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Rishi Sunak is “on the side” of drivers – What happened to Britain’s “golden age for cycling”? Plus THAT cargo bike parking row on the road.cc Podcast

We discuss what the Prime Minister’s pro-car agenda could mean for active travel in the UK, while a Bristol family ask why their cargo bike is deemed by the council to be less important than a car parking space…

Last weekend, just in case you were doing your best to avoid the news, Rishi Sunak promised the UK’s motorists that he was “on their side”, as the Prime Minister ordered a review of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in England.

 

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The review – which led Cycling UK to accuse the Prime Minister of using LTNs as a “political football” – comes as the debate over green active travel policies continues to sharpen in the wake of the Conservative Party’s win at the recent Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election (called following the departure of the famously active travel-friendly PM Boris Johnson), a narrow victory credited to the Tory opposition to Labour mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to extend London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone.

Railton LTN (picture credit TfL)

> Rishi Sunak accused of seeking to exploit division over LTNs as he orders review of schemes

Sunak’s opposition to ULEZ and LTNs, the latest strategic manoeuvre in the pre-general election battleground, isn’t the only move away from the green active travel policies held by his party in recent years, with the Prime Minister recently hinting at plans to push back the date that sales of new petrol and diesel-powered cars will be banned, while funding for cycling infrastructure – including the new government body Active Travel England – has also taken a hit during his tenure in charge.

> Whose ULEZ is it anyway? Political chicanery as clean air zone set to expand to outer London

In the second part of the latest episode of the road.cc Podcast, Jack, Simon, and Ryan sit round the table to discuss what Sunak’s latest pro-driver pledges mean for the next general election, how they represent a shift away from past Conservative policy on cycling, active travel, and climate change (led by Johnson), and what impact they could have on the future landscape of cycling in the UK.

DIY bike parking space in Bristol (credit: Anna Cordle)

> “The road is yours only if you own a car?”: Cyclist couple challenge council after being asked to remove DIY bike parking space from outside home

But before we get to all that political chicanery, in part one of this episode Ryan chats with Bristol couple Anna and Mark Cordle, who recently made the headlines after they set up a parking space for their family cargo bike outside their home – which, a year after it was installed, has been the subject of threats by the local council to remove it… because it was taking up a car parking space.

In a really interesting discussion which touches on the differing perceptions and treatment of people who ride bikes to get around compared to those who use cars, Anna and Mark detail the reasons why they needed the space for their young family, how it was greeted by their neighbours, their current struggle against the council, and why planter-based bike parking spaces may provide an organic, cost-effective way forward for active travel in the UK’s cities.

As outlined in our original article, Bristol City Council is standing firm in its reasons for asking Anna and Mark to remove the heavy planters, claiming that placing them on the road is in breach of Section 149 of the Highways Act, and that they would be liable "if any person has an accident has a result of [your] planters being on the highway." 

Are DIY cargo bike parking spaces the way to go, and if not, what are the alternatives? Anna notes during the discussion that she won’t be holding her breath for a dramatic policy shift just yet…

The road.cc Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music, and if you have an Alexa you can just tell it to play the road.cc Podcast. It’s also embedded further up the page, so you can just press play.

At the time of broadcast, our listeners can also get a free Hammerhead Heart Rate Monitor with the purchase of a Hammerhead Karoo 2. Visit hammerhead.io right now and use promo code ROADCC at checkout to get yours.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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93 comments

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Hirsute | 11 months ago
2 likes

The government has unveiled its new climate strategy – ‘We’re all going to die anyway, so who cares.’

Inspired by the success of getting 13,000 fewer votes than last time in the Uxbridge by-election, the Tories have concluded that everyone now hates the planet.

“Liking the planet is for poofs and communists,” explained leading Tory thinker Lee Anderson.

“Being British means being able to set fire to a pile of tyres in your garden and not having some limp-wristed, muesli-knitting lefty reminding you that your grandchildren are going to have to spend their entire lives on fire.

“If you don’t like living on this planet, then you should just go and live on another one.”

https://newsthump.com/2023/08/09/were-all-going-to-die-anyway-so-who-car...

 

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chrisonabike replied to Hirsute | 11 months ago
1 like

Yeah!  Sometimes I wonder if I've slipped a couple of decades back in time and parody has become reality.

