Archived News - 2015

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

CCNB wishes all visitors to the website a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

What better time of the year for cyclists and potential cyclists to become a member of CCNB or alternatively to give an annual or five year membership to a friend or relation.

Father Christmas

Even Santa rides a bike

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Climate Change and Cycling

Climate change is the most important issue of our time. At the meeting held during December 2015 in Paris 200 countries agreed to try and limit global temperature rises to less than 2°C compared with the pre-industrial temperature.

However the solution is not just up to governments. There are many things that can and are being done at the local level by local authorities such as Bedford Borough Council but in the end all residents must also take responsibility.

Cycling will not solve the problem but using this mode of transport for short distances, of which more than 50% of journeys are less 5km, will go some way to reducing emissions in our towns and villages. At the same time it will have a significant effect on the health of our residents.

A leaflet on Climate Change and Cycling published by CCNB can be seen here.

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Drive Less, Live More

Drive Less, Live More is this year's theme for Road Safety Week from 23-29 November 2015. The week was set up by Brake in 1997, with the aim to raise awareness of road safety and improve safety on UK roads.

Brake says: "This Road Safety Week, we’re encouraging everyone to consider how they use roads, and if they can ditch some driving, and instead walk, cycle or use public transport as much as possible. Work out how much money you’ll save, calories you’ll burn, and pollution you won’t create, and build it into your routine".

To find out more go to the information-packed Road Safety Week website.

The website shows that for Bedford Borough 40% of residents drive to work (2011 figure) while driving creates 992.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide (2012) and causes 73 premature deaths (2014) due to poor air quality.

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Flamme Rouge Cycles - Opened 14 November 2015

A new bike shop, Flamme Rouge Cycles, opened its doors in Bromham Road, Bedford on 14 November 2015. The shop aims to be a local hub for cyclists encompassing all that is great about cycling offering bike sales, repairs, professional advice and a place to chill out and watch pro-cycling over a great coffee.

The Flamme Rouge brand is the result of years of planning and hard work from Jamie Quiggin a cycling enthusiast, British Cycling volunteer coach and retail professional with 20+ years experience. James says:

"There are very few bike shops that offer everything a cyclist needs and a place to hang out and talk cycling. At Flamme Rouge we aim to provide this service to the cycling community. To us the rider is just as important as the bike and that's why we will offer services from rider fitting, coaching and nutrition advice as well as the usual bike sales and workshop services"

(see local cycle shops) under Flamme Rouge Cycles for address and contact details).

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Be Seen using Reflective Spray Paint

In March this year, Volvo Cars unveiled an innovative, reflective spray paint 'LifePaint' that is invisible in daylight but illuminates when in the beam of a car’s headlights to improve the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians.

The product is water based and works best on textile materials but can applied not only to clothes but also shoes, helmets, pushchairs, children's backpacks and even dog leads and collars. It is claimed to not damage the colour or the surface of your chosen material and being washable will last more than a month of normal usage.

A video on the product can be seen here.

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Winter Riding

With darker nights now with us and the ending of British Summer Time on Sunday 25 October 2015 winter has arrived. Although your bicycle should be maintained properly all year round please ensure particularly that it has:

Both tyres in good condition. Worn tyres are more prone to punctures and slipping on greasy roads.
Brake blocks not worn down. Modern brake blocks and rims in wet weather will wear out faster.
Both front and rear working lights. You may be able to see the motorist, but will they be able to see you?
Do not wear dark clothing. Fluorescent is ideal during the day but if possible use reflective clothing at night (see separate news item), if not, wear lightly coloured clothes.

The Borough Council's Road Safety Team are running a 'Be Safe Be Seen' campaign.

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Cycling in Copenhagen Videos

Chris Boardman takes a cycling tour of Copenhagen during Summer 2015.

At the end of the video Chris says "Well, I haven't seen a single cyclist." "I've just seen normal people getting about... just using this simple tool that answers so many of our problems."

Sometime later Chris took The Minister of State for Cycling, Robert Goodwill, around the city at the invitation of British Cycling. Afterwards he admitted to being ‘blown away’ by the difference between Danish and British cycling infrastructure, acknowledging that Britain has 30 years of catching up to do..

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Cycle to Work Logo

Cycle to Work Day - Thursday 3 September 2015

Cycle to Work Day is a national event which aims to encourage everyone to take to two wheels and cycle to work for just one day on Thursday 3rd September 2015.

