BBC News Report – Government to urge us all to walk and cycle more

We need to protect the public transport network as lockdown is lifted, the UK’s transport secretary is expected to say at a press conference on Saturday. The BBC understands Grant Shapps will encourage the public to continue to work from home if they can.

Image copyright JEFF OVERS

Those who need to travel to work will be urged to consider more active ways to travel like walking and cycling. Extra funding is likely to be announced for English local authorities to help alter road networks to facilitate this. The intention is to take the pressure off roads and public transport networks.

This is a devolved issue and in Wales, the assembly is suggesting a number of new policies including road and lane closures with filters for cyclists. Scotland announced funding for “active travel infrastructure” in April. No specific measures have been announced yet in Northern Ireland although the infrastructure minister is expected to appoint a cycling and walking champion.

It is believed that Mr. Shapps will talk about using the unique “opportunity” of the lockdown restrictions to change the way we get to work.

For more info click here

 

Warning that cycling could be banned if people don’t ride responsibly this weekend

‘Make sure bikes continue to be seen to be part of the solution to this crisis’ – Chris Boardman

British Cycling has warned that the ‘privilege’ of riding a bike could be removed if people fail to observe instructions on social distancing this weekend.

In an open letter(link is external) published on Friday night, British Cycling CEO Julie Harrington said it was “heartening” that the Government had so far protected people’s right to ride a bike, but warned that this must not be taken for granted.

Government advice on staying at home currently lists as an exception, “one form of exercise a day, for example, a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.”

It goes on to say that, “even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.”

Despite this, some have undertaken group rides or arranged to meet friends midway through a ride. Others have used their daily ride to cover great distances, arguing that the guidelines don’t specify a time limit.

Daily exercise rules: current cycling dos and don’ts

Harrington said: “People on bikes were not the only culprits in last weekend’s mass dash to the outdoors but, despite strong guidance from ourselves and others, too many chose to ignore the Prime Minister’s instructions on social distancing, continuing to ride in groups and meet in cafes for a mid-ride chat.

“This isn’t just irresponsible, it is putting people’s lives at risk. A repeat of that this weekend risks further Government measures to take away the privilege of riding a bike for all of us and now more than ever, it is not one we can afford to lose.”

Greater Manchester’s cycling commissioner, Chris Boardman, urged people to, “make sure bikes continue to be a part of the solution to this crisis, and are seen to be part of the solution.”  

After highlighting key workers’ use of bikes for essential journeys, he said: “For the rest of us, [bikes] are a way to go and get supplies, take essential exercise and, crucially, give us a mental break each day, helping us ensure prolonged isolation is actually sustainable.

“But for bikes to remain a force for good and help us get through this, this is how it’s got to work: only ride alone or with people that you live with and stay at least two metres away from anybody that you meet. Do not, under any circumstances, ride in a group.

“As per government instructions, only go out once [to exercise] each day. And finally, be sensible. Only ride on routes that you know well and that are well within your ability.”

He advised people to, “obey these rules as if your life, and the lives of others, depend on it – because they do.”

STATEMENT ABOUT CORONAVIRUS AND THE SUSPENSION OF CSH ACTIVITIES – updated 24/03/2020

The committee has been closely monitoring advice regarding the coronavirus/COVID 19 situation. [click for more info]

Cycling UK  was updated on 23rd March 2020 

British Cycling was updated on 23rd March 2020

Cycling UK state:

This means it remains advisable for people to cycle for their health, fitness and well-being, but in line with our previous guidance, you should only do this alone or with members of your household unless any of them have reason to self-isolate.

Under no circumstance should you cycle or take part in any cycling activity in groups.

This is critical to stop the coronavirus disease spreading between households.

updated 24/03/2020 – Cycle Seahaven Secretary

Suspension of CSH activities

The committee has been closely monitoring advice regarding the coronavirus/COVID 19 situation.

Cycling UK and British Cycling have today issued press releases suspending cycling activities initially until April 30. This includes recreational riding as well as events. 

Cycling UK state ‘As a result of this revised guidance, Cycling UK has taken the decision to ask all its member and affiliate groups not to run any group activities, including club runs or events.

