On this page you'll find issues that affect us as cyclists' right across the county.
Melanie Carroll is our Campaigns Officer and will be our 'Point Of Contact'.
CAMPAIGNS OFFICER'S REPORT
You can download and read Melanie's latest 'Campaigns Officer's Report' (November 2019) HERE
We would ask that any and all our members to also write to the council or other agencies when they become aware of issues that may effect themselves or other cyclists, as well as letting us know. It is no longer enough for just the voice of Cycling UK Lincolnshire to speak out, to ensure that we are heard and our needs appreciated it also needs many individual letters because each letter counts. Gone are the days when a membership organisation letter counted for the many. Now they need many letters from individuals to really make them take notice.
The work continues on and again I'd ask all Members to be active campaigners for cycle provision and safety and keep an eye on any proposed changes in their areas. Let us know too anything that we should be aware of, be it an accident blackspot, a proposed change to roads or right of ways, a new building works or estate or any other issue that needs the needs of the bicycle rider being kept front and centre.
A QUICK GUIDE TO BASIC CAMPAIGNING THAT EVERYONE CAN DO
Melanie's written 'A quick guide to basic campaigning that everyone can do' and you can download and read the article HERE
DISTRICT COUNCIL CONTACT INFORMATION
For contact information within East Lindsey, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire,
you can download and read the article HERE
CAMPAIGNS ARCHIVE 2018
LINCOLNSHIRE HIGHWAYS COASTAL HIGHWAY INVITATION
Melanie Carroll, as our Campaigns Officer, attended an engagement session about the Lincolnshire Coastal Highway on Wednesday 17 January 2018 at 6pm in Lincoln.
During the session, a short overview of the coastal highway was provided, discussing what it is, the identified route (A46 west of Lincoln, A57 above Lincoln and A158 to Skegness) and the benefits it will provide for the county.
Immediately after, attendees broke up into small groups to discuss their views and ideas about the route and how it can be improved in the hopes of developing the best possible plan for the future.
There was lots of talk and acknowledgement of the need for better cycling infrastructure, with some interesting points of view put forward of how this could be achieved, and of the benefit to the county and area as a whole especially as it related to tourism, health and wellbeing.
REPORT BY TIM NEWBERY
Tim Newbery, representing Cycling UK Lincolnshire, attended the meeting held in Horncastle on Thursday 18th January 2018.
The Lincolnshire Coastal Highway is the corridor that is made up of the A46 from west of Lincoln through to the A158 to Skegness, along with the A57 from the county boundary where it joins the A46 in Lincoln.
The Coastal Highway concept has been considered for a number of years; however, proposals to deliver improved transport corridors to the Lincolnshire coast have only recently become a high priority.
Aims and Benefits
Improved transport corridors to the Lincolnshire coast (including public transport)
Support a range of economic sectors, both across the county and locally, and will have different benefits to different parts of the economy
Assist with supporting balanced growth, securing development and providing access and connectivity for both communities and business
Support economic growth through promoting tourism
Cost and Funding
There is currently no funding allocated to this project. Funding for any works to the route would be reviewed once a shortlist of potential improvements has been made. This funding would likely come from a range of sources, including central government funding bids, third-party contributions and LCC capital funding.
With respect to cycling, it was agreed that the scheme could support and promote 'green' cycle tourism and that in addition to making the route 'cycle friendly', that links to pre-existing Multi User Paths ('Water Rail Way' linking Boston and Lincoln and 'Spa Trail' linking Woodhall Spa and Horncastle) be improved. It was noted that work is ongoing to implement a Cycle Hub at Skegness and that the 'Go Skegness' project includes a number of new cycle paths and cycle ways.
Justin Brown (head of Enterprise Commissioning Lincolnshire City Council), who was one of the facilitators at the meeting, was very supportive of improving facilities for cyclists.
Following on from the Lincolnshire Coastal Highway engagement sessions, Councillor Richard Davies wanted to thank everyone who was able to attend.
