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Topics - Robin S

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Cycling / Cycling Support at UWE
« on: December 03, 2012, 06:45:25 PM »
"This year I am really fighting to get people fit and active and to start I am attacking commuting to University! Cycling is the cheapest easiest and often fastest way to get to university, don't believe me check out our smart travel challenge on the 18th October (more info below). I cycle almost every day from Whitehall which is almost 5 miles away, even on the days it is too rainy I at least cycle to the train so i'm on my bike literally every day...It's healthy, it fun, it's fast and it wakes me up for the rest of the day...can your mode of travel do that?"

Cycling / Brake the Cycles End to End
« on: December 03, 2012, 02:56:32 PM »
The Clouds Cooperative are proud to present...

Brake the Cycles End to End

From the 28th March to the 17th April 2013 we will be cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats visiting eco communities, permaculture projects, and transition initiatives, in an immersive holistic educational adventure.

Plan-it Earth

The End to End is the UK’s most legendary and classic cycle tour. Free-wheel with us through some of our nations most stunning landscapes, visit some of the most inspirational land-based and community projects, hear discourses from expert speakers, undertake a ‘Principles of Permaculture’ course, enjoy daily practice of nutritional therapy, yoga, and meditation, cycle over 1,000 miles in 3 weeks.

Be inspired by your body!

We are partnered once again with The Big Red Bus Company who will be supplying a double decker London Routemaster powered by recycled chip fat oil as our support vehicle, allowing our participants to cycle without the burden of luggage on their bikes, and act as our field kitchen.

The End to End is a community fundraising challenge for the UK’s first Building Man festival. Drawing inspiration from Burning Man in the States, BM will be 100% participatory, pioneering an operational gift economy, however instead of a ‘leave no trace’ philosophy in a desert scenario, we will be establishing physical infrastructure in eco communities, urban creative hubs, and permanent festival sites, empowering emerging communities.

Applications for the End to End 2013 are now open!
Places are limited to 16.

For more information check out our Handbook

or download an application form from the bottom of the page

Cycling / Bicycle Christmas Tree
« on: December 03, 2012, 01:54:24 PM »
This seven metre tall tree was constructed using the bicycle parts provided by a group called CMA Recycling, and took a total of eight weeks to design and build in Sydney, Australia.

Cycling / Critical Mass billboard posters
« on: December 01, 2012, 10:47:03 AM »
Billboard posters for the sign trailer

From the Guardian:
The People's Daily piece quoted The Onion's praise of the NK leader: 'Kim made this newspaper’s editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and, of course, that famous smile.'

Bristol Chat / BCS Bristol Raspberry Pi Xmas event at @Bristol
« on: November 29, 2012, 07:58:50 AM »
This event is aimed at children of all ages, though adults are welcome as well.

Come along to hear Rob Bishop, 22, from the Raspberry Pi Foundation talk about the joy of making using the Raspberry Pi. Rob will discuss how he got involved in the project as an intern at Broadcom and why a career in engineering or computer science is awesome. There will also be a chance to get hands-on with a Raspberry Pi and to ask him any technical or non-technical questions you might have about engineering, computer science and the Raspberry Pi.
The talk will be followed by an opportunity for a Q&A alongside some demonstrations of how the Raspberry Pi can be used.

About Rob Bishop: Developer, Product Engineer & Evangelist for Raspberry Pi Foundation
One of the earliest engineers involved with the development of the Raspberry Pi and currently the only full-time paid employee in the Foundation.

The event starts at 1800 with the chance to have a look around @Bristol followed by the talk starting at 19:00.

Both BCS Members and Non Members are welcome.

Book a place at the Eventbrite page:

Geoff Crocker: ‘An Enlightened Philosophy – Can an Atheist Believe Anything?’
A talk by Geoff Crocker about his book.
Tue 27th Nov, 6:30pm at the Enderby Room, Physics Department, University of Bristol.

Geoff Crocker: The book attempts a synthesis between an atheist conclusion and religion in society. Its starting point is an argument that secular atheism, particularly if reductionist-physicalist, lacks an account of the metaphysical dimension of life, whilst doctrinal religion lacks meaning.

