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Active Travel


Stu Peters
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Attitudes to  daily travel are influenced by where  you live and your health /mobility.

Group 1.A person who lives and works in central London for example, may  have ready access to the tube, regular buses and taxis.

if they have reasonable health and mobility they might be attracted to use bicycle, e- bike or scooter.For them a car  as unessential, even an  encumbrance and condemn their use.

Group2.A person living in the country may have problems with poor access to public transport.

If they have cardiac, respiratory or mobility difficulties, cycling and walking are never going to be realistic options.For them, car use is an essential to have a reasonable quality of life.

- A problem can arise if policy makers are  group (1) and dismissive of the needs of group( 2) 

 

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22 minutes ago, HiVibes said:

If you remember how bad Pulrose bridge was before, it required cyclists to mount a narrow pavement before crossing the carriage way with 3 lanes of heavy traffic and no crossing point, and then rejoin the cycle path at the entrance to the bowl, it is a lot safer for both pedestrians and cyclists.

It was actually way better, safer and easier before the changes.  I ride it regularly.  Used to just lane split to the front of traffic and then cross the road before all the cars onto the Peel Road cycle lane.  

@Stu Peters appreciate you are getting some feedback. But this really is more stuff to look busy.  You either ride/walk to work, or you don't.  Nothing Govt say or do is going to make a difference to this.  Give the money earmarked for this to Doris so she doesn't freeze to death this winter. 

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1 minute ago, doc.fixit said:

I have no problem with a bicycle being used to get to work if that's all you can afford but I have a major problem with packs of specialist racing pattern bicycles using our roads or lanes as practice routes or exercise tracks.

Take it or leave it, that's what I think and I speak as a long time touring cyclist in days of old. The priority should be fixing and maintaining the infrastructure before all these vanity projects that only ever benefit a minority.

In my mind, active travel means that it's completey normalised to jump on a bike in jeans and t-shirt to go to the shops, or to work, safely.  It's a far cry from trying to become a Tour de France contender or long distance cycle tourer.

Just imagine for one minute that active travel was a roaring success on the Island.  There would be less cars on the roads, especially at peak times, which would help everyone (drivers, walkers + cyclists).  Does that really sound like a vanity project benefitting a minority?

Surely all motorists want less cars on the roads?  That's why every car advert on TV shows a completely empty road, because it's the aspiration that we all want to be sold as drivers.

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3 minutes ago, Stabit said:

In my mind, active travel means that it's completey normalised to jump on a bike in jeans and t-shirt to go to the shops, or to work, safely.

It already is for some, just not enough people are incentivised to do it, for all the reasons previously stated, especially when the actions of motorists and safety are factored in.

3 minutes ago, Stabit said:

Just imagine for one minute that active travel was a roaring success on the Island... 

Yes. 

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49 minutes ago, HiVibes said:

So you can't back up your pathetic claim with any evidence?

Your claim that the 'rest are at worst gradual inclines' is utter nonsense.  It seems apparent that you are a keen and fit cyclist - a minority group that clearly lacks any appreciation of the general fitness of the GMP for whom wheeling the bike out of the garage would induce a coronary.

The Netherlands is FLAT (with a few exceptions) and is conducive to cycling for anyone capable of pushing a pedal around.  Our conglomeration of hills, shared with most of the UK, is NOT CONDUCIVE to casual cycling.  The numbers of lycra-clad Londoners, so keen on pushing their eco-loon agenda, inhabit the inner reaches of the city.  Clarrissa finds it an absolute breeze hopping on her Brompton to get from Fulham up to Kensington; she'd be physically sick trying to get up Herne Hill into Croydon. Go out into either north or south London, where the gradients increase, and you'll see a marked decrease in casual cyclists.

Edited by Utah 01
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1 minute ago, HiVibes said:

What hills in Douglas mean you have to get off the bike and push? How pathetic, Crellins Hill is but a short blast and can be avoided if you can't manage, the rest are at worst gradual inclines. 

Even as a cyclist I kind of disagree. Yes, a good cyclist would scoff at the hills. But your average commuter would not. e bikes are the answer though. They make the Island flat. So if you eduted your comment I would agree and say the hills are no excuse

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7 minutes ago, Utah 01 said:

Your claim that the 'rest are at worst gradual inclines' is utter nonsense.  It seems apparent that you are a keen and fit cyclist - a minority group that clearly lacks any appreciation of the general fitness of the GMP for whom wheeling the bike out of the garage who induce a coronary.

The Netherlands is FLAT (with a few exceptions) and is conducive to cycling for anyone capable of pushing a pedal around.  Our conglomeration of hills, shared with most of the UK, is NOT CONDUCIVE to casual cycling.  The numbers of lycra-clad Londoners, so keen on pushing their eco-loon agenda, inhabit the inner reaches of the city.  Clarrissa finds it an absolute breeze hopping on her Brompton to get from Fulham up to Kensington; she'd be physically sick trying to get up Herne Hill into Croyden. Go out into either north or south London, where the gradients increase, and you'll see a marked decrease in casual cyclists.

