Understanding Walking and Cycling

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Jonathan Kay
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Understanding Walking and Cycling
Report Summary:Quote:It is widely recognized that there is a need to increase levels of active and sustainable travel in British urban areas. The Understanding Walking and Cycling (UWAC) project, funded by the EPSRC, has examined the factors influencing everyday travel decisions and proposes a series of policy measures to increase levels of walking and cycling for short trips in urban areas. A wide range of both quantitative and qualitative data were collected in four English towns (Leeds, Leicester, Worcester, Lancaster), including a questionnaire survey, analysis of the built environment, interviews and ethnographies. Key findings of the research are that whilst attitudes to walking and cycling are mostly positive or neutral,many people who would like to engage in more active travel fail to do so due to a combination of factors. These can be summarised as: Concerns about the physical environment, especially with regard to safety when walking or cycling; The difficulty of fitting walking and cycling into complex household routines (especially with young children); The perception that walking and cycling are in some ways abnormal things to do so. It is suggested that policies to increase levels of walking and cycling should focus not only on improving infrastructure (for instance through fully segregated cycle routes), but also must tackle broader social, economic, cultural and legal factors that currently inhibit walking and cycling. Together, such changes can create an environment in which driving for short trips in urban areas is seen as abnormal and walking or cycling seem the obvious choices.Guardian article about this, the Times campaign and Chris Boardman's efforts. Jonathan Edited by - Jonathan Kay on 6 Nov 2012 16:23:48
Myles
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Quote:The difficulty of fitting walking and cycling into complex household routines (especially with young children); Like, f'rinstance, travelling to and from school? It is *amazing* how much the traffic quietens round here when the schools are off - and I can't believe every school-run parent takes the same holidays off as their sprogs. Send the little b*ggers by foot or bicycle as was the norm when I was a schoolkid!\" class=\"smiley\" />
DougBaker
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Sadly if the kids were travelling by foot/bike they would have to deal with the motorists. These kids pay no road tax you know, so have no right to delay those poor stressed drivers. Edited by - DougBaker on 6 Nov 2012 17:13:58
Jonathan Kay
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Have a look at Table 5 in the report. If we did some of those the conflict would disappear. Jonathan
MikeMolloy
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I'll start by saying I like bikes (between myself & SWMBO we have 9!) But would I commute the 15 miles to work on a bike? No f'kin' way! Far too dangerous... Most of the route is 50mph restricted A road, so you have cars whizzing past your elbow at +35mph for the entire journey. Sooner rather than later that would result in damage to the soft pink squishy component (me). What could we do to make it safer? Building proper, dedicated bike lanes would cost billions. (Maybe it could have been done if we hadn't spunked it all on the Olympics...) Reduce the number of cars on the roads? Maybe when fuel hits 20 quid a gallon (not long now!) then it might make a difference? But all the yummie mummies in their 80 grand Chelsea tractors aren't going to be unseated by a few extra bob for gas... How about a future road planning strategy that involves the banning of fuel guzzling metal monstrosities to be replaced with single occupant commuter vehicles? Lightweight plastic construction, 200+ mpg lean burn or hybrid, 30mph max, low friction, low weight and low environmental impact. Wouldn't be so afraid of being punted into the ditch by something like that!
FlymoFraser
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Quote:and I can't believe every school-run parent takes the same holidays off as their sprogs. Myles , have you seen the cost of holiday childcare?
DougBaker
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Sadly it looks like cycle safety will be getting lots of coverage thanks again to Bradley Wiggins here not in the way he would have hoped. Hopefully he will make a full recovery after being knocked off his bike by a van.
Cannonball Bob
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Needless to say because Wiggo is a) a cyclist b) an Olympian and c) a bit cool nowadays it was all the van driver's fault. \" class=\"smiley\" />
Jonathan Kay
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"Cycle Safety" report from the OECD Jonathan
irrotational
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It was clearly all the van drivers fault - they were turning right out of a junction...there isn't a set of circumstances* where it isn't their fault. People often jump to conclusions on the internet - but this is one of those examples. *The only exception I can think of is if wiggins was stood on the pavement with his bike and deliberately threw himself underneath the van giving them no time to stop. CBB - please explain a scenario where it is the oncoming cyclists fault?
Myles
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Quote:Myles , have you seen the cost of holiday childcare? No - and glad I'll never have to worry about it... ...but I work in a large office (I guess there are 1000+ people on site) and the place simply does not half-empty during the holidays. By my reckoning, that suggests that most of the workers do not do a quick school-run on their way in - so the increase in traffic volume during term-time is due to unnecessary journeys (unnecessary in that they could be on bike, foot or by bus). And if you cut down the traffic, walking and cycling would be more appealing and safer to boot! So it's all self-fulfilling.