"A lot of great feedback was received that will really bolster the challenges, opportunities and potential solutions we've already identified.
Now that we have a diverse longlist of potential upgrades to sections of the route, including improved signage, adding overtaking opportunities, making the route more cycle-friendly and reducing congestion at key pinch points, we'll start sifting through these in the weeks to come to create a shortlist of projects to carry forward.
For those unable to attend, please visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/majorprojects and click the Lincolnshire Coastal Highway link for information about the project, including a map of the corridor and the presentation given this week.
Thank you all again for your interest in what could become one of the county's most ambitious major highways projects".
Councillor Richard Davies
Executive Councillor for Highways and Transport
Melanie Carroll reports on her daily commute into Lincoln!
1st February 2018
Melanie Carroll, our Campaigns Officer, explains to Nicola Gilroy of the BBC about the lack of cycle provision in Lincoln.
Download the programme HERE
Donation to Sustrans
Gwyneth McMinn Head Of Network Development (Midland and East) accepting £200 from Tim Newbery, Cycling UK Lincolnshire
REPORT BY TIM NEWBERY
10th February 2018
Donation to Sustrans
Following the motion submitted by Trevor Halstead to donate monies to Sustrans at Cycling UK Lincolnshire’s AGM in November 2017, and the majority vote in favour, the Committee agreed to donate £200 to the East Midlands branch. Most of our members use the National Cycle Network within the East Midlands, and more widely across the UK, and it was felt we could support the charity by donating the money given to us by National Office.
Indeed, the aims and vision of both Cycling UK and Sustrans are quite similar in getting more people out cycling in a safe environment. There are differences in how this is to be achieved naturally and Cycling UK believes in our rights to use the whole variety of 'highways' as laid down by law, but it’s important that both organisations work together to achieve that shared vision.
Cycling UK Vision
Cycling UK’s vision is of a healthier, happier and cleaner world, because more people cycle.
We want people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to be able to cycle safely, easily and enjoyably.
Cycling UK has championed the cause of cycling for well over a century. We promote all forms of cycling, protect the interests of existing and would-be cyclists, and inspire people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to discover the joys of cycling.
A UK-wide Network of safe, traffic-free routes connecting and crossing settlements and countryside, inspiring a new generation to get on their bikes.
Tim Newbery was invited to attend the Sustrans Volunteer Meeting held in Lincoln on Saturday 10th February 2018. The event was well attended and it gave participants the chance to discuss ongoing projects, such as the review of the National Cycle Network of which there are 14,000 miles! Maria, the local co-ordinator discussed the ‘Greener Greenways’ project increasing the biodiversity along NCN’s, to include NCN 1 that runs through Lincolnshire such as at Skellingthorpe. It was stressed that Sustrans cycle rides this year (2018) would focus on encouraging less confident cyclists and families, and to that end distances would be reduced and be made manageable for all. It is hoped that there would be an organised cycle ride to Fledborough Viaduct in early July.
It was also noted that the ‘Danelaw Project’ was soon to be taken to it’s next phase. This project is the delivery of a MultiUser Path (MUP) which extends from the East Lindsey coastline along the Louth Navigation and then connects with the Water Rail Way MUP (potentially via the disused GNR Louth to Bardney train line), providing access for pedestrian, cycle, equestrian and disabled users.
The donation of £200 was received by Sustrans Head Of Network Development (Midland and East), Gwyneth McMinn, who said:
“Our recent event was well attended by Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire volunteers and I’d particularly like to thank Tim Newbery from Cycling UK Lincolnshire for the kind donation. Their aims match our own vision to get more people cycling. As such it’s important that both organisations work together to achieve that shared vision. I’m looking forward to attending Cycling UK Lincolnshire’s Annual General Meeting in November to affirm that commitment.”
