Monday, 25 August 2014

Running cycling

Looking to start running again, feel fats so can't this being good for a while !

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Swapping Places

In conjunction with Bike Bath on Saturday 28 June, First will be running a safety awareness programme on the Recreation Ground from 09:30 to 15:00 as part of its commitment to improving safety on the roads.

There will be the opportunity to swap places with our drivers and see what it's like to sit in the cab of a bus. Our drivers will also be using the space to cycle around the bus and understand the difficulties cyclists face, There will be the opportunity to talk to our drivers about any concerns you might have as well as sharing ideas.

There will also be the opportunity to win a number of prizes including puncture repair kits and bus tickets.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Decorating bikes with flowers

It may sound like a silly idea of decorating bikes with flowers, but with Bath having such a heritage of participating in Bath in Bloom, maybe it isn't such a bad idea.

Anything that is fun and helps cycling is great, if you want to know more hop over to their web site

Sunday, 18 March 2012

NHS bill

I don't support the NHS bill, saying that in the first sentence, but there is much that this wrong in the NHS, too much time is spent in dealing with contracts with other organisations, bills being sent out that are incorrect, as with many large organisations too much tolerance of poor performance, and inefficient procedures.

Put in lots of targets as the last government did, doesn't help either. Too much time is then spent either lying, or finding ways to get round these targets. 

To push up quality and reduce costs, competition was introduced. Now we have lots of inefficient large organisations trying to run health services. What do you do if there is no competition ? If you are Labour you introduce it artificially, by over paying and guaranteeing payments, £250 million worth for not treating patients. 

What is the answer ? How about letting local people decide, introducing really local decision making with tax raising powers, so if that area wants the private sector then they can introduce it, if a community wants to spend more then it is possible. Health is a basic necessity, required by all, and often the health service is a major employer in that area, often a centre of that community. That means it needs to be locally controlled. 

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Dog control consultation

Dog Control Orders can give powers to local authorities under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 to deal with the following offences:  Fouling of land by dogs or failing to remove dog faeces; Not keeping a dog on a lead; Not putting, and keeping a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer; Permitting a dog to enter a designated space from which dogs are excluded; Taking more than a specified number of dogs in designated area The proposed Dog Control Orders will replace all existing byelaws relating to dog control introduced in various locations across Bath and North East Somerset.  The new Orders if introduced will also allow Council Officers to issue fixed penalty notices of £75 for breaches. children's play areas and areas for which the primary use is sporting recreation for the orders relating to dogs on leads and exclusion. You can view all details at the public website with links to relevant maps at The consultation period will take place from 26th January 2012 to 20th February 2012 to enable Bath & North East Somerset Council to receive representation on the proposed Dog Control Orders from both dog owners and non-dog owners. There will be three advice sessions to provide further information on the proposed Dog Control Orders taking place at:  The Guildhall (Council Connect reception), Bath on 8th February 2012 between 11.30 and 1.30. The Hollies, Midsomer Norton on 1st February between 10am and 12pm. Riverside, Keynsham on 27th January 3pm and 4.30pm Copies of the proposed orders and plans are also available for inspection free of charge throughout the consultation period during normal opening hours at the following locations: Bath Street office, 9 – 10 Bath St, Bath. Guildhall. High Street, Bath.  The Hollies, Midsomer Norton. Riverside, Keynsham. Representations on the proposed Dog Control Orders should be made to Bath and North East Somerset Council by 12 midnight on the 23/02/2012  either by writing to: Dog Control Order Consultation Bath and North East Somerset Council 9 – 10 Bath St, Bath BA1 1SN or by email to DogControlOrders@BATHNES.GOV.UK Representations received after 12 midnight on the 23/02/2012 cannot be accepted.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Bus services - what cost ?

Got a small shock on the bus today finding out the bus fare had gone up, expected, around 20%, size not expected.

There are two questions, why and what effect will it have ?

Why is easy, I suspect increased fuel costs being passed on, and with some many users having free bus passes, it won't alienate much of their clientèle. A quick check of the profits of First Group shows them to be healthy, not surprising as it is an monopoly.

What effect ? As I have already suggest I suspect not much amongst the current clientèle, but amongst those possible converts from the car ? You can already see the outcry, How much ! It only costs me ... to drive, fill in as appropriate. That is not going to help us who believe in a greener future.

It makes me interested with peak oil coming shortly, for an explanation see, what can the council do ? Well actually nothing, we have no powers, that horrible woman Thatcher again. Not quite true, actually a little. We have powers to do what we want for the economic and social well-being of the area. So in theory we could set up a bus company if we wanted, and make it cheaper, but could we as a council make it work ? Sadly the answer is probably no. as with running the Spa, being run by an excellent company. First is good at what it does, it does cut corners, still get lots of complaints about the early 14, but the council doesn't have that expertise. The council would run a worse service. We are stuck with what we have got, a good company, but high prices, no carrot to turn away from the motor car.

It is sad that yet again the environment is subject to the whim of shareholders who want the maximum return.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Cycle Infrastructure

There was an interesting discussion on twitter about what is required to do to improve the lot of cyclists.

Sometimes 140 characters is not enough to express an opinion, so here goes with nearly unlimited characters !!

The problem is lack of infrastructure, a car culture that makes cycling scary, and police that don't appear to think cyclists are a priority. No cautions, for parking in cycle lanes, no cautions for stopping in advanced stop areas, no interest when difficult junctions are pointed out, just my experiences.

As a councillor I have never been asked about cycling provision. I was elected in 1992. I have been asked about car congestion, about speeding traffic, cars parking on the pavement, lack of parking spaces, untaxed cars, all familiar issues for a local councillor. 

As I try and get my colleagues to look at, and a number of other green issues, they look blankly. No mentioning it to them, what is the problem, just pandering a crazy minority. We need to generate a critical mass, a number of people that can't be ignored. In someways I am not helpful, I already cycle, I have learnt to use lots of lights not to cycling in gutter to give myself space to keep away from the potholes, what about new cyclists, what makes them safe and not give up after one day ? Do we provide things for cyclists like me or do we provide for non cyclists, is that more car free zones ?

The vision is to link up all the urban areas in Bath and North east Somerset with car free paths, can it be done. Why not? I just need a little help.