Cycle heaven at £10 a head

The Oxford Times: The Cyclox group hand over their blueprint to the county council with, front, Anne Joshua then next row, from left, is James Styring, Simon Hunt and Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth. Picture: OX66584 Ed Nix Buy this photo The Cyclox group hand over their blueprint to the county council with, front, Anne Joshua then next row, from left, is James Styring, Simon Hunt and Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth. Picture: OX66584 Ed Nix

CYCLING freeways and quiet ways as well as cutting Oxford’s remaining 30mph speed limits to 20mph are the cornerstone of a new manifesto from campaigners.

Cyclox members created a new group called Cycletopia and this week handed in a vision it hopes Oxfordshire County Council will use for its future transport plans.

Among the ideas are:

  • New cycle freeways on major routes but separated from the rest of the traffic
  • A rise to a quarter of all journeys being by bike
  • Quiet Ways for more recreational cycling
  • The equivalent of £10 per person per year in taxation to pay for it.

Cycletopia commissioned the study behind its cycling vision from sustainable transport charity Sustrans and cycling charity CTC, to complement two official cycling plans the county council is currently preparing for Oxford and the wider county.

Group member and chairman of Cyclox Simon Hunt said: “We are calling for a cycling revolution in Oxford.

“For the first time the authorities are looking as if they are going to plan strategically in a joined-up way. Knowing a bit about the council’s plans we have a decent expectation that this will get somewhere.”

An all-party parliamentary cycling group last year concluded cities should be able to get 30 to 40 per cent of all journeys made by bike for an investment of £10-£20 per person per year, “sustained for some decades”.

In the 2011 census, 17 per cent of Oxford residents – 11,900 – said they travelled to work by bicycle, compared with 15 per cent – 8,900 – in 2001.

Mr Hunt, 68, a retired Oxford University lecturer, said there needed to be a city-wide 20mph speed limit to get more people on bikes.

He said: “When a vehicle hits a pedestrian at 30mph, there is a 50/50 chance that person will die.

“If it hits at 20, the survival rate is 95 per cent. Anecdotally, you have to accept that people say they don’t cycle, or won’t let their children cycle to school, because it’s unsafe.”

Mr Hunt said that there would also be more safety in numbers if 30 per cent of commuters cycled, creating a wider cycling culture.

In 2012, 304 cyclists, including 31 children, in Oxfordshire were killed or seriously injured.

County council leader Ian Hudspeth said he welcomed the cycling vision for Oxford but would not be lowering all city roads to 20mph.

Mr Hudspeth said: “On Morrell Avenue, which we made 20mph, we are being told that it is not being obeyed.

“If we did that with arterial roads, it would undermine speed limits everywhere.

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood said she was “very pleased” to support Oxford’s Vision for Cycling.

She said: “In addition to promoting good health and carbon-reduction, cycling has the welcome effect of reducing the number of cars on our roads. We must continue to invest in our cycling infrastructure.”

Oxford City Council has this year employed a dedicated Oxford cycling needs officer from the county’s highways team.

Leader Bob Price said: “We would like to see more funds and officer time to planing cycle improvement measures in the city.”

WHAT THAY WANT TO SEE

  • Set a target to increase cycling to 25 per cent of all trips by 2020 and 30 per cent of journeys to work.
  • Commit at least £10 per head per year to deliver the plan
  • Engage an inspirational cycling champion to lead the transformation.
  • Create cycling freeways, left, – high quality, joined-up routes on main roads into Oxford and within the city, segregated from motor traffic
  • Cycling neighbourhoods – a walking and cycling plan for every neighbourhood with 20mph speed limits on all roads in the city.

Comments (18)

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9:18am Fri 18 Apr 14

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

Among the ideas are:

New cycle freeways on major routes but separated from the rest of the traffic
A rise to a quarter of all journeys being by bike
Quiet Ways for more recreational cycling
The equivalent of £10 per person per year in taxation to pay for it.


