Sunday, 25 November 2012

Long Term Route Proposals for Cycle Coventry

This is how a network of Cycle Coventry routes might look when laid out on the actual geographical terrain of the city.

This is just a very rough mockup, showing the radial routes 1 to 12, and how they roughly map on to a clock face, together with four orbital routes. The shading is darker within each orbital:

  1. O4 - outer orbital 
  2. O3 - inner orbital 
  3. O2 - route around outside of ring road to provide connections between radial routes. 
  4. O1 - inner route within the ring road.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Coventry Station has ample room to park bikes

Here's a very rough sketch map showing that you could fit in around 320 cycle parking spaces on the station site, including the neighbouring Eaton Square, which would be up to Coventry City Council.This would not require any loss of car park space, although there are a couple of locations where the space could be very much more efficiently used by sacrificing one or two car park spaces.

An additional 230 spaces could be provided on the Virgin Trains Central 6 car park, this time with the loss of one car park spaces yielding 40 cycle spaces, again, due to space management.

Cycling Coventry Public Meeting

This is a great chance to provide feedback on the Cycle Coventry proposals:

Fellow Cyclists!
Colin Knight, (Assistant Director, Planning, Transportation & Highways) has kindly agreed to explain to us the current thinking and progress on the three year £7M Cycle Coventry scheme.
Monday 26 November 7:30 pm
Council House, Diamond Room 6.
Please forward this to anyone that you think might be interested!
Happy Cycling!

George Riches

Monday, 19 November 2012

Virgin Trains Coventry Station Parking Fiasco

I think this photo sums up the stupidity of parking arrangements at Coventry Station, which is the flagship station managed by Virgin Trains.

A cycle lane is provided, even though no cycle parking exists on this site. Yet there is actually plenty of space available - without even having to remove any car parking spaces.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Cycle Coventry Detailed Mapping

On Friday, I was shown a proposed network for cycle routes throughout the city, to go beyond the initial set of improved Cycle Coventry routes to be developed over the next 3 years.

Of course, this is just an outline from one official, but it is still an incredible advance from where we were just 6 months ago.

Below is a very early sketch of how the 12 Clockface "Spoke" routes might be mapped together with routes which are being proposed by the council. This version of the map is a hybrid between the strict Clockface overall concept map and an accurate geographical map:

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Virgin trains holding Coventry Cycling customers to ransom

Press release – Virgin trains holding Coventry customers to ransom

A city cycling campaigner has lambasted Virgin Trains for failing to provide more cycle parking at Coventry Station, even though a £300,000 subsidy from the Department of Transport had been allocated in February for such facilities. After using Coventry Station on Tuesday, but observing that there was no available space to park a bike, Mr Avery contacted Virgin Trains to ask when the new facility was going to be installed. The funding has been made available for 300 secure spaces as part of a "Bike Hub". Despite this cash being available to the tune of some £1,000 per space, more simple 2-cycle stands are available on the market from just £30 each.

This morning, Virgin Trains tweeted Mr Avery to say that the new parking would not be installed until the franchise issue had been resolved. This may take up to 2 more years.

Said Mr Avery:

The situation is totally unacceptable. Why should Virgin Trains be able to hold Coventry cycling passengers to ransom by not spending money that has already been given to them by the Department for Transport? Cycle parking provision at Coventry Station has been inadequate for many years, yet all they needed to have done would be to have allocated a small portion of the available space on the site for Sheffield type cycling stands. Meanwhile, Virgin Trains have invested millions of pounds up and down the country on multi-storey car parks. I have no objection to the park and ride concept, as long as parking is available for both types of user. The commercial case for providing more cycle parking is very clear – make it easier to get to the station and park your bike, and people use your trains more.

Coventry station currently only has parking for around 80 bikes. By contrast, Utrecht Central Station in the Netherlands, which serves a similar population to Coventry, has recently upgraded cycle parking to provide 22,500 spaces.

Said Mr Avery:

Obviously, Coventry doesn't need that many spaces at this time, but it would certainly not be unreasonable to talk about planning for around 1000 cycle parking spaces over the next few years, as the city invests in the Cycle Coventry initiative. It shouldn't be necessary to have to kick up such a fuss to install such a basic piece of infrastructure, especially when you can park around 14 bikes in the same space as one car. Virgin Trains might earn plenty of revenue from car parking, but we all know that they also make good margins on the train services they provide, so anything that increases customer numbers should be a no-brainer. It's no coincidence that rail also has a 40% larger portion of the market in the Netherlands when compared to the UK.