The Sustrans website article can be found HERE
THE RIGHTS OF CYCLISTS ON FOOTPATHS AND FOOTWAYS
23rd March 2018
Melanie Carroll representing Cycling UK Lincolnshire was interviewed on BBC Radio Lincolnshire on 23rd March to discuss the thorny issue of cyclist's rights, or not, of riding on footpaths and footways. What's legal or not? You can hear her chat with Rod Whiting on the Breakfast show. Download the interview HERE.
The article starts at approx 2:08 with Melanie on at approx 2:12 minutes.
Trevor Halstead was also interviewed on the same subject on Siren Radio, Lincoln's community radio station based at the University of Lincoln. The programme, 'City Vibe', was aired on Friday between 5.00 pm and 6.00 pm and you can listen to the recording HERE. The article starts at about 28 minutes.
What's Legal or not?
It's a bit of a minefield not only dealing with legislation and law, some of it archaic, but also the definition of carriageway terminology.
Bicycles are, in law, carriages (as a consequence of the Taylor v Goodwin judgment in 1879). Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1888 extended the definition of “carriage” to include “bicycles, tricycles, velocipedes and other similar manually propelled machines. Technically speaking, a ‘road’ is a ‘carriageway’.
It might be of interest to note that legislation doesn't refer to 'pavements', so it might be best not to use this term. Americans and UK civil engineers consider ‘pavement’ to be the road. Sidewalk is a good, descriptive word but deemed too American for UK usage. Highway Code Rule 64 which states "You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement" just shows how tricky the terminology can be. Rather than 'Pavement' it might have been best for the publication to have used 'footway' to save confusion and ambiguity.
We need to be clear from the start of the important difference between a footway and a footpath.
A Footway : Means a way comprised in a highway, which also comprises a carriageway, being a way over which the public has a right of way on foot only [Section 329(1) Highways Act 1980]. So, in towns, cities and urban areas, technically, we have footways, not footpaths.
In summary, 'footways' are paths alongside roads set aside for pedestrians and it is an offence to cycle along them.
The primary legislation which makes cycling on a footway an offence is Section 72 of the Highway Act 1835, this provides that a person shall be guilty of an offence if he “shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot-passengers or shall wilfully lead or drive any carriage of any description upon any such footpath or causeway.” The object of Section 72 Highways Act 1835 was intended not to protect all footpaths, but only footpaths or causeways by the side of a road, and that is still the case as has been ruled in the high court. While all other parts of the 1835 Highway Act have been either amended or repealed, section 72 remains in force.
Cycling on footways (a path at the side of a carriageway) is therefore prohibited by Section 72 of the Highway Act 1835, amended by Section 85(1) of the Local Government Act 1888. This is punishable by a maximum fine of £500 or more commonly a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £50. The legislation makes no exceptions for small wheeled or children’s cycles, so even a child riding on a footway is breaking the law. However, if they are under the age of criminal responsibility (10 years of age) they cannot, of course, face prosecution.
Fortunately, when FPNs were introduced for footway cycling in 1999, Home Office Minister Paul Boateng issued guidance saying that: "The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the footway out of fear of traffic and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so. Chief Police Officers who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required".
The Home Office guidance was re-affirmed in 2014 by the then Cycling Minister Robert Goodwill, who agreed that the police should use discretion in enforcing the law and recommended that the matter be taken up with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). ACPO welcomed the renewed guidance, circulated it to all forces, and issued a statement referring to "discretion in taking a reasonable and proportionate approach, with safety being a guiding principle"
To summarise, cycling on footways is an offence, but there is clear guidance that the police are supposed to exercise discretion!
Note: Anyone pushing a bicycle on a footway is a "foot-passenger" (Crank v Brooks  RTR 441) and is not "riding" it, so if in doubt, dismount and walk.
A Footpath : Means a highway over which the public have a right of way on foot only, not being a footway [Section 329(1) Highways Act 1980]. Generally, this means walking routes away from roads, say in the countryside.