What's this some sensible suggestions from Cyclox, will wonders never cease ?
Among the ideas are: New cycle freeways on major routes but separated from the rest of the traffic A rise to a quarter of all journeys being by bike Quiet Ways for more recreational cycling The equivalent of £10 per person per year in taxation to pay for it. What's this some sensible suggestions from Cyclox, will wonders never cease ? Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: 6

9:34am Fri 18 Apr 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

All for it, except for the 20mph limits, providing the £10 - £20 per person is paid by the cyclists.
Before anything is done, I think the Cycling Proficiency test should be made compulsory, and cyclists should be made to carry photo ID to prove they've taken it. I'd be happy to contribute towards the costs of that.
All for it, except for the 20mph limits, providing the £10 - £20 per person is paid by the cyclists. Before anything is done, I think the Cycling Proficiency test should be made compulsory, and cyclists should be made to carry photo ID to prove they've taken it. I'd be happy to contribute towards the costs of that. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: -2

9:59am Fri 18 Apr 14

Oly Shipp says...

Yes I'm all for it - particularly 20mph limits, properly enforced please! Cycling is the way forward, and it's great to see cross-party support for this. Very sensible, realistic ideas - really hope they happen soon!
Yes I'm all for it - particularly 20mph limits, properly enforced please! Cycling is the way forward, and it's great to see cross-party support for this. Very sensible, realistic ideas - really hope they happen soon! Oly Shipp
  • Score: 6

11:16am Fri 18 Apr 14

norton manor says...

no £10 from me. if they want it let them pay for it, this is worse than the Poll Tax if implemented
no £10 from me. if they want it let them pay for it, this is worse than the Poll Tax if implemented norton manor
  • Score: -1

11:50am Fri 18 Apr 14

Quentin Walker says...

Will the 20 mph limits apply to cyclists too?
Will the 20 mph limits apply to cyclists too? Quentin Walker
  • Score: 11

12:30pm Fri 18 Apr 14

mytaxes says...

It's excellent that the cyclists are prepared to pay £10.00 per head and it will not have to be funded by the taxpayer. How much does the Oxford cycling needs officer get paid?
It's excellent that the cyclists are prepared to pay £10.00 per head and it will not have to be funded by the taxpayer. How much does the Oxford cycling needs officer get paid? mytaxes
  • Score: -7

12:57pm Fri 18 Apr 14

olafpalme says...

Considering that every new cyclist means potentially up to one less car, I would say it should be only non-cyclists who should be charged £10. Or simply charge motorists a decent congestion charge for their daily environmental despoiling of Oxford..
Considering that every new cyclist means potentially up to one less car, I would say it should be only non-cyclists who should be charged £10. Or simply charge motorists a decent congestion charge for their daily environmental despoiling of Oxford.. olafpalme
  • Score: 4

1:45pm Fri 18 Apr 14

mytaxes says...

olafpalme wrote:
Considering that every new cyclist means potentially up to one less car, I would say it should be only non-cyclists who should be charged £10. Or simply charge motorists a decent congestion charge for their daily environmental despoiling of Oxford..
Not at all, many non cyclists are also non car owners, also many cyclists are car owners, you must not be so prejudiced. I choose to walk as much as possible but it is my choice and not right for everyone and I certainly do not need a walking/cycling plan.
[quote][p][bold]olafpalme[/bold] wrote: Considering that every new cyclist means potentially up to one less car, I would say it should be only non-cyclists who should be charged £10. Or simply charge motorists a decent congestion charge for their daily environmental despoiling of Oxford..[/p][/quote]Not at all, many non cyclists are also non car owners, also many cyclists are car owners, you must not be so prejudiced. I choose to walk as much as possible but it is my choice and not right for everyone and I certainly do not need a walking/cycling plan. mytaxes
  • Score: 2

2:53pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Oflife says...

