Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pedestrian Heart: Post King's Head fire

At the moment, part of the town centre Pedestrian Heart is sealed in behind fencing, after the King's Head fire. You may need to change your route through the centre as a result of this.

I've tried drawing this out, but it's an old aerial photo.

I often used to ride up Priestgate, then turn right to get to Bondgate. This is currently blocked, so I either carry my bike up the steps onto High Row, or turn left and use the ramp to get to High Row.

It is possible to get between Northgate and Bondgate, but the gap between the fence and the building is fairly narrow - the width of the 'pavement' style section. It might be worth pushing the bike through here, unless it's very quiet.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Darlington Eastern Transport Corridor open

According to the Northern Echo, the Darlington Eastern Transport Corridor is due to open tomorrow.

We will be very interested to hear from any members who use the route over the next few days. Please either leave a comment here or email on, with your opinions and experiences. Please tell us whether you used the on- or off-road options and where you were going from or to. For example, tomorrow I will be riding on the road from Haughton Road to Haughton Road, heading into town on my way to work and from off-road from Haughton Road to the ETC on my way home.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Five new 20mph areas

Five areas of Darlington are to benefit from new speed restrictions in a bid to improve road safety.

From September, a 20mph limit will come into force in Bank Top, Lascelles Park, Red Hall, the Corporation Road area of the Denes and Oakwood Drive estate.

- The Northern Echo: Residents help shape new reduced speed limits

It must only be a matter of time before we see a blanket urban 20mph speed limit.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Obligatory Olympics post: The Active Spectator strategy

The London Cycling Campaign has set out some recommendations for the 2012 London Olympic Games:

The Active Spectator strategy

Promoting cycling and walking is a cost effective way to enable many spectators to reach Olympic venues without contributing to pollution or congestion. Walking and cycling are also highly accessible to all Londoners as well as visitors from abroad.
Cycle parking
Ubiquitous secure covered cycle parking needs to be provided at all Olympic venues and local stations.
Cycle promotion
Use of pedal cycles should be integral to all aspects of activities relating to the Olympics, including service vehicles and deliveries, as well as journeys within Olympic sites by athletes and officials.
Access for cycle users and pedestrians
Olympic facilities should be as accessible as possible to cyclists and pedestrians, within the constraints of security.
Cycle hire
Flexible cycle hire facilities at convenient London locations need to be provided for those who wish to rent bikes.
Cycle routes
An active spectator games will need dedicated routes from Central London (highest hotel capacity, and hence many visitors) to the main Olympic zones.
Integrated transport
Multi-modal journeys which include cycling will be a key factor in delivering the Active Spectator Games.
Paralympics and Disabled Spectators
The Paralympics are an opportunity for the Olympic Family to act as role models for people with disabilities, and to demonstrate the ways in which modified and companion cycles can allow them to participate as active spectators.
The Olympic Legacy
Residential and commercial developments in the Stratford area should both include adequate cycle parking and, in the case of commercial and public buildings, changing and storage areas for cyclists.

[via Competitive Cycling on Velorution]

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Pedestrian Heart: Duke Street bollard broken (Update: No, it's not)

Cllr Mike Barker has blogged a couple of times about the broken bollard on Duke Street meaning that cars are ignoring the signs indicating that the street is closed to motorised traffic (Oi! Where's our bollard?, Protests Grow and Still no bollard).

I posted a comment on one of his posts that I thought I'd reproduce here:

Policing of traffic offences in the Pedestrian Heart is terrible (and it's pretty bad in the rest of the town).

For years, cars have been turning left into Duke Street from the car park behind Barclays Bank, in order to get into Skinnergate.

Since the PH work went ahead, vehicles repeatedly park on the double yellow lines in the contraflow bike lane in Northgate, which is supposedly only open to buses and bikes. Some delivery vehicles try to get around the double yellow lines by parking on the footpath side of the markings. The Boots delivery wagon parks right across the opening, so cyclists have to cross over onto the pavement to get past - an ambulance trying to access the PH in an emergency wouldn't be able to get in.

Delivery vehicles also regularly park on the double yellows on the bus loop below the steps up to High Row and cars are often parked in the little bypasses that cyclists are supposed to use to avoid riding between the No Entry signs on Bondgate.

But, mention riding a bike through there and the cries of anguish and potential deaths begin...

So, take care on Duke Street as there may well be cars about.

Update: It's back. I'd like to take credit, but I suspect it was fixed before I blogged that it was broken. As mike says in his post, you'll still need to be careful in Skinnergate, because of the cars illegally turning left out of the car park.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Bike parking in multi-storey car parks

No, there's none in this Cycling Demonstration Town, but I spotted some in a page about some nifty signage in the Eureka Tower Carpark in Melbourne (firt of the 'down' photos). Brilliant signage, too.

Hopefully, our forward-thinking council will insist on some being made available in any future car parks built in Darlington (as proposed for Feethams and the Oval).