Europe’s Cycling Revolution
Over a billion euros has been invested in cycling across Europe since the start of the pandemic. Some of the continent’s biggest cities are being transformed as people seek alternative, safer, greener ways to move around. Anna Holligan travels across Europe to see how people are getting on their bikes and asks if the surge in cycling is the start of a much bigger change in the way we travel.
One of the issues about working from home and keeping off public transport has been that cycling around to look at stuff has been that my range has been somewhat restricted and generally, positive street changes in my wider neck of the woods have been few and far between.
I did cycle into Central London at the beginning of August, but being a Saturday, having to worry about taking space up on a train coming back out wasn’t an issue and perhaps I’ll pootle in to look at something else soon.
Martin PorterLast modified on Mon 28 Sep 2020 12.02 BST
There’s a problem with how we talk about our roads. From news reports on “accidents” to who gets blamed for road danger in comment pieces, our media sources sometimes flip the sources of death and injury on their head.
Language and accuracy matter, and too often reporting contributes to making the roads less safe.
That’s why the Active Travel Academy has drafted media reporting guidelines which we hope broadcasters and publishers will adopt, just as they have adopted guidelines for reporting on suicide or domestic violence.
There is excellent reporting out there – , but there is also less thoughtful output. For example, the majority (61%) of coverage of cyclists is broadly negative, focusing on road danger, criminality or bad behaviour, although studies have shown cyclists are generally far more law-abiding than motorists.
Steven Herrick Sun 27 Sep 2020 18.30 BST
I got my first bike when Iwas nine years old, an iridescent purple Malvern Star Roadster with Marlon handlebars, a red banana seat, white-walled tyres and three gears. I christened it “Jimmy” in honour of a relative who was a stock-car racer and caught catfish in the river. Jimmy, the bike, was my first love.
Campaigners urge city leaders across the world to see coronavirus and climate crisis as call to actionMatthew TaylorThu 24 Sep 2020 16.39 BSTOne of the first “low-traffic neighbourhoods” to be created in the UK was in Hackney, east London, in the early 1970s, when residential roads were closed to through traffic but remained open to local residents, pedestrians and cyclists.Since then, most of the borough’s other residential roads and backstreets have been given over almost completely to cars.But as the coronavirus crisis upended city life, a dramatic shift has been taking place. Across the country there has been a concerted effort to prioritise cycling and walking over driving, widening pavements, closing rat runs and building hundreds of miles of new cycle lanes
Results. Each municipality has a board of education in charge of public schools, which considers the geography, climate, and the transport situation to determine the method of commuting. Because there is high availability of schools in urban areas and most are located within walking range of the children’s homes, walking is the most common method. There are different safety initiatives depending on the district’s characteristics. Parents, school staff, and local volunteers are involved in supervision.
Conclusions. The walk-to-school practice has helped combat childhood obesity by providing regular physical activity. Recommendations to cities promoting walking to school are (1) base interventions on the existing network of schools and adapt the provision to other local organizations, (2) establish safety measures, and (3) respond specifically to local characteristics. Besides the well-established safety interventions, the policy’s success may also be associated with Japan’s low crime rate.
‘There were parents having to cycle on the pavements with their kids to avoid the traffic coming through’Fourteen motorists who drove down one of Exeter’s ‘pop-up’ cycleways have been sent a notice of intended prosecution. Cyclist Caspar Hughes submitted reports to police after watching the road for just 35 minutes.Devon Live reports that Wonford Road has been closed to all vehicles except buses and bicycles as part of Exeter’s emergency active travel changes.
Councillor was sent death threats over support for low traffic neighbourhoodsTwo of Hackney’s main shopping areas could be closed to through-traffic as the council seeks to deliver a greener borough. The announcement comes in the week that the councillor pushing the plans revealed he had received death threats over his support for low traffic neighbourhoods.Hackney is committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2040. With just 30 per cent of Hackney households owning a car, low traffic neighbourhoods have become a major focus of attempts to deliver this.Newly proposed measures would, subject to funding bids, see traffic filters introduced on Amhurst Road in Hackney Central and on Stoke Newington Church Street.
Motoring on minor roads doubled between 2009 and 2019, regional figures reveal
The DfT blames the rise in traffic on rising population and other factors. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA
“Rat-running” on residential streets has increased dramatically in the past decade, according to statistics from the Department for Transport.
London has experienced a doubling in motor traffic on quiet C roads since 2008, while in most other parts of the UK polluting motor traffic has increased more greatly on residential streets than on A or B roads.
Motoring organisations and anti-traffic campaigners blame the internet. The AA president Edmund King has highlighted the rise of online deliveries, while urban liveability experts point the finger at smartphones and satnav apps including shortcutting app Waze.
Another reason is bloat. In 2007, there were 27m registered motor vehicles in the UK. There are now 38.3m, with experts predicting numbers will rise above 40m within the next two years. Even if all new cars and vans were powered by batteries rather than fossil fuel, that would not solve congestion or reduce road danger, say campaigners.
George MonbiotWed 23 Sep 2020All vehicles create carbon emissions and cause congestion. The coronavirus crisis should help us break our dependence on…. A switch to electric cars will reduce pollution. It won’t eliminate it, as a high proportion of the microscopic particles thrown nto the air by cars, which are highly damaging to our health, arise from tyres grating on the surface of the road. Tyre wear is also by far the biggest source of microplastics pouring into our rivers and the sea. And when tyres, regardless of the engine that moves them, come to the end of their lives, we still have no means of properly recycling them.