Just a point of interest, in all cars I have driven, driving at 20mph requires a low gear. This is exceptionally uneconomical and difficult to maintain for more than a few hundred yards, such as outside a school etc. (With my automatic car, I have to force it into manual else it keeps jumping between 2nd and 3rd gear.) Those who are hit by cars (not including the situation where a youngster is driving a hot hatchback doing 60 through a housing estate) are hit because they either don't know how to cycle (you stay behind or in front of a vehicle NOT to it's side in a potential blind spot), or in the case of pedestrian, didn't pay attention to the Green Cross Code.

I'm a cyclist and driver, and 100% impartial, but most of the time, it is bad cycling that leads to accidents, not the other way around. NO motorist wants to hurt or kill a cyclist or anyone else. Cyclists need to be aware of driver blind spots and keep their eyes open, looking around them at every junction.

I have been cycling for over 40 years, and NEVER had an accident, and I thank the cycling proficiency test for that. I assume it was and is compulsory?

Great idea for the cycling routes anyway. Happy to pay the £10!
Just a point of interest, in all cars I have driven, driving at 20mph requires a low gear. This is exceptionally uneconomical and difficult to maintain for more than a few hundred yards, such as outside a school etc. (With my automatic car, I have to force it into manual else it keeps jumping between 2nd and 3rd gear.) Those who are hit by cars (not including the situation where a youngster is driving a hot hatchback doing 60 through a housing estate) are hit because they either don't know how to cycle (you stay behind or in front of a vehicle NOT to it's side in a potential blind spot), or in the case of pedestrian, didn't pay attention to the Green Cross Code. I'm a cyclist and driver, and 100% impartial, but most of the time, it is bad cycling that leads to accidents, not the other way around. NO motorist wants to hurt or kill a cyclist or anyone else. Cyclists need to be aware of driver blind spots and keep their eyes open, looking around them at every junction. I have been cycling for over 40 years, and NEVER had an accident, and I thank the cycling proficiency test for that. I assume it was and is compulsory? Great idea for the cycling routes anyway. Happy to pay the £10! Oflife
  • Score: -6

3:35pm Fri 18 Apr 14

grandconjuration says...

Good to see that the usual misconceptions are being spewed out yet again.

"All for it, except for the 20mph limits, providing the £10 - £20 per person is paid by the cyclists" and "no £10 from me. if they want it let them pay for it" and "It's excellent that the cyclists are prepared to pay £10.00 per head and it will not have to be funded by the taxpayer."

Are cyclists not taxpayers? I'm a cyclist and I pay income tax, council tax and VAT in addition to all the other forms of taxation (which for me also includes VED, fuel duty and company car tax). I suggest that each person who has made such a comment educate themselves about how roads are funded from general taxation.

"it is bad cycling that leads to accidents, not the other way around". Incorrect. Please provide the source of your data. The majority of collisions between bicycle and motor vehicle are the sole fault of the motorist. The statistics are easily found.

"Those who are hit by cars are hit because they either don't know how to cycle (you stay behind or in front of a vehicle NOT to it's side in a potential blind spot)". Incorrect. The major cause of a collision between bicycle and motor vehicle is the motorist failing to look properly at junctions; the second most prevalent collision is a motor vehicle hitting a cyclist from behind in daylight. Again, look it up.

"NO motorist wants to hurt or kill a cyclist or anyone else." So how come so many are caught drink driving or speeding then?

"Cyclists need to be aware of driver blind spots". The driver needs to be aware of their blind spots.

"driving at 20mph requires a low gear. This is exceptionally uneconomical". No, it is not.

"and difficult to maintain for more than a few hundred yards". I suggest that you take a driving refresher course to update your skills.

