More than 18 months ago ChangingPace suggested, at a Sustainable Transport seminar, that Edinburgh could do with its own version of the impressive Cambridge Cycle Journey Planner. This was a section of the, equally impressive, Cambridge Cycle Campaign web site.
The CCJP was the creation of two cycle campaigners and computer programmers – Simon and Martin. It was a complex (but simple to use) on-line tool for journey planning in and around Cambridge full of local knowledge and packed with photos that magically appeared as a slide show along a planned route.
Just over a year ago the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Transport section awarded ChangingPace (via Cycling Scotland) a tiny amount of money (in computer project terms! – £5,000 UPDATE some controversy about spending on another cycle journey planeer) to develop an Edinburgh Cycle Journey Planner. The Cambridge duo soon realised that the opportunity was there for a UK wide CJP and began developing CycleStreets.net.
One reason that this became a viable project was the rapid development of Open Street Map which is a free to use (copyright – creative commons-attribution-share alike) on-line map which anyone can update and improve.
CycleStreets.net has been “beta” since earlier this year, this means that the public has been able to try it out but improvements (large and small) are still being made. Last week the Photos-en-route (PER) function was switched on which will be a great bonus once there are more photos (for Edinburgh) in the database.
Almost every town and city in the UK now has a sub-domain – e.g.edinburgh.cyclestreets.net (though most don’t have their own logo). Work is in progress to allow schools and workplaces (etc.) to have a customised start page for planning journeys (walking or cycling) to the chosen destination.
One challenge not yet resolved is the issue of hills. Cambridge is flat so a journey takes roughly the same time in both directions. At present the suggested journeys are impressively sensible (with a choice of direct or scenic) but estimated times are less reliable.
Posted in Active Travel, ChangingPace, Climate Change, Cycle to Work, Cycling, Cycling Scotland, EducatedTravel, European Mobility Week, Safe Routes to School, Spokes, Sustrans
Maggie from ChangingPace has been nominated (by person or persons unknown) for the Edinburgh Award – “a prestigious annual award to honour an outstanding individual who has made a positive impact on the city”.
The nomination was for “contribution to Cycling”, so it’s not clear if it’s for any particular activity – running TryCycling in Edinburgh, devising Bicycle Awareness Afternoons, initiating Green Passport Days, programming the Bike Week Film Festival etc.
Previous Award winners have been Ian Rankin and JK Rowling. Even if Maggie’s doesn’t win, this year, there’ll be a nice lunch!
ChangingPace is working with Stenhouse Primary School to develop ways of bringing ‘cycling’ into the curriculum.
Twenty one children signed up for the four week after school ‘club’. They are learning the basics about looking after their bikes. Inevitably many needed their tyres blown up and/or saddles raised. Both are simple things that children can do for themselves which make a big difference to the comfort and efficiency of cycling.
Simple adjustments also involved numbers – sizes of allen keys and spanners (in millimetres). Frame and wheel sizes are still mostly measured in inches! Other activities that can be slotted into various places in the curriculum include photography and IT (recording details in case bikes get stolen). Planning cycle trips involve mapping (and GPS) and local history and geography. The actual trips will mean ‘physical activity’, ‘social and personal development’ etc!
After the success of the first Green Passport Day last September ChangingPace has organised another.
Again it is on part of the North Edinburgh Path Network, but this time the destination is the Botanics rather than Victoria Park.
Bring the Green Passport along on Sunday 15 March (These have been delivered to all schools in Edinburgh, spares ones will be available at stalls on the day – or download your own.)
Come with friends and family and discover some of Edinburgh’s greener routes. Join the path network in the north of the city and walk, cycle, or scooter all the way to the Botanic Gardens. Get your passport stamped at two or more checkpoints and return it to any one of them before 1pm to be entered into the free prize draw.
In the Botanics you can enjoy the sights and smells of spring, the cafe and of course visit the fabulous Dreams on Wheels exhibition.
ChangingPace has a big new banner for taking to events.
It was delivered to Filmhouse a few days ago where CP was running the Bike Week Film Festival, but it had its first outing at the information stall and bike skills course at TreeFest in Inverleith Park.
The image was taken by Chris Hill at the Fun Four Days event at Easter and the banner’s artwork produced by David Gardiner.
One way of encouraging people to cycle is to actually meet them!
ChangingPace is taking simple stalls to a number of outdoor events. They have free leaflets, (including the revised Explore Edinburgh series published by the Council) and sell Spokes Maps.
Importantly they are staffed by people who can answer questions about cycling in Edinburgh – where to ride, how to get Cycle Training etc.
The stalls have appeared at Corstorphine Fair (pictured), The Meadows Festival and Davidson’s Mains Parish Church’s Green Day. This weekend it’s TreeFest. On Saturday there will be a bike ‘try out’ and an obstacle course – similar to the one at D Mains last Saturday – but on grass!
Maggie from ChangingPace is seen replenishing the leaflet rack and advertising an Edinburgh based on-line magazine.
A simple flyer (PDF) and mini-web site highlighting a range of Edinburgh cycling organisations and events has been produced by ChangingPace. It will be handed out at TryCycling in Edinburgh events over the summer and available in libraries etc.
Leaflet design by David Gardiner Vantage/Laid Back Ligfiets. Photo by Mike Lewis of cycling-edinburgh.org.uk taken on a TryCycling in Edinburgh ride.