Author Topic: Southend Cycle Town  (Read 8640 times)

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2010, 08:52:48 pm »
They certainly don't consult us. We meet, make recommendations and suggestions in the hope that they are passed on to the relevant departments, and sit back and wait.
There is no feedback, and it appears that our comments either are not reaching those for whom they are intended or that we are just being ignored.   :-\

Do you know who 'those for whom they are intended ' actualy are and have you or any one else from the Cycling Group challenged them directly?

H

FatBloke

  • I come from a land up over!
Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2010, 08:54:05 pm »
One of the items on tomorrow's agenda seems to sum it up:-

Quote
Engineering - building the communications gap
Tim Totten

 :-\
This isn't just a thousand to one shot. This is a professional blood sport. It can happen to you. And it can happen again.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2010, 09:00:35 pm »
They certainly don't consult us. We meet, make recommendations and suggestions in the hope that they are passed on to the relevant departments, and sit back and wait.
There is no feedback, and it appears that our comments either are not reaching those for whom they are intended or that we are just being ignored.   :-\

Do you know who 'those for whom they are intended ' actualy are and have you or any one else from the Cycling Group challenged them directly?

H

Constantly.

The Southend Council Cabinet constitute a cabal of tory councillors who are totally impervious to any public opinion.

I could provide you with a lot of reading material by suggesting

Priory Park Preservation Society

or

SAEN:

From one of the websites above (this event was in 2003):
Quote from: Private Eye
JOLLY ROGER

FOLLOWING the last Eye's account of the sophisticated debating skills displayed by local Tories in Romford, there is more news of the enthusiasm of IDS's Essex boys.
Just after 1am on polling day, 1 May, Southend's Tory deputy mayor-elect Roger Weaver found himself in a tussle in a suburban garden with a local environmental campaigner, Chris Ford, a leading light in protests against a road scheme which will involve the felling of 120 trees in and near the town's Priory Park, was checking on posters displayed on the properties of fellow campaigners after reports that some had been removed and others defaced with "Vote Conservative" stickers.
The originals read: "Don't Vote Conservative. Save Priory Park. Don't vote Weaver", in reference to Weaver's former council role as cabinet member for planning and transport. Ford tells the Eye he saw Weaver, who was acompanied by his wife, fellow Tory councillor Verina Wilson, enter the garden of a house displaying a "Save Priory Park" board and fix a "Vote Conservative" sticker to it. Whereupon Ford walked up, took a photo of the couple with his digital camera and declared: "I've got you now!"
After a full and frank exchange of views, says Ford, the pair engaged in a struggle for possession of the board, during which it struck him in the face, splitting his lip, cutting his nose and grazing his hand. Ford has complained to the police. Weaver tells the Eye: "Mr Ford's accusations are not true. Other than that I have nothing to say."

Weaver was cleared after an investigation by the Standards Board for England and went on to become Mayor of Southend.
You won. Get over it.

Fixedwheelnut

  • "If it ain't fixed it's broken"
    • My photos
Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2010, 09:18:54 pm »
 I feel for you Nutty, my missus and I dealt with our local council in a group they asked to be started to enable parents of disabled kids to have their say and in three years they made all the right noises but nothing changed any points we put forward all happened to miss the deadline for implementation despite being voiced long before that point.
 I wouldn't trust any council official as far as I could throw one.  >:(
"Don't stop pedalling"

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2010, 10:15:11 pm »
So if you are being stonewalled by the local authority, what is the next step?

H

Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2010, 11:46:44 pm »
So if you are being stonewalled by the local authority, what is the next step?

H

This is my question.


I emailed Cycling England recently asking for details of the Management Agreement that Southend Council signed before being accepted for funding. I had been led to believe that it includes a statement regarding cycling being a core to the agenda and that they have to consider it in all activities that they perform; certainly not something in evidence on the ground.

The response last week was that the relevant person was on leave, and I'd have to wait until she is back since the original person was not aware of which documentation is publicly available.  I shall chase this week (btw, does anybody know the rules as to FOI?  If the information isn't publically available can I set about requesting it?  And how?)

