The first ‘chat’ of 2018 included an update surrounding the subject of Rimrose Valley and the proposed Highways England bypass linking the Port to Switch Island, we also provided further updates on other potential cycle infrastructure work that we hope to begin in due course.
Regarding completed work, we gained further feedback from riders to the updated rail crossing at Formby Golf Course and the recent harvesting works by Natural England that have affected the route through to the Formby bypass; discussions continued around cleansing of cycle paths and the reporting of debris and blockages on routes, we reiterated and encouraged riders to continue to report issues to either our Sefton Active Travel team or direct to the Sefton Call Centre (0345 1400 845).
We then provided an update on our next steps to reduce the road casualty figures across Merseyside involving cyclists. The ‘close pass’ operations are now being rolled out again, with 30 operations planned for 2018. As well as targeting poor driving behaviour we are well aware that many bike riders demonstrate poor riding habits and we are working on ways to help address this; many engagement events are planned to educate riders and in addition to this we will be looking to engage with cycle delivery riders and organisations to look at ways to help them ride in a safer and more appropriate manner.
As part of the Merseyside Cycling Thematic Group that Sefton take the lead on across the City Region, we have been developing plans to encourage more people to take to the bike and reduce the perception that cycling can be unsafe.
The Police Problem Solving Team that are attached to the group will be running their Close Pass events again this year, with dates set right across the Merseyside region. We are producing some vehicle window stickers to support the close pass programme; these are designed to help raise awareness to other motorists highlighting the appropriate distance when passing a cyclist. These will be available soon; if you would like one for your vehicle call in or get in touch and we can post one out.
Again linking to the close pass initiative, we will be deploying a number of cycle cameras to colleagues and supporters bikes, to record footage of poor driver behaviour and report it to the police problem solving team through the Collidescope website. Anyone with their own camera can upload footage to the website. Finally as part of the same initiative, we are hoping to produce some jersey or rucksack patches that simply stick to the garment; they depict the image of a speed camera, suggesting to other road users that you have a camera on board and are potentially filming.
This programme of intervention is planned to raise the awareness of cyclists and bring some accountability to drivers who make poor decisions around cyclists. It is hoped to be the early steps in changing behaviour by some drivers towards cyclists and creating a shared use approach to using the road.
The next chat will be on Tuesday 3 July from 6pm – 8pm at MeCycle, by Ainsdale Station.
We still want to attract new people to join us so anyone interested in cycling is welcome to attend.
MeCycle is a smaller venue so numbers are limited and to book a place please call 0151 934 4576 or get in touch via the Active Travel Sefton website.