Ed Miliband Sat 22 May 2021 09.00
When it comes to tackling the really big challenges of our world, you might not immediately think of cycling and walking as solutions. But it’s time to recognise the potential of the humble bicycle and our own two feet.
First, though, I have a confession. You know how most children learn to ride a bike around five or six? Well, I learned late – about 11 or 12 – and have always been a very, very nervous rider. What’s more, having learned, I left it more than three decades before doing anything more than a few minutes of uncomfortable wobbling. We went through six prime ministers, drainpipe trousers, Duran Duran, the invention of the internet, email, Twitter, Facebook, the bacon sandwich incident – and still I resisted two wheels.
Former Labour leader says he had been ‘very nervous’ before an electric bicycle made him a convert
Amelia Hill Sat 22 May 2021
Ed Miliband only mastered the art of riding a bicycle aged 50 – and was put off using an adult tricycle because he was worried about the paparazzi, he reveals in a new book serialised in the Guardian on Saturday.
Admitting he had always been a “very, very nervous [bicycle] rider” as a child, the now 51-year-old hired an electric bike while on holiday in France and “had an epiphany”. “This”, he said, “was the eureka moment”.
Earlier this week I gave a talk to Cyclox about what I thought made good cycle routes. The talk covered the five principles for cycling infrastructure with a round up on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.
The five principles crop up in all sorts of UK cycling planning and design policy and guidance – even in the most dire of the genre! It is no surprise that they pop up in the new English design guidance, LTN1/20 Cycle Infrastructure Design, and they are covered in some detail in Chapter 4. It’s also worth stating that in fact they equally apply to planning and designing for walking. The reason for this is that these principles major on the human experience of self-propelled travel.
Alex Steffen May 19 2021
The true measure of the seriousness of the planetary crisis is not destruction but discontinuity.
My most succinct working definition of a “discontinuity” is a watershed moment, one where past experience loses its value as a guide to decision-making about the future. It’s a critical concept, so I’m going to do my best in this week’s email to quickly explain what it means to me, and why it may be useful to you.
The planetary crisis is what I call the interlocking, complex, accelerating changes our actions are bringing on in the natural world. Climate change is the largest problem within this crisis, but it is interconnected with ecosystem degradation, biodiversity loss, topsoil loss and water shortages, threats to food systems, changes in ocean chemistry, the release of rivers of toxic chemicals into the biosphere, invasive species and so on. We can talk about them as separate challenges, but in reality they are all one crisis. And it is getting worse, fast.
Cars are fine – but body insists “we do not permit – and we have no plans to permit – the use of e-scooters in the parks”The Royal Parks has been accused of having “lost the plot” after reacting to yesterday’s launch of trial electric scooter hire schemes by banning them from the green spaces it looks after – including Richmond Park, where campaigners have been urging for motor vehicles to be banned.
I am running 200km to help raise funds for RoadPeace because they provide vital support to bereaved families.
Sadly many people die in collisions on our roads. Lives taken in an instance and bereaved families and friends left devastated by their loss. I have seen this devastation firsthand and have also seen the amazing work RoadPeace do to support seriously injured people and bereaved families, helping them come to terms with their loss, supporting them through such a terrible experience both in the short and longer term. RoadPeace also play a key role in advocating for road safety change and in doing so seeking improvements across the system to both help prevent serious and fatal collisions but also to improve the experience and processes for those who sadly have been effected.
Therefore I am running 200km in 9 days (15th – 23rd May) which includes ‘Global Road Safety Week’. Starting at the location of the first ever fatal road collision in the UK and ending in a site established as a RoadPeace location (National Memorial Arboretum)’ a place which is symbolic and provides comfort for bereaved families.
Like many charities the pandemic has impacted upon RoadPeace as there has been less fundraising events and this has left them financially challenged. Therefore any donations you are financially able to afford would be hugely appreciated and will be of great benefit.
Thank you for reading and supporting!
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A drunk driver who ran over a 10-year-old cyclist in West Sussex then drove home with the youngster’s bike wedged under his car has been jailed for two and a half years.
The victim, from Pulborough, was cycling along Church Street, West Chiltington, with his father and another rider when the local resident, 76 year old Keith Vernon, who lives in the village, struck him from behind.
The child was thrown over his bike’s handlebars and onto the road, with Vernon continuing to drive over him despite shouts from the two other cyclists as well as members of the public for him to stop.
He then reversed over the boy, destroying his cycle helmet.. before driving away.
Police officers went to the address of the registered keeper of the Renault Twingo car involved in the crash and found it unattended, with the driver – subsequently identified ads Vernon – having mounted a kerb and with the bike still wedged underneath the vehicle.
One of our readers, Matt, got in touch with these pictures of a police van parked blocking a cycle lane opposite the Metropolitan Police Traffic Wardens Centre…brilliant. Matt first noticed the van parked on King’s Cross Road as he walked past on Tuesday at around 16:30…it was still there when he returned 24 hours later on Wednesday evening…
The final photo, above this story, was taken on Thursday morning, 39 hours after he first spotted it. Apart from the obvious point that a cycle lane is no place to park your van, Matt’s photos show the ‘Red Route’ sign that the driver had perfectly parked right next to…’No stopping Monday-Saturday 7am-7pm’…
Just as well there were no traffic wardens nearby…
Friday May 21 2021
The DfT admitted yesterday that recent new trains had “compromised on passenger comfort” by installing hard seats.
It said that replacement cycles on trains would be brought forward to address concerns. The seats will be given extra padding or replaced. New design standards will also ensure that train carriages built in the future are “more comfortable than their predecessors”.