The proposal is then to interpret religion as myth, in the strong sense of the word, to offer open meta-narratives into metaphysical values and virtues. I argue that myth is a more meaningful interpretation of religion than doctrine. Religion as myth contributes to human and social understandings, and is equally valid for an atheist perspective.

Cycling / Cycle Ministers answer twitter questions
« on: November 26, 2012, 01:09:37 PM »
Since when was twitter an appropriate way to ask questions to MPs? What's wrong with email, and by what means did they let people who aren't on twitter know that they could send in questions?
Cycle ministers answer twitter questions during Transport Committee evidence session

Cycling / BBC Helmetcam documentary "The War on Britain's Roads"
« on: November 26, 2012, 11:23:08 AM »
The BBC will air a one off helmetcam documentary on 5th Dec.
Going by the title its just going to add weight to the perception that cycling is dangerous. If its how I'm imagining, watching it is just going to make me angry.

General Discussion / Science Club at the Tobacco Factory
« on: November 26, 2012, 11:16:43 AM »
Tonight at the Tobacco Factory the Science Club's subject is 'Fuelling the future', the new technologies and carbon capture - debate format between a team of researchers at Bath Uni.

It gets crowded so get there before the 8pm start.

Cycling / Cycling campaign manifesto for Bristol
« on: November 26, 2012, 08:57:22 AM »
    Bristol Cycling Campaign have just released a Bristol Cycling Manifesto, the text of which is below:

Bristol Cycling Manifesto
A concise cycling strategy for Greater Bristol

Bristol Cycling Campaign. November 2012

Bristol Cycling Campaign sees a future where Bristol and the surrounding areas are alive with people on bicycles, because cycling is so easy that everyone does it. Our communities will be happier, healthier, greener and more civilised.  This Manifesto is a call for action to deliver the infrastructure and other measures that will enable cycling to be a main transport mode of choice for trips of up to 8km in the Bristol area, for everyone. By working to a triple bottom line (financial, people and environment) implementation is affordable, deliverable and desirable. An integrated, ambitious and dynamic
Cycling Strategy is an essential element of a sustainable transport policy and will deliver benefits to Greater Bristol many times greater than the costs.
We call on all Bristol people through our communities, schools, businesses, local authorities and
the Bristol Mayor, to back this Manifesto and to demand that this strategy is given the highest priority. Bristol deserves nothing less to live up to our ambitions to be a leading liveable city, a European Green Capital and the best Cycling City in Britain.

Bristol is already one of the best cities for cycling in the UK, but with cycling still below 10%, in European terms we are far behind the leaders. The Cycling City programme from 2008-2011 showed the dramatic increases that could be quickly achieved, and the very high benefit to cost
returns from investment. One outcome was the 'Greater Bristol Cycling Strategy 2011-2026' from the Cycling City Stakeholder Advisory Panel (SAP) which mapped out the case for cycling, achievable objectives and targets and a delivery plan (all figures in this strategy are from that report unless noted otherwise). There is as yet however no adopted plan for how Greater Bristol moves into the next stage of 'Cycling City 2'.

  • Fairness
    The choice to cycle should be available to all, regardless of age, gender, financial circumstances, fitness, and need for specialist equipment (trailers, tricycles,
    cargo, disabled machines). Many people and groups are currently denied this choice.
  • Safety
    People on bikes should feel able to travel from where they are to where they need to go comfortably, conveniently, directly, in attractive surroundings and in both actual and perceived safety, just like any other road user. All children should feel able to cycle to school, including independently from older primary school age onwards.
  • Access
    The cycle network is anywhere anyone wishes to go by bike. This means the entire local road network as well as off-road routes. It is not restricted to special or separate provision, although that may be included.
  • Respect
    Mutual respect by and for all road users, with enforcement where necessary to protect the vulnerable. Ultimately, good infrastructure breeds good behaviour.
  • Prosperity
    Cycling and sustainable transport bring prosperity to Bristol.1 Subsidies for car-use should be reversed to recognise the value added to the city by those cycling, and to enable more to join them. Reductions in congestion will benefit everyone, particularly those obliged to use motor vehicles.
  • Ambition
    Set ambitious targets and commit resources to get more people cycling more often. When money is tight this offers Bristol better value than any other public investment (every £1 invested in walking and cycling puts £10 back in other benefits).
  • Quality of Life
    Strengthen neighbourhoods by reducing speeds and congestion with improved access through walking and cycling links. Improve health and wellbeing through more active lifestyles and better air quality. Bristol will attract new business as a fine place to live.
  • Low Carbon
    Bristol is committed to a 40% reduction in emissions by 2020. Achieving the cycling targets could contribute up to 25% of the necessary transport reductions.
  • Quality of Provision
    Make Bristol the benchmark city for outstanding and innovative cycling provision. This means setting and following best practice with determined implementation following the hierarchy of provision:
    i. Traffic volume reduction, traffic management
    ii. Traffic speed reduction
    iii. Junction redesign or hazard site treatment
    iv. Reallocation of carriageway with quality cycle facilities; v. segregated cycleways
    vi. conversion of footways to shared use for pedestrians and cyclists.