Cyclists can ride on bridleways, but not on countryside footpaths, as cyclists have no legal right to cycle on footpaths away from the road. To do so is a civil tort (of trespass to land), ie not a criminal matter, the landowner has to sue the transgressor for damages (of which there’s likely to be none). Therefore the ‘fixed penalties’ brought in a few years ago do NOT apply to country footpaths where there is no road. If however, a local by-law or Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) covers a particular, specified footpath, then it can make it an offence. Fixed penalty notices also cannot be applied to areas such as parks, shopping precincts etc., again unless a by-law or TRO has been passed making cycling in such areas an offence.
Some footpaths are regularly used by cyclists and if enough cyclists use a footpath in this way without the landowner challenging them for (usually) 20 years, then a restricted byway may be claimed through 'presumed' rights' under Section 31 of the 1980 Highways Act.
See Cycling UK's briefing notes.
A Cycle Track : Means a way constituting or comprised in a highway, being a way over which the public have the following, but no other, rights of way, that is to say, a right of way on pedal cycles (other than pedal cycles which are motor vehicles within the meaning of the Road Traffic Act 1972) with or without a right of way on foot [Section 329(1) Highways Act 1980]. The words in brackets were inserted by section 1 of the Cycle Tracks Act 1984. Cycle tracks may be created through conversion of a footway or footpath or newly constructed.
Because Cycle Tracks are often signed poorly, it can be difficult to know where one starts and then stops. For instance, how far does the remit of a traffic sign extend? Ultimately it depends on the wording of the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) which brought the cycle path into existence.
It could happen that someone might start to ride on shared-use footway/cycle path after seeing an approved ‘Cycle path’ sign, assuming that they could continue to ride on the path until they saw a sign declaring it was no longer a cycle path, but as this sign was missing inadvertently continue onto a section of footway not included in the original TRO. In such a case they could very probably avoid prosecution for cycling on the footway if they highlighted the absence of the required sign. Then again, as a cycle path is supposed to be equipped with repeater signs as well the police might argue that once someone was riding on a section of footway with no cycle path repeater signs, they should assume it was no longer a cycle path and use the road instead!
What about prams, pushchairs, wheelchairs, motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters?
Very few legal precedents exist. A case in 1861 at Bristol Assizes concerned a particularly difficult owner who tried to remove a lady who was pushing a pram along an urban footpath (footway). The judge advised the jury that if pushing a pram constituted driving a carriage then the owner would be justified in removing her as the right of way was on foot only. However, the jury concluded, and the judge agreed, that pushing a pram was not driving a carriage but merely associated with walking. Thus his view that the owner could have removed a carriage driver has only the status of an obiter dictum (things said by the way, not legally binding-persuasive only).
It would seem that pushchairs and prams are used by 'foot passengers' in the same way as pushing a bike rather than riding it. Similarly manual wheelchairs. Thus, the user may take with them what is termed as a "natural accompaniment"
Motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters are permitted as long as they satisfy certain restrictions in use, including limiting speed to less than 4 mph and showing consideration and priority to pedestrians.
Cycling UK Viewpoint on Use of Footpaths
Cycling UK believes that it is acceptable for cyclists to use footpaths, provided they do so in a manner which respects the safety of other path users and their peaceful enjoyment of the outdoors, and with regard for the environment and its ecology. These are the circumstances in which Cycling UK believes it is acceptable for cyclists to ride on footpaths:
Where the surface and width of the path make it eminently suitable for safe cycling without causing disturbance or risk to pedestrians; or
Where the path is lightly used, such that the likelihood of disturbance or risk to pedestrians is minimal; or
Where a path is unlikely to attract such high levels of cycling that it will cause environmental damage (notably erosion); or
Where there is a reasonable belief that the footpath in question might already carry higher rights, for example: where there is historic evidence (e.g. through enclosure award maps) demonstrating past use either by horses or by vehicles; where the path is shown on OS maps as an ‘Other Road with Public Access’ (ORPA), indicating an assumption that higher rights may exist; where there is regular use by equestrians, motor vehicles and/or by other cyclists.
Is it legal for a cyclist to ride across a zebra crossing?