This is in line with advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UCI, with the aim of ensuring the maximum protection of people across the world’.

It is therefore with regret that Cycle Seahaven is suspending all of its activities pending updated information to the contrary.

Please note that Cycling UK within the same press release also state ‘However, people should not avoid cycling altogether as it remains a great way to keep fit and active and is a good way to boost immunity.’

We leave you to make an informed decision on whether to ride or not. If you choose to do so we would recommend:

1. If riding with others you keep groups as small as possible and ride with at least 10-foot gaps between riders.

2. You avoid café’s, pubs in line with current government advice.

3. You ride less technically challenging routes to avoid the risk of crashing or injury that may place an unnecessary burden on the NHS.

The committee is exploring ways of utilising club resources to support those vulnerable members in our communities. Further updates to follow.

Look after yourselves and hopefully, normal service will be resumed in the not-too-distant future.

All the best,

The Cycle Seahaven Committee.

Statement about Coronavirus and advice for Cycling UK groups and volunteers

Coronavirus is in the headlines everywhere at the moment but what does this mean for cycling? We take the health and well-being of our members, supporters, groups and volunteers very seriously so we’re currently following Government and NHS guidance very closely.
 
Cycle Seahaven takes a similar view to that of Cycling UK. The health and safety of our members and guests is a priority. We will follow current advice regarding club activities. Please keep an eye out on this website, CSH calender and social media for more information. 
 

Statement from Cycling UK

As the national cycling charity Cycling UK’s aim is to support the UK’s population to cycle. This stays true during this period of Covid-19 effecting the UK. Above all the safety and welfare of Cycling UK’s staff, volunteers, participants at our rides and events, beneficiaries of our cycling programmes and the general public is always our main priority. Therefore, Cycling UK is running activities following the latest Government advice and following best practice to minimise risk.

Cycling UK are constantly monitoring the situation and taking advice from Government, health sector and partners. 

Advice for Cycling UK groups and volunteers

Cycling is a fun and healthy activity that brings people together to share a love of the great outdoors, often accompanied by the pleasure of stopping for a quick coffee and cake and a pleasant catch-up. We have over a 1000 groups and they run a large array of events, rides and activities every year.

So what should we be doing in the light of the COVID-19 outbreak?

Current guidance is that, for now, most of us can carry on normally. However, there are certain precautions that must be taken to minimise the spread of the virus. For example, by:

  • catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue and throwing them away immediately
  • washing hands with soap and water regularly for at least 20 seconds (or using alcohol-based hand sanitiser if not available)
  • avoiding close contact with people who are unwell

Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of Coronavirus are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath

If you have any of these symptoms please do not attend any Cycling UK ride, group or activity and follow the advice on the NHS website. 

Self-isolation

There’s a chance that you might be asked to self-isolate, which means staying at home and avoiding public places and Cycling UK led activities.

Further updates

We’ll continue to monitor the situation carefully and will update groups and areas via the website and Velocheer, our volunteer newsletter. If any further action is needed, such as the cancellation of rides and events, we will contact groups and event organisers directly.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with the Volunteering Team or the Groups Engagement Officer on 01483 238338 or via groups@cyclinguk.org.

This advice was last updated on Friday 13 March 2020.

Reduce the risk of your bike getting stolen with a ‘Geo-fence’.

Geozone – Are you protected?

I last wrote about criminals using Strava to identify high-value bikes and their storage locations in June 2018. Over the last few weeks, I’ve read numerous social media posts about high-value bikes thefts from garages in close proximity to Seaford. So, at the risk of being repetitive, I thought it might be worth reminding people how to create a geofence to combat the problem. This article is specifically Strava orientated but I’m sure most tracking apps have a similar feature. 

Creating a Privacy Zone

On the website, go to your Settings page by hovering over your profile picture in the top right and selecting “Settings”.

Click on the Privacy tab on the left side of the page.

Enter a location in the text field provided under “Hide your house/office on your activity maps”, select the size of the privacy radius, and click “Create Privacy Zone.”

https://support.strava.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000173384-Privacy-Zones

How it Works

The portion of your activity that starts or stops within your privacy zone will be hidden from other Strava athletes who view your activity. You will be able to see data inside your privacy zone, but other athletes will not.