More than 3,000 people in Bedford cycle to work regularly including 400 to the railway station and this number keeps growing steadily. Please ask your employer to support this day.

Full information is available on the Cycle to Work website.

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Cycle Maintenance

If you’re new to cycling or just don’t cycle very regularly, the prospect of repairing parts of your bike or conducting bicycle maintenance can often seem a little daunting. The YHA have put together a cycling maintenance guide for beginners in the hope that it will encourage amateur cyclists to embark on more two-wheeled adventures. So whether you’re looking to invest in a new set of pedals or trying to install a new inner tyre tube, they have got it covered in their fun interactive Beginner’s Maintenance Guide.

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Summer Cycling Activites

CCNB as a cycling campaigning organisation does not organise cycle rides (see local cycle clubs).

The Borough's Sports Development Team however have organised four one hour social cycle rides during early August for anybody over the age of 18;

Saturday 1 August 2015 - Meet Jubilee Park, near Jubilation Centre at 10am, cost £1
Wednesday 5 August 2105 - Meet near Swan Hotel/Nandos at 3pm for ride along riverside to Danish Camp, cost £1
Wednesday 5 August 2015 - Meet at Putnoe Library at 4.30pm, cost £1
Sunday 9 August 2015 (Ladies Only) - Meet at entrance to Allen Park, Ford End Road at 9.30am, cost free.

For people from 10 (on or before 31st August 2015) to 15 years of age who would like to be able to cycle more safely on the road and gain awareness of other road users there is a series of four half-day cycle training courses comprising both practical and theory sessions for beginners as well as more experienced cyclists to Bikeability Level 2 at Newnham Middle School, Polhill Avenue.

20-23 July 2015
27-30 July 2105
3-6 August 2015
17-20 August 2015
24-27 August 2015

All the courses are from 10.00-12.00 each day and cost £20 per session.

Bedford Modern School also has a Bikeability holiday course on 10-14 August 2015, five half-days from 9.30-12.30 at a cost of £68.50.

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Bike Week 2015

Why Cycle - Watch the video to see why riding a bicycle is the best way to get to work.

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Summer of Cycling

New to Cycling? Get on a bike this summer and experience for yourself how easy and enjoyable cycling can be.

If you love cycling, share the fun and get a 'saddle-shy friend' on a bike this summer and together we can double cycling.

Although launched in Summer 2012 the idea is still valid for Summer 2015.

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Neighbourhood Watch
Bedfordshire Police

Cycle Security Marking Dates - May/June 2015

Security marking your bike deters potential thieves as your bike can be easily traced if it is stolen. Bedfordshire Police and Neighbourhood Watch have a number of events over the next three months at which you can have your bike marked:

27th May - Church Street Langford 1.30 – 4pm
13th June - Great Barford Fun day 2-4pm
20th – 21st June - Bolnhurst Rally 10 – 4pm both days
20th June - Harrold Country Park 10 – 4pm
25th June - Town Centre Bedford 10 – 4pm
27th June - Milton Ernest Fete 2 – 4pm

Also Wednesdays in the town centre near Beales from the mobile police station

For more information please look at CCNB's security page here.

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Urban Myth - Roads are for Motorists

Roads are built for motorists not cyclists - Cyclists were actually the real pioneers of smooth surfaced roads several years before motoring was made legal. Today they are for everybody to use. For evidence see here.

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Bedford Station - Mobile Bike Repairer

Cycle Tech UK on Tuesday 7 April 2015 brought its fully equipped mobile bike workshop to Bedford Railway Station. Owner Mike Hanham said he will be available every Tuesday and Thursday between 6.30am and 16.00pm for servicing bikes from repairing punctures to complete overhauls. See mobile cycle repairs under Cycle Shops for complete contact details.

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Union Street Roundabout Snags - Update

Most of the outstanding minor problems (snags) on the Union Street roundabout scheme were completed between March and April 2015.

The new roundabout has been shown to be safer for cyclists and pedestrians by slowing down traffic into dedicated lanes without effecting vehicle throughput.

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Bedford Railway Station Cycle Stand Bid Successful - Update

It was announced on 12 March 2015 that Govia Thameslink had been awarded £ 112,500 towards providing 158 new cycle stands at Bedford railway station from the Department for Transport's £14.5m cycle rail fund to improve facilities at railway stations. The total cost of the scheme will be £125,000 to provide additional double deckers together with shelters, additional CCTV and lighting. The stands will replace 30 ‘Sheffield’ stands which were removed while the wall alongside the passageway was rebuilt. The net gain will therefore be 98 spaces. Installation of the new stands is expected between September 2015 and March 2016.