It is not illegal (some local by-laws may apply) to ride a pedal cycle across a zebra crossing, but rule 79 of the Highway Code says cyclists should dismount and wheel their cycles across a pelican, puffin or zebra crossing. Equally, in law, if you did cycle across a zebra crossing then you are not a ‘pedestrian’, so a motorist who fails to give way to you won’t be committing an offence if they cut in front of you – case law precedent if you are interested is Crank v Brooks (1980 RTR).
Roads Were Not Built For Cars
Department For Transport
North Hykeham Relief Road
Subject to funding, the North Hykeham Relief Road (formerly the Lincoln Southern Bypass) would form part of the Lincolnshire Coastal Highway and link the completed Lincoln Eastern Bypass (at the A15 Sleaford Road) with the existing Western Bypass (at its junction with Newark Road), creating a complete ring road around Lincoln.
Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) are currently developing proposals and reviewing options for the North Hykeham Relief Road scheme, including carriageway width and provisions for those not travelling by car.
As part of this, LCC want to find out your views about the project and how it should progress.
All completed questionnaires had to be received by 5 pm on Friday 29 June 2018.
A report summarising the outcome of the engagement process will be made publicly available later in the year. These outcomes will be taken into account as proposals for the relief road are further developed.
A dynamic regional hub that is central to local and national transport connection, the Greater Lincoln area is rapidly establishing itself as a vibrant place to live and work.
As the city grows, it generates more traffic, increasing the pressures on the existing transport network. The county council sees the North Hykeham Relief Road as part of the solution to help resolve this.
Funding for preparation of an outline business case, which will help the project team secure funding to build the relief road, was secured in July 2017. The report is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
A 3D flight over the proposed route of the North Hykeham Relief Road.
Aims and Benefits
To assist the sustainable economic growth of Lincoln and Lincolnshire by:
Improvements to the strategic road network
Improving direct links to the Primary/Trans-European Road Network
To improve the quality of life in central Lincoln and in the settlements within the study area by:
Relieving traffic congestion
Reducing traffic generation noise and air pollution
To maximise accessibility to central Lincoln by:
Giving drivers more choice of routes to access or bypass Lincoln
Providing an additional river crossing
Reducing journey times for through-traffic travelling between areas to the east and west of the city
To improve road safety in central Lincoln and the settlements within the study area by:
Providing an alternative, more direct route between areas to the east and west of the city, avoiding the city centre
Improving links between primary route corridors and increasing the range of entry points to the city
Reducing conflicts between heavy good vehicles, other road users, pedestrians and property
Cost and Funding
The scheme remains a long term aspiration of the county council subject to funding availability.
Melanie Carroll, our Campaigns Officer, hopes as many as possible will fill in the questionnaire and mention cycling infrastructure: segregated, safe, practical, joined up, and maintained - suitable for all including disabled and those transporting children or cargo, and also pedestrian safety and equality of movement - again remembering vulnerable users. Let's not forget about those with limited mobility or family sized bicycles and last mile transport cargo bikes. Steep bridges, chicanes/bollards, and dismount signs need not to be part of the inclusion. Not forgetting pollution protection because moving pollution from the centre to the suburbs isn't a solution.
Only if we get the numbers filling in the questionnaire will they truly get the message.
BBC RADIO LINCOLNSHIRE INTERVIEW MONDAY 19TH NOVEMBER 2018
Melanie Carroll, Cycling UK Lincolnshire's Campaigns Officer, was live on air on BBC Radio Lincolnshire on Monday 19th November. Coinciding with 'Road Safety Week', Lincolnshire Police has announced "Operation Tandem". The operation is intended to educate drivers to give at least 1.5 m space when passing cyclists. "Keep them alive at 1.5" . Melanie discussed the importance of this operation with BBC Radio Lincolnshire's reporter Harry Parkin, live on Dixon Way in Lincoln. You can listen again to Melanie by downloading the interview HERE
Six cyclists have lost their lives on Lincolnshire's roads since 2016 and many more have been seriously injured, so Lincolnshire Police see the launch of Operation Tandem as an important way of tackling this problem.