Plans and policies should explicitly consider six general categories of people on bikes, as well as those who don't yet cycle. Every proposed scheme should take each of these into account:
  • Child – should feel comfortable and safe and give parents confidence
  • Inexperienced – moves more slowly, avoid traffic
  • Utility – may carry loads, seek shortest routes, and stop frequently
  • Commuter – confident and direct
  • Leisure – seeks attractive, usually traffic-free routes
  • Specialist equipment users - trailers, trikes and hand-cranked machines

The strategy stands on ten 'pillars' each of which is essential, mutually supporting and require complete integration with all other areas of city policy and implementation.

Control vehicular access and remove all through traffic from the central area while
ensuring complete permeability for movements on foot and by bike. Establish a largely
segregated 'inner ring' cycle-route connecting all the radial routes to enable people to
move easily around the city centre. This should include special provision at all the pinch-points where main routes approach the centre.

The most direct route with the best gradient for cycling in Bristol is usually along a main road and these already carry the largest number of cyclists. It is essential they are comprehensively adapted to become high quality routes for cycling. Measures should prioritise junction treatments that favour cyclists. The hierarchy of provision should be followed with segregated provision favoured, particularly where only limited volume and speed reductions can be achieved. All measures should anticipate future high levels of cycling. Priority must be given to preventing obstruction of the flow of cyclists. An action plan for infrastructure measures to 2026 in four year phases is in section 7.3 of the SAP Greater Bristol Cycling Strategy.

Pleasant traffic free routes that extend through the city and surroundings with legible signing. Significant progress was made in this area during Cycling City with routes such as Concorde Way, Frome Greenway and Festival Way joining the Bristol Bath Railway Path, Malago Greenway and Whitchurch Way. The network must be improved and extended.

To extend the effectiveness of the 20mph areas every neighbourhood should have its own cycling plan linking local hubs such as schools, parks, retail and leisure centres. These should form an essential part of all local plans. Increasing use of 'traffic cells' is required to restrict through traffic while improving permeability for walking and cycling.
Plans must include on-street cycle parking at destinations and in residential areas with restricted indoor space.

Demand management for non-essential car trips is necessary and should include parking controls. Integration with public transport and especially at all transport interchanges must be made as easy as possible. Also required are reviews and changes to development guidelines, enforcement measures, cycle theft reduction, and strong branding. Adoption of a 'Vision Zero' approach to road danger reduction must underpin thinking. An action plan for wider measures to 2026 over four year phases is in section 7.2 of the SAP Greater Bristol Cycling Strategy.

All routes used by cyclists should be surfaced and maintained to a high standard. Routes should be swept for glass, rubbish and vegetation and have winter treatments. Road maintenance measures should favour cycling.

Cycling City showed how a broad and targeted package of 'soft measures' is very effective at giving people the information and confidence to cycle and offers excellent value and rapid returns. As well as a sustained city-wide programme all infrastructure work must include encouragement measures. These will include training and support for children and adults, work with employers, schools and universities, events, marketing and promotion. An action plan for encouragement measures to 2026 over four year phases is in section 7.4 of the SAP Greater Bristol Cycling Strategy.

Success depends on mobilising the whole city behind this vision, not least for matching resources. Involvement at the highest levels of health, business, transport, neighbourhoods, LEP and WoEP is needed. Meaningful consultation and involvement with stakeholders should be prioritised.