Followed up in:

My response to Virgin Trains' excuses will follow tomorrow.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Cycle Coventry Map Proposal

This is the latest version of the proposed Clockface Map, to run alongside the Cycle Coventry routes which are being developed:


  • The "Starley" Spoke routes are numbered 1-12, like a clockface (drawing twice on Coventry history).
  • The 4 "Whittle" Wheel routes operate around the "hub" (ring road). I have added a route around the edge of the ring road.
  • The "Godiva" general routes supplement the spokes and wheels, providing vital links into places which are no directly featured on the clockface.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Cycling in Coventry - FOIA Request

In order to know where we are going, we have to find out where we stand. The following Freedom of Information Request was sent this evening:

 Cycling in Coventry - FOIA Request

To whom it may concern:
For the most recently available dates:

 Modal Share
a.     What percentage of commuter journeys within the city of Coventry are made by bike / on foot / by bus / by car / other means?
b.     What percentage of total mileage (within the city of Coventry) are made by each of the modes above?
c.     How many cyclists travel in and out of the city centre (from any location) each day?
d.     Does the Council have a target to increase cycling, and if so, to what level and by when?

a.     What is the annual budget for Coventry City Council?
b.     What is the annual transport budget for Coventry City Council, excluding contributions to other transport organisations (eg Centro)?
c.     Excluding the schemes bid for as part of the Local Transport Sustainability Fund, what is the annual budget per capita for cycling in Coventry?

Cycling Network
a.     For each of the route classifications mentioned below, what is the total approximate number of available route miles?
                                                               i.      Marked cycle lanes on roads.
                                                             ii.      Routes running parallel to roads which are segregated from traffic, but shared with pedestrians.
                                                            iii.      Routes segregated from traffic and pedestrians.
                                                          iv.      Traffic free cycle paths away from roads?

RRoad junctions
a.     How many traffic light controlled junctions have:
                                                               i.      Advanced stop lines on all approach routes.
                                                             ii.      Advanced stop lines on some approach routes.
                                                            iii.      No advance stop lines?
b.     How is this number planned to change in the next 3 years?
c.     How many traffic lights in the city have specific phases for cyclists approaching from a direction which is otherwise closed to general traffic (ie from a cycle path or a one way contra-flow).
d.     What is the average timer setting for pedestrian and toucan crossings, and who would make a decision to reduce this?

 Speed limits
a.     Including the city centre, how many zones are there within the city where 20mph is the speed limit?
b.     Approximately what percentage of the population of the city live in residential zones where 20mph is the limit?
c.     What plans does the council have to increase 20mph zones in the city?
d.     Does the Council have a specific policy regarding the provision of on road cycle lanes, segregated or alternative routes, on roads where the speed limit is 40mph or above?

Cycling Team
a.     How many people (full time equivalent) dedicate their time to the development and promotion of cycling (excluding training). Please include roles where cycling is part of job description.
b.     Is there one specific officer in the council whose exclusive role is cycling (excluding training).

 Cycle Training
a.     How many schools are there in the city of Coventry, and how many of these take part in the Bike It Training programme?
b.     What percentage of pupils enrolled in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools have taken part, or plan to take part in the Bike It Scheme?
c.     What facilities are available for adult cycle training?
d.     What is the total number of cycle training officers working in local schools in Coventry?

Council Business
a.     How many cycles are owned by the council for pooled use by employees?
b.     How many cycles are provided for individual employee usage through Cycle To Work scheme(s)?
c.     How many parking spaces does the Council provide for employees and guests in or adjacent to the Council House, and where?
d.     How many miles are expensed each year by council employees and officers making business trips by bike?

a.     How many cycle parking spaces are available for public usage within the city centre?
b.     How many additional spaces are planned within the next two years?
c.     Does the council have any requirement for smaller commercial developments such as shops and pubs to provide cycle parking facilities, where such space is available (ie if they are providing a car park, to allocate at least 5% of parking area for cycles)?         

1Mapping and Communication
a.     How often is the cycling map provided by the Council updated?
b.     How many paper copies are distributed each year and through what means? (Council premises, libraries, schools, by post etc)
c.     How many times is the online version of the map downloaded each year?
d.     How often does the Council send mailings to every household in the city, and how often do these mailings contain information and advice about cycling?