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Sustrans needs our vote

davesvorddavesvord Posts: 80
edited November 2007 in Commuting chat
In case this has not been mentioned before.

As much as some posters complain about sustrans I think all cyclists should pull together and vote for the 50M of lottery funding up for grabs. Please pass this on to all.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7057299.stm
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Posts

  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    I REALLY don't want Sustrans to get this money. Sustrans IMO are doing cycling a huge overall disservice in the UK, and I would be much happier to see any of the other charities get the money because I think they will have a far better effect on society.
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    BentMikey wrote:
    I REALLY don't want Sustrans to get this money. Sustrans IMO are doing cycling a huge overall disservice in the UK, and I would be much happier to see any of the other charities get the money because I think they will have a far better effect on society.

    I agree with Mikey.

    I do not want sustrans to get the money either.

    Their work providing routes eg former railway lines etc is laudable, BUT it is IMHO totally undone by their campaigning to have cyclists off the roads on segregated routes.
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  • homercleshomercles Posts: 499
    BentMikey wrote:
    I REALLY don't want Sustrans to get this money. Sustrans IMO are doing cycling a huge overall disservice in the UK, and I would be much happier to see any of the other charities get the money because I think they will have a far better effect on society.

    I can see the reasons why you might feel that Sustrans isn't necessarily an organisation with the true interests of cycling at heart (marginalising rather making it an integral part of transport systems etc) but surely anything that gives encouragement to a few extra folk to get out on their bikes isn't a BAD thing as such.

    Do you honestly believe that a park in the Black Country, the already well established Eden Project or Sherwood Forest stand to benefit society any more than Sustrans? At least of the 4 it's the one with some sort of national scope. Be better just to say "I hate Sustrans".
  • I think this a useful link explaining why Sustrans is good or bad.

    http://www.citycycling.co.uk/issue28/issue28page29.html

    I think though on balance getting people cycling can only be good for all cyclists. I for one can only applaud the work they are doing to get kids to cycle to school as this will only encourage greater participation in later life. Just look at how cycling is treated in Denmark and Holland where there are large proportions of children cycling to school, and hence how cyclist are then treated in general. I agree with the stance that they should not be getting cyclists off the road (My own 30 mile daily commute could be done on a lot of cycle tracks, however it is all done on the road). When speaking last year to an engineer who designs cycle paths she stated that they are designed for families and "slow" riding and not for riding much over 12mph.

    Getting back to the thread I believe that encouraging cycling can only be good for us all in the long run, and I sorry that some think that Sustrans are a waste of time.
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    davesvord wrote:
    ...

    Getting back to the thread I believe that encouraging cycling can only be good for us all in the long run, and I sorry that some think that Sustrans are a waste of time.
    Great for all those who want to ride round parks/ on converted former rail lines or those who want to pootle at 5mph on the footpath.

    a DISASTER for those who want to ride on the road to get to places and retain our rightful place on the roads.
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  • spen666 wrote:
    davesvord wrote:
    ...

    Getting back to the thread I believe that encouraging cycling can only be good for us all in the long run, and I sorry that some think that Sustrans are a waste of time.
    Great for all those who want to ride round parks/ on converted former rail lines or those who want to pootle at 5mph on the footpath.

    a DISASTER for those who want to ride on the road to get to places and retain our rightful place on the roads.

    But surely they are not mutually exclusive? (okay, I know that having more paths and the Sustrans approach puts that thought into people's heads - maybe it just needs more obvious marketing of Sustrans as family and novice leisure routes...)
  • I can't honestly say I know in detail what Sustrans do...apart from improving cycle routes in parks and canals. However...I do find the hostility towards them a bit weird....unless I a missing something :?

    Surely anything that can be done to encourage people to cycle MUST be a good thing? Especially when the money will otherwise go to the BlackCountry museum or Eden project be more fitting? They may as well be commerical enterprises...

    I would like nothing more than a proper integrated commuter cycle route...I'm sure there are plenty of the lycra crowd love to be on the roads exerting their moral right and battling with traffic...personally I don't.

    Vote Sustrans! :D
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    I can't honestly say I know in detail what Sustrans do...apart from improving cycle routes in parks and canals. However...I do find the hostility towards them a bit weird....unless I a missing something :?
    Seems like you are missing a lot of the harm they do to the idea of cycling as a proper form of road transport. Sustrans call regularly for SEGREGATED cycle routes. Those of us who ride on the road don't want segregated routes.