Station Double Deckers

Double decker type to be provided

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Town Centre Cycling

Following a public consultation in May 2014, a temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to allow cycling in the pedestrianised area of Bedford town centre out of core shopping hours (from 6pm to 9am) became effective on 20 February 2015. The TRO will be reviewed after 6, 12 and 18 months operation before deciding whether or not to make it permanent.

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Safety Tip for February 2015 - Hold Back

Do not undertake a service bus which is continually stopping at bus stops.

'Cyclists - Pass with Care' stickers were placed on the rear nearside of all 'Stagecoach in Bedford' buses a few months ago to make cyclists aware of the potential danger of this move.

This was followed by all their bus drivers receiving cycle awareness training.

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Urban Myth - Road Tax

Motorists pay ‘road tax’ but cyclists do not - Road tax was abolished in 1937 and replaced by Vehicle Excise Duty. This goes straight into the general Treasury fund and is not spent directly on roads.

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Winter Potholes

Do not let that pothole get any bigger than necessary.

If you see one on your travels please report it to the Bedford Unitary Authority Helpdesk - If they no not know about it, it will not be filled in. Large one are normally repaired by the Pothole Squad within 2 working days and smaller ones within 6 weeks from the date of reply.

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Safety Tip for January 2015 - Be Seen

Always use white front and red rear lights after dark or when visibility is poor. All bikes should be fitted with a red rear reflector. White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help aid your visibility as does wearing reflective clothing and/or accessories.

When driving a vehicle keep a safe distance from cyclists and do not try to overtake if there is not sufficient space to do so.

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New Bedford and Kempston Cycle Map

CCNB has published a fifth edition of its popular Bedford and Kempston Cycle Map. It is available (free of charge) from all libraries, cycle shops, the Tourist Information Centre and numerous other outlets.

The map can be seen on Cycle Bedford's website here.

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Worried about Commuting Costs

With the annual cost of commuting from Bedford railway station having increased yet again from this January, why not consider cycling to the station and join the more than 9% who already do, particularly if you live less than 5km away, and save yourself more than £2,000 per year in fuel and parking costs.

We are sure that once tried you will not want to stop, although we suggest you start off slowly by cycling in the first instance just once a week and then building it up. Although many residents cycle all through the year it is up to you whether to cycle if the weather is inclement.

There are 528 secure cycle parking spaces at the railway station with most under cover and all protected by CCTV.

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Neighbourhood Watch
Bedfordshire Police

Cycle Security Marking Dates

Security marking your bike deters potential thieves as your bike can be easily traced if it is stolen. Bedfordshire Police and Neighbourhood Watch have a number of events over the next three months at which you can have your bike marked:

15th January - Ampthill Road Bedford
24th January - Great Denham
28th February - Shortstown
21st March - Midland Road Bedford

Also Wednesdays in the town centre near Beales from the mobile police station

7th January 2-4pm
14th January 10 – 1pm
21st January 2 -4pm
28th January 10 – 1pm

For more information please look at CCNB's security page here.

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New Year Message

2014 has been an extremely good year for cycling, not only for the additional infrastructure provided by the Borough and others, but also for having the opportunity to see in May the finish of the 2nd stage of ‘The Women’s Tour’ successfully hosted by Bedford and in July in Cambridge the start of the 3rd stage of the ‘Tour de France’. All of these must have contributed to the further increase in cycling seen in the Bedford area adding to the upward trend of the last eight years.

For 2015 let us continue this progress to ensure that Bedford is even more a ‘Town of Cyclists’ and ‘Cycle Friendly Communities’.

Cycling can be a quick and inexpensive alternative mode of transport for lots of people regardless of age, gender, fitness level or income. Using a bicycle for door to door short trips enables people to take regular exercise without going to a gym. This can reduce the risk of heart diseases, diabetes and obesity all of which are increasing in the UK. At the same time cycling can increase your mental well-being and productivity by reducing stress and absenteeism.

Increasing cycling in the borough will also help reduce traffic congestion – a problem regularly reported in the local press – as well as parking problems and noise and emission pollution.

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Bedford Railway Station Cycle counts

Cycle counts at Bedford railway station, collected on a regular basis by CCNB since 2006, have continued to show an increase with the 2014 summer counts 60% higher than those collected in 2006 (an average increase of 7.5% per year).

As expected the winter period counts each year are generally slightly lower than those collected during the summer months.

Station Counts
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