A relentless focus on quality and desire to learn from best practice is essential if Bristol is be the best cycling city in the UK, and up with the best in Europe. This requires openness to ideas and change, effective audits and highly trained, motivated and supported officers. Bristol should have its own local guidelines and standards for cycling that set out how to achieve excellence. Greater Bristol must have a high profile and powerful champion for cycling. An action plan for how monitoring and evaluation can deliver quality is in section 7.5 of the SAP Greater Bristol Cycling Strategy.

Sustained funding of at least £11 per capita per annum is required. This is 70% of the funding during Cycling City and about the per capita spend in comparable European cities. A Bristol Annual Cycling Audit Report should review progress against cycling targets set for three measures for 2026:
◦ 20% of all journeys by bike;
◦ 30% of all journeys to work;
◦ 20% of all journeys to school.

Sound foundations are needed to support the pillars of the cycling strategy. Without these the city will make only piecemeal progress, fall further behind our European rivals, and risk losing its status as one of Britain's most forward looking cities.
  • Targets
    Set for 2026, as in the Joint Local Transport Plan, along with 4 year phases linked to the term of the Mayor.
  • Funded Action Plan
    In four year phases funded at £6.5million per year (£11 per capita). Further funding through major scheme bids.
  • Delivery Team
    An integrated team to co-ordinate and deliver the action plan across all areas. This was effective during Cycling City and is used elsewhere.
  • Annual Bristol Cycling Report ('ABC Report')
    This should set out what has been achieved against the plan and include a survey of attitudes, counts traffic and next steps.
  • Cycling Champion
    There should be a single high profile figure who is responsible for the delivery of the plan across the city. They must have full authority at a senior level.

1. Affordable, Deliverable and Sustainable – Greater Bristol Cycling Strategy 2011-2026, Cycling City
Stakeholder Advisory Panel, 2010
2. Cycle Infrastructure Design, Local Transport Note 2/08. Department for Transport
3. Cycle-friendly design and planning: Overview, CTC, 2012
4. Cycling England Resources, The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport – CILT(UK)
5. Becoming a Cycling City, Documents on the Bristol Cycling City programme 2008-11
6. More Haste, Less Speed – a call to action for 2020, Sustrans,
7. Essential Evidence - the benefits of cycling and walking, Bristol City Council, Adrian Davis

1 Cycling costs 4p/km, but brings a socio-economic benefit to Bristol of 13p/km, whereas car-use costs 26p/km
with a further cost to Bristol of 7.5p/km. (Copenhagen Bicycle Account 2010, with adjustments for Bristol). With
cycling at 4% Bristol is already saving £30million/y[/list]

General Discussion / A new section - Gift Shop
« on: November 24, 2012, 05:33:25 PM »
I've started a new section of the site called Gift Shop for people to offer and ask for things for free. Obviously there is freeconomy and other sites but I think some people find them difficult to use, so this is just keeping it simple

Here's how it works:
- If you have things or time to offer for free post a message on the forum.
- People can respond to you by replying on the forum or sending you a private message.
- If you want to get an email when someone responds to your post click on "Notify"
- Once someone has taken up your offer, or you are not able to offer it any more, post a reply to the thread to let people know and click on "Lock Topic" so its clear no more responses are needed.

Your messages are viewable by anyone on the internet so bare this in mind before you include a phone number. People can always get in touch by sending you a private message.

Gift Shop / How to use the Gift Shop
« on: November 24, 2012, 04:49:18 PM »
If you have things or time to offer for free post a message on the forum.

People can respond to you by replying on the forum or sending you a private message.

If you want to get an email when someone responds to your post click on "Notify"

Once someone has taken up your offer, or you are not able to offer it any more, post a reply to the thread to let people know and click on "Lock Topic" so its clear no more responses are needed.

Your messages are viewable by anyone on the internet so bare this in mind before you include a phone number. People can always get in touch by sending you a private message.

Permaculture / Woodgas stove
« on: November 24, 2012, 10:22:25 AM »
I just got myself one of these, and its pretty cool. Burns really efficiently and keeps going for ages.

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