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perce | 11 months ago
6 likes

Is this a website about bicycles and bicycling for bicyclists?

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Rendel Harris replied to perce | 11 months ago
6 likes
perce wrote:

Is this a website about bicycles and bicycling for bicyclists?

Oh you poor innocent child. Bless you.

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perce replied to Rendel Harris | 11 months ago
3 likes

It's reading the same comment over and over again, sometimes with graphs, sometimes not. It's befuddling my senses. I wish I'd taken up stamp collecting. Although there would probably be someone on a Stanley Gibbons site arguing about the type of dye used in 19th century Guatamalan stamps. Eternally.

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wtjs replied to perce | 11 months ago
4 likes

It's reading the same comment over and over again

There is a simple answer: Identify Nutters, Ignore comments either by, responding to, or referring to Nutters.

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perce replied to wtjs | 11 months ago
3 likes

Well said and very true. I do try.

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ktache replied to perce | 11 months ago
4 likes

But occasionally there are pictures of relevant squirrels.

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hawkinspeter replied to ktache | 11 months ago
5 likes
ktache wrote:

But occasionally there are pictures of relevant squirrels.

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eburtthebike replied to perce | 11 months ago
7 likes
perce wrote:

I wish I'd taken up stamp collecting.

Philately gets you nowhere: cycling gets you everywhere.

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perce replied to eburtthebike | 11 months ago
6 likes

Very true. Had a great bike ride today, got lost for the first time, got three thorough soakings and had a great time. Don't feel as grumpy now, sorry all if I sounded grumpy yesterday, feel much better now. 

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mark1a replied to perce | 11 months ago
8 likes

I also had a great bike ride today, no getting lost, no soakings, although it was a bit windy across the top of the Ridgeway. Rode a bike I've not been on since May, a magnificent machine it is too. Life is better spent riding a bike than arguing on the internet IMO. 

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Secret_squirrel replied to eburtthebike | 11 months ago
5 likes
eburtthebike wrote:

Philately gets you nowhere: cycling gets you everywhere.

On the contrary if you stick enough stamps on yourself then philately too will get you anywhere, though probably less comfortably. 

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chrisonabike replied to perce | 11 months ago
8 likes
perce wrote:

Is this a website about bicycles and bicycling for bicyclists?

Is there a whiff of tricycle-exclusion here? #cyclingiscycling #allwheelswelcome

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perce replied to chrisonabike | 11 months ago
6 likes

Ooops - sorry.

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lonpfrb replied to chrisonabike | 11 months ago
2 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:
perce wrote:

Is this a website about bicycles and bicycling for bicyclists?

Is there a whiff of tricycle-exclusion here? #cyclingiscycling #allwheelswelcome

#RideLikeAGirl

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mattw | 11 months ago
0 likes

"Britain’s “golden age for cycling”?" is not here yet.

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chrisonabike replied to mattw | 11 months ago
2 likes
mattw wrote:

"Britain’s “golden age for cycling”?" is not here yet.

Hopefully - but it probably *was*, somewhere around 1920s - 1930s, with the later being the peak for cycle infra as motor vehicles became common.

https://www.bikeboom.info/formby/

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grOg | 11 months ago
3 likes

Anna and Mark Cordle are typical of people that think they can ignore road law to do something that is convenient for them; anyone with the faintest clue about using public roads know that a council permit is needed to place anything on a public road, other than parking a vehicle that is legal to use on the road, so they can park their bicycle but not place planters that act to prevent anyone else from using that space when their bicycle isn't parked there.

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hawkinspeter replied to grOg | 11 months ago
4 likes
grOg wrote:

Anna and Mark Cordle are typical of people that think they can ignore road law to do something that is convenient for them; anyone with the faintest clue about using public roads know that a council permit is needed to place anything on a public road, other than parking a vehicle that is legal to use on the road, so they can park their bicycle but not place planters that act to prevent anyone else from using that space when their bicycle isn't parked there.

The problem with the planters is that the council isn't providing any kind of facility that would enable secure parking of cargo bikes. What they should do is provide some Sheffield stand type of loops along the edge of pavements (where there's seen to be a need for them). That would enable all kind of bikes to be locked in a secure fashion whilst also keeping them from blocking the pavement and as a bonus would prevent drivers parking on the pavement too.