It was interesting to learn that 27 drivers were pulled over in the allotted hour for driving too closely to a cyclist (many thanks to PCSO Kay for volunteering to be that cyclist). Great to see the Cycling UK close pass mat being put to good use.
Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West said "Essentially we want to get away from thinking that you can just squeeze through. That is potentially a life and death decision. We have a lot of traffic, a lot of bends to negotiate and lives are lost every year due to bad decisions. With Operation Safe Pass we want to get the phrase 'keep them alive at one point five' to leap into the mind of any road user who is about to overtake a cyclist. Cyclists and drivers are sometimes seen as opposing groups but with Project Tandem, we send a clear message that we need to use the road safely, alongside each other. It doesn't matter if you are on two wheels or four, we can all make changes to improve safety. Patience, sound judgement and respect are what we want from anyone using our roads".
BBC Look North also covered the event and Peter Levy interviewed Cycling UK's Head of Campaigns Duncan Dollimore. It was allegedly an aggressive piece of journalism and could have been interpreted as inciting poor relations between roads users. Cycling UK's Vice Chair Jaki Lowe said "We all need to work together to create harmony on the roads".
CYCLENATION AND CYCLING UK'S CAMAIGNERS' CONFERENCE
BIRMINGHAM, SATURDAY 24TH NOVEMBER 2018
This is Cyclenation and Cycling UK's annual campaigners' conference, and was hosted this year by Push Bikes in Birmingham.
This year's conference included information about Manchester's Beelines, and the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods campaign by Living Streets and London Cycle Campaign. Wheels for Wellbeing talked about their design guidance for inclusive cycling, and Cycling UK explained their new national campaign for funding for cycling. There were discussions on communications strategies for campaigning, such as using social media and giving media interviews, and how to get our message across to political parties.
Melanie Carroll was a speaker as part of a Q&A workshop at the Cyclenation campaigners conference in Birmingham on the 24th November on being involved with and raising awareness of local highways consultations, especially in an area that has highways authority outside of the local council structure (and an authority that doesn't use the consultation hub that most other councils now do).
On the 24th November the Cyclenation Campaigners Conference happened - this year held in Birmingham and organised by Pushbikes CC.
The day before had been for councils, local authorities and other agencies involved in sustainable transport, infrastructure, and town & road planning. On the Saturday this was the time for Cycle Campaigners and Activists to get together, listen to some great keynote speakers, and take part in an amazing line up of seminars and sessions dealing with things such as forthcoming updates to transport design standards, how to get businesses on side, disability and cycling, working with the media, and more.
For those not aware of who Cyclenation is they are a federation of local campaign groups that work to help local groups campaign and to represent them at the national and international level, the Cyclenation conference is also supported by Cycling UK who of course have a similar intent too.
This was a conference to learn from others doing the work, to be encouraged, network and up-skill.
The opening talk set the tone with an incredible talk on climate change, air pollution, court action, and sustainable travel. It really relayed to all in attendance that what we do isn't just about making the roads safe for those who cycled, but more importantly making the roads safe so more can and will cycle because this isn't just about cycling, it's about health, well-being, and environmental impact.
There were people there from all over the country - some having traveled for hours from Scotland and Bristol amongst other places to be there. The atmosphere was great with so many committed advocates in one room sharing their experiences.
The individual sessions, of which you had the choice to attend 4 out of about 12, were all really good and having to choose which ones to do was perhaps the only bad thing about the conference - they just were all so very good. (The programme and selection of sessions can be seen here ).
I attended the session on the refresh of LTN2/08 given by Phil Jones. The LTN2/08 is the Local transport note (LTN) about creating the infrastructure to encourage cycling and to hear of the refresh work it's undergoing was fantastic as there is some really good material and guidance going into it on really improving safety for cyclists and pedestrians through the design of cycle infrastructure. This is work for cyclists being done by cyclists and it shows - now all we need is for our local authorities to really take on board this best practice material when it comes out.