I responded politely, and included the following paragraph.
Quote
Out of interest, are you able to say what Cycling England's opinion is as to the progress made so far by Southend?  From my limited view here I am getting disappointed at a seeming lack of progress, coupled with some bizarre infrastructure changes - such as the new cycle lane I discovered last month which is painted to the left of a turn left traffic lane!

The response commented on the fact they couldn't comment on specific towns (understandable) and also that Southend has had a change of program manager recently, so some of the program for this financial year might be rescheduled.

The new program manager is the specific individual I questioned twice in public meetings regarding action being taken on cycle route S1 (The A13), and who responded "we will not be touching the A13 as we intend all cyclists to use the Prittle Brook Greenway"*.  Why label a cycle route on the cycle network map and in the LTP if you don't intend to construct it?  The Prittle Brook Greenway is not only not yet under construction, it is specifically EXCLUDED from the cycle town budget.

If there is to be any change, and I'm expecting any announcement tomorrow, it'll be that the cycle town project will be to get cyclists off of the roads and onto a few disjointed cycle paths that might be painted around inconvenient areas of town.





*As mentioned above the Prittle Brook Greenway is nothing more than an upgraded footpath which crosses 19 side roads in under 2 miles, and provides a longer and slower route for cycling than cycle route S1.  The greenway runs from here to here via the dotted green public footpath line.

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2010, 12:00:37 am »
Have sent a message to two contacts in PCF to see if they are able you offer any advice.

H

Regulator

  • Got a thing for rubber...
Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2010, 08:02:58 am »
(btw, does anybody know the rules as to FOI?  If the information isn't publically available can I set about requesting it?  And how?)


You simply write and tell them what you want, indicating* that you are making the request under the Freedom of Information Act.  They have 20 days to respond and supply the info or give you reasons why not.

If you PM with the details of what you are after, I'll even draft a letter/email for you, Nutty my dear, and I can take a look at any response they send you.

I shall be spending this morning giving an FoI workshop to a bunch of people from the SHA... ;D


*You don't even need to mention the FoI - they should automatically consider any request for information as an FoI request.
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2010, 10:05:23 am »
Ah.  You don't have to mention the FoI, but it could well be slower if you don't, as they may have to consideer whether it's covered by the DPA (it isn't, but passing files between Depts always causes delays/loss).

I would mention the Act, to keep things moving.
Getting there...

Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2010, 11:00:28 am »
...
*You don't even need to mention the FoI - they should automatically consider any request for information as an FoI request.

Ho hum.   I've mentioned the act, and not, many times in the past in communication with Southend Borough Council.

For example, email sent 15/12/08 regarding the muddy track cycle route through Belfairs woods contained the paragraph
Quote
> > Please can you respond to this email with the full details of how
much
> > money has been spent to date on this farcility.  Consider this a
> > Freedom of Information request.  If you can break the total
> > expenditure down by consultancy, design, construction and materials
I
> > would appreciate it.

The reply (17/12/08) contained
Quote
> > In terms of cost and a breakdown this can of course be provided

I replied on 27/01/09.
Quote
> When can I expect to see the costs?

I have heard nothing since.  I presumed because I'd not fulfilled some form of magic documentation incantation relevant to the FOI.

Does this mean they've failed the FOI act?   How can I complain?

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2010, 11:03:51 am »
The Information Commissioner might be interested.  There are certain exemptions to FoI requirements, but the one most usually cited is prohibitive cost, which is a bit of a cop out.  They've acknowledged they'll be able to provide the info in this case, though, so that's out.
Getting there...

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2010, 11:08:26 am »
This deals with the timescale.  Twenty working days for most requests.

ICO homepage

How to complain about FoI non-compliance

Getting there...

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2010, 11:17:38 am »
Southend Council are just shit. See Login
You won. Get over it.

Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2010, 11:23:32 am »
ok I DESPAIR.

To all those who might be attending tonight's cycle group meeting, can I draw your attention to page 15 of today's Echo.