    There are too many examples of what segregated routes are like- stopping for every junction/ driveway. Priority given to every other road user. The marginalise cyclists and makke routes more dangerous

    Sustrans providing/ converting railway lines etc is fine IF ONLY they would stick to that instead of campaigning to have segregated facilities which road cyclists don't want.

    Surely anything that can be done to encourage people to cycle MUST be a good thing?
    No, not when it is going to support an organisation who keep campaigning against my interests
    Especially when the money will otherwise go to the BlackCountry museum or Eden project be more fitting? They may as well be commerical enterprises...
    What is wrong with these other organisations?

    I would like nothing more than a proper integrated commuter cycle route...I'm sure there are plenty of the lycra crowd love to be on the roads exerting their moral right and battling with traffic...personally I don't.

    Vote Sustrans! :D

    Your vote is a vote to harm road cycling. If you want an organisation that will provided you with integrated cycle facilities, then you are wasting your time. We have integrated cycle facilities already, its called the road. Why try to re invent the wheel?
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  • spen666 wrote:
    Sustrans providing/ converting railway lines etc is fine IF ONLY they would stick to that instead of campaigning to have segregated facilities which road cyclists don't want.

    I'll grab that stick and give it a stir...

    There are, however, lots of people who do want segregated facilities (I would never have got my girlfriend riding regularly without them, and no she commutes to work on the road). Again, are road riding for those who want it, and segregated paths for those who don't, mutually exclusive?

    If they were marketed as specifically leisure facilities would some of the confusion and attributed 'knowledge' disappear?
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    I personally dislike Sustrans because I made the mistake of actually trying to follow parts their routes on 2 occasions, once London - Bristol and the other one bits of NCR1 in southern Scotland. Both times I got hoplessly lost and added miles & time to my journey. Worse than useless.

    Sustrans has always struck me as being a self-promoting organisation, probably more interested in keeping their staff in work and cosying up to politicians than actually doing things for people who regularly cycle. I see their signs all over the place but in 40 years and 10's of thousands of miles cycling I can honestly say they have never been of any use to me. Something's wrong there.

    And as said above, segregated paths are not the answer. I live in central London and I'm training my kid to ride on the roads, where cyclists belong. I hope he is soon able to get from A to B in a direct and fast way (i.e. a useful transport mode), not tootle along shared pavements or canal towpaths. If people learn on paths, they may never feel safe to progress onto roads.


    a serious case of small cogs
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    Cycle facilities don't promote cycling. There was a study or two which found that no increase in cycling resulted from an increase in cycle facilities, in the Netherlands. All of the big increase in cycling in London has been on road, and in spite of the cycling facilities.

    Sustrans don't promote cycling, IMO, they have a negative effect. Just go take a look at some of the facilities on the Warrington Cycle Campaign Farcility of the Month. Scroll through and you'll see Sustrans coming up there.
  • I think some of you are missing the point here, Sustrans do not have an agenda to remove cyclists from the road, but are trying to provide segregated facilities for those that don't fancy fighting cars to get from A to B. Their vision is to change the way people travel, and provide safe links for everyone to use - perhaps in the process encouraging more people on to their bikes.

    I have never read anything that suggests that Sustrans have a policy to get cyclists off the road, so perhaps people are over-reacting here? Besides, much of the national cycle network is on road!

    In terms of the Big Lottery Vote, it was announced today that Sustrans will be one of the final four projects competing for the 50 million, and here's a link with some extra info, including how to vote:

    http://www.thepeoples50million.org.uk/projects/connect2

    Happy voting!
  • BentMikey wrote:
    Cycle facilities don't promote cycling. There was a study or two which found that no increase in cycling resulted from an increase in cycle facilities, in the Netherlands. All of the big increase in cycling in London has been on road, and in spite of the cycling facilities.

    Sustrans don't promote cycling, IMO, they have a negative effect. Just go take a look at some of the facilities on the Warrington Cycle Campaign Farcility of the Month. Scroll through and you'll see Sustrans coming up there.

    I can only really speak from experience, and while I cringe at most of the facilities in Edinburgh there are a few that got my girlfriend cycling - from there we found off-road paths outside the city, then some quiet roads (sometimes Sustrans signed, sometimes not) and gradually the roads got bigger.

    However, I'll admit this evidence is merely anecdotal and has no scientific basis of a large study. What I would say about the Warrington pages (and I check it every month as it's a hoot) is that we shouldn't immediately think that ALL facilities are like this...

    I was incredibly anti-Sustrans until recently, until I researched the article which davesvord kindly linked to, and while I'm not a convert, I can see the use in certain situations.