Even as a keen and fit cyclist I purposely avoid some of the steeper hills riding into work.  No one unless they are actually training for something or are a sadist is going to willingly ride up Crellins hill. 

 

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Just now, Happier diner said:

Even as a cyclist I kind of disagree. Yes, a good cyclist would scoff at the hills. But your average commuter would not. e bikes are the answer though. They make the Island flat. So if you eduted your comment I would agree and say the hills are no excuse

If you rode in from Glen vine or Union mills to athol street. You have a slight incline up to Brown Bobby and along circular road, then drop down at.georges and then the same in reverse on the way home. Two small inclines, perfectly manageable on any bike. farmhill is hardly strenuous.

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2 minutes ago, The Phantom said:

Even as a keen and fit cyclist I purposely avoid some of the steeper hills riding into work.  No one unless they are actually training for something or are a sadist is going to willingly ride up Crellins hill. 

 

If where you are going is the top of crellins hill you would, it's not serious training that would be going up and down repeatedly.

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Most of the negative responses seem to deal in extremes - "it's too wet/hilly/narrow", "I don't like Pulrose bridge so cycling is bad" or "we will have to spend tens of millions". They're knee-jerk reactions, none of these are reasoned arguments - an active travel strategy is just that, it doesn't have to be a massive infrastructure project, just encouraging more people to get out of their cars.   

Any responsible government would want less cars in urban areas - less pollution, less noise, less accidents, less infrastructure to build, less parking hassles. Even the elderly petrol-heads would want less traffic, better parking, fewer queues. There's no reason to fear it other than "I fear change".

From a public health standpoint, it also makes sense - exercise is good for a population who are becoming increasingly sedentary and car-centric like the USA. It's great for cardiac and pulmonary health, which drops the risk of cardiopulmonary disease. Although they look terrible in Lycra, it's good to see middle-aged blokes out there who've been in the main disease risk group for decades.

Active travel is part of an overall travel strategy, so shouldn't just be looked at in isolation as a single component of a modern review of transport. It doesn't mean that the whole focus on transport shifts to active travel, that would be ridiculous - but the majority of people support less environmentally-damaging transport, and technology is changing to make it more attractive, and that's an opportunity that no reasonable government would pass up.

More modern jurisdictions are looking at ways to exploit new technologies - e-biking opens up active travel to groups of people who'd never normally consider it because of the physical effort involved on old-school bikes.

The heritage trail is a great place to observe it - alongside the walkers, horses and MAMILs on their carbon-fibre MTBs you have older and younger e-bikers getting assisted exercise. Climbing the hills around the city is pretty easy on an e-bike, even Crellin's hill is manageable. A proactive government might be looking at whether the 250w limit on power assistance is too low, and whether upping this (like the USA, where the limit is 750w) would let e-bikes move quicker and climb more easily, opening up more options for car substitution for a wider populace.

E-scooters are growing in popularity elsewhere, and should be a shoe-in for a small place like this with limited public transport. They move whole groups out of cars - short distance commuters, long-distance commuters who are covering the last-mile from public transport, teens who'd be reliant on mum and dad to drive them everywhere, tourists and less-mobile people. Despite the public consultation demonstrating broad support for e-scooters in the community, there's been no progress on the IOM and it's sitting in someone's glacial "to do" pile, slowly slumping downhill, whilst the rest of the world moves forward.

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2 minutes ago, HiVibes said:

If you rode in from Glen vine or Union mills to athol street. You have a slight incline up to Brown Bobby and along circular road, then drop down at.georges and then the same in reverse on the way home. Two small inclines, perfectly manageable on any bike. farmhill is hardly strenuous.

Those areas are actually ideal for anyone to 'actively travel' to work along the old Railway track.  It's pretty much dead flat all the way into town (except the slight inclines noted).  I sometimes go that way from Santon and I know a couple of other guys that also ride that way into work.  Nothing Govt said or did convinced them to do it, although gravelling the old track has made it slightly less muddy. 

There should be more people riding along there, but there aren't. 

What infrastructure is required is already in place.  Nothing else needs to be built and nothing Govt says is going to stop people having a preference to sitting in a Chelsea Tractor eating donuts. 

When I used to live in Farmhill and Ballanard Road I used to ride in virtually everyday, it was actually quicker to ride than drive.  That was however before I had kids and when I had to pay for carparking. 

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5 minutes ago, The Bastard said:

Most of the negative responses seem to deal in extremes - "it's too wet/hilly/narrow", "I don't like Pulrose bridge so cycling is bad" or "we will have to spend tens of millions". They're knee-jerk reactions, none of these are reasoned arguments - an active travel strategy is just that, it doesn't have to be a massive infrastructure project, just encouraging more people to get out of their cars.   

But it is a massive infrastructure project as places like Pulrose Bridge proves.

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