Quote
£229k cycle boost
  More cycle lanes will be created in Southend as part of a £2million plan by the council to improve transport in the town.
  At a cabinet meeting, members approved £2.2million oto be spent on transport in 2010/11.
  Among the improvements will be £370,000 spent on the South Essex Rapid Transit bus system and £229,000 on creating more cycle lanes and routes as part of the Southend cycle town project.
  The spending includes creating a route between Leigh and Thorpe Bay running along the seafront.

Now we already have the NCN16 running along the seafront from Chalkwell to Thorpe Bay, so all that is needed is a tiny extension to get from Leigh to Chalkwell...

But why are they spending this money on cycle lanes?  This goes directly in opposition to the strategy that the cabinet signed off on the 4th November 2008, and explained to the cycle group; namely that they would mostly be focussing on on-road shared routes, without the need for cycle lanes.  i.e. making Southend a safe place to cycle, rather than pushing cyclists off the carriageway and making Southend a great place to drive sit in gridlock.

Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2010, 03:56:07 pm »
I've just been out for a lunch break.   Fatters was understating the danger here!!!!!!

This is the new cycle lane & ASL I have serious issues with.

....



...

Cyclists are tempted by the green paint to cycle between the stopped buses and the buses queueing for the lights to get to the ASL. While they are doing that the buses stopped at the side of the road will invariably pull out in an attempt to get their bus within an inch of their colleagues to force their way out into the traffic. They don't look for cyclists only other buses or on occasion cars. This was where I nearly got squished.

That photographed bus is good, it is in the bus stop.  Today there were three busses there, two had obviously pulled in around a parked bus and so their back ends were obstructing the lane  >:( >:( >:(






The short cul-de-sac of York Road (alongside M&S as pictured) is, as all locals know, just a place to park temporarily and pick up passengers.  That too has an ASL and feeder lane.  What benefits will that provide any cyclist?   There's so little car traffic there that there will never really be any need for a cyclist to filter past a queue.




Worse than Fatter's pictures was if the cyclist does go to the right of the bus station then as they approach the T junction with Alexandra Street/Heygate Avenue the road there is "Left Turn Only".  Yup they've painted another cycle lane up the inside of that  >:( >:( >:(



Worse, much much much worse is for any cyclist cycling east on Alexandra Street.  Google Maps clearly shows that this one way road has two lanes.  One for "turn left only" and one for "straight ahead".  The Southend Cycle Map shows that the cycle route goes straight ahead at this point.   Guess where the council have painted a cycle lane leading to the ASL?   Yup, to the left of the turn left lane.

WHAT A FRIGGIN LETHAL CYCLE LANE LAYOUT!!!!!!!!    I AM FUMING!!!!
 >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

and for good measure ->  >:( >:(

Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2010, 04:01:32 pm »
WHERE'S MAI BUKKIT?   :D
Quote from: Marbeaux
Have given this a great deal of thought and decided not to contribute to any further Threads for the time being.
POTD. (decade) :thumbsup:

Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2010, 06:00:05 pm »
ok I DESPAIR.

To all those who might be attending tonight's cycle group meeting, can I draw your attention to page 15 of today's Echo.

Quote
£229k cycle boost
  More cycle lanes will be created in Southend as part of a £2million plan by the council to improve transport in the town.
  At a cabinet meeting, members approved £2.2million oto be spent on transport in 2010/11.
  Among the improvements will be £370,000 spent on the South Essex Rapid Transit bus system and £229,000 on creating more cycle lanes and routes as part of the Southend cycle town project.
  The spending includes creating a route between Leigh and Thorpe Bay running along the seafront.


Maybe you and Wowbagger should go to the local rag and tell them what you've told us?

Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2010, 06:13:21 pm »
I considered pointing the Echo at this publicly available thread this morning.

I'm going to wait until after tonight's meeting and then consider my options.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2010, 06:17:14 pm »
ok I DESPAIR.

To all those who might be attending tonight's cycle group meeting, can I draw your attention to page 15 of today's Echo.

