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'One in 10 trips to be made by bike'

Joe Anderson's plan to get the people pushing the pedals

Published on September 23rd 2013.

'One in 10 trips to be made by bike'

HOW do you take your trips in Liverpool? 

No, not the sort of trips that keep compo-claim lawyers in foreign holidays, but the ones that get you from A to B. 

Liverpool City Council wants to know - and just days after it announced it is abolishing the bus lanes has announced that it wants one in 10 of all trips to be made by bike by 2015. 

Record numbers of people are now feeling the brisk Mersey wind in their hair as they pedal up and down the streets of Liverpool – almost 20 per cent up on 2009. 

But with household ownership of a bike (and a car) among the lowest in the country, a new transport strategy aims to change all that – turning Liverpool into a city where cycling is a normal choice of travel. 

Cycle Lane LiverpoolClearly defined routes: The strategy may also include
educating other road users

Here are the stats: A regular cyclist has the fitness of those 10 years younger and lives two years longer, yet in Liverpool, only 18 per cent of adults are active enough to benefit their health and nearly one in four boys and one in three girls in Year 5 (aged 10-11) in Liverpool are overweight. 

According to Mayor Joe Anderson, the “Cycling Strategy for 2013-2026” could help save over £1 million in reducing premature deaths and NHS costs, as well as delivering over £2 million of benefits in congestion and pollution reduction. 

People are now being invited to share their views, and let the council know whether they ride a bike already or would like to ride a bike in the future. 

The council says its ambitions will be boosted by the (postponed) launch, early next year, of its 24/7 Cycle Hire Scheme - the biggest in the UK, outside London. 

485997_10151376409687615_491778230_NCycling is being
promoted in north Liverpool
It is still in discussions with a number of operators to get it up and running – although a similar scheme, Bike & Go, already operates from 17 Merseyrail stations.  

Until 2014, Liverpool has £1m from the Department of Transport to get cycling infrastructure and sustainable transport further down the road. It says it is being invested in, among other projects, improving east/west links, setting up a neighbourhood travel team and the promotion of cycling to businesses and communities in north Liverpool. 

Other on-going work includes a £300,000 investment, from the Government’s Cycle Safety Fund, in major improvements to the area around the entrance to Princes Park, which is heavily used by cyclists for commuting. Meanwhile, work to improve cycle links on Leeds Street in the city centre is under way. 

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Climate Change, Councillor Tim Moore, said: “This is a really important plan. 

“We know that many of the most attractive, vibrant, successful and liveable cities of the world have high levels of cycling and we recognise its importance to creating a sustainable society.” 

Public consultation runs until 28 October.  If you would like to have your say, visit this. 


Uphill struggle or a breeze all the way? The cycling strategy's key aims

Today's proposals are welcome news but will they be radical enough to entice a potential cycling population - or alter the behaviour of other road users?

Liverpool is identified in the strategy as a city with "reasonable terrain", which many of the less fit - the people the plans are aimed at - might initially dispute.

But notwithstanding that, there have been criticisms from the public (on other related stories on Liverpool Confidential) that
the number of cycling lanes in meaningful arteries around the city remains dangerously poor.

Conversely, they say, there are few places to actually ride a bike in the city centre: its pedestrianised layout making a freewheeling trip to the shops liable to land you a police fine.

On the upside, Liverpool has the lowest rate of bike thefts in UK cities.

So will cycling become a viable transport alternative in Liverpool, or not go beyond the level of a whizz around the park at the weekend? 

Here are the key points of the strategy

a) Developing a safer cycling environment through the continuing investment in the city’s cycle network, with clearly defined routes and good quality facilities.

b) Continuing to invest in speed reduction through campaigns such as ‘The 20 Effect’, which supports the on-going work to more than double the number of residential roads in the city with 20mph speed limits.
c) Improved road maintenance, integration with public transport and cycle parking.
d) Improved cyclist safety through training programmes and enforcement.
e) The promotion of cycling through special events, rides and marketing campaigns. 
More reading here

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    15 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

    RobertSeptember 23rd 2013.

    Your starter for 10... million Liverpool failed with its City Cycling Ambition Grant bid to the Dept. for Transport this summer. It was for £10m of cycling infrastructure - so needed for both the proposed Hire Scheme and to grow cycling full stop. There was no mention of this in long-standing city media outlets? So where's the money going to come from?

    1 Response: Reply To This...
    Walter RaleighSeptember 23rd 2013.

    I'd pay good money to see Joe Anderson get on his bike.

    mickeydrippin'September 23rd 2013.

    Let's hear about proposals for an extensive network of cycleways/lanes, otherwise the extra cyclists that Joe is hoping for will still have to contend with the ever growing number of cars on our local roads - particularly as he wants to scrap bus lanes.

    Walter RaleighSeptember 24th 2013.

    2013-2026 Ambitious in the least, utter tosh. Joe would do well to ignore predictions from whoever is advising him. Pure speculation as to benefits to be had, they have problems predicting the short term, never mind a 13 year period. Anyhow it's unlikely either Joe or myself will be here to either prove or disprove these forecasts.

    Nuff SaidSeptember 24th 2013.

    The figures projected come under the column entitled "small potatoes"

    Arthur AdamsSeptember 25th 2013.

    Will Uncle Joe be doing the same as Boris and cycling to the Town Hall or is the idea to empty the roads so that the chauffeur driven cars can travel around more easily?

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