And this one will really get the cycle-haters frothing - "Will the 20 mph limits apply to cyclists too?". No, speed limits do not apply to cyclists as it is not a legal requirement to fit a speedometer to a bicycle.
Good to see that the usual misconceptions are being spewed out yet again. "All for it, except for the 20mph limits, providing the £10 - £20 per person is paid by the cyclists" and "no £10 from me. if they want it let them pay for it" and "It's excellent that the cyclists are prepared to pay £10.00 per head and it will not have to be funded by the taxpayer." Are cyclists not taxpayers? I'm a cyclist and I pay income tax, council tax and VAT in addition to all the other forms of taxation (which for me also includes VED, fuel duty and company car tax). I suggest that each person who has made such a comment educate themselves about how roads are funded from general taxation. "it is bad cycling that leads to accidents, not the other way around". Incorrect. Please provide the source of your data. The majority of collisions between bicycle and motor vehicle are the sole fault of the motorist. The statistics are easily found. "Those who are hit by cars are hit because they either don't know how to cycle (you stay behind or in front of a vehicle NOT to it's side in a potential blind spot)". Incorrect. The major cause of a collision between bicycle and motor vehicle is the motorist failing to look properly at junctions; the second most prevalent collision is a motor vehicle hitting a cyclist from behind in daylight. Again, look it up. "NO motorist wants to hurt or kill a cyclist or anyone else." So how come so many are caught drink driving or speeding then? "Cyclists need to be aware of driver blind spots". The driver needs to be aware of their blind spots. "driving at 20mph requires a low gear. This is exceptionally uneconomical". No, it is not. "and difficult to maintain for more than a few hundred yards". I suggest that you take a driving refresher course to update your skills. And this one will really get the cycle-haters frothing - "Will the 20 mph limits apply to cyclists too?". No, speed limits do not apply to cyclists as it is not a legal requirement to fit a speedometer to a bicycle. grandconjuration
  • Score: -4

5:00pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Madi50n says...

Dear lord the level of stupidity in some of these comments has finally reached moron level.

The roads are public highways, the word public should give you a clue, as in for the use of the public. Pedestrians, cyclists, horse-riders & motorists. There is no 1st, 2nd, 3rd place in the hierarchy because there is no hierarchy. Everybody has equal rights to be on the road.

Now that's been pointed out, on to tax.

Roads are paid from general taxation, income tax, VAT, duty, council tax. There is no special road tax, it was abolished in 1937 by Winston Churchill because he feared it made motorists think they had more rights than other road users. Let's make this clear, you do not have more rights in your car, bus lorry than anyone else on the road.

As roads are paid from general taxation that means they should be designed & maintained for every road user, not just those with engines, because everybody pays for them.

Oh and Oflife,

"Those who are hit by cars (not including the situation where a youngster is driving a hot hatchback doing 60 through a housing estate) are hit because they either don't know how to cycle (you stay behind or in front of a vehicle NOT to it's side in a potential blind spot), or in the case of pedestrian, didn't pay attention to the Green Cross Code."

This has to be the worst example of victim blaming I have read on these kinds of stories, and as a result you are beneath contempt.


"Cyclists need to be aware of driver blind spots and keep their eyes open, looking around them at every junction."

GrandConjuration has pointed this out but I'll back him up on this, you are flat out wrong, as a driver it's your responsibility to know where your blind spots are and make sure no-one is in them. If you think otherwise I find it difficult to believe you've been driving and never had an accident. More likely you've hit quite a few people but as you thought it was their fault yiu think you've never had one.

