residents and, and they really need to hear from councillors who have done this before and done it successfully. So, so the likes of Jon Burke and, and Councillor Clyde Loakes who, you know, they've been there, they've got the t-shirt, they, they've come out the other side. You know, and particularly Clyde Loakes in Waltham Forest where they, they actually managed to, to increase their majority there. You know, I think that will really help to, to build the, the political will and, and get councillors to understand that this is the right thing to do and it's, it's only a very small, you know, vocal minority of residents who don't want these things. The rest of the people are, are largely supportive and, you know, all, all the research that Sustrans and others have done on this is that people do want safe space to walk and cycle.
Adele Morris: Just to-, just to add to that Catriona, and, and I think you touched on that very crucial element which is getting re-elected. So, you know, you mention Clyde who obviously had increased his majority. There might be different reasons for that, not, not just this but, but that is of course what a lot of elected members feel. So, getting that message to those elected members that, you know, you won't necessarily lose the next election just on the basis of that. Andy, you wanted to come in again on that?
Andy Salkeld: Yes, thanks. Yeah, that's been the experience within Leicester. The city mayor has been re-elected following the first phases of his Connecting Leicester project, he increased his mandate. There, there wasn't a backlash politically. He, he, he speaks and his team speaks, particularly Councillor Adam Clarke who's deputy city mayor, they speak and advocate very much in support and, and I think, absolutely agree with Catriona that, that that is something which is happening and it's a debate which both officers as technocrats, members of the public and advocate groups and political leaders are looking for and involved in at the moment and it's very useful.
Adele Morris: Thank you. And I've just had a little private note from one of our officers who's on the call to say that the LGA is also looking to do some further work to support councils with, with this because we do peer-, we do member peer support and, and whole council peer support on a whole range of things. So, and, and just to add actually that they're particularly looking for examples from areas that have had success in market towns. So, if you're on this call or, you know, other panellists or delegates and you want to let the LGA know, please do. Okay, I'm going to go onto the next question now which is the media have a campaign of othering cyclist. What tips do the panel have in normalising the use of the wonderful bicycle? Any, anybody can answer that. Don't mind. Andy?
Andy Salkeld: Yeah, again-,
Adele Morris: Sorry, sorry, it's just that you were-, you were-, you were un-muted. I'll go to Catriona then. I didn't mean to put you on the spot Andy.
Catriona Swanson: Thanks. Yes, I'll, I'll speak whilst Andy thinks of something to say. Yeah, I mean, Laura Laker who writes a lot for The Guardian was, was involved in writing some really good media guidelines recently on this to, to try and get the media to, to talk in a more balanced way about cycling, which I, I think would be really useful and hopefully some of them will, will start to take that on board. I think the other thing is, is in, you know, if you-, if you actually design and build safe cycling infrastructure you will get people cycling on it in normal clothes. You know, when you look to The Netherlands or, or Denmark and Copenhagen, you know, you, you don't get people looking like they're going into war wearing body armour, wearing Lycra and helmets. They're, you know, cycling is just a normal thing to do, normal part of their day and they, they cycle in whatever they're wearing that day. So, so the cycling infrastructure will really help with that but, but also when, when we're promoting cycling it's important to, to get good images of that that show the diversity. And Andy showed some brilliant images from Leicester of that, of, you know, people of all ages, all backgrounds cycling and, and also, you know, your mascot. And I know you said that you've taught him how to, to ride a two-wheeler now but actually it's really good to see it on a tricycle, you know, to see those non-standard cycles and get people to understand that it's, it's not just, you know, white middle aged, middle class men on, on fancy carbon fibre road bikes. You know, cycling is for everyone and and you can do it on, on any type of cycle as well.
Adele Morris: Thank you. Andy?
Andy Salkeld: Yeah, I've thought of something to say now. Yeah, no, I absolutely agree, yeah. I mean, adapted bikes, three-wheelers, four-wheelers, hand cycles, they're an important part of the main-streaming work that we, we've undertaken within the city and every organisation seek to-, seek to represent. Getting a fox on a bike for, for the football club purposes is-, it is the best way to undermine, kind of, populist sentiment against cycling. If the, if the local football club mascot is leading out kids who live locally and teaching them to ride, it, it undermines anyone who steps in pretending that, that it's somehow-, that the car dependent few are the majority within the city when, you know, the car-enabled people or the cycling-enabled or the pedestrian-enabled or public transport-enabled are what we all do. So, it does help to do that. I would say as well it goes-, it goes back this conversation or question, theme of engaging political leaders and having civic debates. Social media is-, has, has grown exponentially and the populist sentiments within mainstream press won't necessarily go away, but because we're having those debates publicly and because we're engaging with social media and all elements of media and representation are not afraid to have those kind of conversations and grown-up debates. It, it, it mitigates against louder voices and negative voices.