    Me, I'm happy to ride on a road with no facilities whatsoever, and eschew the various facilities on offer because they tend to be slower (and yes, in some cases, more dangerous).
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    glharper wrote:
    I think some of you are missing the point here, Sustrans do not have an agenda to remove cyclists from the road, but are trying to provide segregated facilities for those that don't fancy fighting cars to get from A to B. ...

    Which has the effect of removing cyclists from the road as witnessed by the attitude and behaviour of motorists when cyclists are on the road when there are cycle paths nearby.
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  • bryanmbryanm Posts: 218
    I live close to NCN 54. It's a nice enough route but it's a bit pointless. Part of it's on canal banks, part on a tarmac bridleway, part on unclassified / B roads. It's a lovely way to get to the pubs out in the sticks. ....as long as it's daylight. It's certainly of no benefit to anybody wishing to use it for commuting as the roads would be downright dangerous in the dark.
  • Surely anything that can be done to encourage people to cycle MUST be a good thing? Especially when the money will otherwise go to the BlackCountry museum or Eden project be more fitting? They may as well be commerical enterprises...

    The bidding isn't on behalf of the Black Country Museum.

    It's a variety of projects bidding together (I think 40) as the Black Country Urban Park. It includes this cycleway which would be an upgrading of existing poor tracks. It takes a line through the existing countryside where no direct road route exists.

    http://blackcountryup.co.uk/page.asp?PageRef=3

    http://blackcountryup.co.uk/page.asp?PageRef=40
    My bike's an Orbea Elgeta from Epic Cycles
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    spen666 wrote:

    Which has the effect of removing cyclists from the road as witnessed by the attitude and behaviour of motorists when cyclists are on the road when there are cycle paths nearby.

    Exactly. Who here hasn't been bellowed at by a passing motorist "Use the ****** cycle lane", when the said lane is strewn with broken glass, has dangerous pinch points, etc, etc.

    What gives Sustrans the right to speak for cyclists and spend another £50M of our money on themselves and some more useless cycle lanes and signposts?

    Can I vote against them getting this money? :wink:


    a serious case of small cogs
  • I wish people would stop saying that "cyclists don't want cycles lanes"...erm I know a few...or are we not "real" cyclists because we don't go at 30mph and ride road bikes?

    On my daily commute around 40-50% of people on bikes are on the pavement...are you telling me that they wouldn't use a cycle path?
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    I wish people would stop saying that "cyclists don't want cycles lanes"...erm I know a few...or are we not "real" cyclists because we don't go at 30mph and ride road bikes?

    On my daily commute around 40-50% of people on bikes are on the pavement...are you telling me that they wouldn't use a cycle path?

    Who said ALL cyclists do not want cycle paths?
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  • Drfabulous0Drfabulous0 Posts: 1,539
    My local Sustrans route provides me with a more direct route for part of my daily commute, however it is unusable because their are barriers every 200 yards to stop motorcycles which my bike cannot easily pass through.
    I will not give my vote to support an organisation which creates cycle routes then makes or allows them to become worthless to cyclists.
  • spen666 wrote:
    Sustrans call regularly for SEGREGATED cycle routes. Those of us who ride on the road don't want segregated routes.

    I ride on the road and DO want a cyle path on my route.
  • My local Sustrans route provides me with a more direct route for part of my daily commute, however it is unusable because their are barriers every 200 yards to stop motorcycles which my bike cannot easily pass through.
    I will not give my vote to support an organisation which creates cycle routes then makes or allows them to become worthless to cyclists.

    Official Sustrans policy is against barriers. They are, in pretty much every case, a council or landowner requirement before the land can be used by Sustrans (even in cases where the path already existed and was simply 'adopted').

    Obstacles on Bike Paths
  • ParkeyParkey Posts: 303
    I make use of a couple of miles of former railway path on my ride to work, so for that I am grateful to sustrans.

    I do, however, dislike the idea that a council can paint a white line down the pavement and call it cycle infrastructure. I'd rather they didn't bother.

    On road cycle lanes to make it easier for cars to overtake and junctions designed with bicycle users in mind are a much better use of resources, even if there are fewer of them.
    "A recent study has found that, at the current rate of usage, the word 'sustainable' will be worn out by the year 2015"
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    The Sustrans "Safe Routes to Schools" initiative looks to be a worthwhile one:

    http://www.saferoutestoschools.org.uk/
  • toontra wrote:
    spen666 wrote:

    What gives Sustrans the right to speak for cyclists and spend another £50M of our money on themselves and some more useless cycle lanes and signposts?