These comments, and others on cyclist stories have finally convinced me that some of the people on here are too dumb to reason with. I'm done. Keep happy in your ignorance. They say it's bliss.
Dear lord the level of stupidity in some of these comments has finally reached moron level. The roads are public highways, the word public should give you a clue, as in for the use of the public. Pedestrians, cyclists, horse-riders & motorists. There is no 1st, 2nd, 3rd place in the hierarchy because there is no hierarchy. Everybody has equal rights to be on the road. Now that's been pointed out, on to tax. Roads are paid from general taxation, income tax, VAT, duty, council tax. There is no special road tax, it was abolished in 1937 by Winston Churchill because he feared it made motorists think they had more rights than other road users. Let's make this clear, you do not have more rights in your car, bus lorry than anyone else on the road. As roads are paid from general taxation that means they should be designed & maintained for every road user, not just those with engines, because everybody pays for them. Oh and Oflife, "Those who are hit by cars (not including the situation where a youngster is driving a hot hatchback doing 60 through a housing estate) are hit because they either don't know how to cycle (you stay behind or in front of a vehicle NOT to it's side in a potential blind spot), or in the case of pedestrian, didn't pay attention to the Green Cross Code." This has to be the worst example of victim blaming I have read on these kinds of stories, and as a result you are beneath contempt. "Cyclists need to be aware of driver blind spots and keep their eyes open, looking around them at every junction." GrandConjuration has pointed this out but I'll back him up on this, you are flat out wrong, as a driver it's your responsibility to know where your blind spots are and make sure no-one is in them. If you think otherwise I find it difficult to believe you've been driving and never had an accident. More likely you've hit quite a few people but as you thought it was their fault yiu think you've never had one. These comments, and others on cyclist stories have finally convinced me that some of the people on here are too dumb to reason with. I'm done. Keep happy in your ignorance. They say it's bliss. Madi50n
  • Score: 2

6:30pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Quentin Walker says...

Grandcojurian said:

And this one will really get the cycle-haters frothing - "Will the 20 mph limits apply to cyclists too?". No, speed limits do not apply to cyclists as it is not a legal requirement to fit a speedometer to a bicycle.

There is an offence of "cycling furiously"' which could be laid against speeding cyclists.
Grandcojurian said: And this one will really get the cycle-haters frothing - "Will the 20 mph limits apply to cyclists too?". No, speed limits do not apply to cyclists as it is not a legal requirement to fit a speedometer to a bicycle. There is an offence of "cycling furiously"' which could be laid against speeding cyclists. Quentin Walker
  • Score: 5

9:57pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Myron Blatz says...

So what's all this 'scoring' thing for Reader's Comments - surely there should also be the same thing for the journalist and editor? Or, have we now become so consumed by 'voting' for realty tv and unreal tv shows, that comment and freedom of speech is no longer enough? By the way, is it true that the famous 'Headington shark' might be replaced by a large, glass-fibre facsimile, as being a more fitting memorial to recording history?
So what's all this 'scoring' thing for Reader's Comments - surely there should also be the same thing for the journalist and editor? Or, have we now become so consumed by 'voting' for realty tv and unreal tv shows, that comment and freedom of speech is no longer enough? By the way, is it true that the famous 'Headington shark' might be replaced by a large, glass-fibre facsimile, as being a more fitting memorial to recording history? Myron Blatz
  • Score: -3

1:20am Sat 19 Apr 14

my,say says...

Before all this, Cyclist without lights should have there bike seized and bad cyclist should be fined. As I drive around oxford 70% of cyclist don't have lights on their bikes! They skip through red traffic lights and ride on the paths.
Before all this, Cyclist without lights should have there bike seized and bad cyclist should be fined. As I drive around oxford 70% of cyclist don't have lights on their bikes! They skip through red traffic lights and ride on the paths. my,say
  • Score: -1

8:47am Sat 19 Apr 14

Citizen Sunday says...

Not sure where the assumption to reduce speed limits will encourage people to cycle have come from.

I'd imagine if motorists cannot drive safely doing 30mph along a wide straight road like Banbury or Woodstock Road, then they'd be a very incompetent motorist indeed, no matter how much the speed limit is reduced.

As to traffic congestion; one startlingly obvious solution is removing student car ownership.
Barring exceptional cases, there is absolutely NO reason (really... non at all) for a young, healthy, excess-energy fueled student- certainly when living within a mile of campus- to warrant having a car during term time.
I'm always amazed at how much road space is freed up in East Oxford when term finishes.
Not sure where the assumption to reduce speed limits will encourage people to cycle have come from. I'd imagine if motorists cannot drive safely doing 30mph along a wide straight road like Banbury or Woodstock Road, then they'd be a very incompetent motorist indeed, no matter how much the speed limit is reduced. As to traffic congestion; one startlingly obvious solution is removing student car ownership. Barring exceptional cases, there is absolutely NO reason (really... non at all) for a young, healthy, excess-energy fueled student- certainly when living within a mile of campus- to warrant having a car during term time. I'm always amazed at how much road space is freed up in East Oxford when term finishes. Citizen Sunday
  • Score: 4

9:25am Sat 19 Apr 14

Floflo says...