  • If you stop in a privacy zone during the middle of an activity, this portion will not be hidden.
  • Your privacy zone will be automatically applied to all past and future activities.
  • GPS location-based lat/long coordinates can be used in place of a street address for cases where there is no street address.
  • Only one privacy zone can be applied to the start or end point for each activity. So if you have multiple, overlapping privacy zones, only one will be applied to each start or end point.
  • If a friend starts their activity from within your privacy zone, the portion that began in your zone will not be hidden on their activity.
  • You will not appear on any segment leaderboard that starts/stops within your Privacy Zone and you cannot hold or earn any KOMs/CRs on those segments. Removing a Privacy Zone will reinstate your segment matches and any associated KOMs/CRs.
  • Your Privacy Zone will be respected when you share on Facebook.

Manage Followers & Block Athletes

From your profile page, you can easily manage your current followers from the “Following” tab. When you block an athlete, it stops him/her from following you again, seeing certain Profile details, or accessing your activities. You will be removed from his/her list of followers and Activity Feed. Someone you’ve blocked will be able to see your activity entries in public areas like segment leaderboards, club feeds, and segment explore.

https://support.strava.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000173484

Cyclist settles case for £30,000 after hitting pedestrian who was looking at phone

Cyclist faced threat of ruinous legal costs despite judge ruling both parties equally to blame.

A cyclist who knocked over a woman who was looking at her mobile phone while crossing a road and was then threatened with financially ruinous legal costs has settled the case.

Both the cyclist, Robert Hazeldean, a garden designer, and the pedestrian, Gemma Brushett, who works in finance and also ran yoga retreats, were left unconscious after the rush-hour collision in July 2015.

Last year a judge ruled that both were equally to blame for the accident on a busy junction near London Bridge, but only Brushett was entitled to a payout because she had put in a claim and Hazeldean had not.

The case exposed how vulnerable uninsured cyclists are to expensive civil claims if they are involved in accidents.

Brushett’s lawyers had claimed costs of £112,000 – a sum that would have left Hazeldean facing bankruptcy since he was uninsured. The claim prompted Hazeldean’s supporters to set up a GoFundMe appeal that raised more than £59,000 from more than 4,000 people.

On Monday, Hazeldean tweeted that he had now agreed to settle the case for £30,000 on top of damages of £4,300 and his own costs of more than £25,000. The final settlement still left him £2,979 out of pocket, but avoided the financial ruin he feared last year.

In an email to the Guardian, Hazeldean said: “It’s not the result I was hoping for, but everything was spiralling and the risk of being bankrupted regardless of the outcome was too high. I felt I didn’t really have a choice.”

He wanted to settle the case for less and donate any surplus from the GoFundMe appeal to the charity ActionAid UK.

Hazeldean said he felt no bitterness towards Brushett, but was angered by the compensation system.

He said that because he decided against making a counter-claim against Brushett, he had no means of recovering his own costs. Under a system introduced in 2013 called “qualified one-way cost shifting”, if someone involved in accidents does not put in a counter-claim, they can be liable to pay damages and legal costs.

If Hazeldean had been insured, Brushett’s lawyers could have claimed a maximum of only £6,690 in costs.

Hazeldean said the support he had received had been “incredibly touching”, adding: “I was struck by how many said it could easily have been them. Not just that they could be involved in an accident, but that they could have spent four hellish years being dragged inexorably towards bankruptcy.”

He said the compensation system “desperately needs reforming” and in the meantime, he urged cyclists to insure themselves.

Cycle Seahaven is an affiliated member of Cycling UK. They provide various cycle insurance packages

Access at Red Barn (between East Dean and Birling Gap)

I  have ridden from Birling Gap to the pond at East Dean many times and I suspect, like many of you, I was totally unaware that there is a disabled access gate that makes the transition between the two fields a lot easier. So for those of you that aren’t familiar with it, this photo may help you locate it the next time you’re up there. The gate is tucked away in the far corner and obscured by trees on the Red Barn side. E-bike riders may welcome this as an alternative to the existing options. Incidentally, if you’re curious about rights of way, access etc. this article by Andy ‘Gus’ Lock may be of interest? 