Next I went to the session on Inclusive cycling/Disability and Cycling run by Wheels for Well-being which was a wonderful whistle-stop tour through the history of disabled cycling - did you know the first cycles were actually designed by and for disabled people? and it then covered what is needed to make cycling inclusive for all, both in terms of understanding the difficulties and making the infrastructure right.
Next up I attended the session run by Cycling UK's Duncan Dollimore on positive ways to engage with the media. Another great session with some very helpful tips and advice for all of those that need to get their work into the media, or who are approached by the local media on Cycling issues. A very good session.
I didn't actually get to attend a fourth session as I had actually been invited to give one of the sessions. A talk and Q&A on 'Responding to Highways Consultations - where do I start?'.
It was surprisingly well attended from people up and down the country, both those new to consultations and those well versed in them, and the Q&A was really good with people sharing experiences and knowledge around the group and helping each other.
The one thing that became clear is that this is an increasingly important activity for cycle campaigners - but it is also one of the hardest aspects and invariably somewhat frustrating and energy intensive. I learnt a lot too in that session.
If you want to know more about the other great sessions and talks that went on then hop over to twitter and search on ##CNconf18 & #CycleAdvocate.
All I can say is that the energy, passion, and enthusiasm at the conference was brilliant to see and experience, and I would wholeheartedly encourage any cycle campaigners and Activists - current, just starting, or thinking about it - to attend next year's Cyclenation Conference, I know I will be - and I will be a better Campaigner for it.
Cycle England was one of a number of projects to receive funding from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund. Cycle England, led by Visit Lincoln, Access Lincoln and Welcome to Yorkshire was granted £1 million. In turn, Cycle England has launched a new grant scheme for tourism businesses so that they can get ‘cycle ready’ in 2019. Businesses can apply for grants up to the value of £15,000 to improve facilities for cyclists such as cycle parking and storage, changing facilities, suitable cycle friendly accommodation, signage and in particular cycle hire with the emphasis on e-bikes. The deadline for applications is 31st December 2018.
Cycle England was tasked to create new bookable cycling packages in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, targeting the Dutch and German leisure holidaymakers. Working with tour operators the new packages are to be launched in March 2019. Cycle England admitted this is a very tight schedule and to meet the deadline the routes chosen to date, by necessity, have had to have been ones that already existed such as those developed by North Lincolnshire and the long-distance Sustrans trails in Yorkshire.
Chief Executive at Visit Lincoln, Lydia Rusling said: “This is a very exciting project to be involved in and will tap into overseas visitor markets that have not been fully explored before”.
“The new packages include three new cycling routes which highlight the iconic scenery of historic Lincoln, Lincolnshire Wolds and the Humber to the Wash.
“The cycling packages will include accommodation, attraction passes, transport, bike hire and other elements which are needed for a top-quality cycling holiday”.
The bookable cycling holidays focus on some of Lincolnshire’s and Yorkshire’s most iconic long-distance cycle routes, including:
In Lincolnshire: The Lincolnshire Wolds, The Humber to the Wash, and Historic Lincoln;
In Yorkshire: The Way of the Roses, Yorkshire Dales Cycle Way, and the Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Route.
It was acknowledged that cycling infrastructure is much more developed in Yorkshire and closer to what the Dutch and German cyclists are used to and would demand. The infrastructure in Lincolnshire is perhaps not as advanced.
The grant funding was discussed at three tourism events and Cycling UK Lincolnshire’s Tim Newbery attended the ones held on:
November 27 2018 (10 am-3 pm) – hosted by East and West Lindsey District Council
November 28 2018 (1.30 pm-5 pm) – hosted by North Lincolnshire Council
Two key messages were taken away from both the meetings.
