Monday, January 26, 2015

McDonalds danger on Boris superhighway

Fast-food chain McDonald's planned drive-through restaurant on the A40 at Gypsy Corner will create an unnecessary and dangerous crossing for cyclists. The proposal includes a turning from the A40 across the Mayor's planned East-West Cycling Superhighway despite Highways Agency standards stating that turnings to and from trunk roads must be limited as they can give rise to accidents. The proposed turning also fails to meet the requirements of the London Cycling Design Standards published in draft form last year. These state that "Cycle Tracks should enjoy priority over turning traffic. This is essential not just for directness and continuity, but also safety." The current layout fails to make it clear whether vehicles travelling on the cycle track or on the highway have priority. To avoid doubt, the cycling standards recommend bending the cycle path 5 metres in from the highway and installing a stop line for vehicles turning off the main road. A third problem with the design, as it stands, is that it only proposes a 3.5m wide shared-use path. This is inadequate for a Cycling Superhighway which will be carrying cyclists travelling in both directions. A better option would be to install a two-way cycle path with a recommended width of 4 metres, and a separate footpath alongside. Luckily there is a simpler solution to all three problems. Ealing Cycling Campaign have written to the council suggesting that the access road to the site be relocated so it runs from Leamington Park. We should hear their response before the planning meeting next week. The plans are on the council website here.  
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Monday, January 5, 2015

First solar-powered cycle path lights in London

Falcopathfinder cycle lights

In December Ealing Council installed seven solar-powered LED cycle path lights along Ridding Lane in Greenford. The lights are already used elsewhere in Europe, particularly the Netherlands, where some towns use them to mark the edge of cycle paths. According to Falco, the manufacturer, they are programmed to come on at night, can run through a three month long Nordic winter, and can be powered for up to 10 years on a single rechargeable battery. They can withstand a load of 20 tonnes and are resistant to roadsweepers and gritting lorries.  It's not known if Ealing have installed the version that flashes when the temperature drops below 2 Celsius to warn of icy roads.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ealing Cycling Campaign – Rides Past Present and Future

We've tried hard, but have been unable to find a ride leader to take our “First Sunday of the Month” leisurely ride for December, so we’re going to skip it this year, there will be no ECC organised led ride on Sun 7 Dec.

It’s a free country though, so if you pop along to Ealing Town Hall at the usual time you may find other riders there happy to buddy up!

It's been a great year again for rides and we all extend our thanks to the ride leaders, marshals and backstops that have taken us all over London and environs, and thanks to you all for coming along and making them the special events they are.

We’ll be back sharpish in 2015 with our famous “Take to the Hills” Ride on Sunday 4 Jan; a great way to blow out the cobwebs for the New Year, taking a leisurely ride up and down a few of Ealing’s Hills (and one in Harrow).

Finally, we're always on the lookout for new ride leaders, and early next year we'll be running a "How to Lead a Ride" ride.

Ride leading is hard work but very rewarding when you can take 30 or 40 riders out for a memorable day on their bikes. If you would like to come along to learn the skills required for ride planning, leading and marshalling please email rides@ealingcycling.org.uk to register your interest.

See you in the saddle in 2015!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Boston Manor Road Cycle Lane

This is just over the border but Hounslow are finally making plans to improve Boston Manor Road. There are two options - one is a segregated two-way cycle lane on the West side of the road, the other is for improved cycle lanes on the road itself. It's well worth giving the council your support for this scheme, as the removal of a handful of car spaces is likely to cause some local opposition. You can see details and respond here. If you want to go along and meet the planners, there is a consultation meeting on Thursday 13th November from 4pm to 8pm. It's at Boston Manor House. Directions here.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

£40 to keep cycling through winter

Ealing Council is offering residents £40 vouchers to buy winter cycling gear. The offer is available to any adult who has attended the council's cycle training since 1 January 2014, or completes it by 31 October 2014.  The vouchers can be used in selected local bike shops, and can be spent on accessories such as mudguards, lights, puncture resistant tyres, gloves or other clothing for the winter weather.
If you missed the cycle training this year, it's well worth doing - whether you're a beginner or an experienced cyclist.  Instructors provide training anywhere in Ealing. It costs only £5 to book, and is free for the unwaged. It's great for giving you the skills and confidence you need for on-road cycling, and ECC thoroughly recommend it.
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