Adele Morris: Thank you. And, and I think at the end of Greg's presentation he mentioned something about leading by example as well and, you know, sort of whether or not your town hall has got cars parked outside it, whether or not your, your local councillors, MP, etc., are, are, are promoting cycling or using it themselves. I think, Greg, did you want to come in on that?
Professor Greg Marsden: Just, I mean, I echo the things that were said. I mean, get a fox on a bike. If you've done that you've normalised it maybe or it's like the opposite of normalising it. I don't know. But I think powerful advocates and whoever they are within the community. I mean, I, I think Chris Boardman does a great job of tackling some of the, the, the things that get said and taken to be, you know, this is the way-, this is the way it is about bikes versus cars and he just, he picks it part, flips it on, on its head. So, you know, follow those people, re, re-tweet their messages, make sure you're connected to the community of, of advocates. It doesn't all have to be self-generated 'cause I, I noticed in the chat a lot of people say, 'Well, what about resources and so on?' This is going on everywhere and, and so, you know, if you can, can build off what other people are doing, that's, that's really positive.
Adele Morris: Great, thank you. Okay, next question. In addition to road infrastructure and bicycle storage, what's being done to ensure workplaces are providing shower facilities, including storage for change of clothes-, and facilities including storage for a change of clothing? I guess that's a kind of planning issue. Catriona?
Catriona Swanson: Yeah, I can briefly pick that up. Yes, it's the planning issue. So, so, you know, all local authorities have parking guidelines which set out the minimum requirement in terms of the quantity of cycle parking but ideally they should have guidance on the quality of cycle parking as well. So, that should talk about shower and lockers and things like that. It doesn't always follow through into developers proposing good things and there is an issue as we all know with lack of resources in local authorities to, to really look at the detail of those when, when planning applications come through and also on the enforcement side, to follow up when things are built and to, to ensure that they've done it to the right standard. It's definitely something that needs to be improved upon. The new local transport note on cycling infrastructure does, does have some improved guidance on cycle parking as well so it's important that, that people read that and, and follow it.
Adele Morris: Thank you. Andy?
Andy Salkeld: Yes, as well as the-, I guess those constraints or the, the, the sticks in terms of planning development enforcement, but there are also carrots that local authorities can and do offer to businesses. Through our access fund from the Department for Transport, we offer grants, small grants of up to £5,000, in terms of match funding for sustainable transport improvements to businesses and they are predominantly used for things like cycle parking storage, installation of showers, the purchase of small fleets of bikes or, you know, bespoke cycle storage solutions. There are those kind of incentives which, which can and are, are made through local authorities to, to support businesses. And we're looking at some significant potential offers. We’re bidding for some initial potential offers around the development of the bike share which we'll be launching in the spring time.
Adele Morris: Okay, thank you. There's a question actually sort of following on from that, which is what pressure has been put on government to support local subsidies to effectively reduce the cost of purchasing cycles, adult tricycle, and in addition what can be done to provide secure and sheltered storage for cycles, including recharging points for electric cycles? And I, you know, in terms-, so, you've just talked obviously about the workplace issue but I, I'm not sure whether this is referring to the, the, the wider public like the-, or the individual.
Andy Salkeld: Yeah, perhaps, perhaps I'll just explain a little bit more. There is a-, there is a government initiative at the moment, a bidding process called the e-bike extension fund. Local authorities can bid for between £50,000 and £250,000 to support access to electric bikes specifically. The experience of electric bikes and the, the, the, the opportunity to overcome the immediate barrier of the cost of electric bikes. The research suggested in that is that there is a level of interest and awareness around electric bikes but there's a lack of experience within the UK, possibly because of the lack of general culture of cycling in, in-, you know, which is inherent in the cities, in the cities and towns in particular which, which can be overcome and there can be a step change. So, it's very much nudge theory and financial incentives that are available. The downside on it for anyone who is interested in making an application is that they need to be submitted by the 18th of this month, so there's only been a three week turn around period from the announcement of that budget and the submission, which is one of the challenges that we all face when dealing with short term funding and one-off funding like this from these government initiatives which are based around balancing exchequer funds.