Quote
£229k cycle boost
  More cycle lanes will be created in Southend as part of a £2million plan by the council to improve transport in the town.
  At a cabinet meeting, members approved £2.2million oto be spent on transport in 2010/11.
  Among the improvements will be £370,000 spent on the South Essex Rapid Transit bus system and £229,000 on creating more cycle lanes and routes as part of the Southend cycle town project.
  The spending includes creating a route between Leigh and Thorpe Bay running along the seafront.


Maybe you and Wowbagger should go to the local rag and tell them what you've told us?

The Editor of the Local Rag hates me - and his rag acts almost totally uncritically as the Council's mouthpiece.

Having said that, I think we should issue a press release after tonight's meeting saying how dissatisfied we are. Perhaps Jon Steer will agree for it to be issued under the CTC header? Anna Waite (Transport portfolio holder) is justifying all kinds of rubbish at the moment, including last week's tree massacre, saying that "pedestrians & cyclists like it" when I doubt that any pedestrians or cyclists have been consulted.
You won. Get over it.

Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2010, 06:25:26 pm »
How about organising a big (charity?) cycling event in Southend, which after all, is a cycling town. Get lots of people on bikes. But don't use the cycle facilities that aren't any good.

Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2010, 06:32:41 pm »
How about organising a big (charity?) cycling event in Southend, which after all, is a cycling town. Get lots of people on bikes. But don't use the cycle facilities that aren't any good.

They tried closing the seafront last summer for a ride during bike week.

They forgot to advertise it, very few people turned up, the traders complained at loss of business, they caved in and re-opened the seafront.

Apparently there were free wristbands for Peter Pans playground for the first 50 or 100 riders to turn up, but in order to claim them you needed to know about them and track down the council employee who had them in a pocket.  (I know this because I got tipped off and so did go and track down that pocket.)

Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2010, 06:46:58 pm »
They tried closing the seafront last summer for a ride during bike week.

They forgot to advertise it, very few people turned up, the traders complained at loss of business, they caved in and re-opened the seafront.


Looks like they made a mess of it, but I was saying that you should do it.
No need to close roads. Southend is a cycling town after all.
What I'm saying is go along with the council and revel in the cycling townness of Southend. Because the council have made Southend safe for cycling on the road, as their bumf says, then you can run your event on roads that are now safe for cycling. Being a cycling town, the council shouldn't object to people cycling. :thumbsup:

FatBloke

  • I come from a land up over!
Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2010, 10:59:57 pm »
Being a cycling town, the council shouldn't object to people cycling. :thumbsup:
You'd like to think that, but I have been threatened with arrest for cycling around Southend with 25 other like-minded souls.   :-\
This isn't just a thousand to one shot. This is a professional blood sport. It can happen to you. And it can happen again.

Speshact

  • Charlie
Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2010, 11:26:01 pm »
Media-wise, can you get a statement supporting your concerns from those employed by the council to teach cycle training to school children? Ensure whoever the quote comes from is a fully accredited National Standards trainer.

Perhaps a couple of local councillors and a journalist or two (eg one press, one radio) would relish the chance of a lesson in how to use the new facilities...until the councillors are told to avoid them!

Should make a good story since the lanes and the cycling instructors are both 'part' of Southend Council it would have to imply the Council is inept one way or the other.

Re: Southend Cycle Town
« Reply #49 on: January 19, 2010, 12:12:53 am »
I've been to the cycle group meeting.

I've cycled home, cooked a meal, and am now going to retire to bed.  I'm too fed up really to write more.



The meeting was the usual.  Very enthusiastic from the council, acknowledging all the errors of the past, outlining the new strategy for the final year and promising all will be wonderful.  Unfortunately that's almost the entire same format we've had at every meeting so far.  Oh yes there could be considered more work done by them this time in the background and more staff...  but after ten years of this, do I really believe them?


Speshact, I showed one bikeability trainer there the photo of Bournemouth Park Road and asked her how she'd train people to negotiate the pinch point.  She looked embarrassed, said she agreed with me completely, and admitted she didn't know how to negotiate it other than to ride over the hump.  I don't want to put her on the spot as she is one of the "nice people" as mentioned above...  but it does show how the various streams of work (training/engineering) don't seem to be talking.



Emails will continue between myself and various parties when I get up in the morning (having slept on it).