    Can I vote against them getting this money? :wink:

    Are you being serious here? Sustrans are not trying to speak for cyclists, rather provide facilities that encourage less confident bikers to choose a sustainable form of transport. The concept of the connect2 scheme is not to provide more bike lanes, but to provide links between communities that are separated by barriers such as roads, rivers or railways.

    In terms of forcing cyclists off the road, it's ridiculous to suggest that by providing an alternative to the road, cyclists are being forced off them (that point has just been battled out by the CTC with the highway code). Indeed, personally I choose to ride on the road, rather than use a cycle lane that has to give priority to cars crossing it, but many people don't enjoy fighting with cars on the roads. And sure, it's not perfect yet, but an cycle friendly infrastructure has to start somewhere, and judging by where I live, a great many people cycle to work on the Sustrans routes that would probably otherwise be in their cars! So come on people, see the bigger picture here?
  • Drfabulous0Drfabulous0 Posts: 1,539
    My local Sustrans route provides me with a more direct route for part of my daily commute, however it is unusable because their are barriers every 200 yards to stop motorcycles which my bike cannot easily pass through.
    I will not give my vote to support an organisation which creates cycle routes then makes or allows them to become worthless to cyclists.

    Official Sustrans policy is against barriers. They are, in pretty much every case, a council or landowner requirement before the land can be used by Sustrans (even in cases where the path already existed and was simply 'adopted').

    Obstacles on Bike Paths

    I've heard this but the barriers weren't there before and this is the Trans Pennine trail which has been a sustrans route as long as I can remember. The section i refer to crosses 3 seperate council boroughs, none of which admit to knowing anything about the barriers
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    glharper wrote:
    And sure, it's not perfect yet, but an cycle friendly infrastructure has to start somewhere, and judging by where I live, a great many people cycle to work on the Sustrans routes that would probably otherwise be in their cars! So come on people, see the bigger picture here?

    But that's the problem - it's not perfect, and it never will be. Because of the constraints it will only ever be a piecemeal, and therefore inadequate, facility. Spending more and more money on ill-conceived, poorly-maintained and often dangerous facilities is plainly ridiculous.

    IMO Sustrans receives the support it does because it is quick, cheap PR for official bodies to say they are doing something about global warming. Nonsense.

    As for training children to cycle, now that is something that government should do though schools, not a charitable extra. And of course parents!


    a serious case of small cogs
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    My local Sustrans route provides me with a more direct route for part of my daily commute, however it is unusable because their are barriers every 200 yards to stop motorcycles which my bike cannot easily pass through.
    I will not give my vote to support an organisation which creates cycle routes then makes or allows them to become worthless to cyclists.
    The barriers are likely to be due to the local authority - Sustrans doesn't own the routes, and on the Bristol to Bath RAilway Path for example, all motorcycle barriers were removed last year making the riding a lot better. The route is not without the odd M/C problem, but the answer is not these barriers and it is great they were removed. Lobby your council - it will be down to them.
  • geocyclegeocycle Posts: 202
    I agree entirely with glharper and liked that well balanced article in citycyling.co.uk linked by Davesvord. Sustrans doesn't represent cyclists -that's why we need ctc etc. But I do think it's ridiculous to heap blanket criticisim on them as they are involved in so many different projects, some good, some not so.

    personally, I really enjoy modifying NCN routes for UK tours and appreciate some short cuts to my daily commute along sustrans negotiated paths, but often prefer to use roads at night or in unknown towns where standards of maintenance by local councils can be poor. I have never seen anything where sustrans argue cyclists should not use roads and would object if they ever did.

    Back to the OP, Connect2 looks a worthwhile project that will make a major impact on the chosen community schemes. A cycle/foot bridge in my town funded by a millennium grant has transformed patterns of movement. My main concern is that 50m of lottery money (not even core gov funding) should be allocated by tv vote to support infrastructure and heritage projects. Great tv and good for the advertisers but how is this a rationale and equitable way of allocating 'public' resources to worthy concerns?
  • Drfabulous0Drfabulous0 Posts: 1,539
    toontra wrote:

    As for training children to cycle, now that is something that government should do though schools, not a charitable extra. And of course parents!

    By that logic you may as well say that schools should teach kids to drive cars.

    geocycle wrote:
    My main concern is that 50m of lottery money (not even core gov funding) should be allocated by tv vote to support infrastructure and heritage projects. Great tv and good for the advertisers but how is this a rationale and equitable way of allocating 'public' resources to worthy concerns?

    No need to be concerned about that, the vote will most likely be faked anyway
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