Adele Morris: Yes, that's common with, with all, all kinds of grants that they-, and funds that they make available, the turn around time. By the time they've got it out, got it publicised, yes, the deadlines are looming. Okay, next question. Milton Keynes meets many of the recommendations in having a safe, segregated, directed, interconnected cycling network. Well done Milton Keynes. But as a resident I find the network unpleasant to use as it isn't well maintained and riding on most sections is pretty uncomfortable. How can we avoid problems like this and ensure ongoing significant user-guided funding?
Professor Greg Marsden: If I could come in?
Adele Morris: Yes.
Professor Greg Marsden: If you look at the places that really take this seriously, this is a core part of the highway's function and, you know, it's, it's properly folded into budgets and, and planning. It's not, 'What have we got left over to spend on, on cycling?' So, for me I think this is one of the measures about whether you, you really take it seriously and, you know, if there's money available to put stuff down, if we're not going to look after it it's not a-, it's not a good long term investment. So, you know, that's, that's what I've seen in the places that have done it well, it becomes part of what's normal, that that maintenance would be dealt with.
Adele Morris: Okay, thank you. Andy?
Andy Salkeld: Yeah, there's also a level of kind of constraint on, on car-, on contained car use in Milton Keynes and in places like Harlow, Stevenage, you know, the new town, tows and cities which were built on that, on that kinda basis. Doesn't constrain the immediacy and the convenience of vehicle dependency so that, that puts the benefit of places like Milton Keynes in, into a different kind of context. In Leicester, which is a medieval city, we've got that level of constraint and that, and that level of constraint has gone hand in hand with the enablement around walking and cycling for those shorter distance trips. The maintenance issues are absolutely key to it, I would agree that, that that maintenance needs to be-, plus routes need to be safe, they need to be lit, they need to be secure and, you know, anti-social behaviour will put people off as well. So, it's, it's a holistic approach to that shift.
Adele Morris: Okay, thank you. Okay, next question. What would you say is a feasible distance for someone to commute or travel on an e-bike? As an avid cyclist I consider eight miles the greatest distance I'd be willing to commute by bike, mostly due to comfort reasons, so I'm surprised that e-bikes are considered to reduce journeys in such a range of five to 35 miles. Anybody want to comment on that one?
Professor Greg Marsden: I could probably just clarify the five to 35 bin is just a bin that was used in the national travel survey rather than one that necessarily meant that I felt people would be cycling up to, to 35 miles. But, I mean, I think the answer to that question is it really depends, you know, and, and that-, so, I think what we need to, to build into our thinking, there are some people who will be prepared to cycle long, longer distances. You know, eight miles would be a great thing if that started to become a, a normal distance. So, I don't think we should make any, any assumptions. You know, to some people like on an e-bike four miles might be a long, you know, a long journey. I think Catriona had her hand up.
Adele Morris: Yes, thank you Greg.
Catriona Swanson: Yeah, I mean, in my experience e-bikes don't particularly make cycle journeys that much quicker unless you've got a really steep hill that you go up that you go really slowly up and then it will speed it up a bit, but, but when I've used e-bikes my, my journey time really hasn't improved that much. So, I think it's more about kind of making cycling more accessible rather than massively increasing distances that people go and, and particularly flattening out hills. So, so for example I've got a site visit to do this afternoon and it's to quite a hilly bit of Greater Manchester so I'm borrowing my husband's electric bike because it will just make it much more pleasant and, and, and that's the key thing for me. All, all those barriers that people talk about to cycling like it's too far, it's too hilly, I get too sweaty, e-bikes just solve all of that and I, I do really think they're the future and, you know, I'm really looking forward to the funding coming through from government and enabling a lot more people to, to try out electric bikes.
Adele Morris: Thank you.
Professor Greg Marsden: I think just on that as well, the map which Ian Phillips and Julian produced showed there's not much to be gained in urban areas, it's actually the, the journey time benefits, I think as Catriona was saying, would come if we had a better set of networks outside of urban areas where, where you've got fewer interruptions on the route. I think that's, that's where the e-bikes don't, don't offer you a particularly big journey time benefit. So, definitely agree with that.