The planters seem like a good compromise in light of the lack of other options, but yes, they aren't allowed to be just put onto roads by people although I think in this case the Cordle's have the support of their neighbours and are trying to be responsible.

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brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 11 months ago
4 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

The problem with the planters is that the council isn't providing any kind of facility that would enable secure parking of cargo bikes. What they should do is provide some Sheffield stand type of loops along the edge of pavements (where there's seen to be a need for them). That would enable all kind of bikes to be locked in a secure fashion whilst also keeping them from blocking the pavement and as a bonus would prevent drivers parking on the pavement too.

They would never do that because it might get in the way of all the pavement-side parking...

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Left_is_for_Losers | 11 months ago
1 like

After reading so much politics on road.cc in the last few days, the average IQ of it's readers must be a lot lower than I thought. 

No wonder they keep posting nonsense articles about helmets, LTN's, Brexit and the Tories to get it's members frothing and clicking. 

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Rendel Harris replied to Left_is_for_Losers | 11 months ago
11 likes
Ledner_Sirrah wrote:

After reading so much politics on road.cc in the last few days, the average IQ of it's readers must be a lot lower than I thought. 

No wonder they keep posting nonsense articles about helmets, LTN's, Brexit and the Tories to get it's members frothing and clicking. 

Most of the readers seem to know the difference between it's and its though, so that's something. This is exactly what you did before you were banned as thisismyusername, spending your entire time telling us why both the readership and the editorial staff are crap. Have you really nothing better to do with your life than this?

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Left_is_for_Losers replied to Rendel Harris | 11 months ago
1 like
Rendel Harris wrote:

Most of the readers seem to know the difference between it's and its though, so that's something. This is exactly what you did before you were banned as thisismyusername, spending your entire time telling us why both the readership and the editorial staff are crap. Have you really nothing better to do with your life than this?

A BITE A BITE 

I don't know what it is you refer to. No one was questioning the grammatical expertise and the editorship was crap. Rather, that they seem to be profiting well from the frothing, which is why they post it. Well done to the road.cc team. 

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Cugel replied to Left_is_for_Losers | 11 months ago
8 likes
Ledner_Sirrah wrote:

After reading so much politics on road.cc in the last few days, the average IQ of it's readers must be a lot lower than I thought. 

No wonder they keep posting nonsense articles about helmets, LTN's, Brexit and the Tories to get it's members frothing and clicking. 

Hoy, hoy!  Frothing & clicking are two of my favourite hobbies. And how do 'ee expect this website to make advert money if there's no clicking on articles describing mad & expensive cycling gubbins that no one needs but everyone wants, eh, eh!?

PS Tories have been replaced by various spivs, who don't do politics (which involves compromise and associated tolerances) but are good at forming criminal gangs.

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Left_is_for_Losers replied to Cugel | 11 months ago
1 like
Cugel wrote:

PS Tories have been replaced by various spivs, who don't do politics (which involves compromise and associated tolerances) but are good at forming criminal gangs.

I don't agree with everything they are doing, but better the evil you know than that you don't... no-one wants Captain Crasharoonie Snoozefest aka the Human Bollard as PM do they. 

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quiff replied to Left_is_for_Losers | 11 months ago
9 likes

A name change already?

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levestane replied to Left_is_for_Losers | 11 months ago
1 like

I don't think it matters who gets in next, it's too late.

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hawkinspeter replied to levestane | 11 months ago
7 likes
levestane wrote:

I don't think it matters who gets in next, it's too late.

It does matter as the Tories want the oil companies to get every last bit of profit out of the North Sea. They use a pretence of it bringing fuel bills down, but the oil will just be sold on the international market and won't make the slightest difference to our fuel bills.

It's almost as though they're getting bought off by the worst polluters: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/mar/30/tory-partys-35m-dirty-donations-revealed-by-desmog-analysis

The Tories are going all-in on speeding up the climate catastrophe in exchange for some profit.

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levestane replied to hawkinspeter | 11 months ago
8 likes

To mis-quote Boris, I think climate catastrophe is oven-ready or even baked-in (no puns intended).

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