£10 per head is exceptionally good value if gets 1/4 of all people travelling by bicycle. It's far cheaper to accommodate cycles than it is cars and will very quickly reduce total spending on our roads.

Reducing car dependency makes for cleaner, safer and generally more person friendly places. Anyone who's travelled to our European neighbours who make an effort to accommodate vehicles other than cars knows this already.

I really don't understand why any motorist complains about a cheap and realistic plan to reduce congestion - unless of course they enjoy being stuck in traffic which is what I'm starting to suspect.
£10 per head is exceptionally good value if gets 1/4 of all people travelling by bicycle. It's far cheaper to accommodate cycles than it is cars and will very quickly reduce total spending on our roads. Reducing car dependency makes for cleaner, safer and generally more person friendly places. Anyone who's travelled to our European neighbours who make an effort to accommodate vehicles other than cars knows this already. I really don't understand why any motorist complains about a cheap and realistic plan to reduce congestion - unless of course they enjoy being stuck in traffic which is what I'm starting to suspect. Floflo
  • Score: 10

1:26pm Sat 19 Apr 14

olafpalme says...

mytaxes wrote:
olafpalme wrote:
Considering that every new cyclist means potentially up to one less car, I would say it should be only non-cyclists who should be charged £10. Or simply charge motorists a decent congestion charge for their daily environmental despoiling of Oxford..
Not at all, many non cyclists are also non car owners, also many cyclists are car owners, you must not be so prejudiced. I choose to walk as much as possible but it is my choice and not right for everyone and I certainly do not need a walking/cycling plan.
Your original argument was that it is great `cyclists pay £10 a head and not taxpayers. As if cyclists aren't taxpayers. As you yourself originally wrote `many cyclists are car owners'. And we are all pedestrians or pavement users to some degree..

I doubt anyone would applaud a plan where only `pedestrians' should pay for pavements `and not taxpayers'.
[quote][p][bold]mytaxes[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]olafpalme[/bold] wrote: Considering that every new cyclist means potentially up to one less car, I would say it should be only non-cyclists who should be charged £10. Or simply charge motorists a decent congestion charge for their daily environmental despoiling of Oxford..[/p][/quote]Not at all, many non cyclists are also non car owners, also many cyclists are car owners, you must not be so prejudiced. I choose to walk as much as possible but it is my choice and not right for everyone and I certainly do not need a walking/cycling plan.[/p][/quote]Your original argument was that it is great `cyclists pay £10 a head and not taxpayers. As if cyclists aren't taxpayers. As you yourself originally wrote `many cyclists are car owners'. And we are all pedestrians or pavement users to some degree.. I doubt anyone would applaud a plan where only `pedestrians' should pay for pavements `and not taxpayers'. olafpalme
  • Score: 7

9:38am Tue 22 Apr 14

livid99 says...

my,say wrote:
Before all this, Cyclist without lights should have there bike seized and bad cyclist should be fined. As I drive around oxford 70% of cyclist don't have lights on their bikes! They skip through red traffic lights and ride on the paths.
Hey Madi50n, here's another truthful person for you to insult....
[quote][p][bold]my,say[/bold] wrote: Before all this, Cyclist without lights should have there bike seized and bad cyclist should be fined. As I drive around oxford 70% of cyclist don't have lights on their bikes! They skip through red traffic lights and ride on the paths.[/p][/quote]Hey Madi50n, here's another truthful person for you to insult.... livid99
  • Score: 1

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