Adele Morris: Thank you. Andy?
Andy Salkeld: Yes, I would agree. I mean, in the context of the Santander Cycles Leicester scheme that we're, we're opening, it's-, the benefits of electric bikes is-, are around accessibility and reliability we think for the audience that we're, we're, we're hoping to grow, grow into. We do-, we're anticipating that the, the mode shift towards bike share, e-bike or not, will be around journey time savings and will be around cost savings. So, reducing most journeys within the central area by 50% and most financial charges compared to other forms of accessible transport by a similar amount, and ten-fold compared to car use.
Adele Morris: Thank you. Okay, next question. Safety is important, what's being done to make it a condition when building new housing developments that cycle lands and disabled scooter lanes are put in place at the planning stage? I guess this is-, I guess this is kind of referring to when you're doing a, a large scale development because you can't really do it on a single one but, well, let's see what-, see what you have to say.
Catriona Swanson: Yeah, I can pick that up. Yeah, it's interesting that they talk about cycle lanes and disabled scooter lanes, it's kind of moving onto this idea of mobility lanes rather than just calling them cycle lanes. So, so one part of gear change which is the new walking and cycling proposal that was published by the government in the summer was to set up a body called Active Travel England which they talked about being a bit like a kind of Ofsted type body, but that would kind of have a role as a, a statutory consultee on planning applications. I don't think they've done that work yet to, to establish exactly what level of, of development scheme it will have a role in. It won't be really small ones, it's unlikely, very unlikely to be a single house or even a kind of small development, but maybe kind of major developments like over a couple of hundred houses and then it will have that role. But as well as that it, it does encourage that all schemes should follow LTM120, the new cycling infrastructure design guide, and that does have a whole chapter on new development and, and designing in walking and cycling into new developments and, and has some really practical, useful advice in it. So, yeah, the combination of the guidance and, and then this inspectorate having the teeth to actually enforce it should improve the standard going forward.
Adele Morris: Thank you. Okay, next question, quite a bold question. Whilst we pontificate our residents are being poisoned and their life expectancy is diminished. How can we make government take this seriously? It will release resource away from respiratory diseases. So, it's that whole idea, isn't it, that the co-benefits. Andy?
Andy Salkeld: Yeah, I-, well, I think the, the COVID crisis has proven that we need, we need to get on and make change. The climate crisis is on its shoulder and the ability to act is the willingness of people and communities to demand change, political representatives to respond to that and bureaucrats like myself and technicians like myself to, to enable that in the best way possible. So, I would say that in response to that question, ask for it, demand it, organise around it, petition, get involved and, you know, make-, be the change.
Professor Greg Marsden: Just to say, I don't think we've ever had a more supportive environment from central government for cycling in my career. So, you know, I think if, if people want more, ask for me, but, you know, let's try and spend what's being given to us and start to show that it makes a difference. You know, I actually think that many of the tools are there for, for local authorities to get on with now. So, I would say, you know, really, really, really try and go for it and build that, build that vision for your own area.
Adele Morris: Thank you. Catriona?
Catriona Swanson: Yeah, I mean, I'd agree. I think, you know, we've, we've got the design standards there now, we've had the most funding and the most political will for active travel that we've ever had but it actually needs to be delivered at the local level and it's, it's up to local authorities, local councillors to really push on with this. And, you know, we've got some who are absolutely leading the way and Leicester is a really key example of that. You know, even when they didn't get the cycle city ambition grant fund, they, they decided to do it anyway because it's the right thing to do and they, they just found the money and, and now they've been rewarded with more money to do more. But there's lots of local authorities that still aren't doing this stuff and who are still building roads, but, you know, the policy is there for them to do this stuff if they want to do it.
Adele Morris: Thank you. Okay, next question. Is there much data on e-bike safety, for example heavier bikes travelling at faster speeds than traditional bikes? I presume they mean safety to the person who is riding, I would imagine, but I-, yeah. Catriona?