The building of Partnerships – the sharing of information
It was interesting to learn that the value of tourism in Lincolnshire was £1.47 billion in 2017. The value of the ‘Lincolnshire Wolds’ visitors to the economy alone was £177 million. Tourism is BIG businesses and there was much emphasis on ways to make businesses ‘cycle ready’ in 2019 to take full advantage.
Cycle England’s main focus is on the Dutch and German leisure markets, targeting in particular the over 40’s demographic. The cycle routes chosen for the project have been assessed as ‘moderate’. It is hoped that future additions will be more family friendly and accessible to all. The website, which is still in its early stages, is intended as a tool to book cycle packages, although solo cyclists could also access the information to arrange their own itineraries. The current routes are to be expanded and new routes added. Perhaps a ‘Pilgrim Trail’ to coincide with ‘Mayflower 400’ in 2020 to include locations such as Gainsborough (where some of the ‘separatists’ came from) and the memorials at Immingham and Frieston, near Boston.
Sadly, as far as Tim could make out there has been no consultation or collaboration with national or local cycle organisations. The routes however have been devised and test ridden by a local business, ‘Focus Rides’ which has a mountain bike background. The business is run by Kevin John Smith. It is hoped that tour operators and interested tourism partners will be invited to cycle the routes during the winter months (perhaps not the best time!). When Kevin was pressed as to the possibility of Cycling UK Lincolnshire joining the rides, the opportunity was declined.
It was also noted that although there was an acknowledgment of the need to improve 'cycling infrastructure' there was no comment or attempt made to address the need to improve the quality of carriageways both on and off road, or the provision of cycle tracks / multi user paths. Melanie will be very aware of all the issues in Lincoln!
The meetings / workshops covered the grant scheme priority areas:
Increase e-bike hire availability and facilities. E-bike hire is seen as crucial. It is expected that 65% of all bike sales in Germany in 2019 will be e-bikes. It is recognised that the availability of e-bike hire in Lincolnshire is lacking and it is clear that the lack of e-bike friendly infrastructure may prevent German and Dutch visitors from taking a Cycle England holiday.
Improving cycling facilities and infrastructure. To enhance the cycling experience offering associated services and facilities. From a business audit, it’s known that in Yorkshire there is already a level of development and awareness for supporting cyclists, cycling holiday packages and cycling friendly businesses. In Lincolnshire the infrastructure and offering is perhaps not as advanced. Projects such as cycle parking and storage, changing facilities, signage, luggage transfer, cycle hire and repair, washrooms etc are key.
Signage of Routes. How well the routes are signposted is seen as a key element. Cycle England is aware that signage could be improved in certain parts of the chosen routes and feel this is even more important for German and Dutch visitors who are used to cycling infrastructure of a high quality. It was interesting to hear from the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB Management that they are actively seeking a de-cluttering of ‘signage’ and so that this may be an issue that will need to be addressed. The signage will in any case need to be discussed with a number of organisations including the relevant Local Authority (there are many regulations / legislation regarding signage!) and Sustrans who are responsible for the National Cycle Network.
It was important to liaise with the lead organisers of the Cycle England Project and to improve the visibility of Cycling UK. They are now aware of Cycling UK Lincolnshire and we can be ‘kept in the loop’. We are happy to be consulted and collaborate.
It was certainly a very useful exercise to be involved in the meetings / workshops. A good opportunity to ‘network’ with the hospitality sector and Tim was able to meet and chat with several owners of cafes and accommodations in addition to members of local and district councils.
Copies of the PowerPoint presentations can be downloaded below:
UPDATE 22nd January 2020
East Lindsey District Council hosted a 'Destination Strategy Workshop at the Brackenborough Hotel in Louth on Wednesday 22nd January 2020. This built on the work started on bookable cycling packages in Lincolnshire, aiding to boost the 4.8 million visitors spending £700 million in the county.
Contact Haley Toyne, Cycle England Project Manager for Lincolnshire
CAMPAIGNS OFFICER'S REPORT
You can download and read Melanie's latest 'Campaigns Officer's Report (November 2019) HERE