 

‘Cyclists Dismount’ Signs

by Dave Sutton

Cyclists Dismount: Newhaven Railway Crossing

Occasionally when cycling you may come across signs like this. Do you know the differing legal status between them? Conflict with other users of the path can arise, due to lack of understanding of the legal status of such signs.

Although The Highway Code shows many of the signs commonly in use, a comprehensive explanation of our roads signing system is given in the Department of Transport’s booklet “Know Your Traffic Signs”, which is available to view online and on sale at booksellers. The booklet also illustrates and explains the vast majority of signs the road user is likely to encounter.

Page 9 of the Know Your Signs booklet states;

“Blue circles generally give a mandatory instruction, such as “turn left”, or indicate a route available only to particular classes of traffic, e.g. buses and cycles only.”

“Red rings or circles tell you what you must not do, e.g. you must not exceed 30 mph, no vehicles over the height shown may proceed.”

 “Blue rectangles are used for information signs except on motorways where blue is used for direction signs”  

The “Know your Traffic Signs” booklet, will include the words  “Must or Must Not” if there is a legal requirement to observe a traffic sign.

On page 36 of the Know Your Signs booklet is the Cyclists Dismount sign with the wording Pedal cyclists to dismount at end of, or break in, a cycle lane, track or route”

So by not including the words “Must or Must Not” on the cyclists dismount blue rectangular sign, the implication is that the sign is for information only, unlike the red Circle “Cycling Prohibited” which is mandatory.

The likely legal interpretation  of the Blue Cyclists Dismount signs are clarified on Cycling UK’s website which states; 

No Cycling sign: Martello Tower, Seaford Seafront

The legal status of a ‘cyclists dismount’ sign depends on the type of sign. Where there is a ‘cyclists dismount’ sign with a bicycle in a red circle, the instructions are mandatory under s.36 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. If not, the signs are advisory and there is no legal obligation to follow them. They may, however, signal a significant increase in the risk of danger, so this does not mean they can be safely ignored. A failure to dismount could be taken into account if there were a collision. When considering the rights of the police to fine road users, it is also worth remembering that the police can fine a road user for anti-social behaviour. In some situations, this could justify fining a cyclist for riding through a ‘cyclists dismount’ sign”.

Cyclists Dismount: Newhaven Swing Bridge

So why are the signs there on both the bridge and the railway crossing you may well ask? Well, that’s because like all things that are controlled by Government, there is of course a standard to which road signs are placed.

 

The law for traffic sign placement is contained in the Statutory Instrument (SI) “2016 No. 362 ROAD TRAFFIC The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016”

This legislation details the legal status of such signage, page 205 of the SI shows the cyclists dismount sign and the cyclists rejoin carriageway sign in two variants along with the wording “Diagram 966 Pedal cyclists to rejoin main carriageway or dismount at the end of, or at a break in, a cycle track or route”

The Traffic Signs Manual is a UK government publication on traffic signs giving guidance on the above SI to Highway Authorities. Chapter 3 page 155 para 17.37 it states.

“The sign to diagram 966 (CYCLISTS DISMOUNT) may be used together with the sign to diagram 965, or on its own. The sign should be provided only where cyclists are required to use a pedestrian crossing facility that they cannot legally cycle on, at the entrance to a pedestrian area, at a location with a low headroom or width restriction (e.g. a subway or bridge) or at places where visibility is restricted to such an extent that cycling would be unsafe (see also para 5.8)”.

On that basis the Cyclists Dismount signs at the Newhaven Swing Bridge, would appear to be denoting the end of the shared use path where it becomes the bridge.

If the path at the side of the bridge is a footway, and not a cycle route, then of course cycling on it is illegal in contravention of the Section 72 of Highway Act 1835.

The legal status of riding on the pavement across the river bridge is unknown, as the footbridge is not defined as a public right of way on ESCC Rights of Way map. So in conclusion, the signs on Newhaven Swing Bridge are not a mandatory dismount for cyclists, however cycling across the bridge may be depending on the status of the pavement. As such this is very confusing.