Catriona Swanson: Yeah, there's, there's been a little bit of research in The Netherlands which obviously has, you know, it's a much bigger e-bike uptake because they've got a lot more cycling generally. They've also got a lot of older people who cycle and there, there has been a bit of a safety issue there, particularly with kind of very old people, kind of people in their 90s cycling, using quite heavy bikes and quite powerful e-bikes and there, there has been some-, even some fatalities with them. Generally over here, not that many people have e-bikes. I don't think our e-bikes are as powerful anyway. They're, they're limited to kind of fifteen miles an hour so they don't really go any quicker than a normal bike, so I, I don't think there's any particular safety issues over here, to, to be honest. And, and the, the ones that are happening in The Netherlands are being looked into and I think they, they are looking at whether they do need to kind of limit the speeds of those a little bit more and maybe provide a bit more kind of training because it's often when people have got a new one and they're, they're not used to it and suddenly it, it whizzes off.
Adele Morris: Sorry, I was muted. Next question. Is there any research that looks into the age profile of an area in relation to cycling uptake? So, Cambridge and London are cited as examples of cycle cities. How much of this cycling success is down to the relatively younger age group? Has there been any research into age profiles? Greg? Oh, sorry, Catriona?
Catriona Swanson: Yeah, I'm not sure this necessarily answers exactly that question but there has-, there has been research done into kind of under-represented groups in cycling and, and Arup and Sustrans have actually done quite a lot of joint research together on this, and, and certainly kind of older people are definitely under-represented in cycling. I think, I think with Cambridge and London there's, there's higher cycling because there's been investment in cycling infrastructure. So, you know, Cambridge have been building a lot of protected infrastructure recently but actually for a long time they've, they've had a lot of modal filters in that area which, which creates a, a quite safe place to, to cycle and also private vehicles are very, very restricted in their city centre. And then again London have, have obviously been investing a lot in cycling infrastructure and, and what we find from looking at countries that have invested in cycling is that you do get a, a much wider age profile of, of people cycling. So, you know, over 50% of kids cycle to school in The Netherlands. You also get a lot of older people continuing to cycle and you don't really see many kind of mobility scooters over there because people, people use cycles as almost like mobility aids. So, I think that has, you know-, it's key to it. You know, create safe, accessible cycling infrastructure and, and your, your population of people who cycle will look much more like your general population in your place.
Adele Morris: Thank you.
Professor Greg Marsden: Yeah, I'd suggest looking at the work of Rachael Aldridge. She breaks down the usage by different age groups, but I think what Catriona is saying is, is right. If you look back at our data it probably won't look particularly good. The question is how do, how do you change that for older people so it becomes more of a feasible activity? And there are lots of good examples of training groups and, and cycle buddying to build up confidence in, in, in all sorts of different user groups who, who want to come back to cycling.
Adele Morris: Thank you. Andy?
Andy Salkeld: Yeah, I would point to two pieces of research. Leicester was part of the understanding walking and cycling research project, which is from 2011, with some colleagues from Leeds, Lancaster university and Oxford Brooks. That was-, that was really important to, to our understanding of the, the issues and the demographics, demographic implications with our city. More recently public health colleagues have carried out health and well-being surveys on a bi-annual basis within the city which kind of illustrates the, the reality of people's levels of ownership in terms of cycling and their experience of walking and cycling on a, on a daily basis. And they're quite significantly different from national trends and national assumptions around what the barriers are to cycling with our city and, and that may be the case in other, in other cities. So, I would, I would urge people to talk with their public health colleagues around that kind of detail of local research and certainly take a look at the Leicester examples which if-, which are available on the city council website if people are interested.
Adele Morris: That's great, thank you. Okay, next question. In practice what are you seeing in terms of the balance between the promotion of quiet street routes and cycling infrastructure investment to increase cycling uptake? I presume they're talking about sort of quiet ways versus, versus kind of full on segregated lanes. Perhaps that's what they mean, I'm not sure. Any thoughts, comments? Catriona?
Catriona Swanson: Yeah, so in Greater Manchester, I'm not sure if people have, have heard of, of this but we're pursuing this approach called the Bee Network and that, that's-, it was really focused on kind of crossings and quite ways and, and the proposal was kind of developed through lots of sessions with, with communities where we identified kind of where, where they wanted crossings or where there were crossing but they weren't very good and they needed improving. And that, that was kind of mapped for the whole of Greater Manchester and those crossings were then kind of linked up and those links were the quiet ways. And that really was Greater Manchester's kind of key infrastructure approach, was the crossings and the quiet ways with, with only the kind of odd kind of main corridor with the protected infrastructure proposed. What, what we're actually seeing coming forward from, from the districts, the ten districts of Greater Manchester is a lot of them are still really going for the, the protected cycle ways. They're, they're not doing those crossings and quiet ways quite so much, even though they're, they're much easier to do. So, don't get me wrong, some are happening but they, they are still kind of focusing on, on that primary network at the moment and I, I think part of that is kind of to demonstrate political will for doing this. You know, they are much more difficult to, to do but they're also much higher profile.
So, I think we'll see more quiet ways coming along and, and particularly more low traffic neighbourhoods as well, which are also being pursued quite a lot in Greater Manchester. And I think that's partly because a lot-, a lot of our streets that, that should be quiet and could be quiet ways aren't because, because of ways and Google Maps, there's so much rat running on our streets. It's actually become quite difficult to, to do that without doing the full kind of low traffic neighbourhood approach. So, yeah, if that's the question, I think at the moment it's, it's more-, it's more shifting to, to the, the protected routes on main roads at the moment.
Adele Morris: Okay, thank you. Andy, you wanted to comment on that?
Andy Salkeld: Yeah, I would say that it's, it's a bit of a moveable feast, it's a bit of a-, it's a bit of a roundabout. Some things are fashionable and funded and pragmatic and at the forefront of people's minds and organisational minds at one, one stage or, or another which is why it's important to have a strategy which is holistic and encapsulates opportunities and a strategy across the piece effectively. Certainly in Leicester we, we're moving forward with transforming cities funding at the moment which is arterial corridors, we're moving forward with the pop up cycle lanes and-, which is active travel fund corridors. The, the low traffic neighbourhoods, although we've got examples of (mw 01.27.56) and (mw 01.27.58) streets within the-, in the city which are 30 years old now and have been here since the-, since the late '80s, we're, we're moving forward with them a little bit slower at the moment. There's a bit of resistance and a bit of political concern which is echoing, you know, what the noise which is coming out of north London and the, and the considerations that the DfT have been making around the objections that the, you know, the leading politicians have been making to them about the things they're dealing with and the controversy around low traffic neighbourhoods in, in some places. Things change and we have to be adept and adaptable to, to winning the battles that are in front of us that we can win and moving forward with those and that-, I think it's just part of, part of the landscape and the long in the tooth story for people like me.
Adele Morris: Thank you. Okay, now, the last three questions that we've got here are all about where do I get information from? So, I'll read them all out. What grants are available for LAs for increasing cycling? Because I think you've all touched on there being grants. Do you have a link to the government e-bike funding that you were talking about? And is there a link to the Leicester strategy? So, I don't know whether you want to talk out the links or post them. I see that Greg you have posted a couple of things in the chat and Kamal Panchel (ph 01.29.32) at the LGA has posted his details for I think to get in touch with him. But what-, yes, Andy?
Andy Salkeld: I can post some in the chats, that's the easiest thing to do, and share them with myself and Kamal to distribute to people if they-, if they need them.
Adele Morris: Okay, thank you.
Professor Greg Marsden: There are some more links in the cycle briefing document that we've published but gear change has come out since then so there's lots more that will be more up to date than that even.
Adele Morris: Okay, great, thank you. Catriona, any particular-, anywhere that you want to guide people to or-,
Catriona Swanson: Yeah, I, I can add some links into the presentation that I can make available.
Adele Morris: Okay, brilliant, thank you. Okay, well, I think we have managed to get through all of the questions which is great. We've had some really, really useful information, I think, looking at it from all angles and sort of the social cycling aspects, you know, the practical aspects and the kind of, you know, starting with the why we have to do this element as well, which hopefully people have found helpful. As I said at the beginning, this has been recorded and we're hoping to actually post this, this whole webinar up on the LGA website and people will be sent the slides afterwards. People will also be sent evaluation forms so please do fill them in, tell us what we've done well, tell us what we haven't done well because, you know, we want to give you the best experience in these webinars that we can. So, we want to hear both the good and the bad please. And just remains for me to say thank you very much to our panellists for giving such informative presentations.
Catriona Swanson, Senior Planner Transport Planning, ARUP
Decarbonising Transport - Growing Cycling Use, 10 December 2020 (PDF)
Professor Greg Marsden, Professor of Transport Governance, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds
Cycling Growth in Leicester, 10 December 2020 (PDF)
Andy Salkeld, Cycling Co-ordinator, Leicester City Council